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No Fat, all Flavor: Healthier Thanksgiving side dishes

Skip the fat, but keep all the flavor!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Thanksgiving can mean added pounds with all the butter, salt, fat and sweets on the table. 

Check out these recipes from Grace DeRocha from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that swap out traditional side dishes for healthier options -- ones that skip on all the fat but keep all the flavor. 

White Bean and Cauliflower Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
12 oz. can of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (or any white bean of choice, such as navy or cannellini)
1/3 cup low-fat chicken stock or chicken broth
¼ cup butter or butter substitute of choice
¼ cup milk or milk substitute of choice
¼ Greek yogurt


  1. Boil potatoes through in a large pot with chicken stock for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Add cauliflower and beans to potatoes. Place lid and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and use hand immersion or a traditional blender to get to your favorite mashed potato consistency.
  4. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Quinoa and Wild Rice Stuffing

2 cups cooked wild rice, try cooking in part broth and part water
2 cups cooked quinoa, try cooking in part broth and part water
1/3 lb. bacon
3 cups diced onions
3 cups diced celery
3 cups diced carrots
1 Tbsp. water
1 ¾ cup currants
¾ cup dried cherries
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ oz. dried apricots
1 cup diced, unpeeled apples
½ cup chicken broth or broth of choice
½ cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp. thyme
1 Tbsp. sage
1 Tbsp. rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare wild rice and quinoa using chicken broth and water. 1 cup dry wild rice will make 2 cups cooked, using 1 cup water and 1.5 cups broth of choice. Then do the same with quinoa.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Reserving drippings, drain bacon, crumble, and set aside.
  3. In the skillet with the reserved bacon drippings, saute onions, celery and carrots with 1 tablespoon water. Cook until very soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in currants, cherries, cranberries, apricots, and apples along with the cooked wild rice and quinoa, broth and herbs. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add crumbled bacon, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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