3 Healthy Side Dishes Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Happy Wednesday Squadies! With American Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to share 3 of my favourite healthy side dishes, perfect for Thanksgiving! All these recipes are low carb, vegan or vegetarian-friendly, easy to make, and of course LEANLICIOUS! You can enjoy Thanksgiving the LEAN WAY without missing out on any of the flavours and foods we all love most! Living the lean life is all about BALANCE. Creating healthy side dishes allows you to enjoy your dinner, have a slice of your favourite pie for dessert and not feel so sluggish and low energy afterwards! Are you vegan, vegetarian or have a family member who is? Not to worry! ALL of these recipes contain NO MEAT and little to no dairy products!    Pair these lean and tasty recipes with a morning workout, and you are sure to feel your best this Holiday season!   

LOW CARB Cauliflower stuffing

Who says you can’t make stuffing healthy?! This cauiflower stuffing will give you ALL those thanksgiving flavours WITHOUT any bread!  This recipe is vegetarian friendly, and can be made vegan by swapping out one simple ingredient: Butter!  Having a variety of finely chopped veg along with a nice assortment of herbs and spices, this cauliflower stuffing is sure ti satisfy all of your stuffing cravings! The addition of mushroom not only bring in some leanmazing flavours, but also gives it some extra protein! Of all the healthy side dishes, this one is one of my favs for sure!
Heres how to make it:



  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 bag (283g) cauliflower rice, cooked 
  • 1 cup package baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth


  1. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot! Drizzle some gravy overtop for even more flavour!

Roasted Garlic Green Beans & Almonds:

All this recipe requires is 5 INGREDIENTS and 30 minutes of prep and cook time combined! It is so simple, vegan friendly, low carb, and packed with everything you need to make up a heathy side dish: Protein, healthy fats, and nutrients. Green beans are a great source of vitamin C, fibre and vitamin A. Combine them with almonds and you are set! Almonds are PACKED with nutrients and contain high amounts of protein, fibre and healthy fats.  Besides being healthy, combining these ingredients makes for a unique and delicious side dish that is super easy to prepare and cook!
Here’s how to Make it:



  • 340g (12 oz) fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. In a large bowl, mix green beans with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Make sure all beans are coated. 
  3. Pour beans onto a lined baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer. Place in oven and make for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and mix in almonds and garlic. Place back in oven for 5 minutes. 
  5. Serve hot!

Instant pot Whole Cauliflower with gravy

This cauliflower instant pot recipe is a must-have as part of your Thanksgiving side dishes! It is vegan friendly, and opposed to cooking in the oven which takes about 45 minutes to an hour, the instant pot cn cook it in under 10 minutes! If you are vegan or have any vegan or vegetarian family members, this side dish can also be a leanlicious turkey replacement!  Letting the cauliflower marinate for a little while before cooking allows it to absorb all those leanmazing thanksgiving flavours the marinade holds. The addition of gravy will further give you that thanksgiving feeling.  PS if you are making this recipe with the bean recipe above, try dipping the beans in the gravy, it is SO tasty!
Here’s how to Make it:



  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp  smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
For Gravy
  • 1 onion cut into large pieces
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves whole
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp  thyme or more if fresh
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour


  1. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients listed under marinade.
  2. Cut leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower head. Trim the stem so cauliflower can stand upright.
  3. Rub the marinade on the cauliflower head evenly.
  4. For the gravy, heat oil in saute mode of the Instant Pot. Add onion and whole garlic cloves; cook until translucent.
  5. Then add vegetable stock, thyme and lemon juice. Place the trivet into the Instant Pot.
  6. Put the whole cauliflower head on the trivet. Cook for 3 min on manual high-pressure mode. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 min and then quick release the remaining pressure.
  7. Carefully transfer the cauliflower to an oven-safe dish or tray. Optionally, broil it 3-4 min in the oven to get a nice crust.
  8. Turn on the saute mode in the Instant Pot. Add flour to the gravy base and blend everything using a hand blender until it gets to a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  9. Cook the gravy for 3-4 min and serve warm with the cooked cauliflower.
  There you have it squadies! 3 lean and tasty side dishes, perfect for Thanksgiving!
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