Thanksgiving Food Challenge – Who’s In?

Thanksgiving Food Challenge – Concept

Sometimes, I feel like the world is full of healthy eaters – especially when I’m browsing my favorite healthy living blogs, reading their tweets and surrounding myself with overall healthy pictures, recipes, and ideas. However, I wonder if we may actually be in the minority? I’m not up on the latest studies to know, but what I do know is that each of us can spread the healthy word out, like ripples in a pond.

Rather than going on and on about this, I’m going to try to keep things simple. The idea is that we spread our healthy lifestyle with others this Thanksgiving season. At most Thanksgiving dinners (at least the ones I’m used to), whether you’re hosting the whole meal or just bringing a side dish, you can bank on being able to share your mad cooking/baking skills with your friends, family, and even co-workers by cooking the main dish or bring something on the side or for dessert.

How to Play

The Thanksgiving Food Challenge is simple – choose a dish and make at least one small change to make it healthier. You can make as many changes as you want, but even one change is great.

Here are some examples:

  • Use an organic ingredient (sub organic milk or eggs for your famous dessert)
  • Use a local ingredient (local veggies anyone?)
  • Substitute a healthier ingredient (try brown rice syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener for your famous cake)
  • Serve a healthier alternative (steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole)
  • Give a family recipe an entire healthy make-over

Leave a comment on this post with your email address and choose one of the following: 1. a comment explaining what you made and what you changed or 2. a comment with a link to your blog post/web site explaining your makeover. 3. a comment saying you tweeted your challenge entry (use hashtag #tdayfoodchallenge).

*EDITED 11/23/09 to add: Every dish you makeover can count as a separate entry, but you must leave a separate comment for each dish – one comment per dish to have them count as separate entries. The more dishes you makeover, the more times you get to enter for the fabulous prize below!*

Post comment(s) by 11:59 pm ET Saturday, Nov 28, 2009 to enter for the prize. (Post after deadline to leave your entry for fun)


I’ve created a banner for the challenge if you’d like to use it on your blog or web site:

You can use the following code to add this banner to your site:

The Prize

The prize is helping make the world healthier one ingredient at a time. Oh wait, you want something for you? Ok…

I’ll randomly select someone from the group who posts by the deadline to receive a handmade (by me) pair of Swarovski pearl drop earrings (sterling silver) – perfect for your next holiday party and just in time!


I have a couple other pearl colors and several crystal colors and would be happy to help you pick some colors to match your preferences.

Wrapping Up

With this challenge being so simple, it should be pretty easy for lots of people to participate. Let’s spread the healthy word and show people that healthy can be tasty! And if you’re wondering how changing out 1 ingredient can make a different, I truly believe that every change for the better makes a positive impact overall. I leave you with this quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead

Who’s in?!

(PS I will be repeating this for Christmas, Hanukkah, and other end of year celebrations – look for twitter hashtag #holidayfoodchallenge)

19 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Food Challenge – Who’s In?”

  1. Ow! I love this idea. I am in charge of snacks and some baked goods for our thanksgiving weekend. I am going to have to revisit the recipes I was going to make and health one of them up. Hopefully I'll be back here with a great recipe!

  2. Ok, here is my healthy version with the healthy substitutes. I do have to mention that the full-fat version is delicious (once a year can't hurt, no?)

    My Healthy Version of "Spooned" Cornbread
    1 can cream corn
    1 can kernel corn (do not drain)
    1 stick of margarine or butter substitute
    1 cup (8oz) fat free sour cream
    1 box of Jiffy corn muffin mix
    2 eggs slightly beaten (USE equivalent of Eggbeaters for HEALTHY version)

    Combine all and put in greased (spray with Pam) dish or pan and bake at 350 for about 45 min. If you want to make a bigger batch, double all ingredients and cook for about 1 hr. to 1 hr. 15 min. Test with toothpick or lightly touch top of center to see if firm – you don't want to overcook or it will be dry.

  3. Add Tofu to your stuffing! It will fill you up faster and give you a protein boost! Stir fry a block of Nasoya extra firm tofu, crumbled, with a tsp of olive oil until golden brown and toss it in your stuffing. Tofu absorbs flavor, so try mixing it into the recipes you already know and love.

  4. My contribution this year is homemade Irish soda bread. Instead of making both loaves with white flour, one loaf will be white, and the other will be whole-grain spelt. Spelt is a really great alternative for those who suffer mildly from wheat intolerance. The other healthy ingredient is low-fat buttermilk.

    By the way, I just started looking at this blog a few weeks ago and I'm working my way through the archives – great ideas and great insight into chic, healthy living. Keep up the good work!

  5. I'm in- my great grandma's cold oven pound cake is killer- 800 calories a sliver (and I mean teeny tiny sliver). I'm going to pour over the recipe and see what I can do- and I'm going to try to "health" up my grandma's famous sweet potato pie recipe… eek!

  6. This is lovely! Count me in!Can't wait to get started on this… I'm not completely decided what I'll do for the challenge, but I'm so up for it! I'll be back tomorrow to let you know what I decide on!

  7. Hey girl! Posting my recipe changes today!! I made banana muffins. I made them vegan by utilizing flax/water instead of egg and I subbed applesauce in place of the vegetable oil. I also added walnuts for some healthy fats and protein 😉 Recipe will be up after 4 pm on my blog 🙂

  8. You guys are GREAT! Keep the entries coming! 🙂 Thank you sooooo much for playing! Remember you can enter more than once. One entry = one comment per dish (you can enter for each dish you make but you must leave a separate comment for each entry!

  9. For my leftover T-day casserole I used homemade cornbread, fresh organic bakery sourdough bread, homemade organic cranberry sauce, organic turkey gravy, and a free range bird. I also lightened our sweet potato casserole by using less butter and sugar.

    For our dessert I added ground flax seed to our Cranberry Date Bars, along with using organic fresh cranberries and bulk bin dates and oats.

  10. Seafood is any sea animal or plant that is served as food and eaten by humans. Seafoods include seawater animals, such as fish and shellfish (including molluscs and crustaceans).[1] By extension, in North America although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term seafood is also applied to similar animals from fresh water and all edible aquatic animals are collectively referred to as seafood.

    Edible seaweeds are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia. See the category of sea vegetables.

    The harvesting of wild seafood is known as fishing and the cultivation and farming of seafood is known as aquaculture, mariculture, or in the case of fish, fish farming. Seafood is often distinguished from meat, although it is still animal and is excluded in a vegetarian diet. Seafood is an important source of protein in many diets around the world, especially in coastal areas.


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