Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010

It’s here! Time for my 2nd annual Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge! Read on for details on how you can participate…

The Challenge Concept

If you’re like me, you believe that every change, no matter how small, in a positive direction, helps make the world a better place. So, why not use our knowledge of healthful eating to help our friends, family, and co-workers enjoy a slightly more healthy Thanksgiving?

Many people associate the holiday season with a time for indulging in a plethora of not-so-healthy eats. We eat at friends’ homes, office parties, and family get-togethers. At most Thanksgiving dinners, 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. Whether you’re cooking the main dish, bringing something on the side, or baking dessert, you can help make the world a healthier place by making your contribution a little healthier. Then, all your friends, family, and/or co-workers can reap the benefits of having healthier eats, too!

Show your loved ones that Thanksgiving can be a healthy indulgence.

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?)
  • Use a humanely raised turkey (find one at *click*)
  • Substitute a healthier ingredient (try brown rice syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener)
  • Serve a healthier alternative (steamed green beans instead of green bean casserole)
  • Give a family recipe a complete, healthy make-over (tofu pumpkin pie is tasty!)

Click here to view my healthy makeovers for my family’s Thanksgiving 2009 for ideas.

Click here to view the entries from the 2009 Challenge for ideas.

How to Enter

You don’t have to have a blog to play!

There are 3 ways to enter (1 mandatory and 2 optional if you want extra chances to win):

  1. *mandatory* Leave a comment explaining what you made and what you changed.
  2. Tweet about the contest using the following: “I’m playing in the Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010 t! #healthythanksgiving”. Leave a separate comment on this post to let me know that you tweeted an entry.
  3. Link to this contest from your blog. Leave a separate comment telling me you did.

Easy Rules:

  • Each entry must be left as a separate comment on this post to count individually.
  • All entries must be received by 8pm ET Saturday, November 27th, 2010.
  • Winner will be randomly selected.
  • Shipping of prize is for US only.
  • Winner will be notified via email and so must have a valid email address.
  • If winner doesn’t reply within 48 hours of email notification, a new winner will be selected.


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:
<a href=""><img src="" border="0" width="170" height="170" /></a>

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?!

23 thoughts on “Healthy Thanksgiving Challenge 2010”

  1. Woohoo! Count me in!! So excited about this – I’ll be back to post my entries. Working on a menu now and will absolutely be spreading the word about this – it’s such a great idea. 🙂


    • Yay! Thanks for being the first entry Caitlin! Your corn casserole look dee-licious! I love the change you made. I used to eat Jif all the time till I started reading the ingredient list. Love this! 🙂

  2. Count me in! I do this every year anyhow, so now I can “justify” doing it to my family, since they never quite see the need.

    This is the second year in a row that my husband’s family (a British father, an Italian mother) will be eating a good ole Southern Thanksgiving with us! I’m so excited about this. However, my MIL has lots of eating restrictions. She can’t have anything heavily spiced (read: black pepper is not even okay) due to a stomach condition. So, I plan to make a pan of roasted, organic winter squash with just EVOO and fresh herbs (she can have all the herbs she wants). This will be a total change for my family. We never include squash of any kind and the only sweet patotatoes usually end up in a horrid marshmallow concoction. This will be simple, clean, delicious, and healthy! I’ll link it back when I post it on my blog! 🙂

    Love a challenge! Can we just made dishes in advance for inspriation? I don’t even care if it counts as an entry. 🙂

    • Sounds like you have some big, fun plans for Thanksgiving!

      Of course you can make a dish in advance for inspiration. Let me know which one you’re serving at a family get-together or dinner party as your entry. You can have more than one entry and you can make the item early, but since the point is to share your healthy eating with other people you just have to share it. 🙂 Easy-peesy!

  3. I am definitely in!!!! I will post all the required stuff when I get back home tomorrow:) Too difficult to mess with on my phone, LOL! I am already thinking about some dishes I would want to change:) I will definitely share the widget too on my blog:)

  4. Stuffed squash – preferably delicata (or “patidou squash” but not sure what they call this one in english, it’s black and white striped and shaped like a mini pumpkin – anyone know?). Slice it in two, take out the seeds, then spread a layer of oil (sunflower or olive or cooking oil) on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until soft. Meanwhile, sautée a chopped leek with onion and garlic in olive oil then add dry quinoa and toast, then add water (double the amount to the quantity of quinoa you make) and let simmer until cooked. Add chopped fresh spinach until wilted, some lemon juice, fresh thyme rosemary and sage or whatever spices you have on hand. Salt/pepper. Then, add the quinoa mixture to the inside of the squash and cook for another minute or two. Top with toasted walnuts and some fresh parsley – optional: can add some walnut oil and balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. This makes a great side … or even as a turkey sub if you have a vegetarian at the table since the quinoa has lots of protein. Another added bonus: roast the top part of the squash too then add to a food processor and puree with some spices, lemon juice, walnut oil and maybe a splash of water to thin it up then pour the sauce over the stuffed squash. It’s so easy and delicious and uses seasonal produce! I guess you could call it a healthy makeover for stuffing since there is indeed stuffing involved? Bon appétit!

  5. I made stuffing. I took a typical stuffing recipe from Betty Crocker and tweaked it–multigrain bread instead of white bread, additional fruits and veggies for nutrients and flavor, the omission of sausage, and the addition of wheat germ for protein, fiber, and other nutrients galore.


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