TRANSCEND's Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and nothing shows your love and appreciation for your family and friends like a delicious dinner made from scratch.

For those of us trying to make responsible dietary choices, holidays that center around food can often prove challenging. Thankfully, finding healthy alternatives for traditional dishes is as easy as following these three TRANSCEND recipes that double as a Thanksgiving dinner. 

Autumnal Squash Soup

As the weather cools, there’s nothing like a nice bowl of soup to warm you up. This Autumnal Squash Soup is the perfect way to start the meal off. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you’ll be enjoying this soup in no time. 

Ingredients (8 Servings)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-quart vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 packet stevia
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


Combine the olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of broth in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the squash, potato, carrots, apple, and remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor, working in batches as necessary, or use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot (be careful to avoid splatters). Return soup to the pot and stir in wine, if using, and soy milk. Add the nutmeg and season to taste with stevia, salt, and pepper. Simmer gently for at least 5 minutes, and up to 2 hours for best flavor.

Brussels Sauté

Brussels sprouts are both tasty and good for you, and the best part is that they can be cooked in several different styles. These once-controversial cruciferous vegetables have gained popularity in recent years, becoming a staple on autumn menus everywhere. Cook this side dish up for as many people as you’d like and enjoy it next to the main dish. 

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 large tomato, chopped


Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the squash and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer or until it begins to soften. Add the tomato and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts and squash are tender and the tomato is slightly softened.

Provençal-Style Chicken

This Provençal-style chicken is so delicious, you won’t miss turkey at all. Healthy, filling, and rich in flavor, this dish will be a hit among everyone at the table. Adjust the portions for as many people you’re serving and enjoy!

Ingredients (4 Servings)

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup white wine


Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness between two pieces of waxed paper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the chicken and sear for 1 minute on each side. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley, thyme, and wine and cook for 10 minutes longer or until chicken is cooked through.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, say goodbye to the yearly post-indulgence food coma, and hello to feeling better than ever. Whether you’re cooking for five or twenty, each recipe can be modified to add or reduce the portion size. Cheers to living well forever! 

Previous article Recipes for a Healthy Holiday Season
Next article Are Food Allergies a Western Epidemic?