Thanksgiving might very well be the best holiday on the books, because it’s really the only holiday on the books dedicated exclusively to eating. And more eating. Lots and lots of eating.
While stuffing yourself silly is fun in the moment, chances are you’ll regret it (possibly, big time) later. A smart strategy is to fill your table with at least some lighter, healthier options to help balance the usual calorie bombs. (I’m looking at you, sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and marshmallows.)
Might I make a teensy suggestion? Make this recipe for roasted sesame vegetables a new Thanksgiving tradition. It's embarrassingly simple, yes, but you shouldn't take that as a bad thing: This recipe really lets the vegetables shine. With just a few ingredients, this side comes together quickly, but the dynamic sweet and salty flavor really hits the spot.
Roasted Sesame Vegetables
Serves four to six
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 lb. broccoli florets
4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce (You could also use low-sodium soy sauce.)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
2. Mix vegetables in large mixing bowl and add maple syrup, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, kosher salt and garlic powder (everything but the seeds). Mix until evenly coated.
3. Spread vegetables evenly onto baking sheets. Cover vegetables tightly with sheets of foil.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove sheets from oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Return to oven for five minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
Per serving: 160 calories, 3.5 fat grams, 406 milligrams sodium, 26.4 grams carbs, 7.4 grams dietary fiber, 11.7 grams sugar, 5.6 grams protein.
Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.