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These Meatless Thanksgiving Side Dishes Will Be All Your Family Can Talk About This Thanksgiving

Photo credit: Getty Images/Karisssa

Photo credit: Getty Images/Karisssa

Turkey may be the star of your holiday feast, but the health benefits of tasty, meat-free sides can’t be ignored. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital found that a low-carb vegan diet not only boosts weight loss, but may also reduce the risk of heart disease by 10 percent over 10 years.

Your heart and stomach will give thanks for yummy, vegetarian-friendly sides that are sure to impress everyone at the dinner table — even your picky cousin.

Go green with an asparagus salad with vinaigrette. Mixed with the perfect blend of olive oil, Dijon mustard and seasoning, serve your warm asparagus over quinoa and dig in.

For a festive feast, indulge in roasted butternut squash salad with cranberries. A blend of fresh-squeezed orange juice, savory spinach, and a dash of almonds will make this dish a new Turkey Day tradition.

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a helping of sweet potatoes: Try it two ways as roasted sweet potatoes chopped as fries and drizzled in brown sugar maple syrup, or in baked sweet potato latkes (using vegan egg substitutes, if necessary) for less than 100 calories per serving.

Try a tangy and tart twist on veggies with roasted vegetables with spicy yogurt sauce. Enjoy carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower like never before, dripped with a dressing of low-fat yogurt, Sriracha, and lime.

Take a vegan spin on a fall food classic with vegan cornbread stuffing. Combine onion, celery, vegetable broth and cornbread in a skillet with seasoning. Add in vegan sausage if desired and bake in casserole dish for a golden brown crust. This savory seasonal side will have everyone asking for seconds.

For more recipes or information on how to upgrade your current nutrition, see how Independence Blue Cross can become a part of your health and wellness plan with free visits to a registered dietician.