Giving Thanks for Good Health: Mr. Food’s ADA-Approved Thanksgiving Day Menu

By on November 1, 2018

This Thanksgiving, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to eat healthy. Mr. Food Test Kitchen and the American Diabetes Association offer a tempting (and diabetes-friendly) Thanksgiving menu that will satisfy your holiday cravings without derailing your meal plan.

Everyone looks forward to the comforting flavors of Thanksgiving. After all, who doesn’t love a holiday based around food? From the turkey, to the stuffing, to the scrumptious desserts, there’s nothing quite like sharing a delicious meal with your loved ones. But if you have diabetes, prediabetes, or are simply trying to watch what you eat, the thought of Thanksgiving dinner can induce stress, fear, and worry. That’s why the American Diabetes Association and the team at Mr. Food Test Kitchen offer healthier versions of the Thanksgiving flavors you love in their new comfort foods cookbook.

“Even though most of us love traditional Thanksgiving foods, we don’t always love what a day of heavy eating does to our waistline and our overall health,” says Howard Rosenthal, chief food officer and spokesperson for Mr. Food Test Kitchen’s Guilt-Free Comfort Favorites (American Diabetes Association, September 2018, ISBN: 978-1-580-40690-1, $22.95). “Fortunately, you don’t have to miss out on the feast. Instead, you can make healthier versions of your favorite holiday comfort foods.”

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Guilt-Free Comfort Favorites contains over 130 classic comfort food dishes reimagined to include the flavors you crave minus the extra fat, carbs, and calories you don’t need. These recipes were selected by the team at Mr. Food Test Kitchen, which produces a daily nationally syndicated television segment with an audience of more than four million. And because every recipe has been evaluated and approved by the American Diabetes Association to meet nutritional guidelines, you can relax and enjoy your culinary creations without worrying that you’re compromising your health.

If you’re ready to serve up diabetes-friendly flavors for Thanksgiving this year, check out this menu of dishes that are heavy on comfort and sure to satisfy.

Turkey ‘n’ Stuffing Rollups

1/2 cup chopped carrot
Serves: 6, 1 per serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes chopped

2 tablespoons light, trans-fat-free margarine
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup crushed herb stuffing
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
6 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless turkey breast cutlets
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12-ounce) jar fat-free turkey gravy
Paprika for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- × 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt margarine; sauté celery, carrot, and onion 4 to
5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, combine stuffing, sautéed vegetables, and broth; mix well. Evenly sprinkle turkey cutlets on both sides with poultry seasoning and pepper. Place equal amounts of stuffing mixture (about 1/3 cup) on top of each cutlet and roll up. Place rolls seam-side-down in baking dish, pour gravy evenly over top, and sprinkle with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until no pink remains in turkey. Serve immediately.

Portion Size Matters
If you’re planning on having a more intimate holiday celebration, then our Turkey ‘n’ Stuffing Rollups are perfect for you. They feature a taste of Thanksgiving, without having to prepare the whole bird. Actually, these are great year-round, for any time you crave those Turkey Day flavors!

1 Starch, 3 Lean Protein

Nutrition Information: Calories 220, Calories from Fat 35, Total Fat 4.0 g, Saturated Fat 0.9 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Cholesterol 75 mg, Sodium 570 mg, Potassium 400 mg, Total Carbohydrate 15 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 30 g, Phosphorus 255 mg

Harvest Brussels Sprouts Salad

Serves: 6, 1 cup per serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: None

Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (see Tip below)
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

To make Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients; set aside.

Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, toss apple with lemon juice. Add to Brussels sprouts along with pomegranate arils and walnuts. Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Test Kitchen Tip
The best way to slice the Brussels sprouts is to trim off the stem end and place the cut-side down (to prevent it from rolling around while cutting). Then, with a chef’s knife, slice away!

1/2 Fruit, 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 2-1/2 Fat

Nutrition Information: Calories 180, Calories from Fat 120, Total Fat 13.0 g, Saturated Fat 1.0 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 50 mg, Potassium 350 mg, Total Carbohydrate 16 g, Dietary Fiber 4 g, Sugars 9 g, Protein 3 g, Phosphorus 75 mg

Roasted Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

Serves: 6, 1/2 cup per serving
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small onion, cut into half-moon pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, toss sweet potatoes and onion with oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Place sweet potato mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until fork-tender, tossing halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat, combine vinegar and maple syrup; simmer about 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened.

Place roasted potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with sauce, and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Did You Know?
Sweet potatoes are often considered a good choice for a person with diabetes because they are higher in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals than regular white potatoes.

1 Starch, 1/2 Carbohydrate, 1 Fat

Nutrition Information: Calories 150, Calories from Fat 45, Total Fat 5.0 g, Saturated Fat 0.4 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 135 mg, Potassium 490 mg, Total Carbohydrate 27 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Sugars 12 g, Protein 2 g, Phosphorus 55 mg

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Serves: 24, 1 piece per serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
2 egg whites
1 cup water
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9- × 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda; mix well. Add molasses, egg whites, water, and pumpkin; stir until thoroughly mixed. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Spread evenly in baking dish.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely, then cut into pieces. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Out of the Box
This makes a great change-of-pace dessert for your fall holiday spread or potluck. It’s easy to make and take, and it’s full of the flavors of the season!

1-1/2 Carbohydrate

Nutrition Information: Calories 100, Calories from Fat 10, Total Fat 1.0 g, Saturated Fat 0.1 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 85 mg, Potassium 180 mg, Total Carbohydrate 21 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 10 g, Protein 2 g, Phosphorus 45 mg

“These delectable recipes are suitable and satisfying for everyone at your gathering,” concludes Rosenthal. “Now you can all celebrate Thanksgiving, indulge in the flavors of the season, and still do what’s right for your health.”


About the Mr. Food Test Kitchen:
The team at Mr. Food Test Kitchen proudly presents Mr. Food Test Kitchen’s Guilt-Free Comfort Favorites (American Diabetes Association, September 2018, ISBN: 978-1-580-40690-1, $22.95). Celebrating more than 40 years of helping America get dinner on the table, the Mr. Food Test Kitchen produces a daily nationally syndicated television segment with an audience of more than four million. Beyond that, you can find their quick & easy recipes on and The Mr. Food Test Kitchen has published more than 60 best-selling cookbooks, including five with the American Diabetes Association. Recently their licensing division has partnered with several national companies to create an extensive line of Mr. Food Test Kitchen-branded kitchen products. For more information, please visit

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Giving Thanks for Good Health: Mr. Food’s ADA-Approved Thanksgiving Day Menu