Downtown Atlanta kitchen shows how to make your favorite Thanksgiving foods with fewer calories

ATLANTA — “Healthy” may not be the first thing you think that comes to mind on Thanksgiving.

But there are ways you can enjoy your family, football, and, yes, even your favorite foods without feeling like a stuffed turkey at the end of your meal.

Channel 2′s Lori Wilson learned some ways to make your comfort foods with fewer calories.

Mac and cheese, cornbread stuffing, turkey, and yams — you don’t have to give up your favorite Thanksgiving foods but you can make them healthier.

Lisa Rochon is the community chair for C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Community Teaching Kitchen in downtown Atlanta.

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“If you put good in, you’ll get good out,” Rochon said. “By adding like cauliflower to your mac and cheese or butternut squash ... that just lightens things up a little bit for families.”

Chef Ashley Keyes is the head chef at C.H.O.I.C.E.S. She says you can still have mac and cheese, but if you mix in some vegetables for more fiber, you’ll get fuller faster.

She also advises substituting the heavy use of butter in favorites like mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with light oils to keep down cholesterol and fat.

“You can use like different kinds of oils ... like olive oil or avocado oil ... when you’re sauteing your vegetables,” Keyes said.

“We didn’t use butter ... we didn’t use sugar ... we used a little bit of honey ...some balsamic vinegar glaze and coconut oil,” Chef TJ said.


As for the cornbread stuffing, they say don’t be afraid to add vegetables to your recipe.

“I puree all my vegetables so people can’t really find it ... but it gives it some flavor and it also helps add more nutrients to the dish,” Keyes said.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is making minor tweaks so the people you love stay healthier for longer.

“Everything starts from food ... and food is medicine,” Rochon said.

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