By Kelly Neilson

Many people indulge on Thanksgiving and forget about diets and healthy eating altogether, as they enjoy the day with their friends, family and favorite football team. However, the day doesn’t have to be a complete nutritional waste. There are plenty of healthy recipes that taste delicious and will save room for a second helping of pie.  Below, personal chef Sue Clair offers healthy Thanksgiving recipes you can make for your loved ones.

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Chef Sue Clair
The Healthy Gourmet
Center City Philadelphia
(609) 617-4082

Chef Sue Clair is a personal chef and nutritional health coach serving Philadelphia, the surrounding communities and South Jersey. After attending culinary classes at the Restaurant School in Philadelphia and receiving a masters in Education, she began teaching collegiate-level nutrition and eventually started the Healthy Gourmet in order to bring healthy and home-cooked meals to her clients. She is able to cater to her clients dietary needs by creating personalized menus, grocery lists and meals. This is healthy eating made simple – she does all the planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Chef Sue is also available for cooking classes, themed-parties, romantic dinners and small in-house catering.

Golden Buttermilk Mashed Sweet & Baking Potatoes

These creamy potatoes combining both sweet potatoes and white potatoes are a beautiful low fat/ calorie reduced alternative to your traditional Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.


  • 1 ½ pounds baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives or scallions


  1. Place the baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, and garlic in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water and drain the potato mixture in a colander.
  2. Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or large spoon.  With an electric mixture on medium speed, gradually beat in the buttermilk until potatoes are smooth and fluffy, beating in reserved liquid if a little extra moisture is needed. Using the electric blender add your salt and pepper.
  3. Reheat the potatoes if necessary in microwave, turn into serving dish and garnish with chopped chives or scallions.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Refreshing Cranberry Sauce with Crystallized Ginger

The ginger in this is not only really delicious but adds some extra zip to your traditional cranberry sauce. You also get a digestive aide and support noted and coming from the use of some ginger in this dish.


  • 2 12-ounce bags cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup (about 2 ounces) minced crystallized ginger
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  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a heavy sauce medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolved.
  3. Boil until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  4. Cool.
  5. Mix in crystallized ginger. (This can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Serves 12.

Fall Holiday Eden Salad

This salad is a beautiful presentation served with goat cheese roasted bread slices. Pomegranate juice used in this recipe is full of antioxidants and in some small studies has been stated as helping to lower cholesterol levels.


  • 3 pears, ripe but firm
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup dried figs, stems removed and diced
  • 1 pomegranate, fruit removed and set aside
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or to preferred taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or to preferred taste
  • 1 French baguette or specialty Cranberry Walnut bread, sliced
  • 6 ounce aged goat cheese or goat brie
  • 1 (24 ounce) bag cleaned baby spinach
  • 1 head radicchio, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Core and slice pears ¼ inch in thickness. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons walnut oil and sprinkle with coriander. Roast 8 minutes.
  2. Next make your dressing. Whisk together vinegars, honey, pom juice, shallots, salt, pepper, until combined. Slowly whisking the remaining ¾ cup of the walnut oil until combined Add in pomegranate seeds and figs; set aside until serving.
  3. Spread goat cheese or goat brie on individual slices of. On a sheet pan broil slices to golden.  *This requires a ½ minute or so.  Carefully watch as slices are broiling not to burn. just before serving.
  4. Assemble salad ingredients; spinach, radicchio and roasted fruit in large bowl. Drizzle lightly with dressing and toss gently. Serve with the goat cheese roasted bread slices and reduce your need for a lot of appetizers as a calorie saver.

Serves 6 to 8.

Calorie Saving Holiday Lemon Zested Broccolini or Fresh Green Beans with Minced Shallots


  • 1 pound Broccolini or fresh Green Beans, cleaned and ends snipped or  cut off
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (original version, 2 ounces of unsalted butter)
  • 2 shallots peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons juice from a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon Zest
  • Salt and fresh grated pepper to taste


  1. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the vegetable of choice, and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add vegetable of choice to boiling water and cook about 3 minutes until semi tender but still crunchy. Drain in colander under cold water.
  3. In a pan over medium heat add EVOO. Add minced shallots and lightly sauté a few minutes until they soften are turn translucent. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and cook 1 minute, continuing to stir.
  4. Add vegetable of choice and toss in pan with lemon mixture.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6

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Related: Ask a Philadelphia Chef: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes