Thanksgiving is a time when everyone can leave their worries and stress behind to spend a lovely evening with friends and family. Relatives fly in from different states, college students take a break from school to go back home, and old friends reconnect in their hometowns. Everyone comes together to prepare and enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal that reminds us how thankful we are for each other.

Impress your dinner guests with these three delicious, mouthwatering recipes provided by TasteofHome. Although these aren't part of the Smart for Life diet, you'll sure enjoy and savor this meal before jumping back on track after the holiday.  

Marinated Thanksgiving Turkey

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (12-14 pounds)

Directions

  1. Combine water, chicken broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ground ginger, and pepper. Refrigerate one cup for basting and set remaining mixture aside.
  2. Place one oven roasting bag inside the other and then put the turkey inside the inner bag. Pour the mixture, that was set aside, into the bag with the turkey. While sealing the bags, try to remove as much air from the bags as possible. Place the bags into a shallow roasting pan and refrigerate overnight, continually turning the turkey to coat it.
  3. Remove the turkey from the bags and discard both the bags and marinade. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Place turkey on a rack in a large roaster.  Bake, uncovered, 3 to 3-1/2 hours (until thermometer inserted in a thigh reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit). Baste frequently with reserved marinade. Once you notice the turkey beginning to brown, cover lightly with a tent of aluminum foil.
  5. Once turkey reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit, remove turkey from oven and let stand 20 minutes with the foil still covering it before carving.
  6. Optional- Use skim fat and thicken pan drippings for gravy.

Nutrition Facts - 9 ounces cooked turkey (calculated without gravy): 407 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 171mg cholesterol, 383mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 67g protein.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 12 pitted dates, chopped
  • 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional- fresh sage, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each potato to allow them to lie flat; discard slices. Place potatoes flat side down; cut crosswise into 1/8-in. slices, making sure they stay intact at the bottom. Put potatoes into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan.
  2. Place butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and orange peel into a small bowl and whisk together. Using a spoon, drizzle half of the mixture evenly over sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine cream cheese, dates, and sage; Spread this mixture between potato slices. Bake, covered, until potatoes are just becoming tender (45-50 minutes).
  4. Remove from oven; spoon remaining butter mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with pecans. Put potatoes back into the oven until they are completely tender and topping is golden brown (25-30 minutes). Serve with chopped fresh sage.  

Nutrition Facts - 1 sweet potato: 552 calories, 32g fat (16g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 271mg sodium, 64g carbohydrate (34g sugars, 8g fiber), 6g protein.

Bacon and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 2 Dozen

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 24 large fresh mushrooms (about 1-1/4 pounds), stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, fontina cheese, bacon, green onions, tomatoes, and parsley until blended.
  2. Grease a baking pan and place mushroom caps, stem side up. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling into each.
  3. Drizzle tops with oil. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and mushrooms are tender (9-11 minutes).

Nutrition Facts - 1 stuffed mushroom: 60 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 105mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

When you're ready to get back on track with your diet and lose some holiday weight, check out the Smart for Life Weight Loss Kits.