7 Post-Thanksgiving Recipes to Get Your Diet Back on Track

Thanksgiving is a holiday that many of us spend feasting on decadent dishes that are packed with sodium, fat, and calories. It’s certainly worth it at the time, but it can often cause us to feel bloated, groggy, and guilty the following day. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to get your diet back on track. By eating post-Thanksgiving meals that are light, healthy, and filled with fruits, vegetables, and good-for-you grains, you can help your body detoxify and eliminate the fat-riddled foods you ate the previous day. Here are 7 nutritious recipes to help kick-start your day-after-Thanksgiving diet.

1. Metabolism Booster Smoothie


Smoothie | iStock.com

After a day of over-indulging, you need a breakfast that will help rev your metabolism and burn fat. Vitamin Sunshine’s metabolism booster smoothie is filled with green tea, grapefruit, pineapple, green bananas, and spinach, creating a morning meal that’s high in protein, iron, calcium, and antioxidants. It yields 2 servings.


  • ½ cup strong brewed green tea
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup pineapple (frozen)
  • 1 unripe banana (frozen in quarters)
  • 1 large grapefruit (peeled, chopped, and frozen)
  • ⅓ cup spinach, frozen
  • 4 to 5 large ice cubes
  • 10 grams plain whey protein (or favorite protein powder)

Directions: Begin by adding the liquids into the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, blending well until the greens are thoroughly blended. Serve and enjoy.

2. Lemon Blueberry Coconut Pancakes


Pancakes | iStock.com

Fox News presents a pancake breakfast that isn’t heavy or unhealthy. In fact, it’s filled with invigorating and antioxidant-packed ingredients, including whole-wheat flour, coconut, lemon zest, blueberries, and almond milk. Interestingly, New Health Guide notes that lemon zest is packed with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes and can help boost your metabolism, immunity, and digestive system.


  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup oat flour (ground up rolled oats)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 to 7 drops lemon stevia
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup blueberries

Directions: Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium heat and coat with a thin layer of coconut oil or non-stick spray. In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and coconut. In a separate bowl, add milk, egg white, oil, extract, stevia, and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then carefully fold in blueberries. Spoon batter onto skillet or griddle and cook each side approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Layer with lemon-flavored Greek yogurt and top with more blueberries, toasted coconut, and lemon zest.

3. Broccoli and Arugula Soup

Broccoli and arugula soup

Broccoli and arugula soup | iStock.com

If you are looking for a post-Thanksgiving lunch that is light, warm, and easy to prepare, look no further. Goop’s recipe is unbelievably simple and highlights several vegetables’ vibrant flavors, including broccoli. Chatelaine explains that broccoli helps our bodies neutralize and eliminate unwanted toxins, leaving us feeling lighter and healthier after consuming it. If you don’t like some of the veggies in this soup, you can also use peas, basil, zucchini, carrots, and ginger in this creamy bowl of goodness.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ yellow onion, roughly diced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about ⅔ pound)
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup arugula
  • ½ lemon

Head to Goop for the full recipe.

4. Grape and Watercress Salad with Caraway and Granola


Grapes | iStock.com

Bon Appétit’s refreshing salad will be a welcome change after a day of eating hearty Thanksgiving dishes. Grapes are the star of this light and healthy dish. The recipe yields 8 servings.


  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, toasted, ground
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons steel-cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 8 cups watercress, arugula, or upland cress, tough stems removed
  • 1 pound large red grapes, halved, seeded if needed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Whisk yogurt, buttermilk, and caraway seeds in a small bowl to form a thick dressing; season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until mixture is simmering and sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Stir in almonds, oats, and pine nuts. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Spread out mixture on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake mixture, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crunchy, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Break granola into clusters. Spread 2 tablespoons of dressing in center of each plate. Scatter watercress and grapes around dressing; drizzle salad with oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with granola.

5. Snow Pea, Cabbage, and Mizuna Salad with Marinated and Seared Tempeh


Tempeh | iStock.com

Spicy mizuna works wonderfully with subtly sweet snow peas, salty tempeh, and crisp and crunchy greens. Food 52’s recipe yields 4 servings. Note: You must marinate the tempeh for 2 to 3 hours, so plan accordingly!


Basic Marinated Tempeh:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced into thin strips (about ¼ inch or a little less)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (optional, for frying)
Snow Pea, Cabbage, and Mizuna Salad with Miso Mustard Dressing:

  • 6 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups mizuna
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup cilantro, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions: To prepare the tempeh, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, water, ginger, and sesame oil. Arrange tempeh in a large, shallow bowl and pour the marinade over the pieces. Allow them to marinate for 2 to 3 hours. You can either bake or pan fry the tempeh. To fry, heat the coconut oil on a skillet pan or in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook each side for about 4 minutes, and serve hot. To bake, heat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the tempeh pieces for 25 minutes, flipping once through.

To prepare the salad, heat a small pot of water to a boil, and boil the snow peas for about 30 seconds. Rinse under cold water and let them dry, then cut the peas in halves or thirds. Mix all remaining salad ingredients. To make the vinaigrette, blend the miso, mustard, lemon, oil, garlic, and syrup in a blender till smooth or whisk together briskly. Dress the salad to taste, and top with the seared tempeh.

6. Pesto Red Rice

Cooking broccoli

Cooking broccoli | iStock.com

You’ll be hard pressed to find a dinner dish that’s more nutritious than The Healthy Apple’s recipe via Prevention. Broccoli, asparagus, red rice, pepper, pine nuts, yogurt, and chives create a creamy rice bowl that’s bursting with fresh flavor. Livestrong applauds pine nuts for its many benefits, explaining that they’re a great source of vitamins E and K, manganese, zinc, iron, and magnesium.


  • 1½ cups uncooked red rice
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ⅔ cup pine nuts, toasted, plus more for serving
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dairy-free plain yogurt
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3 chives, finely chopped

Directions: Cook red rice according to package directions. As rice cooks, steam the broccoli and asparagus. Then, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a large pot. In small batches, add broccoli and asparagus to pot, cover and cook for 1 minute or until bright green and crunchy. Drain the vegetables in a colander and run under cold water. Repeat with remaining broccoli and asparagus. Set aside.

To make the pesto, combine cooked broccoli, asparagus, garlic, pine nuts, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and spoon in yogurt; pulse until smooth. Toss cooked red rice with the pesto mixture. Thin with warm water for desired consistency. Serve topped with additional pine nuts, diced yellow bell pepper, and chives.

7. Lemon-Parm Popcorn


Popcorn | iStock.com

Eating Well proves that you don’t need to feel deprived just because you’re watching what you eat. By adding lemon pepper and Parmesan cheese to your air-popped popcorn, you’ll have a satisfying snack that only contains 99 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Whisk oil, lemon pepper and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.