Recipes for Wellness

Diabetic-Friendly Recipes for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, Meagan Mohammadione, RD/LD of the Emory Bariatric Center has put together some tasty diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes and menu items. After you check out her cranberry sauce and casserole recipes, make sure you take a look at the diabetic-friendly Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe we shared earlier this week!

Diabetic Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Casserole Ingredients

– 4 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 2.5 pounds)
– 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
– ½ cup skim milk
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon agave nectar
– 2 tablespoons orange zest
– 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ½ teaspoon salt

Topping Ingredients

– ½ cup whole-wheat flour
– ½ cup Splenda®, granulated
– ¼ cup orange juice (100% juice)
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans


    Diabetic Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and place them in a large saucepan of boiling water. Cover and cook the sweet potatoes over medium heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. You will know that they are done when they are tender and soft to touch. Drain sweet potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Mash the sweet potatoes until smooth with a masher or electric mixer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to coat a 2-quart (approximately 8-inch) square baking dish.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and agave nectar. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes. Stir in the milk, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, mix flour, Splenda®, orange juice, melted butter and pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish.
  5. Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are heated through and the topping is golden brown in color. The casserole is best when served warm.

Diabetic Cranberry Sauce Recipe


Diabetic Cranberry Sauce Recipe

– 1 cup Splenda®, granulated
– ½ cup water
– 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
– 1 Tablespoon orange zest
– 1 teaspoon ginger
– 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Combine cornstarch and water in a medium saucepan until the cornstarch dissolves.
  2. Stir in cranberries, ginger, and orange zest and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to stir constantly over medium-high heat.
  3. Once well mixed, reduce the heat to a simmer and add Splenda®. Let mixture simmer for five minutes or until cranberry skins begin to pop. You will know the sauce is done cooking when it is thick and appears gelatinous.
  4. Set the sauce aside to cool. Once it has cooled down, cover and chill the sauce for approximately 3 hours.

Diabetic Green Bean Casserole Recipe


Diabetic Green Bean Casserole Recipe

– 1 ½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed
– 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 ½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
– 3 tablespoons of whole-wheat flour
– 1 can of fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth (approx. 15 ounces)
– ½ cup skim milk
– ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
– ½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
– Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the green beans in boiling water (it is best to cook them in a large saucepan) You will know that they are done when they are crisp and tender. Drain and set the green beans aside.
  3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick saucepan. Sauté the mushrooms oil for approximately five minutes. They should be tender.
  4. Stir in the whole wheat flour and gradually add the vegetable broth. Continue to stir the mixture until it is thick.
  5. Gradually stir in the skim milk
  6. Once the mixture begins to bubble add the green beans, ground white pepper and salt.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quate baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.


If you give any of the recipes a try, or if you have other tasty diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes to share, let us know in the comments below!

Related Resources:


Healthy Tailgating with 2 Better-for-You Superbowl Recipes

Meagan Mohammadione, RD/LD Emory Bariatric CenterNo matter which team you cheer for, there is one thing most of us will share in common — the traditional tailgating party grub. While a football game is a great time to spend time with loved ones and share in fun competitive camaraderie, the chances of overindulging from a nutritional standpoint are fairly good. Chips and dip, loaded baked potatoes, burgers and fries, you name it and it will probably be somewhere in the room on Sunday.

To help you steer your team of party goers in a healthy direction, below you’ll find two fantastic Super Bowl party recipes to incorporate into your festivities this weekend:

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Strips

This recipe packs in all that Buffalo wing flavor without the traditional Buffalo wing fat. Try these spicy chicken tenders marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce for a tasty, low fat crowd pleaser.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders Recipe


  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips.
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together hot sauce and buttermilk until combined. In a large shallow dish, arrange chicken tenders in one layer. Top with hot sauce mixture and toss to coat chicken evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk egg whites until frothy. In another shallow bowl, combine flour, bread crumbs, paprika, cayenne and black pepper.
  • Dip chicken tenders in egg whites, then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. Arrange coated chicken tenders on wire rack on baking sheet. Lightly spray with canola oil cooking spray.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until juices run clear. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 189
  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 66mg
  • Sodium: 365mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 34g

Healthier Veggie & Fruit Dip

Here’s a healthy dip alternative for your chips or veggies that can be turned into a fruit dip too!


  • 2 containers (16 oz. each) low fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped chives
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • Black pepper, to taste

Combine the first six ingredients and mix well. Add black pepper to taste.

Variation: Substitute the herbs and garlic for honey and cinnamon for a tasty fruit dip

Nutritional Information

  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 6 mg
  • Sodium: 308 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Enjoy football season this year! And whether or not your team wins, if you try out these recipes and think they’re winners, please let us know using the comments below!

Related Resources:

Cut Empty Calories from Your Thanksgiving Holiday Recipes

Holiday Recipe Nutrition Cutting CaloriesLet’s be honest. We all know we can overindulge during the holidays. Around Thanksgiving, especially, we’re so enticed by the variety of dishes and their endless quantities that we often forget what we’re really focusing on, our loved ones. In the spirit of the health and wellness of you and your family, we’re sharing with you a few ways you can cut unnecessary calories from your Thanksgiving menu, without cutting the flavor or fun!

Cutting Calories from Turkey & Meat Recipes

Your turkey doesn’t need a coating in a full tub of butter to be moist, nor does it require brining days in advance for flavor. The traditional turkey recipe packs in about 400 calories per serving.

If you swap out the brining process for a bit of white miso paste, and use a rub made mostly of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, you’re looking to save about half the calories, but still maintain that savory depth of flavor.

The Web is full of tons of great recipes, try searching for thanksgiving turkey recipes with miso for some good ideas to start.

Cutting Calories from Mashed Potatoes & Side Recipes

In preparation for our healthy holiday eating web chat, we shared with you a post on modifying your mashed potato recipe with cauliflower. (Check out the post & recipe for more). If you don’t like the idea of mashed cauliflower, we have a few more options for you:

  • use your normal mashed potato recipe, but swap half the potatoes for cauliflower. With this method, you’ll keep that potato taste, but lighten up the recipe from both a texture and calorie standpoint.
  • cut extra fat by cutting half the butter. If you swap out at least half the butter of your normal recipe and swap it instead for low-fat sour cream, plain yogurt, or a combination of the two, you’ll eliminate extra fat and calories but keep that creamy texture you love!

Other Thanksgiving meal sides have room for substitution as well. Try incorporating long grain rice, nuts, and dried fruit into your stuffing recipe in exchange for some of its bread base. This is a great way to make the texture and flavor of your stuffing more interesting.

Cutting Calories from Pumpkin Pie & Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving favorite, and rightfully so. It’s a great seasonal recipe and a go-to Thanksgiving comfort food. What’s not so comforting, however, is the amount of bad fat in most pie crusts. Whether you’re using a store bought crust or a “standard” recipe, you can cut calories with just a few modifications to your pie crust.

There are lots of pie crust recipes online (like this one) that you can use, but try searching for crusts that replace the butter with low fat plain or vanilla yogurt instead of butter. You can also try adding some extra cinnamon to the mix for added flavor.


Our best advice when it comes to Thanksgiving and your beverage selection? Unless it’s millk, don’t drink your calories. Eggnog and other similar heavy seasonal drinks add hundreds of calories to your menu. If you want room for dessert, skip the fancy drinks.

Chat with Us!

Holiday Nutrition Web Chat
Join Registered Dietitian from the Emory Bariatric Center, Meagan Mohammadione, on Thursday, November 10th, for an online chat about healthy holiday eating. She’ll be sharing lots of substitution ideas, recipe tips and ideas to help you enjoy your holiday favorites without all the guilt. You can ask Meagan as many or as few questions as you’d like and participation in the chat is completely free!

Practical Goals for Weight Loss

5 Tips for Practical Weight Loss

Weight-loss scams, crazed fashion diets, and countless pills have promised fast and simple ways to lose weight. In reality, the true foundation to successfully losing weight is developing a realistic and healthy program that fits your body and lifestyle. Here are five simple tips that can help you create practical weight loss goals for yourself.

1.   Commit to Your New Lifestyle

In order for you to successfully lose weight, you must be willing to devote your time as well as your effort. Changing your daily habits and sticking to a set plan takes a significant amount of energy, so make sure you are willing to commit yourself. Once you feel prepared and motivated, choose a date to start your program, and then begin!

2.   Establish Realistic Goals

One of the most important parts of dieting is to create attainable goals. First, determine a realistic target weight that you want to reach. According to Jennifer A. Linde, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, “Most clinicians would say goals of losing five to 10 percent [of your start weight] are achievable”. Second, be sensible about the frame of time you have given yourself. Linde states that, “A realistic goal is losing 1 to 2 pounds a week to stay healthy”. By planning to lose weight slowly and healthily, you will develop new lifestyle habits and be more likely to maintain them.

3.   Make Healthier Food Choices

Now that you have set realistic goals for yourself, you can begin your weight loss program. Start by evaluating your style of eating and determine what you can change. As you begin to alter your eating habits, keep in mind that you should lower your daily caloric intake, but still eat foods that you find satisfying. One tip is to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and make sure to eat a hearty breakfast every morning.

4.   Get Active!

Along with eating right, exercising is another key component to weight loss. In order to effectively shed pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume. While it is possible to lose weight without physical activity, exercising can burn some calories that simply can’t be dissolved by dieting. The amount of calories burned through exercise depends on the intensity, frequency and duration of the physical activity. Try thinking of new ways to be active rather than just hitting the gym. Creativity counts!

5.   Stay Motivated

Losing weight can be a long process, but the most important thing is to stick with your new lifestyle. Find different ways to motivate yourself, whether it is through a supportive group of friends or an exciting reward at weight loss checkpoints. Staying positive is essential, and having compassion for yourself is key. Tell yourself you can, and will, obtain your weight loss goals and create a new lifestyle for yourself through hard work and perseverance.


Choose My Plate – A Better Guide to Eating Well

Does the original, triangular food guide pyramid confuse you? Do you find its design to be archaic and unhelpful in maintaining a healthy diet? If so, you’re in luck! This past June, the United States Department of Agriculture along with Michelle Obama, created a new nutritional guide. They abandoned the outdated pyramid model, and introduced the modernized, circular “MyPlate”. In hopes of further combating obesity, Mrs. Obama stated that the MyPlate is a “quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating”.

The MyPlate design is significantly different than those of past food guides. Split into four sections, the MyPlate provides a space for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. At the top corner of the plate sits a smaller circle, providing a space for dairy products. The concept is simply this: If a plate of food resembles the circular MyPlate symbol, then it is a healthy, acceptable meal.

According to officials, the plan to introduce and explain the new dietary guidelines to consumers will involve numerous campaigns. The first half of the campaign will push consumers to consume “half-a-plate size” portions of fruits and vegetables, and to enjoy their meals but eat less. As time progresses, officials will slowly begin to educate people about the negatives of oversized portions, and the importance of drinking water.

Only time will tell how consumers will receive the MyPlate campaign and the nutritional values that support it. With a refined model that is more straightforward and easy to understand, MyPlate will hopefully encourage people to think about the food they are eating, and improve their diet. While the new guidelines are not perfect, they are a significant improvement to the past two food pyramids. So next time you are struggling to find a healthy meal, think back to the new food chart, and make yourself a MyPlate.

Interested in learning more about MyPlate? Visit for more information.


Join Emory Bariatric Surgeon in Recipes for Wellness

Board-certified Emory bariatric surgeon Jahnavi Srinivasan, M.D., joins New York Times best-selling author Carolyn O’Neil in Emory’s Recipes for Wellness nutrition series.

Each Recipes for Wellness cooking segment focuses on a nutritious, delicious recipe that is as good to eat as it is good for you. In this segment, bariatric surgeon Dr. Srinivasan helps prepare super simple No-Bake Fruit and Nut Bars. These easy-to-make bars can be combined with milk and fruit for a quick breakfast or by themselves as an afternoon snack.