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Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

Whip up a fabulous holiday feast in a hurry.

Lighten Thanksgiving Side Dishes continued...

Sweet Potatoes

Generally this is a dish you have to make at home, but basically it involves nothing more than assembling the ingredients into the baking dish. Some recipes even call for canned sweet potatoes or yams.

Keep these dishes light by using less butter than the recipe calls for (add some fruit juice in its place), half the marshmallows called for, and substituting Splenda for half the sugar, if desired. You can also use egg substitute instead of some of the eggs.

Light & Festive Cranberry Jell-O Salad

A Pyrex or see-through 9x13-inch dish works well, because you can see the colorful layers from the side.

1 (0.6-ounce) box Sugar Free Cranberry Jell-O (makes 4 cups)
16-ounce can whole cranberry sauce
1 (6-ounce) box Lime Jell-O
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (in juice), drained
8 ounces light Cool Whip (or similar light topping)
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces

  • Stir 2 cups boiling water into cranberry Jell-O powder in medium bowl, and stir until completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Stir in 2 cups ice water. Then whisk in the can of cranberry sauce. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch dish and, with your whisk, spread the cranberries so they are evenly distributed in the pan. Refrigerate 3-4 hours.
  • Stir 2 cups of boiling water into lime JELL-O powder in medium bowl, and stir until completely dissolved (about 2 minutes). Whisk in the light cream cheese until mixture is creamy. Stir in 2 cups cold water and the pineapple. Slowly pour this mixture over the gelled cranberry layer. Put back in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  • Just before serving, spread the light whipped topping over the top and sprinkle with walnut or pecan pieces.

Yield: 15 servings

Per serving (with walnuts): 193 calories, 3.5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 0.7 g fiber, 120 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 30%

Per serving (without walnuts): 164 calories, 2.5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 0.4 g fiber, 119 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 22%.

Quickie Garlic & Herb Crescent Rolls

These are so easy to make, and the recipe is easily doubled. (No need to butter these rolls; they taste great all by themselves.)

1 pop-can Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls
2 1/2 tablespoons no- or low trans-fat margarine with 8 grams fat per tablespoon (Take Control, Land O'Lakes Buttery Taste in tub, etc.)
1 1/2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb no salt seasoning
2 teaspoons finely chopped chives (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add margarine, Mrs. Dash, and chives (if desired) to 1-cup measure. Blend well with fork or spoon.
  • Open pop can and, one by one, unroll the crescent roll dough and lay them flat on a work surface. Spread about a teaspoon of the margarine mixture over each of the triangles of dough (using a small spoon), then roll into crescents (start from the bottom of the triangle and roll toward the tip). Place on cookie or baking sheet.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely brown and cooked throughout.

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