Talking Turkey with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Live Events Transcript; Event Date: Thursday, November 18, 2004
Now, the reason I'm not adding butter or margarine to my mashed potatoes is
that I think having that little bit of butter melting at the top of your mashed
potato mound is pure comfort and should not be omitted. So I'm choosing for
everybody at my dinner table to add a pat of butter on the mound instead of in
Now, you could get fancy with mashed potatoes, too:
- Add some chopped chives and making something like a sour cream and chive
- Simmer your fat free half-and-half with some garlic or roasted garlic and
then blend that in when you mix up your mashed potatoes to make garlic or
roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
- Add some fresh herbs.
Having children and picky adults in my family, I've found the basic way
works best, but sometimes I like to get fancy for other times during the
Sometimes using fresh herbs adds enough flavor to allow you to cut back on some
of the fat without it being missed quite as much.
That's a great point, but I've got to say the fat-free sour cream and fat-free
half-and-half work really well. You could also make vegetarian mashed potatoes
with one of the better tasting soy milks, I would think.
What are your tips for lightening some of the other common side dishes - sweet
potatoes and green beans?
For green beans:
- The typical casserole that a lot of people like to make uses cream of
mushroom soup. Well, they have a pretty good 98 percent fat free version of
that -- that really helps -- and then also being careful not to add too much
fat in addition to that.
- You can use some fat-free sour cream instead of mayonnaise or regular sour
cream and some low-fat milk.
- Instead of those crispies on top, you can make your own crispy onions,
caramelize some onions in a nonstick pan with some canola spray, or if you use
the crispies, just use a little, making it a garnish instead of one of the main
For the sweet potatoes and yams, there are quite a few different side dishes
that are common across the country.
- For the marshmallow version, you can use fewer marshmallows.
- Look at decreasing some of the other sweetened ingredients that are added.
Often you can cut this back in half, and it's actually a little bit more
enjoyable because it's not quite as sweet.
- If your sweet potato dish calls for sticks of butter, you can cut this down
and replace the lost butter with apple juice or orange juice, depending on your
Fresh roasted yams or sweet potatoes mashed up with orange juice is great.