Skip to main content

Seasonal Sides that are Easier on Your Glucose

Thanksgiving turkey and sides

Mmm… can you smell it? It’s the scent of delicious food wafting through the air. No matter what you celebrate, food is likely a part of the celebration. In the United States, a lot of people celebrate big meals with roasted turkey or other proteins as a main course — and they’re low-carb favorites — but what about the sides? Below are new recipes for some common side dishes and dessert that are lower in carbs and just as delicious.

Low-Carb Cauliflower ‘Stuffing’


  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped—or 4 cups of riced cauliflower
  • 1 cup or 8 oz package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped sage
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until soft, ~7-8 minutes
Add cauliflower and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about another 8-10 minutes
Add parsley, rosemary, and sage. Stir until combined. Pour broth and cook until liquid is absorbed, about another 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition per serving (Serving size ¾ cup): Calories 90/ Total Fat 6g / Saturated Fat 2g Carbohydrate 3g / Protein 6g

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin


  • 1-spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup low-fat sour cream (can use ¾ cup of Plain Greek Yogurt in place of sour cream)
  • 1 cup of reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place spaghetti squash in a covered dish and add 1/2 tbsp of water to the dish. Microwave for 10-12 minutes. Scrape the insides of the squash with a fork and transfer the insides of the squash to a small bowl.
Heat in a medium sized skillet over medium heat while spaghetti squash is cooking. Cook the onion, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper until the onion is browned, 5-10 minutes.
Mix spaghetti squash, onion mixture, sour cream, ½ of the cheddar cheese together. Transfer to a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn on the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes and broil until the gratin is golden brown on the top.
Nutrition per serving (Serving size 1/2 cup): Calories 115/ Total Fat 5g / Saturated Fat 2g Carbohydrate 10.5g / Protein 8g

Mashed Cauliflower Recipe


  • 1 large head cauliflower cut into florets (about 3 pounds or 1 1/2 kg)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 cloves garlic divided
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional add in’s:
  • Sliced green onions
  • Herbs — Thyme, rosemary and parsley
  • Chives
  • Curry powder
  • Diced bacon

Place cauliflower in a steamer over a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes until tender or microwave in a covered casserole dish on high (8-10 minutes). Alternatively, boil cauliflower in salted water for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and drain. Cover with a lid and set aside.
In the same pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Blend cauliflower and garlic in a food processor (or blender on pulse setting) on high setting until smooth. You may need to do this in batches of two or three, depending on the size of your processor.
Transfer blended cauliflower into the pot with the garlic. Stir in the parmesan cheese, plain Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
Save prep time and use cauliflower rice instead! Steam the rice or sauté in a pan with a little water until fork tender.
Nutrition per serving (Serving size ½ cup): Calories 50/ Total Fat 4.5g / Carbohydrate 2g / Protein 1.5g

Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs Truvia or Splenda
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 carrot(s) (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Add water to a large saucepot until it’s 2/3 full. Add the sweet potato to the pot and bring to boiling over medium heat. Cook the sweet potato for 20 minutes. Add the carrots to the pot and continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, and add the vegetables to a bowl.
Mash the sweet potato and carrots and the 1/4 cup reserved cooking water with a potato masher. Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, Truvia or Splenda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and mix well. Add the mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Top with the pecans and the remaining melted buttery spread.
Bake the casserole, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more, until the top is lightly browned.
Nutrition per serving (Serving size ½ cup): Calories 100/ Total Fat 6.5g / Carbohydrate 8.5g / Protein 1g

Cranberry Sauce


  • 12 ounces of cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup plain Truvia or Splenda
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of ginger

Add the cranberries, water, sweetener to a medium sized saucepan
Bring to a simmer using medium to high heat until the cranberries begin to pop and the sauce begins to thicken (approximately 10 minutes of time). Simmer until you reach your desired thickness
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger (if desired) and allow to cool before serving
Nutrition per serving (Serving size 1/3 cup): 6 Calories 74/ Carbohydrate 8g

Green Bean Casserole Alternative


  • 1 ½ pounds fresh green beans (trimmed)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt (to taste)
  • Pinch black pepper (to taste)
  • Pinch garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 cup of slivered almonds

Toast almonds over medium to low heat in a dry frying pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and wash and trim green beans.
Combine green beans, oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder in a medium bowl.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and roast the green beans for approximately 15 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
Remove the green beans from the oven and drizzle with the juice of ½ the lemon.
Allow to cool and toss with slivered almonds before serving.
Nutrition per serving (Serving size ½ cup): Calories 115/ Total Fat 8g / Carbohydrate 10g

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Cooking spray

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup granular sucralose sweetener (ex: Splenda or Truvia)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray
Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; beat on high until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, sweetener, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour batter into the prepared dish.
Bake in the preheated oven until the center is set, about 40 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving or serve cold.
Nutrition per serving (Serving size 16 servings): Calories 83/ Total Fat 6.5g / Carbohydrate 3.3g / Protein 3.3g