Balanced Meals Made Out of Thanksgiving Leftover

Sneak in your veggies and fruits

Do you have a hard time including vegetables and fruits in your meal plan? We have some tips for increasing your intake of produce. And… now is the perfect time to stock up on a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market. You can freeze some for later in the year to enjoy the fruits and vegetables year round. Produce you find at farmers markets is fresh, in season and you can often talk to the growers first hand to find out more about fruits and vegetables you are unfamiliar with eating and preparing or how to pick out ripe produce.

Subtle ways to include veggies and fruits:

  • Puree peeled vegetables such as carrots, zucchini and summer squash or broccoli, cauliflower to name a few. Place in ice cube trays and freeze. Later you can plop several frozen veggies in tomato sauce and warm up for a mini pizza on low-carb, high protein flatbread or tortilla or whole grain english muffin half with low-fat cheese. You can also try these in spaghetti sauce and serve with high protein, whole grain pasta or zucchini spirals.
  • Try using a greek yogurt based dressing or dip, hummus or bean dip with some raw veggies. You can even find most veggies already prepped (peeled and cut) in the produce section of your store.
  • Use low-fat, low-sugar greek vanilla yogurt with a touch of cinnamon as a delicious dip for fresh fruits.
  • Add spinach or kale to your smoothies. The fruit, like banana or strawberries will mask the flavor of the leafy greens.
  • Add chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms to eggs and scramble. Even easier, whisk 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk, then add one tablespoon shredded low-fat cheese and ¼ cup chopped veggies and pour in a mug coated with cooking spray. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 45 seconds. Remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook on high for 60-90 more seconds or until the egg is puffed and set and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The top will look wet but will keep cooking as it cools.
  • Try a new vegetable or one you haven’t had in a long time. Remember, sometimes it takes 7-8 times of trying something before you acquire a taste for the food.
  • Combine canned chicken or tuna in water with a couple teaspoons of lite mayonnaise or greek yogurt and add ¼ cup chopped vegetables. Season with lemon pepper seasoning or your other favorite salt-free seasoning and enjoy with several Triscuits or Wheat Thins.


Chicken and Veggie Kabobs over Zoodles


  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 (8-inch) wooden skewers
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 16 cubes)
  • 16 whole button mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper, diced in 16 large pieces
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 zucchini, spiralized
  • Dash of black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
  2. To make the marinade, stir the lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and garlic in a mixing bowl.
  3. Place chicken cubes in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the top. Close the bag and use your hands to distribute the marinade evenly. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers in cold water to prevent charring.
  5. When the chicken is done marinating, thread 2 each of chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms on the skewers in an alternating pattern.
  6. Place the skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the skewers halfway through.
  7. Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and set over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles and toss for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with black pepper.
  8. Serve your chicken and veggie skewers over the zucchini noodles, and enjoy!

Recipe Note

To save time, buy pre-spiralized zoodles!

Portion size will vary after bariatric surgery based on food stage and tolerance. Consult with your bariatric healthcare team about appropriate food options based on your individual needs.


  • Serving Size: 2 kabobs with zoodles
  • Per serving:
  • Calories: 219
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 4.5 grams
  • Sugar; 9 grams
  • Protein: 28 grams

Recipe source: