Smart Eating and Recipes Key to Having a Happy and Health Thanksgiving in 2020

When feasting during the holidays, it’s easy to pile your plate with high carb, high fat foods but this year, Health Plan of Nevada (HPN), would like to offer tips to minimize holiday weight gain this holiday season. Several recommendations to incorporate healthy habits into your holidays include:

  • Be prepared with low-carb snacks as needed
  • Watch portion sizes
  • Enjoy the flavor of each bite
  • Do not skip meals, there is no saving carbs for later
  • Stay active during the holidays

Additionally, staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite holiday foods. HPN advises filling up on vegetables and proteins first, then indulge in smaller portions of some of the high-carb holiday favorites. The following are recipes to make sure your Thanksgiving is delicious and healthy:

Cranberry Glazed Meatballs

  • 1 ½ lbs. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
  • ½ cup plain bread crumbs (or substitute)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • Sauce: 1 12-oz. bottle chili sauce (1 ½ cups) \ 8-oz. jellied cranberry sauce (1 cup)
  1. Heat oven to 375. In a large bowl, stir meatball ingredients until well mixed. Shape into 1-inch balls and place in ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked, no pink in center.
  2. In the meantime, in 3-quart saucepan, stir sauce ingredients until well blended. Heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add meatballs to sauce; stir to coat. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stick toothpicks in meatballs to serve.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Walnuts

  • 1 ½ lbs. green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups thinly vertically sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook the green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.
  2. Place walnuts in a large nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat for 7 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Remove walnuts from pan; set aside. Add 4 teaspoons oil to pan: swirl to coat. Add onion and thyme to pan; cook 17 minutes or until onion is very tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture from pan; keep warm.
  3. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan: swirl to coat. Add green beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture and vinegar to pan; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with nuts, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

About Health Plan of Nevada
Health Plan of Nevada is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In Nevada, Health Plan of Nevada offers health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicaid beneficiaries. Health Plan of Nevada is part of UnitedHealthcare, one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit Health Plan of Nevada at,