Fit Thanksgiving Fixings From Clean Eating Expert Chef Mareya

Thanksgiving is right around the corner!   The average Thanksgiving meal has a whooping 4,500+ calories and 229 grams of fat. That’s more than twice the number of calories most of us should eat in an entire day.  Enough fat for more than three days!  A few simple recipe adjustments, can keep all the great taste without the bellyache.

 Chef Mareya Ibrahim, the Fit Foodie, author of The Clean Eating Handbook, Celebrity Chef and Eat Cleaner Expert shares these seven delicious holiday dish makeovers with half the fat and calories, and gluten and dairy-free.  A tasty Thanksgiving meal with only 700 calories and less than 20g of fat total, now that’s something to celebrate!
Check out Chef Mareya’s seven mouth-watering Clean Eating recipes below to lighten up the standard holiday dishes without sacrificing an ounce of flavor below.
  • Butternut Squash Bisque with Coconut Essence
  • Fennel And Roasted Beet Salad with Chia Seed Vinaigrette
  • Quinoa Cranberry Stuffing with Fresh Spinach
  • Shiitake Mushroom Pan Gravy with Leeks
  • Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
  • Apple Oatmeal Crumb Pie with Whipped Topping
  • The Fit Foodie’s Light Pumpkin Pie Squares

Butternut Squash Bisque with Coconut Essence

Full of beta-carotene and antioxidants, butternut squash, along with carrots and celery, stars as the veggie in this rich, sensual dish.  Instead of cream, I use unsweetened coconut milk and no butter, slashing the fat like a ninja.  So good you’ll want to bathe in it!  This makes a great first course for your Thanksgiving feast.

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Coconut Spread
  • 2 carrots, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (refrigerated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme


1)     Heat coconut spread in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

2)     Stir in butternut squash, vegetable broth, coconut milk and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup or let cool slightly and carefully purée in batches blender.

Take a squeeze bottle and fill with non-dairy yogurt.  Squeeze a small circle on top of each individual soup bowl and a pinch of fresh thyme.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Black Garlic and Turkey Bacon

 Touted as one of the ‘healthiest foods on earth’ and my prediction for the next ‘It’ veggie of 2014, Brussels sprouts are the star of this flavorful dish, along with the rich flavor of Black Garlic, prized for its antioxidants and health benefits, and the smoky crispness of turkey bacon, baked to reduce fat and calories but still retain flavor.  I use nitrite-free bacon to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.  I also like to cook these in raw coconut oil, which has a higher smoking point than other oils, and only use a tablespoon in the whole dish due to some help from low sodium veggie stock.
I promise, this will make you fall in love with Brussels Sprouts over and over again.
 Serves 4

·       1 tablespoon raw coconut oil

·       2 shallots, finely chopped

·       2 Cups fresh Brussels Sprouts, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

·       ½ C low sodium vegetable stock

·       4 large cloves black garlic (it is very soft and will squeeze out of the skin.  If unavailable, substitute 2 cloves regular garlic)

·       1 tsp LoSalt reduced sodium alternative

·       1 tsp white pepper

·       4 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, crisped by baking in the oven in a baking rack for 15-20 minutes, then crumbled


Preheat oven to 425F.

In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and vegetable stock, season with LoSalt and white pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes; squeeze black garlic into stock and mix in with the back of a spoon.  If black garlic is unavailable, substitute 2 cloves regular garlic, minced.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 5-8 minutes or until sprouts take on a nice golden brown.  You may opt to broil for just a few minutes, taking care not to burn sprouts.

Remove skillet and top with crumbled turkey bacon.  Serve and enjoy in good health!


Fennel And Roasted Beet Salad with Chia Seed Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Roasting beets just intensifies their natural sweetness and adds a hint of caramel, so they’re wonderful with crunchy fennel and the slightly sweet dressing made from Nectresse no-calorie, all natural sweetener and chia seeds for a nutrient dense added pop and essential fats. Use both red and golden beets for beautiful color.

4 medium beets, washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash
2 medium bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Nectresse no-calorie, all natural sweetener
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar                                                                                                                                                1 tsp chia seed                                                                                                                            LoSalt reduced sodium alternative and a dash of white pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and put a baking sheet on the middle rack to warm. Trim all but an inch or so of the beets’ stems. Put the beets on the baking sheet and roast until a knife easily pierces them all the way through, 30-45 minutes (depending on their size). Remove them to a plate to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to scrape off the skins. Cut the peeled beets into thin slices.2. Slice the fennel and combine the beets and fennel in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Nectresse, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chia seeds and a sprinkling of LoSalt and white pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables a little at a time until the salad is coated but not drenched.  Adjust seasonings to taste.


Quinoa Cranberry Stuffing with Fresh Spinach


§  3/4 cups red quinoa (if you can’t find red, use any color you can find)

§  1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

§  1/2 cup dried cranberries

§  2 stalks celery, chopped fine

§  ½ red onion, minced

§  2 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread

§  1 tablespoon minced garlic

§  6 cups spinach leaves

§  Freshly ground black pepper

§  2 T pine nuts, toasted

Simmer the quinoa in the vegetable broth over low heat, until quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir the dried cranberries in with the quinoa. Cover and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt Earth Balance buttery spread over medium heat.  Place garlic in skillet and sauté briefly until lightly translucent. Add onions and celery and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add spinach leaves and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.
In a serving bowl, spinach mixture to the quinoa and top with toasted pine nuts and black pepper to taste.

Shiitake Mushroom Pan Gravy with Leeks


§  2 T  Earth Balance vegan buttery stick

§  4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, quartered, finely chopped, and rinsed well (5 cups)

§  4 garlic cloves, minced

§  8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems and caps sliced

§  1 ½  cups low-sodium vegetable stock, warmed

§  2 tsp dried sage

§  1 tablespoon fresh thyme

§  ¼ c corn starch or arrowroot powder

§  Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons vegan butter in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and tender, about 20 minutes.
Add mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a plate, and let stand until cool, about 5 minutes.
If you are making a turkey, you can also take pan drippings and add to sauté pan for flavor.
Whisk together 1/2 cup of warm broth and the flour in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.  Add dried sage and fresh thyme, remaining stock and pan drippings to pan, if cooking a turkey.  Bring to a simmer.  Whisk in flour mixture, and return to a simmer.  Add mushrooms leek mixture and cook until mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add more stock if gravy is too thick.  Serve warm.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower


1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

½ C rice milk

1 C low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 T Earth Balance Garlic & Herb Culinary Spread
5 garlic cloves, minced

1 T potato starch

2 T fresh parsley

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


Wash cauliflower with Eat Cleaner All Natural Fruit + Veg Wash.  Chop into small florets and steam until fork tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Add to blender or food processor with rice milk and broth.  Add more liquid if too thick.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan, heat Earth Balance spread over medium low eat and sauté garlic until translucent.  Add cauliflower puree and potato starch and allow to thicken, about 5-8 minutes.  Add parsley and seasonings to taste.  Adjust thickness as desired.


The Fit Foodie’s Light Pumpkin Pie Squares

The average slice of pumpkin pie can weigh in at 350 calories and 13 grams of fat.  My Fit Foodie version gets its body from lite organic tofu weighing in at about half the calories and only about 3 g of fat.

Serves 6


                                                           1/3 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats                                                                                                                               8 low-fat gluten-free graham crackers (Try S’moreables, Graham Style Crackers)

1 egg white


18 ounces extra-firm organic tofu

2 cups canned (or cooked) pumpkin

1 cup nonfat non-dairy yogurt

2 Tbsp organic Stevia sweetener

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Topping: (optional) 1 tsp cinnamon and REAL nondairy whipped topping


1)   Preheat oven to 350°
To make crust: In a food processor, combine graham crackers and oats and process to a fine crumb.  Add egg whites until well incorporated.  In a 9×9” non-stick baking pan, press crumb into bottom and bake for about 8 minutes or until firm to the touch.  Remove from oven.


2) To make filling:

Drain tofu. Place in a food processor and process until smooth

Add remaining filling ingredients. Process until well-blended
Pour onto crust and bake for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean
Remove from oven and chill in freezer until firm.  Cut into squares and top with real non-dairy whipped topping and a dusting of cinnamon.


Apple Oatmeal Crumb Pie with Whipped Topping

Apple Pie Filling
1 T Earth Balance buttery baking sticks

6 C Golden Delicious, Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, sliced thin
1/3 C raisins
2 T brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder or fresh ground ginger

2 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2T corn starch or arrowroot powder


1/3 cup rolled oats

8 lowfat graham crackers

1 egg white


½ cup rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cold Earth Balance buttery sticks, cut into bits

Nonfat whipped topping



Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor, process the oats and graham crackers until finely ground.  Add egg white and process until blended.

Coat a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray and press the crumb mixture evenly into the pie pan to make the crust.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside.


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 T Earth Balance.  Add apples, raisins and brown sugar and allow to cook, approx. 5 minutes.  Add cinnamon and ginger and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, vanilla and corn starch and spoon into crust.

Oatmeal Crumb Topping

In a small bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, salt and Earth Balance and use hands to create crumb texture.  Top pie filling.  No top crust is needed.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.  Crumble should be golden brown.  Top with non fat whipped cream and dusting of cinnamon.

About Eat Cleaner Expert, Chef Mareya:

Mareya Ibrahim is “The Fit Foodie” a nationally recognized expert on food safety and eating clean and an award-winning entrepreneur, chef, author and inventor.  She is the inventor and creator of Eat Cleaner® All Natural Food Wash and Wipes and, the premier lifestyle destination for fit food information. Her book “The Clean Eating Handbook” was released in May 2013 and is being touted as the ‘go-to’ guide for anyone looking to eat cleaner and get leaner. She is a featured chef on the Emmy-nominated cooking show Recipe Rehab and is the clean food expert, and San Diego Channel 6 News. She is a contributor to the book “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life” by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman. Her column, “The Fit Foodie”, appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. She is also the creator of the Cleaner Plate Club™


For more from Chef Mareya, visit

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