By Zoe Gregorace on SwimSwam

Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Food Coma City – however you slice it, the holiday is an excuse to enjoy comforting and delicious foods with your loved ones. This year, Thanksgiving might look a bit different for some who are unable to spend it with family. However, given the current COVID guidelines, I highly suggest saying home and holding a ‘Friendsgiving’ with your roommates. The same great food and company, minus the awkward family interactions and snoring uncles watching football on the couch after the first course.

If you’ve found yourself in this predicament and feel a bit lost coordinating a ‘Friendsgiving’ menu on a college budget, keep on scrolling! I’ve put together a few easy and delicious recipes that represent a fun spin on the overwhelming and traditional Thanksgiving feast. Not only are these recipes easy to whip up in a dorm kitchen or college apartment, but they’re healthy – full of lean protein, packed with veggies and healthy fats. Check it out!

Homemade Turkey Burger


*makes 3-4 burgers*

  • 2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ of a yellow onion
  • ½ cup diced portobello mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper

Who doesn’t love a good, juicy burger? Turkey burgers definitely get a bad rap, but this festive twist will not disappoint! I chose ground turkey not only because of the occasion, but because lean ground turkey contains less saturated fat and cholesterol than ground beef. If you’re not very well-versed in ground meat/turkey and want to make the healthier choice, I’d suggest choosing a leaner ground turkey (anywhere from 93% to 99% lean). The leaner the turkey, the less fat it contains.

First, drizzle some olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion, mushrooms & bell pepper. After you remove the sauteed veggies from the pan, combine the ground turkey, garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper & onion powder in a large bowl. Form 3 or 4 round balls and place on the pan. Flatten the balls with your spatula. Cover the pan & cook on medium heat for 5- 7 mins. Flip the burgers, cover and cook for another 7 minutes or until they have a golden crust. While the burgers continue cooking, toast 2 slices of sourdough bread & smear with some dijon mustard. Place the patty on the toast & top with the sautéed onion, mushrooms & pepper. Sandwich together with the other piece of toast and enjoy 🙂

Everything But The Bagel Roasted Sweet Potato Fries


  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • EBTB Seasoning

You can’t have a burger without the fries, am I right people? And no shade to regular, white potatoes, but I am a fiend for sweet potato fries! I prefer the subtle sweetness and flavor of the sweet potatoes and not to mention, their bold orange color is simply gorgeous once they come out of the oven. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes are marginally more nutritious and contain more vitamin A, C and essential nutrient manganese, which aids in nutrient metabolism.

These baked sweet potato fries are an easy and delicious way to incorporate more sweet potatoes into your diet and will perfectly complement the juicy turkey burger! To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get out a cutting board. Once you’ve washed your potatoes, chop them into about 1 inch thick, fry sized strips. Then in a large bowl, drizzle olive oil on top and combine with your hands, ensuring that each fry has a light oil coating. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and Everything But The Bagel Seasoning on top and combine with your hands again. Lay the fries out on a baking tray and bake for about 30-35 minutes, flipping the fries over at the halfway point.

Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookie Skillet


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (optional)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bar your fav chocolate bar (I used Lily’s Sweets dark)

This might be an unpopular opinion, but my favorite part about Thanksgiving is the dessert. Yes, I have a ravenous sweet tooth and I have zero shame in admitting that!

Now, chocolate chip cookies might not exactly be the most festive Thanksgiving dessert however, it is the perfect way to finish off a delicious Friendsgiving feast! Easy to make, easy to share and requires much less time to prepare than a hefty apple pie. The cookie skillet is gluten-free, contains healthy fats and is also sweetened with honey. This recipe contains way less sugar than the more traditional Thanksgiving dessert spread and won’t lead to that dreaded sugar crash we’ve all experienced on good ole Turkey day!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, combine the almond flour, peanut butter, coconut oil and egg together in a large bowl. Fold in the honey, vanilla, collagen peptides, baking soda and cinnamon and mix until the batter is smooth. Spray your skillet with cooking spray and pour the batter in. Break your chocolate bar into chunks or squares and strategically place on top of the batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes then let the cookie skillet cool for about 5 minutes (or not) before digging in!

Check out my website for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your ‘Friendsgiving’ creations with me @whatzoeeeats.

About Zoe Gregorace

Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.

Read the full story on SwimSwam: The Hungry Swimmer: ‘Friendsgiving’ Recipes

Source: Swimming – SwimSwam