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A healthy twist on Thanksgiving side dishes

Posted at 5:11 AM, Nov 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-17 08:05:31-05

Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash


* 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

* 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

* 1/4 cup brown sugar

* 3/4 cup low fat milk or milk substitute

* 1/2 cup honey or vanilla Greek yogurt

* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

* Kosher salt


1. Place potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients. Season with salt.

2. Cover and cook on low setting, stirring periodically, for 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender

when pierced with a fork. 

3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Using a hand-held mixer, whip at medium speed until combined and light and fluffy. Add a bit of additional milk and/or greek yogurt, if needed, to achieve a creamy texture, but do not over-mix. (For totally smooth potatoes, mash first with a potato masher, then whip with the mixer.)

4. Serve warm 


Apple, Spinach, Chicken Sausage and Farro Stuffed Acorn Squash


* 2 small/med acorn squash cut in half lengthwise and seeds/strings scooped out

* 1 cup dry farro, prepared to make 2 cups of cooked farro (see directions below)

* 1 lb. chicken sausage with casings removed, try apple stuffed chicken sausage and chop up

* 1 large onion or 2 small cut in half and sliced thin, then diced

* 3 Tbsp. butter, ghee, coconut oil, or other cooking fat (for caramelizing the onions) + 2 tsp (for sautéing the garlic)

* 2 cloves garlic minced

* 2 medium apples cored and diced (peeling is optional)

* 2 cups fresh spinach or arugula roughly chopped

* 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped

* 2 tsp. fresh thyme chopped 

* 1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped

* Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions 1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Place the 4 acorn squash halves (seeds removed) open-side down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top of your squash feels tender when gently pressed. You can always check them and continue to roast a few more minutes if they aren't tender enough. Set aside after removing from oven. 3. While the squash roasts, cook the farro and make the filling.  4. Rinse to clean and drain farro. Place in a pot with 3 cups water or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium-low heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Drain off excess water and set aside. 5. Begin by caramelizing the onions (this process takes a good 15-20 minutes to really bring the flavor out!) 6. In a medium skillet, heat the butter or ghee or coconut oil over low heat and add all the onions, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Once onions have been cooking for about 25 minutes and are deep golden brown, remove from heat and set aside. 7. While the squash roasts and the onions cook, heat a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the remaining 2 tsp cooking fat to melt. Add the garlic and cook until just tender, then add all the sausage and increase the heat to medium. 8. Warm the chicken sausage through and stir to break up, about 3-5 minutes. Add the apples and herbs and continue to cook, stirring until the apples soften. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts. 9. Add the farro and the caramelized onions to the sausage mixture, leaving excess cooking fat in the pan. Preheat your broiler, then fill all 4 halves of the squash with the stuffing mixture (you may have leftover depending on how big your squash was) 10. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet, stuffing side up, and put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the tops get nice and toasty, checking often to prevent burning. Once nice and browned, remove from oven, allow to cool a bit and then serve warm. 


Fall Fruit Turkey Display 


* Pear of choice, cut in half

* Favorite fall fruits or other available fruits

o Grapes

o Oranges or clementine’s

o Apples

o Kiwi

o Berries

o Bananas

o Pomegranate

o Cranberries

o Pineapple


1. Place half of pear on plate or tray. The pear is your turkey base

2. Build fruit around pear to look like a turkey. 

3. Use other fruit to make a face on the pear to look like a turkey. Enjoy!