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Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I'm a traditionalist when it comes to holiday cooking and the Thanskgiving dinner. If you're anything like me, you have you "must haves" that bring you right back to those happy memories around the dinner table. Food and smellls can do that. But, when you're in the mood for something different and something that will align with your new healthy habits, what should you cook?

I have put together some healthy vegetable side dishes you can decorate your table with that will honor most eating preferences. Of course, this can also be a chance to encourage those who are not lovers of vegatables to try something new.

Honey n’ Spiced Carrots with Pumpkin Seeds

To liven up the plate, buy the colorful bag of carrots. You can either roast your carrots or saute’ them, which is my personal choice. The oven is going to be pretty full anyway.

1 or 2 bags of the colorful whole carrots. Peeled and cut however you like.

2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil 3 -4 tbsp of raw local honey 2 Garlic cloves minced.

1 tsp of cayenne

Salt and Pepper

Raw pumpkin seeds

Peel the carrots and cut to your choosing. I prefer to cut them in half and then cut each half in half again, lengthwise.

In pan, add 100% butter, avocado or coconut oil and then the carrots. Add 3 tbsp local honey, 1 tsp of cayenne or to your spice level of choice, salt, and pepper. Let the honey melt and then add the garlic. Keep the carrots moving until soft enough to pierce with a fork but not too soft as to not over cook them.

When done, sprinkle raw, unflavored pumpkin seeds and mix.

Recipe by Dr. Lexi lain

DF Broccoli and Cauliflower Mash with Rosemary and Thyme

Depending on the size of your party will depend on how much broccoli and cauliflower to use. Because I’m a huge fan of cooking in bulk, let’s go ahead and use the whole head of each.

1 head of Broccoli, cut the stem off and break into individual branches.

1 head of cauliflower, cut the stem off and break into individual branches.


¼ - ½ cup Dairy Free milk of choice (oat, almond, coconut, cashew)

2 tbsp Rosemary

2 tbsp Thyme

Salt and Pepper to personal preference.

Steam vegetables until soft enough to mash. Remove from the heat, place in something to mash them, and go to town. As you are mashing, add the dairy free milk of choice, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. **Slowly add the dairy free milk as to not make your mash too soggy. You might only need ¼ cup.

*For those that are slowly getting used to Broccoli-Cauliflower Mash, you can mix a potato mash by 50 % or 25%...depending on the individual’s level of pickiness and willingness to trying new things.

Recipe by Dr. Lexi Lain

Not Your Grandma’s Salad: Balsamic Glazed Pear and Walnut Arugula Salad

Arugula has an interesting flavor but pairs nicely with fresh pears and pomegranite seeds. Many will often put feta cheese on top with roasted walnuts to liven up the experience of flavors and add some protein.

The Dressing: ¼ cup of Olive Oil 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tsp maple syrup Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad: 1 Arugula package 2 pears (1 red/purple and 1 green) ½ cup Walnuts ½ cup chopped pecans 1 pomegranate, seeded.

Place all the dressing ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Stir and taste. Add what you think you need.

Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl and then toss in the dressing.


Recipe by Dietitian Debbie and modified by Dr. Lexi Lain.


Dr. Lexi


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