Ideas for a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

Use your imagination to put a healthy spin on classic Thanksgiving dishes and avoid that infamous Black Friday bloat. A few tips:

  • Hunt the turkey yourself, jk!
  • Avoid canned foods.
  • The classic baking potato (russet) is highly hybridized and stripped of its nutrients. Use heirloom varieties (fingerlings, red, purple) instead.
  • Replace sugar with healthier alternatives like raw honey, organic maple syrup or purred fruit (fresh or dried).
  • Eat in several courses to give yourself more time to digest and savor the food.
  • And, of course, always have thanks. Even if it’s your aunt’s questionable 5-layer mayonnaise casserole, just smile and appreciate the care she put into it.


A super light, stomach-friendly dish. Wild rice is very nutritious, easy to digest and has an earthy, indigenous feel that perfectly captures the spirit of the holiday. The sourness of the cranberries helps you break down the other richer foods.

Toss cooked wild rice with dried cranberries, minced radishes, orange zest, extra virgin olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, organic maple syrup, salt and pepper, along with anything else you think may taste good.


A gluten-free, nutrient-dense take on the classic.

Chop 1 onion, 2-3 cloves garlic and 2 celery stalks. Sauté over medium heat in olive oil for 5 minutes. Then, add lots of Celtic sea salt and a dried herb blend (I like about a ½ teaspoon each of rosemary, sage and thyme). Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmer a package of tempeh in 1-cup vegetable broth for 10 minutes. Mash or blend the tempeh in a food processor. Stir in the sautéed vegetables, along with a ¼ cup minced fresh parsley and a ¼ cup chopped, toasted nuts (I’m using filberts). Add enough cooking liquid to achieve a stuffing-like texture.

If you don’t prefer to eat turkey this year, stuff an acorn squash instead!


Skip the can. Fresh pumpkin is easier than it sounds.

With a strong knife, cut a pumpkin into small chunks – no need to peel the skin. Bake with salt and oil until softened. Or you can boil the pumpkin as you would to make mashed potatoes. Blend the cooked pumpkin and voilà!

Toast the seeds in the oven with salt oil – so delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Andréa in Recipes November 23rd, 2011 | 1 Comment

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One Response

  1. Al Barney says:

    India will like the purred fruit. I think she probably misses you. I think I’ll make the cranberries with wild rice for tomorrow.

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