The Healthy Thanksgiving

If you’re feeling like you’ve already done, uh, enough damage for one year, we’ve rounded up a few experts—a chef, nutritionist, and dietician—to share their favorite healthy Thanksgiving recipes for a holiday menu that won’t have you rolling yourself to bed at the end of the night. A Stuffed Squash main course, Spinach Risotto & Endive Salad sides, and a Mixed Berry Cobbler to top it all off.


“The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can also elevate our levels of inflammation and stress. One of the best tools I use to support my body and use as a natural defense to counterbalance those inflammation levels are the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. Elixinol Omega Tumeric CBD Capsules are specifically designed to provide that antioxidant support. Each capsule also includes Algae derived DHA that is rich in omega 3, helping to support brain function, as well as our joints. I love how these ingredients work so synergistically with the full-spectrum hemp extract to balance our bodies. 


“Over the holidays, it’s important that you give yourself permission to eat. If you are truly hungry, don’t deny yourself. Over-restricting will only lead to getting too hungry later, making it harder to eat sensibly. Give yourself permission to enjoy. The truth is, no single food will derail your efforts.” 


“Adopting a mindful eating approach over the holidays is one of the best ways to bring greater awareness to our hunger cues and how often we’re eating throughout the day. Staying on track doesn’t mean completely restricting the foods we love but rather becoming more mindful about food quality, portion sizes, and meal timing— all of which can help us avoid mindlessly snacking on treats at all hours of the day and into the late hours of the evening.”



Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash

by Serena Poon

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes


  • 2 ea medium butternut squash, halved, seeds removed
  • 4 tsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup tri-colored quinoa (any other quinoa is fine too)
  • 1 1/3 cuo vegetable broth, homemade or low sodium
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves rough chopped
  • 2 ea fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground white pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 15 oz cooked chickpeas (if using canned or bottled, rinse and drain)
  • 1 ea medium orange, zested
  • 1/2 each juice of half of the zested orange above
  • 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (raw or toasted, optional)


Roast the squash

  • Pre-heat oven to 425F, place rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Arrange the butternut squash halves, cut side up on an unlined sheet pan.
  • Drizzle and spread 1 tsp of avocado oil on each of the 4 cut halves of butternut squash, light salt and pepper each half.
  • Bake uncovered for 55-60minutes, or until fork tender.
  • Once butternut squash is fork tender and slight caramelized on the edges, remove from the oven and allow to cool (while still on the pan).
  • Using heat protective gloves, scoop out the flesh of the butternut squash, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the sides. Reserve this for a later use.

Prep the quinoa

  • While the butternut squash is baking, use a fine mesh sieve to thoroughly rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan with the broth and bring to fast simmer.
  • Cover the saucepan with the quinoa with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Removed the quinoa from heat (keeping covered with the lid) and allow to sit and steam for another 3 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Make the filling

  • Using a large skillet, 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add to the skillet the torn kale leaves and cook until just slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Add to the kale the thyme sprigs, salt and pepper, to taste. Heat until slightly fragrant. Remove thyme stems.
  • Add to the skillet the chickpeas, the cooked quinoa, squeeze juice from the half orange, and add the orange zest. Remove from heat.


  • Add the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts to the kale and quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Ready for filling!
  • Stuff the butternut squash halves with a heaping amount of the kale and quinoa mixture. Ready to serve! (Reserve any extra stuffing for later use for a buddha bowl.)

Potential substitutions

  • Can use acorn squash instead of butternut squash.
  • Can use cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds. In this case, add cranberries to the stuffing when adding the quinoa to the kale.
  • Can use other nuts instead of pine nuts: chopping toasted hazelnuts, chopped pecans, toasted almond slivers.
  • Can add vegan parmesan to the top of the stuffing and warm in the oven for 5 minutes before service.


Endive Apple and Walnut Salad

by Brenda Braslow

Serves: 4 (as a side)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes


  • 2 heads of endive, raw
  • 1 medium, about 2.5″ diameter apples with skin, raw
  • 3 oz swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup shelled (50 halves) Walnuts, raw
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 lemon


  • Wash, dry and julienne endive (cut into matchstick strips 3mm wide) across the leaf. Place in large salad bowl.
  • Wash and core apple. Add juice of 1/2 a lemon to a bowl of room temperature water. Thinly slice (LEO Hack: use a sharp peeler or mandolin) apple and add to bowl. Drain apples and add to bowl with endive.
  • Thinly slice cheese (LEO Hack: use a peeler on a cold wedge of cheese) and add to salad bowl.
  • In dry skillet, heat walnuts until aromatic, stirring as they heat up to avoid burning. Let cool.
  • In a small bowl, mix together vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing & cooled walnuts to salad and toss.
  • Dice chives and sprinkle over top as garnish.

Spinach and Pea Buckwheat Risotto

by Kimberly Bowman

Serves: 4 (as a side)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp pine nuts
  • 1 bunch flat leafed parsley. finely chopped
  • 60 grams uncooked buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup liquid vegetable stock
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut cream
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 90 grams frozen green peas
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • large pinch himalayan salt, peper to taste


  • Heat olive oil in a medium skillet pan over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add in pine nuts and cook an additional minute.
  • Add in parsley, buckwheat, stock, and filtered water. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add in coconut cream and nutritional yeast flakes and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
  • Add in frozen peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir through spinach leaves.
  • Season with salt & pepper, serve.


Mixed Berry Cobbler

by Kimi Reichenberg

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients, Mixed Berry Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blue berries 
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries 
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries 
  • 2 teaspoons arrow root starch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup

Ingredients, Cobbler Topping

  • 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 6 tablespoons coconut milk 
  • 6 table spoons refined coconut oil melted 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to sprinkle on top


  • Preheat over to 350f. 
  • Grease 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  • In a big bowl mix the berries, maple syrup, arrowroot starch, cinnamon & nutmeg together. Pour into baking dish.
  • In another bowl mix the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract & coconut sugar until well combined. Spoon mixture on top of fruit.
  • For the Thanksgiving version pictured, form mixture into a dough round, press to make flat, place between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 in thick. Refrigerate for 30 min. Remove from fridge, remove top layer of parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to make leaf shapes. Carefully transfer cobbler “leaves” onto fruit mixture. Bake as directed below. 
  • Sprinkle the top of the cobbler with the turbinado sugar & cinnamon mix. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cobbler topping when poked with a toothpick comes out clean. Server with ice cream of choice or coconut whipped cream.