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This week's Thankful Recipes

Meal 1

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pears, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Sauté fresh pears with savory vegetables and add wild rice to fill roasted squash halves. Vegetarians can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth to make this a veg-friendly entrée.


3 acorn or dumpling squash

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

3/4 cup wild rice

1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 large rib celery, finely chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 firm Bosc or Anjou USA Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1/3 cup minced fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note below)

1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.


Classic mashed potatoes with a decadent onion gravy! Fancy enough for Thanksgiving, easy enough for every day.

10 min

Prep Time

20 min

Cook Time

30 min

Total Time


Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, preferably organic (potatoes are a Dirty Dozen)

2 T olive oil

4-6 garlic cloves

2 T nutritional yeast

1 t salt

1 c non dairy milk, unsweetened plain

Onion Gravy

1 large onion

2-3 T olive oil

2-3 T corn starch

1 t salt

1/2 t garlic powder (or sub 1 clove of fresh garlic)

2 c water


For the Potatoes:

Peel potatoes (optional) and dice them into 1 inch cubes.

Place them in a large pot of room temp water. Once all of the potatoes are peeled and cut place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. From start to finish it took me 20 minutes to get the potatoes onto the stove and cooked to be fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, begin the gravy, directions below.

Once the potatoes are fork tender drain them and return the empty pot to the stove over low heat.

Add the olive oil and garlic to the empty pot and lightly brown the garlic.

Mix in nutritional yeast and salt and mix well. It will become a thick paste.

Slowly stream in the milk while stirring and mix until well incorporated.

Add potatoes on top and mash until desired consistency.

For the Gravy:

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Slice onion into thin half moons (*see note below for chunky gravy).

Place them into the pan and sauté them over medium heat for 20 full minutes (don't skimp—this is where the flavor develops! For a darker gravy you can sauté for 30 minutes if you'd like, just don't let them burn!).

Once the onions are translucent and browning, add the corn starch and stir well (I used 2T in the pictures here for a thinner gravy—3T will make the gravy thicker!). This will form a roux and it will be quite dry.

Add the salt and garlic powder and continue to stir.

Slowly stream the water into the pan, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Let the gravy simmer for 10 minutes to develop the flavors and to thicken.

Carefully transfer all of the gravy to your blender and blend until it reaches desired consistency.

Serve up your potatoes with the gravy on the side for your guests to drizzle and drown their potatoes as they please! Enjoy!

  • If you prefer a chunky style gravy simply dice your onions into a small dice, follow all other ingredients, and skip the blending step. Easy!​


Serves 8-10


1 lb 100% whole grain, bakery bread (I used the whole wheat Tuscan pane at Trader Joe's)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

2 medium apples

10 ounces chopped kale (or 1 bunch, stemmed and chopped)

2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 egg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the bread into large cubes. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until golden and toasted.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel, red pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring every so often, until very tender and lightly caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add kale, a couple tablespoons of water, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir every so often and add a few tablespoons of water if it starts to look dry. Cook until very tender, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine kale and bread cubes. Chop apples and add to the mixture along with the pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a large baking dish. Whisk egg and vegetable broth together. Pour evenly over dressing. Cover with foil or a cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until bread is golden and crisped on top.

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze



1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

5 to 6 ounces vanilla or plain yogurt (one standard-sized small container; Greek yogurt is preferred, sour cream may be substituted)

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 large bananas)

1 cup finely diced apples (1 medium apple; I used one unpeeled Gala apple)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Vanilla Caramel Glaze

Makes about 1 cup glaze, enough to generously glaze the cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (half of 1 stick)

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons cream or milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 to 2 cups+ confectioners’ sugar, sifted (must be sifted)



Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or tube cake pan very well with cooking spray (I usePam For Baking with Flour and it worked so well for me that this cake literally fell out of the pan while I was beginning to inverting it before I was properly set up to catch the cake on a cutting board) or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power. To the melted butter, add canola oil, yogurt, eggs, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cloves (all spices should be added to taste and if you don’t have all of them on hand, not a big deal to omit some) and whisk until batter is smooth and silky, about 1 minute of vigorous whisking. Add the bananas, apples, and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix and over-develop the gluten, which would result in a tougher cake. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 39 to 43 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean (or insert a sharp long-blade chef’s knife and it should come out clean). Allow cake to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before inverting it and removing cake.

While cake is cooling, make the caramel sauce. Optionally, while cake is cooling poke approximately 25 holes in the top surface of the cake with a chopstick or popsicle stick. The holes will allow the glaze to seep into the cake’s interior, creating a delicious caramel-apple flavor; the drawback is that it’s not quite as pretty when sliced, but since you’re not likely going to take pictures of the cake’s interior surfaces, I’d poke the holes.

Vanilla Caramel Glaze

Note: This is a fast moving recipe; have everything in place before you begin.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring nearly continuously.

Allow the mixture to boil quite rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring nearly continuously. Remove the pan from the burner, allow it to cool for about 1 minute, and add the cream, taking caution because the mixture could bubble vigorously. Whisk aggressively to incorporate the cream and calm the bubbling.

After the bubbling has subsided, add the vanilla and whisk to combine, using caution because the alcohol in the extract could cause the mixture to bubble up again. Add the confectioners’ sugar one-half cup at a time, until desired sauce consistency is reached (I absolutely recommend using sifted sugar so the glaze is whisks up smooth, silky, and free from lumps). Pour glaze over cake and allow it to set up for a few minutes if desired; or slice and serve immediately. Cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. If there is extra unused glaze, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month; gently reheat it in the microwave prior to glazing another dessert.

Meal 2


Cooking spray

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 pound of extra lean ground turkey breast

2 tsp of olive oil

1 white or yellow onion, sliced

1 large apple – peeled, cored, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar

1 tsp sea salt

Fresh ground black pepper

2 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

4 tablespoons of sugar-free maple syrup, if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Wash the sweet potatoes. With a fork, poke each sweet potatoes a couple of times. Spray sweet potatoes with cooking spray and place on baking pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted into center.

Meanwhile, in a skillet heat 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle a bit of sea salt and pepper and cook until onions begin to soften about 6 minutes.

Lower the heat just a tad and add the apple. Cook for about 8 minutes until apples become tender. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until caramelized and a bit brown.

Meanwhile in another medium pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add ground turkey breast, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 tsp of sea salt and black pepper and cook until meat is no longer pink and juice are clear. Add the caramelized apples and onions and 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar. Cover and reduce heat to low.

After letting sweet potatoes cool a bit, slice down the middle and cut slits the opposite way. Push the potatoes open and stuff each with the turkey, apple & onion mix. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of sugar-free maple syrup if desired.

Serves 4

Broccoli Apple Salad

This delicious Broccoli Apple Salad is one of the best ways you can enjoy fresh broccoli! Plus it's packed with nutritious ingredients!

Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Calories: 269 kcal


4 cups small diced broccoli florets

2 small gala apples , cored and diced

1 cup walnuts

1 cup matchstick carrots , roughly chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped red onion


3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup Hellman's or Best Foods Mayonnaise (full fat)

1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp honey


For the dressing:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey and season with salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Chill until ready to use.

For the salad:

  1. In a salad bowl toss together broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, raisins or cranberries and red onion. Pour in dressing and toss until evenly coated.

  2. Recipe source: inspired by Hellman's and my apple coleslaw and broccoli cauliflower salad

Nutrition Facts

Broccoli Apple Salad

Amount Per Serving

Calories 269

Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 16g


Saturated Fat 2g


Cholesterol 4mg


Sodium 94mg


Potassium 409mg


Total Carbohydrates 27g


Dietary Fiber 4g


Sugars 19g

Protein 6g


Vitamin A


Vitamin C






* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Herb and Apple Stuffing

Level: Intermediate

Total: 2 hr 50 min

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 2 hr 30 min

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


16 cups 1-inch bread cubes, white or whole wheat (2 baguettes)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 large)