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Elizabeth's Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted by Nutrition Works on

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday!  It is a time for family and good food.  Growing up, my mom would make a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner however, it always seemed to be a little on the brown side.  Meaning we had a luscious turkey, yams, white potatoes, corn, bread, and of course the stuffing.  There was very little green on our dinner table. As with most holidays, they can become a starch fest!  I became very interested in helping my mom out and making the dinner table a bit more colorful as well as nutritious!  To this day, I prepare most of the side dishes and I leave the turkey and stuffing for my mom.  It’s a fun tradition, I head over on Wednesday and we cook all day and most of the next morning together.  My family has embraced my dinner changes, for the most part.  I will never forget when my very Italian uncle said, “wow Liz this risotto is delicious, you sure know how to cook.”  I replied by saying, “Uncle Rocky, your eating cauliflower.”  Apparently, he did not like cauliflower before, but now he loves it!

I hope you can enjoy some of these great recipes during the holiday season.  They are all filled with lots of nutritious benefits.  Plus, most of them are gluten-free and vegetarian.  The first time we had a gluten-free guest at our holiday feast, my mom and I panicked! However, most foods that are made from the ground up (no processed ingredients) are gluten free.  Please feel free to comment or upload pictures of your Thanksgiving Feast!  

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving, with Love and Blessings, Elizabeth and the rest of Nutrition Works Staff

Healthy Side Dishes for the Holidays

Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables with Sage and Thyme

Prep Time: 10 minutes (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8-10


7 cups of assorted root vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, celeriac, beets, and parsnips

2 cups of winter squash, such as acorn squash, butternut squash, or pumpkin

1 onion, sliced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 sage leaves, chopped

4 thyme sprigs

salt and pepper, to taste

maple syrup, to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut up all the root vegetables and squash into approximately equal size pieces. I cut them into roughly 1/2" pieces (except the beets which I sliced thinner since they seem to take longer to get tender). Put root vegetables, squash and onion in a large bowl.

Add olive oil, sage, and thyme to the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat all the vegetables.

Spread vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake 30-40 minutes until tender.

Drizzle with maple syrup, to taste.

Warm Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 25 minutes (Gluten Free)

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves 4-6


1 pound small beets, trimmed and peeled (if large, cut into smaller pieces to cook faster)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine

2-3 sprigs fresh thyme


Beet greens-

Beet greens from beets (from above), washed well, stems trimmed

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp.  cumin seeds


1/4 cup shallots or red onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture

salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt sauce-

1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon toasted cumin-coriander mixture

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, scallions, or other herbs

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

dash of cayenne

salt and pepper, to taste


fresh dill sprigs, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro


Place beets, olive oil, white wine and thyme in a medium pot, single layer. Add enough water to just cover the beets. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 30-40 minutes until beets are tender. Remove beets from pan. Cut into bite size pieces and toss with some Vinaigrette.

Beet Greens

Cut Beet Greens into 1" strips. Place Beet Greens in a sauté pan and add 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 2-3 minutes until wilted and just tender. Drain well.

Toasted Cumin-Coriander mixture

Place coriander and cumin seeds in a small saucepan. Toast on medium heat until fragrant. Remove from heat. Cool and then grind in a spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.


Mix Vinaigrette ingredients together and let sit for a few minutes for flavors to meld and mellow.

Yogurt Sauce

Mix all Yogurt Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

To Serve

Place a portion of cooked Beet Greens on salad plate. Drizzle with some Vinaigrette. Place some Braised Beet on Top. Dollop some Yogurt Sauce on top. Garnish with dill, scallions and cilantro or any other fresh herbs you have on hand.


To oven braise the beets, place trimmed (unpeeled) beets in a saucepan. Cover with water and add a few splashes of extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees until tender. This will take about 1 hour for small beets and several hours for larger beets. Radishes are also nice cooked this way. I added some in along with the beets and took them out after 1 hour.

Dark Leafy Greens with Caramelized Onions, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

Serves 6 (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)


6 cups kales or Swiss chard, steamed, cut into bits-served pieces

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, cut into quarter moons (about 1 cup)

Pinch of Sea Salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup raisins or currents

1 tbs. pine nuts, toasted


  1. Cover the kale with cold water and set aside until ready to use
  2. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet on low heat, to release their natural oils and increase their flavor

Optional: toast in the oven at 325◦ on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, these burn quickly, pay extra attention

  1. In a large, deep sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes,  Decrease the heat to low and cook slowly until the onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes
  2.  Add the garlic and stir for about 30seconds, just until aromatic.  Add the raisins and stir for about 30 seconds.  Deglaze the pan with 2 tbs. of water to loosen all of the flavorful bits from the bottom.
  3. Begin adding the greens to the pan with a pinch of salt, continue to add as many greens that will fit into the pan. The water that adheres to the greens will be enough liquid to wilt the greens.  Taste the greens, and add additional water, if needed.  Cover the pan and cook the greens until tender, 2-3 minutes.  Adjust seasoning if necessary
  4. Arrange the greens on a plate and sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts.  Serve hot.  Don’t forget to pour the coking juices, if any remains over the greens before you add the nuts- more nutrients!

Adapted from Rebecca Katz’s “One Bite at a Time,” Pg. 36

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Rutabaga

Serves 6 (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)


2 cups peeled and cubed rutabaga (about 1 inch cubes)

1 tsp. salt

2 lbs. peeled and cubed Yukon gold potatoes (about 1inch. Cubes)

2 tbs. organic unsalted butter

2-3 tbs. low fat milk

¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
  2.  Add the rutabaga and salt, lower the heat slightly, and boil for 10 minutes.
  3.  Add the potatoes and boil until both are tender, another 15 minutes.
  4.  Drain in a colander and return to the pot over low heat.  
  5. Add the butter and milk
  6.  Using a potato masher or electric hand mixer, mash to the desired consistency.  
  7. Add the nutmeg and taste the potatoes; you may need a pinch of salt or two
  8. Serve immediately in a colorful bowl

Adapted from Rebecca Katz’s “One Bite at a Time,” pg 73

Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8 (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)


4 small or 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 head peeled, uncut garlic cloves

3 tbs. coconut oil

2 sprigs of thyme, stems removed

2 tsp. cinnamon powder

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbs. honey (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425◦.  Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to combine.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish with coconut oil, and spread coated sweet potatoes in an even layer.
  2. Roast until the potatoes are tender and browned, 35-45 minutes

Serve hot or warm, along with garlic cloves

  1. If you’d like to add honey, drizzle the potatoes with honey halfway through baking

Adapted by Victoria Behm, Nutrition for Vibrant Living

String Beans with Caramelized Shallot, Rosemary, and Garlic

Serves 6 (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)


1 tsp. sea salt

1 lb. string beans, “tails” removed

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs. diced shallots

2 tbs. minced garlic

¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

¼ tsp.  grated lemon zest

Spritz of fresh lemon juice


  1. Fill a 4-6qt pot ¾ full with water and bring to a boil
  2. Add the 1 tbs. Sea salt
  3. Add the string beans and blanch for 3 minutes, drain the string beans and place in an ice water bath, this stops the cooking process and preserves their great color
  4. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and a pinch of salt.  Sauté for 3 minutes, until the shallots are golden.  Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more, just until aromatic
  5. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of water.  Add the blanched string beans and a pinch of salt.  Taste the beans for doneness.  Add rosemary, lemon zest, and a spritz f lemon juice.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from Rebecca Katz’s “One Bite at a Time,” Pg 46

Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients: (Gluten Free and Vegetarian)

2 large beets

2 large acorn squash with shell on

1 sweet potato

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2 tbs. olive oil

Sea Salt to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350◦
  2. Wash all of your vegetables, peel beets, scrub carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash.
  3. Cut them into small equal chunks (helps to roast evenly)
  4. Place them in your baking pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft to the touch.  Enjoy!

Steam/Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Mustard and Caraway

Serves 5 (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)


1 lbs. Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 tbs. butter

1/3 cup water

½ tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. caraway seeds

1 tbs. Dijon mustard

1 tbs. maple syrup

Freshly ground black pepper


Bring the Brussel Sprouts, butter, water, salt, and caraway seeds to boil in a large skillet.  Cover and steam over medium-high heat until Brussel sprouts are just tender, 5-10 minutes

Remove the lid and stir in the mustard and maple syrup, Sprinkle with black pepper

Lacquered Carrots with Coriander

Serves 5 (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)


2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup sherry or mirin

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

4 cups peeled carrots, cut into 2 inch roll cut or ½ thick diagonal cuts

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground coriander

Black pepper


  1.  Add the olive oil, maple syrup, sherry, balsamic vinegar, carrots, salt, and coriander to a large skillet.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat about 12-15 minutes, just until carrots are tender.
  2. Uncover and cook, stirring constantly, until carrots caramelize, about 6 more minutes.  Sprinkle with black pepper and serve hot.

Radishes with Lemon Dill Butter

Serves 4 (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)


3 cups sliced radishes (1/2 inch thick)

1 tbs. water


1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp fresh dill

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Add the radishes, butter, water, and a sprinkling of salt to a medium skillet.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until just tender.  Uncover and cook another minute, until all of the water is evaporated
  2.  Stir in the lemon juice and dill and black pepper.  Serve hot

Cauliflower and Broccoli Casserole (not necessarily healthy but a family favorite!)

Serves 6-8

Healthy substitute listed next to the ingredient


1/2 cup uncooked white rice or  ½ cup brown rice

10 ounces broccoli florets

10 ounces cauliflower florets

1/2 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

1 pound processed cheese food, cubed or organic cheese, shredded

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup or see homemade recipe at end

5 and ¼  fluid ounces milk

1 1/2 cups crushed buttery round crackers


  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Simmer broccoli and cauliflower florets in water for 10 minutes, or until crunchy. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté onion. Stir cauliflower, broccoli and rice into the saucepan. Once the vegetables and rice are coated, stir in the cheese, chicken soup and milk. Transfer the entire mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish and sprinkle the crackers on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 30 minutes.

Chicken Soup (for base)


2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup minced onion

3 tbsp. whole-wheat flour

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, boiled and reduced by half

1/2 cup skim milk


In a saucepan or pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in broth, milk and optional top flavor ingredient (see sidebar at right).

Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Allow to cool and use as desired.


Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Ingredients (Gluten Free & Vegetarian)

2 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked for 4 hours or more

½ cup granulated date sugar or coconut sugar

1 tbsp. ginger

½ tsp. sea salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of cumin (optional)


  1.  Drain the pumpkin seeds Very well and place in a medium bowl with the additional ingredients
  2. Toss well to combine
  3.  Lightly sprinkle sea salt on top before drying or heating

Dehydrate or Oven Method

Spread on Telfex sheets and dehydrate at 115 until dry and crisp

Oven method- turn oven to warm 200 allow to dry out until crisp and crunchy

Store in oven tight container

Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie

(Vegetarian & Gluten free)


1/2 tsp Ginger, ground

2 cups Pumpkin, prepared

4 Egg whites

1/2 cup Honey

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Cloves, ground

1 1/2 cups of Milk, fat-free


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour mixture into pie crusts. (I used this recipe)
  3. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 45 additional minutes.

Side Notes: This pie is not very sweet. If you prefer a sweeter pie, add an additional 1/4 cup of honey

Adapted from

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites Recipe

Yield: 16-20 squares (Gluten-Free, Vegan)



1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tbsp. cacao powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp. almond milk

Cheesecake layer:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp pumpkin spice


  1. Soak the cashews in water for 1 hour. Discard the water. Line a loaf baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the crust ingredients in your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together; this should take about 1 minute. Press this mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared loaf baking pan and place it in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake topping.
  3. Place the cheesecake ingredients in your food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust in the baking pan and spread it evenly. Freeze the dessert for at least 2 hours.
  4. Cut the cheesecake into squares before serving. Keep leftovers covered in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Adapted from

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