Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Recipes, Sides & Salads, The Food Magician | 1 comment


Well…the holidays are here again!  My family is coming in town for Thanksgiving, and they’re all staying with us.  Oh, and did I mention we have a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with a narrow kitchen?  I know… you think I’m crazy, but thank God they’re awesome people & we cherish the inevitable craziness that will be.  I seriously cannot wait till they get here.

I’m also cooking Thanksgiving dinner, with the help of my beautiful, holistic-chef-sister and naturally, good-cook-step-mom.  Last year, was the first Thanksgiving meal I cooked with my mom, and I can’t believe I’m doing it again.  I got so stressed out cooking for so many people, but I’m working on it.

Thanks to the New School of Cooking, I’m using three of their recipes from the Healthy Cooking Class Series, I took with Chef Jess Hilton. The following two sides, and then a dessert recipe I will post next week.  I’m going to do my best to plan ahead and make a delicious meal that is also nutritious, and will not make me feel like I want to die. Wish me luck.


Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

serves 4-6

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas/grabanzos, soaked in water overnight
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 lbs)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lime zest and juice
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed

In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the soaked beans.  Gently boil for about 50 minutes until the beans are cooked through.  Drain.

In the meantime, prepare the potatoes and pre-heat oven to 425.

Cut off the ends and chop them into one inch cubes.  Try to make them equal in size, shapes can vary.


Put them in a large bowl.


In a small bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice, melted butter, oil, garlic, salt, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.


Pour the mix over the big bowl of potatoes, stir.  Add the drained garbanzos, onions, 2 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves and gently fold to cover everything in the spice mixture.


Spread the goods evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet (I had to use two baking sheets).


Bake at 425 in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes, gently stirring halfway through for consistent browning.

Let cool a bit before serving, sprinkle fresh pepper, squeeze of lime, taste for salt and sprinkle remaining thyme on top.




Cauliflower Couscous (gluten free)

serves 4-6

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 4 ounces of feta, chopped
  • 4 ounces of pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil & roast until golden.


When cauliflower is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, zest, Dijon, and olive oil to make vinaigrette.  Set aside.


When cauliflower is cool enough to handle, finely chop florets until they resemble Israeli couscous. You can also pulse gently in a food processor instead of chopping.


Combine chopped cauliflower with feta, pine nuts and capers.  Toss with vinaigrette and herbs.  Lightly fold in pomegranate seeds.




1 Comment

  1. I’m going to make the sweet potato and chick pea dish this year. It looks soooo yummy and not that difficult. I think I can handle it. While I am very excited that some of your family will be with you for Thanksgiving, I’m alsoVERY SAD you won’t be at my house!!! Have fun and have wine! Love you

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