Countdown to a Healthy Thanksgiving
By Jennifer Degala

/in /by



Countdown to a Healthy Thanksgiving: Mushroom Gravy


For a flavorful gravy that’s not laden with fat, try this mushroom-based one.

Total Time: 32 min.

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cooking Time: 22 min.

Yield: 10 servings, 3 Tbsp. each


2 Tbsp. olive oil

½ medium onion, finely chopped

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped

2 lbs. sliced mushrooms

3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped, stems discarded

3 cups low-sodium organic chicken (or turkey or vegetable) broth

2 Tbsp. arrowroot

¼ cup cold water


1.Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and ginger; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender.

3. Add mushrooms; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release their liquid.

4. Add thyme and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

5. Combine arrowroot and water in a small bowl; whisk until arrowroot is dissolved.

6. Add to mushroom mixture; gently boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until gravy thickens.


Countdown to a Healthy Thanksgiving: Rosemary Roasted Yams


Yams and sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and fiber, and they taste so good! Roasting them with rosemary is any easy way to prepare them that will make your whole house smell delicious.

Total Time: 1 hr.

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cooking Time: 50 min.

Yield: 4 servings, about 2/3 cup each


3 cups cubed yams (or sweet potatoes)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

6 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped, stems discarded

Nonstick cooking spray

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Combine yams, oil, and rosemary in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

3. Place yams on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with spray. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender.

4. Season with salt and pepper if desired.


Countdown to a Healthy Thanksgiving: Red Wine Poached Pears with Marscapone


This dessert only looks complicated. It’s easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.

Total Time: 45 min.

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cooking Time: 35 min.

Yield: 12 servings


2 cups red wine

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 firm Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, cut in half

12 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese


1. Bring wine, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon to a boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears; gently boil, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn pears and continue cooking for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until pears are fork tender.

3. Remove pears from liquid; gently boil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until reduced in half.

4. Serve ½ pear with 1 Tbsp. cheese topped with wine sauce.


Countdown to a Healthy Thanksgiving: Roasted Cauliflower Mash


This twist on mashed potatoes is made with a non-starchy veggie, no cream and butter—and yet, it’s every bit as yummy as your traditional mashed potatoes.

Total Time: 50 min.

Prep Time: 5 min.

Cooking Time: 45 min.

Yield: 8 servings, ¼ cup each


1 (2-lb.) cauliflower, cut into small florets, discard stem

4 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. granulated garlic (optional)

2 Tbsp. low-sodium organic vegetable broth


1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Wash cauliflower and pat dry.

3. Place cauliflower in large baking pan. Drizzle with oil; toss gently to coat. 4. Season with salt and garlic.

5. Bake, stirring halfway through, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender.

6. Place in food processor; add vegetable broth. Pulse until smooth.