A Bountiful Thanksgiving

November brings thoughts of fall colors, warm hearty foods, and cozy nights by the fire. It also reminds us that a bountiful Thanksgiving awaits us!

The holidays don’t have to mean over-indulgence or the end of your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle. Try including some of the following delicious foods in your holiday cooking.


Add Nutrition to Stuffing and Side dishes: Mix in celery, onions, mushrooms, carrots, beans and even raisins and apples to boost fiber and flavor. See Recipe below!

Turkey: White meat is the leanest and dark has a higher fat content. Go easy on gravy!

Cranberry Sauce – Go natural! Fresh Cranberry sauce is a cinch to prepare, has a much fresher and delicious flavor.

Lighten-up! Use lower fat versions of sour cream, substitute plain yogurt in creamy dips and mashed potatoes. Try olive or canola oil instead of butter for a heart healthier fat option.

Vegetarian delights: With more than seven million vegetarians nationwide, it’s likely you’ll have a vegetarian guest. Combine grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet and barley with bell peppers, apples, dried apricots and nuts for a dish all of your guests will want to try.


Chickpea-Quinoa Salad

Makes: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup dry Quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 ounce package baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (optional)
  • Dressing:
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons well-chopped kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt & black pepper



  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. Add dressing ingredients into a jar and shake well. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add corn and chickpeas and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir frequently.
  5. Stir in spinach for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted.
  6. Stir in quinoa and pecans.
  7. Add desired amount of dressing and stir until fully coated.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Top with goat cheese.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (12-ounce) package Fresh Cranberries



  1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.


  • Freshen up the flavor by using orange juice instead of water.
  • You can reduce the sugar if you prefer a more tart sauce

I have added a ½ cup pineapple chunks once the sauce is cold, its delicious!

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA