Quick and Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

The holidays are a time for family and friendship. Sharing a home cooked meal is one of the quintessential expressions of the holidays. Here are some quick and easy recipes that are delicious but won’t add to your waistline. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and new year!

~Dr. Adrienne Youdim, MD


Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Cranberry and Agave

Clean 1 bunch of heirloom carrots and cut into spears. Rub olive oil evenly over carrots (about 1 tablespoon per carrot.) Arrange carrots in roasting pan.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Roast @ 450 degrees F turning once until tender and slightly browned (about 20 minutes) Add 1/2 cup cranberries to carrots for last 3-5 minutes of cooking time. Remove carrots from heat and transfer to serving tray. Top with a drizzle of agave and almond slivers. A perfect alternative to marshmallow and yams!


Wild Rice with Barley Mushroom and Kale

Clean 1 package diced mushrooms, steam for 5-6 minutes then marinate in 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and set aside.  Bring 3 cups low sodium chicken stock to boil. Add 1 cup wild rice, return to boil then summer 50 minutes until fluid absorbed. In a separate pot bring 1 quart water to boil. Add 1/2 cup barley. Cook barley for 10 minutes until tender then drain. Finely chop 3 cups kale. Drain mushrooms. Mix rice, barley, mushroom and kale and serve.


This is a delicious and healthy alternative to bread stuffing!

White quinoa with cucumber and roasted zucchini

Bring 1 quart water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 cup quinoa. Return contents to a boil then turn down to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until fluid is absorbed and let cool. Slice 1 large zucchini into horizontal slices. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon thyme and sea salt evenly on zucchini slices.  Place grill pan on medium heat. Spray evenly with olive oil spray. Cook zucchini for 1 minute per side. Cut into small cubes when cooled. Cut 1 cup baby tomatoes in halves. Peel 3 Persian cucumbers and dice into small cubes.  Finely chop one bunch cilantro. Toss all ingredients together with 1/4 the cup olive oil and 1/3 rd cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Serve alongside turkey.


Grilled Pears

Peel 2 pears and core. Slice pears in 1/4 inch slices in the horizontal direction. Place a grill pan on medium heat and spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon. Place pears on warm grill pan for  1 minute per side or till soft. Remove from heat. Drizzle with agave and top with 1 tsp almond meal per slice. A tasty and sweet dessert alternative.

Dr. Adrienne Youdim

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