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Thanksgiving Sidekicks

Do you want the perfect sides for Thanksgiving dinner? Having a beautiful table is one thing; having food that melts in your mouth is another. Here are some of our favorite side dishes that will not only provide you and your guests with a stunning plate, it will deliver a healthy balance of nutrition and flavor.

Roasted Roots

Serves 6-8


This is a colorful, flavorful side to pair with many entrées. Consider roasting a big batch of this to have on hand for a snack or to throw on a salad. The purple yams add so much sweetness, you’ll think you are eating dessert instead of vegetables!


2 cups carrots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced 1-inch thick

2 cups parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and sliced 1-inch thick

2 cups purple yams, peeled, trimmed, and sliced 1-inch thick

8 sprigs fresh thyme

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

kosher or sea salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 400℉. In a large bowl, toss the root vegetables, thyme and rosemary sprigs with the olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the roots are caramelized and soft. Remove and garnish with the roasted thyme leaves. Serve immediately.


Tip:  For even cooking, it’s important to try to cut the vegetables so they are similar in size.


Black Barley

Serves 4


Black barley is an heirloom variety of the healthy, high-fiber, high-protein cereal grain. Its dark exterior and chewy texture make it a visually appealing and palate-pleasing side. However, its most important benefit is that it can go from “farm to table” without processing or loss of nutrients since it doesn’t need to be hulled.


½ cup black barley

2 cups water, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt


Combine the barley, water and salt in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Allow the barley to cook for 50 minutes over low heat. Check the softness of the grain and add more water and continue cooking if necessary. The barley should be tender and all water should be absorbed. Drain excess water if necessary. Serve warm. 


Swiss Chard

Serves 4


Swiss chard is related to the spinach and beet family and is well-known as a dark, leafy green vegetable that’s chock full of vitamins A and C as well as minerals including potassium. Cooking the whole plant, both stems and leaves, adds nutrition to your plate. The colorful stems contain anti-inflammatory betalains, which are responsible for the red, yellow and purple hues of the chard.


⅓ cup golden raisins, soaked in water overnight (or a minimum 4 hours), drained

⅓ cup raw pine nuts

1 large or 2 small bunches Swiss chard

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350℉. On a baking sheet, lay the pine nuts in a single layer and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Remove and set aside. Drain the raisins and set aside.


Using a knife, carefully remove the stems from the chard leaves. Slice the stems crosswise about ¼-inch thick and set aside. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces about 1 inch.


In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Once hot, add the chard stems and sauté about 1 minute, until slightly softened. Add the chard leaves and allow to wilt slightly. Add the roasted pine nuts and golden raisins. Continuously move the chard mixture so it doesn’t burn. When wilted, remove from the heat and serve warm. 

These recipes are found inside our award-winning cookbook Beautiful Living. Purchase a copy here. 

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