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Here are a dozen healthy and delicious side dishes and appetizers to offer your guests - or take to a potluck - this Thanksgiving Day.

The following four recipes are from Lia Huber, founder of Nourish Network.

"These little spears are crowd pleasers; packed with flavor despite their diminutive appearance," she said. "The cheese mixture keeps for up to five days, so you can prep everything ahead of time and then pipe just before people come to the door."

Endive Spears with Roquefort Mousse and Walnuts

Serves 24 as appetizer

6 ounces Roquefort cheese

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

? cup cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons snipped chives

4 heads endive (about 96 leaves)

24 walnuts, toasted and broken into pieces

Blend together Roquefort, garlic, cream cheese, vinegar, salt and pepper and chives in a blender until smooth. Chill for 20 minutes. Transfer Roquefort mixture to a pastry bag and pipe a teaspoon mound onto the end of each endive spear. Top with a toasted walnut piece.


"I'm always on the lookout for a good whole grain dish," Huber said. "This one's a winner on several fronts. It's tart and tangy, savory and sweet."

Whole Wheat Couscous with Raisins and Almonds

Serves 4

1? cups water

1 cup whole wheat couscous

? cup golden raisins

? cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

? cup lemon juice

? cup green onions, thinly sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

? cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes, until tender.

While the couscous is steaming, soak the raisins in the vinegar in a medium salad bowl.

When couscous is ready, whisk olive oil, lemon juice and onions into the vinegar. Fluff couscous with a fork and add to the dressing, tossing to coat well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Top with toasted almonds.


"This is an incredibly versatile side dish that shows just how delicious healthy can be," Huber said. "Serve it with a holiday turkey or a simple roast chicken. Or top it with a mushroom saut?for a meatless feast."

Sweet Potato Puree with Honey and Crispy Shallots

Serves 12

4 pounds garnet sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped shallots

4 tablespoons butter

? cup lowfat milk

3 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Bring a large pot of boiling, salted water to a boil and drop in potatoes. Return to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender enough to pierce with a fork. Drain in a colander and transfer half of the potatoes to a food processor.

Heat oil in a large saut?pan over medium heat and saut?shallots for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown (be careful - they go quickly from golden to burnt in the last minute or so). Transfer to a paper towel.

Add half the butter, milk, honey and soy sauce to the food processor with the sweet potatoes and puree for 30 seconds, until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Combine the two batches of puree, season with salt and pepper and stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the shallots.

Scrape into a serving bowl and top with remaining shallots.


"Acorn squash skins are quite leathery, and the cooked flesh will pop out of it as you cut the wedges," Huber said. "Use a butter-knife to help separate the skin and flesh if needed."

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Wheat Berries and Blue Cheese

Serves 4

1 cup wheat berries (soaked overnight and drained)

3 cups water

sea salt

1 large (2 pound) acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out

2 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Nonstick cooking spray

Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups green leaf lettuce, cleaned and dried

? cup scallions, thinly sliced

? cup Go-To Vinaigrette

? cup pecans, toasted

1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled

? cup dried cranberries

Combine wheat berries and water with a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside.

While wheat berries are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash halves flesh side down in a microwave safe dish and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 12 minutes (if your microwave doesn't have a rotating dish, rotate the plate every 2 minutes). Remove squash (be careful of steam) to a cutting board and let cool flesh side up until cool enough to handle (1-2 minutes). Carefully cut into ?-inch wedges and peel off skin. Microwave the butter and syrup in a bowl for 30 seconds and stir to mix.

Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay the squash wedges down, brush with maple glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat on the other side. Bake for 5 minutes. Carefully flip wedges over and bake another 5-6 minutes.

While squash is cooking, mix together lettuce, scallions and drained wheat berries and toss with vinaigrette. Divide evenly onto four plates. Top with squash wedges, pecans, crumbled blue cheese, cranberries and a twist of freshly ground black pepper.


This gluten-free vegetarian stuffing from Justin Wangler, executive chef at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, is full of flavor and is a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving meal. If one of your guests has celiac disease, use the gluten-free cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill. This dish pairs well with the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir.

Cornbread Stuffing

Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil

? onion, minced

2 stalks celery, small dice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 cup dried cherries

2 cups pumpkin stock, warm (recipe below)

1 recipe cornbread, cut into 1-inch squares (see recipe below)

Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees.

In a 12-inch cast-iron pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add walnuts, sage and thyme; cook for 2 minutes. Add the cherries and stock; stir to combine. Gently add the cornbread and cover the pan. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake for 15 additional minutes or until golden brown.

Gluten-free Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

2 ounces, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 cups cornmeal

2 tablespoons masa or corn flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously brush the cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside remaining butter.

In a mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining melted butter, buttermilk, sour cream and egg; whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Place pan in the oven and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and carefully pour batter into preheated pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted off-center comes out clean. Flip cornbread out onto a rack and allow to dry overnight if possible.

Vegetarian Pumpkin Stock

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, large dice

2 carrots, diced

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 pounds pumpkin, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a large pot, add all ingredients and cover with 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Strain stock, reserve liquid and discard vegetables. Extra stock can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 3 months. Makes an excellent base for vegetarian pumpkin soup.


This recipe is from Justin Wangler of Kendall-Jackson. The smoked olive oil in the vinaigrette mirrors the flavor of bacon in this vegan, soul food dish. Pair it with the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir or Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay.

Black-eyed Peas, Persimmon & Baby Kale Salad

Serves 8

1 quart black-eyed peas, cooked (recipe below)

3 Fuyu persimmons, peeled & diced (about 1 cup)

5 ounces baby kale, washed

1 recipe smoked olive oil vinaigrette (recipe below)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, add black-eyed peas, persimmons and baby kale. Drizzle with smoked olive oil vinaigrette and toss. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Black-eyed peas:

? pound black-eyed peas, dried

1 tablespoon olive oil

? large yellow onion, cut in half

4 cups water

1 bay leaf

4 sprigs thyme

1 medium size carrot, peeled

1 stalk celery

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pick through beans and remove any pebbles. Rinse thoroughly. In a large bowl, soak beans in 6 cups cold water. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove beans from the refrigerator and drain.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour or until beans become tender, but not mushy. Remove pot from heat and pour beans into a bowl set over an ice bath. Allow to cool. Strain off liquid, remove herbs and vegetables and discard. Set beans aside.

Smoked Olive Oil Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Chardonnay verjus

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons smoked olive oil (from The Smoked Olive company)

In a small bowl, add the verjus, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.


This sweet potato torta is a Southern play on the traditional Spanish torta, from Wangler. Pair it with the Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay or Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Riesling.

Sweet Potato Torta

Serves 4

? cup Kendall-Jackson Estate olive oil

? medium yellow onion, julienned

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 pound sweet potatoes (Garnet yams), peeled & sliced ?-inch rounds

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

4 eggs, beaten

Preheat convection oven to 325 degrees.

In a small non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat for 10 seconds. Add onion and salt; sweat onion for 5 minutes or until light golden brown. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for approximately 12 minutes, occasionally tossing or stirring, until potatoes begin to caramelize and become golden brown. Add the thyme and stir. Add the eggs and stir to coat sweet potatoes. Allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes to let eggs set. Place pan in oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and flip torta onto a serving plate. Allow to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.


This recipe is from Kendall-Jackson Pastry Chef Robert Nieto. It pairs well with the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Riesling.

Kabocha-Buttermik Panna Cotta

Serves 6 to 8

2 gelatin sheets

7 ounces roasted Kabocha squash

17? ounces half & half

4? ounces sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

? teaspoon cinnamon

3? ounces buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place gelatin in chilled ice water to rehydrate. Reserve in ice water until ready to use.

Carefully, cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Place squash on a half sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, spoon out 7 ounces of the flesh. Remaining squash can be refrigerated and used for up to 1 week.

In a medium-size pot, combine half & half, sugar, salt, cinnamon and reserved 7 ounces of roasted squash. Bring to a simmer, but do not let it boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then place mixture in blender and carefully process until creamy. Strain mixture into a medium size bowl. Squeeze out the excess water from the bloomed gelatin and add to mixture. Stir well.

Once the panna cotta base has cooled slightly, add buttermilk and stir until combined. Pour panna cotta mixture in small ramekins or any desired bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Serve with gluten-free Riesling Shortbread cookies.


The WholeVine products are available at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center in Santa Rosa.

Gluten-free Riesling Shortbread Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies

3 cups brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough

? cup WholeVine Riesling grapeskin flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

? teaspoon cinnamon

? teaspoon ginger

16 ounces butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoon WholeVine Riesling grapeseed oil

1 egg

1 tablespoons sugar, plus 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (for dusting cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients; mix and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter until soft. Add brown sugar and grapeseed oil, mix until fully incorporated. Add egg and mix slowly. While mixing on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until it forms a dough. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Be sure to dust the rolling pin and surface with rice flour, as this dough tends to be sticky. Cut the dough into squares, rounds or any other desired shape. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on the cookies before baking. Bake for 5 minutes; rotate the pan and bake for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.


This recipe is from Ravens restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino. "It looks far more complicated than it is," said Sid Garza-Hillman, culinary director. "You can make the crepes ahead of time. Cook and cool, stuff and fold over heated mushroom mixture and for a minute on each side griddle to warm the crepe or place in 500 degree oven for a couple of minutes. "

Wild Mushroom Crepe with Quinoa and Garden Root Vegetable Stuffed Apple

Serves 6 to 8

For Herbed Chickpea Crepe:

1 cup organic soy milk

? teaspoon salt

? teaspoon pepper

? teaspoon finely chopped Chives

? teaspoon finely chopped Italian Parsley

? cup chickpea flour

? teaspoon turmeric

1 ? tbs arrowroot

Blend soy milk, salt, pepper, turmeric until smooth. Mix in chickpea flour, arrowroot and herbs.

Cook in a crepe pan, lightly coated in oil (spray oil is handy.) To cook: Heat pan and pour about ? cup batter into the pan to create a very thin layer by immediately tilting and spreading the batter over the pan's surface. Cook until the edges begin to dry out and pull from the pan. Gently lift the crepe and flip onto the uncooked side and cook another minute.

Mushroom Crepe Filling

Serves 6 to 8

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups fresh shiitakes, or desired wild mushrooms, sliced thinly

? onions, small diced

1 cup zucchini, small diced

1 clove garlic, minced

? teaspoon salt

? teaspoon pepper

Heat large saut?pan to medium heat. Add oil, shiitakes, onion and zucchini. Cook until onions are tender and slightly golden- approximately 5-7 minutes.

Lower heat and add garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve on one side of prepared crepe and fold the other side over.

Quinoa and Root Vegetable Rustic Stuffed Roasted Apple

Serves 6 to 8

8 to 10 large seasonal baking apples such asGranny Smith or Suncrisp

1 tabelespoon sunflower Oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups red quinoa

? cup pine nuts, toasted

? cup butternut squash, cubed

1 shallot

4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried thyme)

? cup olive oil

1 lemon, zested

1 clove garlic, roasted

2 cups cubed parsnips (1 cup will be used in the sauce)

2 cups cubed carrots (1 cup will be used in sauce)

2 cups cubed beets (1 tablespoon will be used in the sauce)

For sauce:

1 cup roasted parsnip (from above)

1 cup roasted carrot (from above)

1 tablespoon roasted red beet (from above)

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 cup cashews, covered soaked in vegetable stock for 1 to 2 hours

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

2 tablespoon Mirin or white dry cooking wine

2 teaspoons garam masala

? teaspoon cayenne pepper

For greens:

1 bunch kale such as Dinosaur, Russian or Frilly

? bunch rainbow chard

1 bunch bok or pak choy

1 cup vegetable stock or water

1 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon salt

For apples: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the top off the apples, and enough of the bottom to allow the apple to stand. (Reserve the tops of the apples for later.)

Core apples using a grapefruit spoon, making room for the quinoa pine nut mixture. Wipe the apples with a mixture of 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

Bake apples at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For filling: Cook quinoa until tender, using a 1 to 2 ratio of quinoa to water or stock - about 15 minutes or package directions. Toast pine nuts at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes, watching they do not burn

Toss butternut squash cubes in sunflower oil and salt and roast cubes in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and brown.

Cover with foil and roast garlic and shallot in 400 F oven for 15 minutes

Let all ingredients cool. Combine the following ingredients into all ingredients into quinoa mixture: Lemon zest, olive oil, squash, pine nuts, thyme.

Chop roasted shallot into small pieces and put into mixture. Squeeze roasted garlic into quinoa mixture

To finish apples: Fill apples with mixture, bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer at 350 degrees.

In the meantime: Cut large cubes of parsnips, beets and carrots. Toss lightly in sunflower oil and salt. Roast in 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. (Roast beets in separate pans to keep separate colors.)

Saute 2 cloves garlic and 1 tablespoon shallot in salt and sunflower oil. Deglaze the pan with mirin or white cooking wine

For Sauce: Using some of the roasted roots from above, puree the following in a high speed blender: cooled garlic/shallot/wine mixture; 1 cup roasted parsnip; 1 cup roasted carrot; 1 tablespoon roasted red beet; 1 cup cashews, soaked in vegetable stock; 1 teaspoon thyme; 2 teaspoons garam masala; ? teaspoon cayenne pepper; 1 teaspoon salt, and more to taste

Heat mixture in pan until simmering, whisk for 1 minute longer

For greens: De-rib greens with hands or knife, and set leaves aside. Heat 1 cup vegetable stock or water in large pan or wok, and steam greens with 1 teaspon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon.

To plate: Place sauce on the bottom of a large plate or bowl, put stuffed apple off to one side, greens stacked to the left of the apple, remaining root vegetable to the right of the apple. Place the wild mushroom crepe opposite the apple and drizzle with sauce. Garnish greens with toasted pumpkin seeds.


This recipe for a vegan appetizer comes from Ravens Restaurant in Mendocino.

Layered Pate with Three Salsas

Serves 6 to 8 as appetizer

For pates:

1 large potato (1 cup)

? large sweet potato or yam (1 cup)

1 beet (1 cup)

? kabocha squash (1 cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

? teaspoon nutmeg

? teaspoon white pepper

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 teaspoon Meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon agar powder, dissolved in 1 cup stock

Arugula, for garnish

Cilantro, for garnish

Pickled red onion, for garnish

3 salsas or chutneys of your choice

To make the layered pates, steam the following unpeeled: potato, sweet potato or yam, beet and kabocha squash. Peel and mash separately until smooth, (adding 1 tablespoon potato mash to the beets) Season each mash with following:

Potato: White pepper, Meyer lemon, olive oil and salt

Sweet potato or yam: garam masala, lime, olive oil and salt

Beet: garlic, Meyer lemon, olive oil and salt

Kabocha squash: lime, olive oil nutmeg and salt

Prepare agar by dissolving in water, bringing to a simmer and whisking fir 5 minuets. Add 1@ teaspoons agar mixture to potato, yam and squash. Add 2? teaspoons agar to beet and potato mixture.

Form pate in separate ring molds, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of each mixture and flattening with ladle.

Let set for 1 hour or flash freeze forms for 3 minutes, and remove pates. Stack each layer on top of each other.

Plating: Place arugula on plate and place pate on top of arugula. Arrange homemade or storebought chutneys and salsas of your choice around layered pate and garnish with minced pickled red onion and cilantro.

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