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
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
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.