Thanksgiving Sides: Kale Salad with Avocado Tahini Sauce

It’s Thanksgiving week, finally. So as you’re doing that last-minute planning for a great Thanksgiving meal, we’ve got one last-minute side dish that will add some color snd freshness to your table. This is the kale salad with avocado tahini sauce from Love & Lemons.

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes




Avocado Tahini Sauce

1 small avocado

1 ½ tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 small garlic clove

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper to taste



2 cups kale, thinly sliced

2 cups shaved Brussels sprouts

¼ cup radishes, sliced into matchsticks

¼ cup thinly-sliced carrots

½ cup white beans

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 cup chopped basil 


  1. Place avocado, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor. Pulse, then add water salt and pepper and blend until creamy.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the kale, brussel sprouts, radishes and carrots with half the dressing. Mix well, then let it sit at room temp for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add white beans, almonds, basil and as much of the remaining dressing as you like. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.

This is the salad that will have people saying, “could you pass the salad?” on Thanksgiving of all days. That in itself is a win. The taste? That’s an extra win.

Thanksgiving Sides: Brussels Sprouts With Pistachios and Lime

When you think about Thanksgiving, you probably think about turkey and stuffing and, obviously, pie. Well, multiple pies. But the perfect Thanksgiving meal needs something green to balance out the plate, so we found our favorite vegetable recipe. It’s flavors mix perfectly with all the Thanksgiving classics, and it’s refined enough to wow the whole family. 

Here’s how to make Brussels sprouts with pistachios and lime, from Bon Appetit.

PREP TIME: 15 minutes / COOK TIME: 45 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 60 minutes



  •   2 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  •   3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  •   Salt and pepper to taste
  •   3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  •   3 tbsp. raw pistachios
  •   2 tbsp. date molasses or honey
  •   1 tsp. honey
  •   Zest of ½ lime
  •   2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  •   Lime wedges for serving

“Step 1

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 450°. Toss Brussels sprouts and oil in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper. Roast Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes, then shake the baking sheet to loosen them. Continue to roast until deeply browned all over, 5–10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and roast another 10 minutes. Shake the baking sheet again, then roast Brussels sprouts until the tip of a small knife easily slides through, 5–10 minutes longer.

Step 2

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter starts to foam, add pistachios and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until nuts are golden brown and butter solids are browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3

Using a slotted spoon, transfer nuts to paper towels; let cool. Coarsely chop.

Step 4

Meanwhile, bring date molasses, honey, and lime juice to a simmer in same skillet over medium heat (this will happen quickly), swirling pan to emulsify. Add 1 Tbsp. water and swirl to emulsify, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add Brussels sprouts; toss to coat. 

Step 5

Transfer Brussels sprouts to a platter. Toss nuts, lime zest, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to combine; scatter over Brussels sprouts. Serve with lime wedges if desired.”

Adding some green to your plate is a Thanksgiving necessity, and these Brussels sprouts are so good you’ll probably go back for seconds.

Thanksgiving Sides: Vanilla Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Would it really be Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes? This tasty (and super simple) recipe from the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen combines sweet potato with the aromatic flavor of vanilla and the subtle spice of red chile. 

PREP TIME: 15 minutes / COOK TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes



  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red chile, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, oil, chili and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Cut vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape seeds into potatoes. Toss.
  4. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until potatoes are tender 25-30 minutes.

Adding two unique flavors to sweet potato is a great way to share a refined side dish that only takes a few minutes to prep. This one is sure to become a Thanksgiving staple.

Thanksgiving Sides: Brown Sugar Squash

It’s November, and you know what that means—Thanksgiving. But life can be a little busy and planning for a holiday can fall by the wayside in favor of work, family responsibilities and other challenges. So this month, we’ll feature four better-for-you Thanksgiving side dishes that will make planning (and cooking) easier.

First on the list, Brown Sugar Squash from Dinner at the Zoo. This recipe calls for delicata squash, but it would also work great with butternut, the choice is yours. 

PREP TIME: 10 minutes / COOK TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes



  • 2-3 lbs squash (about 2 averaged sized squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves into ¾ inch thick slices.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the olive oil mixture over the squash and toss to coat.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until squash is tender and starting to brown. Serve immediately.

This sweet and savory side is perfect for Thanksgiving and is as easy as it is refined, making it a perfect vegetable centerpiece for your holiday spread.

Our Favorite Chicken & Rice Soup

Have you ever visited the blog Cook for Your Life? If not, you need to check it out. Their team has created a complete online resource offering science-based culinary and nutrition information to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, complete with tweaks for people with diet or flavor restrictions. They’ve even become a part of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

So as we get deeper into fall, we thought we’d share one of our favorite cold-weather recipes from the folks at Cook for Your Life, chicken & rice soup.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes / COOK TIME: 25 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes



  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dill, fresh or dried
  • ½ cup long grain brown rice (white rice for bland or low-fiber diets)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds chicken breast on the bone, skinned
  • 5 cups water (or broth)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy sauce-pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, dill, rice, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if too much evaporates.
  3. Remove the chicken and transfer to a colander. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat off the bone and return to broth to heat through. Discard the bones. Taste the soup for seasonings then serve.

If you are on a bland diet, here’s a way to transform this soup to fit in with your needs.

Discard the onion and sauté the remaining veggies until tender in a couple of tablespoons of stock instead of oil. Stir in a pinch of asafetida, if you can find, with veggies just as they start getting soft, before you add the chicken and water. This spice adds oniony taste without the digestive problems.

Use white rice instead of brown. White rice cooks in 20 minutes so if you like it al dente, add it about 20 minutes after you add the chicken in step 2. Cook for another 20 minutes. If you like your rice softer and starchier, add it in at the same time as the chicken.

We love this recipe and the tips and tricks we discover on Cook for Your Life, check it out for yourself and let us know what you cook up.

Make Time for Tea Time

No matter the time of year, tea is a go-to beverage for many, and there are so countless benefits of mixing in a cup (or two) of tea every day. For starters, it can be served hot or cold—so it’s versatile and easy to drink at almost any time. There are endless varieties, so there’s something out there for everyone. On top of all that, tea can give you a boost of caffeine when you need it, or help you wind down before bed. 

But did you know that drinking tea can also improve your health? According to Harvard Medical School, the secret superstar behind tea's many benefits are plant chemicals known as flavonoids.

“Tea is a good source of compounds known as catechins and epicatechins, which are thought to be responsible for tea's beneficial health effects," says Dr. Howard Sesso, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. These compounds belong to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. Research suggests that flavonoids help quell inflammation, and that in turn may reduce plaque buildup inside arteries. Green tea has slightly higher amounts of these chemicals than black tea. Both black and green teas also contain modest amounts of caffeine, ranging from about 20 to 45 milligrams per 8-ounce cup. That's roughly half the amount of caffeine in the same amount of coffee.

Short-term studies have shown that drinking tea may improve vascular reactivity—a measure of how well your blood vessels respond to physical or emotional stress. There's also evidence that drinking either black or green tea may lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels. Blood pressure may also dip slightly in people who drink tea, but results from these studies have been mixed. Several large, population-based studies show that people who regularly drink black or green tea may be less likely to have heart attacks and strokes. 

A healthy diet isn’t limited to just the foods we eat. What we drink can have just as much of a benefit on our long-term health. And drinking tea on a more regular basis is a great way to take care of your body with health-positive properties.

Nutrition for Breast Cancer Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and to discover and share new ways to protect others and ourselves. There are many ways to get involved: get a screening, volunteer your time, make a donation or share a story of hope.

You can also get involved by making a tangible change in your lifestyle. According to Stanford Health, “There are many nutrition and lifestyle choices women can make every day to increase their protection from breast cancer.”

Step 1. Healthy weight

It is important to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight through daily exercise and a low fat plant-based diet. According to the National Cancer Institute, exercising for four or more hours a week may also decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk.

Step 2. Eat a plant-based diet

Plant foods are rich sources of fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals which have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer and protect the body from other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Choose whole grains and legumes as well as at least 6-9 servings from a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables daily.

Step 3. Limit dietary fats

Some studies suggest additional benefit from limiting dietary fats in the diet, such as:

  •   Butter
  •   Full-fat dairy
  •   Poultry skin
  •   Fatty meats
  •   Hydrogenated oils
  •   Some margarines

Step 4. Soy

Soy is an excellent source of protein, fiber, B Vitamins, iron, calcium and isoflavones which can possibly help bind estrogen and may decrease the risk of hormone related cancers such as breast and prostate.

Step 5: Green tea

This beverage has strong anticancer properties from catechins, a flavonoid. Aim for 1-4 cups daily.

Step 6. Alcohol

Alcohol is a strong risk factor for many cancers, including breast cancer. Despite the benefits of resveratrol, a phytochemical in red wine and grapes, experts recommend avoiding alcohol as there appears to be no safe level for prevention of cancer.

Step 7. Bone health and vitamin D

It's important for women of all ages to consume adequate amounts of calcium and Vitamin D to maintain bone health and this may be even more crucial for postmenopausal women due to their increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D has promising health benefits alone.

Step 8. Sugar and cancer

Limit concentrated sweets, added sugar from processed foods, and sugary beverages as these foods provide calories, but few nutrients. A high intake of sugar can increase insulin levels as well as encourage weight gain, both possibly leading to cancer.”

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, consider all of the ways you can help yourself or your community in the fight against breast cancer and get involved! Even a few small changes today can make a big impact down the road—for you and for others.

You’ll Fall for These Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Pumpkin is the quintessential flavor of the season, plus it’s low in fat and high in fiber and antioxidants. That’s a win-win. If you’re looking for a perfect Fall snack that will fill you up without slowing you down, look no further than these Pumpkin Oat Muffins from the American Cancer Society’s Healthy Eating Cookbook.

Makes 40 muffins

158 calories, 5 grams of fat per muffin

  • 6 cups oat flake cereal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon dried ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 quart low-fat buttermilk
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  1. PREHEAT oven to 400˚
  2. MIX cereal, salt, sugar, flour, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon. Stir in raisins.
  3. COMBINE eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl. Stir until blended.
  4. BLEND wet ingredients with dry until batter just holds together. Do not over mix!
  5. BAKE in cup-lined muffin pans for 17 minutes.

These muffins are brimming with pumpkin flavor and the tasty autumn spices you love. So whether you’re heading out leaf peeping or doing some leaf pickup, they make the perfect snack to fuel every fall adventure.

5 Health Benefits of Honey

Honey has many different uses for many different people. It’s a better-for-you, natural sweetener, a pre-workout snack, and even an allergy-defeating, locally-source superfood.

No matter what it’s used for, honey is an easy-to-get, affordable and almost universally loved food—but did you know it also has an array of major health benefits?

Health outlined five of the many ways that honey can make us healthier and offered a few ideas on how we can work it into our diets.

Honey may help treat upper respiratory tract infections (URI)
Oxford University researchers looked at 14 previously published studies related to the effectiveness of honey for the relief of URI symptoms. They found that compared to usual treatments (like over-the-counter meds and antibiotics, honey improved both cough frequency and severity, it and may serve as an inexpensive alternative to antibiotics.

Honey may help fight metabolic syndrome
First, honey has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t trigger a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, and it helps enhance insulin sensitivity. Honey has also been shown to prevent excessive weight gain and improve lipid metabolism by reducing triglycerides as well as total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol, while increasing “good” HDL.

Honey may help prevent artery hardening
Another recent paper about honey’s benefits explores its ability to combat artery hardening, a leading cause of death worldwide. Published in 2019, also in the journal Nutrients, the authors point out that honey contains over 180 substances—including natural sugars as well as a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Honey may help support a healthy gut
Honey possesses prebiotic properties. Prebiotics help to ferment beneficial bacteria in the gut, including bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. This shift has been linked to stronger immune function and enhanced mental well-being.

Honey provides nutrients
31 minerals have been found in honey—including all of the major minerals, such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Honey also contains approximately 600 volatile compounds that are thought to contribute to its potential biomedical effects.”

The benefits of honey are seemingly endless, but perhaps the most appealing benefit is its taste. So, how can you incorporate it into your diet? Try it as a sweetener in tea or coffee, add it to a smoothie or drizzle it over your oatmeal or pancakes. You can use it to sweeten cocktails or as a replacement for sugar in basically any other recipe. It’s also a great add-in to almost any homemade salad dressing.

Our recommendation for the best way to eat honey? Straight from the spoon.