By Susie Falco, WBZ-TV Nutrition Expert

BOSTON (CBS) – Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean packing on the pounds and there is no reason why cutting calories means cutting flavor. Below are some healthy Thanksgiving recipes to try this year.

Herbed Quinoa Stuffing With Squash, Cranberries and Roasted Chestnuts


One bag or box of quinoa (16 ounce box)

6 cups organic chicken broth

2/3 cup dried cranberries soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes (apple juice infused, not sweetened with sugar)

1/4 cup liquid from soaked cranberries

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 package chopped butternut squash

1 cup diced onion

2 large stalks celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (Jarred ones are best)

3 Tablespoons combined chopped fresh sage, chopped fresh thyme, and chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram)

About 2 -3 teaspoons Redmonds Real salt or Trocamare /Herbamare seasoned sea salt


2 Tablespoons pasture butter

Sprigs of rosemary for garnish

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp real maple syrup


Cook the quinoa in the broth according to package directions. Cover and set aside. While quinoa is cooking, roast the squash until slightly browned and soft. Season with some salt and pepper, and toss in 1 teaspoon real maple syrup.

In a saute pan, saute onions, celery, and carrots until lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and soaked cranberries and cook another few minutes. Add the 1/4 cup juice from the soaked cranberries and the chestnuts. Combine all of this with the squash and quinoa in pot and stir until combined. Mixture will be a bit mushy, and this is perfect. Taste for seasonings!!! May need a bit more sea salt. Place in greased casserole pan (I separate this recipe into 2 pans, freeze one and have the other for the big day! but you may need both) Top with a Tablespoon of pasture butter on each pan. If using one pan, use both Tablespoons. (Pasture butter is a healthy form of butter made from cows that are grass fed. Excellent health benefits and many experts agree in small amounts, is a wonderfully healthy alternative to inferior oils and margerines.)

Bake at 350 covered with foil for about 40 minutes until sizzling and a good consistency. Serve hot. Great reheated also! Can be made in advance and frozen, if needed.

Mock Mashed Potatoes


One head cauliflower, chopped.

1 teaspoon sea salt, and pepper to taste

Pasture butter


Simply place cauliflower in pot with a small amount of water, covered, and let it come to a boil with salt and pepper. Bring down to a simmer and cover until soft and tender. (NOT mushy, just until nice and tender)

Drain well. Place in bowl, add some pasture butter (I usually do a Tablespoon) and either use immersion blender, or whip with beaters until fluffy. No need to add any liquid. These are so much like real whipped potatoes, you won’t even be able to tell the difference. The secret is to whip them, and not mash them. :)

Marinated Baby Bella Mushrooms


One package of baby bella mushrooms washed and drained

1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (healthier version of soy sauce)

A squirt both of dijon mustard and lemon

One garlic clove


Combine all and place in container with cover. Shake it all until mixed well. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 2 hours. This is much better over night!!!! Easy and delicious.

Raw Pumpkin Chia Pudding


1 cup organic almond milk

1 cup organic pumpkin

2 tsp vanilla

3 Tablespoons chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 +1/8 cup of coconut sap crystals (HEALTHY SWEETENER) mixed with just a teeny bit of boiling water to melt. (Like a tablespoon or so, you just need the sugar to be melted and not grainy)


Mix all together well and store in covered container in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and best overnight. The chia seeds will turn this into a pudding! Serve with Tru-Whip (available at health stores) or whipped creme of choice. Top with “GLOW” brand crushed gluten free ginger snap cookies. Serve immediately.

Susie Falco is a certified Holistic Health Coach who graduated from the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition. Since her graduation in 2010 she has maintained a private clientele of dozens of clients and holds a number of accolades in the field of nutrition. She has written numerous articles and is the founder of Wicked Good Health blog on Facebook. Susie is also a graduate of Bridgewater State College, married and the mother of six children and three grandchildren.