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Ask A NY Chef: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

By Dierdre Haggerty

Healthy is rarely used when describing a Thanksgiving feast. However, New York City personal chef Kristin Sheehan has created three delicious recipes for a healthy holiday meal. In addition, as a corporate chef developing recipes, Sheehan also included a bonus side. The Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter Sage Pumpkin Seeds was created for BOU, which can be found after her three original below. Check her out on Instagram: @chefsheehan. It is also worth noting that the recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free. In addition, the dessert is sans white sugar, using only natural sugar.

Kristin Sheehan
Kristin’s Healthy Kitchen
Personal Chef Services
Travels To You
New York, NY
(347) 450-4575
www.kristinsheehan.com

A yearlong battle with Lyme Disease encouraged this New York City-based recipe developer to focus on a shift in lifestyle with health-supportive diet that includes clean eating. In 2013, Kristin graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute Chef’s Training Program, ultimately starting Kristin’s Healthy Kitchen. As a personal chef, she will consult and create healthy meals, specifically tailored to your tastes and needs. In addition, she will shop for groceries as well as cook, prepare and label your fare.

Apple Cider–Braised Kale With Pecans And Pomegranate

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 bunches lacinato (Tuscan) kale, woody stems chopped off, leaves cut crosswise into 1 1/2- to 2-inch-wide ribbons
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1/2 pomegranate)
  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pot or large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the shallot starts to soften.
  • Add half of the kale, the paprika, and a pinch each of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt.
  • Add the rest of the kale and the apple cider. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes, until the kale is very tender.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.

This side dish is full of healthy antioxidants. In addition, the color is festive for the Thanksgiving holiday. Makes 4 servings.

Related: Best Fall Cocktails in NY

Creamy Delicata Squash Soup with Clementine

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds delicata squash (about 3 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated clementine zest
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash (whole) in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the squash. Return to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes more, until the squash feels soft when you squeeze them lightly. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. While the squash are roasting, melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion plus a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion starts to become translucent and soft.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized. Lower the heat if the onion or garlic appear to be browning too fast.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Stir in the coriander, ginger, cumin, and cayenne (if you’re using it) and cook for 1 minute, until the spices are fragrant.
  5. Pour in the wine, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Scrape the pan with the wooden spoon to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, until the wine has reduced slightly. Turn off the heat and cover until the squash are ready.
  6. When the squash are cool enough to handle, trim off the ends and halve the squash lengthwise. Gently scoop out and discard the seeds. Roughly chop the squash (including the skin) and add to the pot. Pour in the chicken broth.
  7. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. (Or puree it in batches in a standing blender and return the soup to the pot.) Stir in the clementine juice and zest and the coconut milk. Warm the soup over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with fresh thyme, and serve.

Clementine and squash are Thanksgiving favorites. This soup is sure to brighten any holiday table. Serves 8-10.

Dairy-Free Chocolate-Pumpkin Parfait with Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

  • 2 cups unsalted raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Sea salt

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Avocado-Chocolate Pudding

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Makes about 2 cups.

Pumpkin Mousse

  • One 16-ounce tetrapak or 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Makes about 2 cups

Garnish

Cacao nibs

Directions:

  1. Make the cashew cream: Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Cover the bowl. Soak the cashews overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews; drain again. Place the cashews in a blender with 3/4 cup water, the maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. (You may need to add a little more water to thin out the cream.) Pour into a bowl, cover, and chill in fridge while you prepare the rest of the parfait ingredients.
  3. Make the avocado-chocolate pudding: Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the cocoa, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Puree until smooth.
  4. Make the pumpkin mousse: If the pumpkin is not completely smooth, puree in a blender or food processor. Combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, and spice in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  5. Next, make the parfaits: For each parfait, in an 8-ounce (or larger) glass, layer about 1/3 cup each of the mousse, pudding, and cashew cream. Repeat the layering. Chill before serving.
  6. Garnish and serve: Just before serving, sprinkle each parfait with cacao nibs.

While the recipe might appear daunting, don’t despair. This delicious treat can be made the day before Thanksgiving. Serves 6.

Related: Best Charcoal Drinks In NY

Butternut Squash Soup With Brown Butter Sage Pumpkin Seeds 
Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • BOU chicken cubes
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 ½ lbs), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus extra for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent about 5-6 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary. Add the garlic and cook until onions begin to caramelize, another 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add 6 cups of water and the BOU cubes to the pot. Add the butternut squash. There should be enough water to cover everything in the pot. Bring the water to a boil then the lower heat to medium-low and stir well, making sure the BOU cubes have dissolved. Cover the pot and cook until the squash is very soft and a fork passes easily through it, about 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Let it bubble until it is golden brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 12 minutes. In a medium bowl, toss the brown butter, pumpkin seeds and sage plus a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the pumpkin seeds in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown, stirring a few times. Set on a rack to cool.
  5. When the squash has finished cooking, carefully transfer everything in the pot to a blender, or use an immersion blender, and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and extra fresh sage.

Serves 6-8

Serve immediately and enjoy says Kristin. This dish was created for BOU using their “better-for-you bouillon cube.”

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