Kale Pasta Salad

I started getting together my Thanksgiving recipes, and put this Kale Pasta Salad on the list. It’s a cold salad (I know), but it pairs well with the holiday turkey. This has become one of our favorites with grilled meats and seafood. I even add grilled chicken to it, and the kids take it to school for lunch. It’s super easy, and it makes a lot so enjoy all week long.

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole: Lightened Up Thanksgiving Side Dish

My friend, Laura, from New York asked me the other day about my Thanksgiving menu. I told her that it’s pretty traditional including our Classic Sweet Potato Casserole. She asked if there were marshmallows on top, and I laughed because this recipe doesn’t need any marshmallows. My sister, Julie, makes this Classic Sweet Potato Casserole every year on Thanksgiving. Most every year, she has to make two just so we are sure to have leftovers. What I love about this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time, and it freezes beautifully. Take it out the day before Thanksgiving and thaw it in the refrigerator. I photographed this recipe as it was thawing, and when I posted it on Facebook everyone commented how lovely it was. I spent some time lightening her recipe using just egg whites, low-fat condensed milk and reducing the sugar, and you can’t tell any flavor difference.  Trust me on this one-it’s divine. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and thank you for your continued support!

Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and I have already started to search for Thanksgiving recipes to create our family menu. Thanksgiving is definitely one of my and the kid’s favorite holidays, and I hope you’ll enjoy this lineup. Here are some of my top 10 Thanksgiving recipes, starting with this super easy recipe for Brussels Sprouts Tomato Salad via Ingredients, Inc. Happy November!

Roasted Stuffed Onions via Smitten Kitchen

Fig and Cranberry Compote via Real Simple

Paleo Idea: Mashed Cauliflower via Elanas Pantry

Wild Rice with Mushrooms via Southern Living

Mini Pumpkin Pies via Offbeat & Inspired

Sage and Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin via Martha Stewart

Quiona with Cranberries, Almonds and Mint via Ingredients, Inc.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake via Cooking Light

Champagne Punch via Foodiecrush

 

Beetroot, Goat Cheese Hazelnut Tart

Beets are so incredibly healthy, and one of my favorite root vegetables. Just 3 baby beets equals one serving of your 5 vegetables and fruits you should have a day. They are also so versatile in cooking, and I love them in this Beetroot Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Tart. This recipe is very simple to prepare, and it makes a show-stopping appetizer or side dish. It’s perfect for holiday season entertaining. Check out LoveBeets which are ready-to-eat, cooked beets. You can find them in your local grocery such as Whole Foods Market. They make life so much easier, and they taste so fresh.

Here are just a few of their powerful health benefits.

1. Beets are one of the richest sources of folic acid essential for normal tissue growth.

2. Research has showed that beets can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar.

3. Beets have been said to lessen chances of skin and lung cancer.

4. The high iron content in beets helps fight fatigue and anemia.

5. Beets contain high amounts of Boron which is related to production of human sex hormones, thus increasing sex drive. 

Virginia Willis New Cookbook Giveaway & Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe

I was fortunate to meet Virginia Wills several years ago, and I had the pleasure and honor to co-speak with her last year at Food Blog South. Last fall, I attended an event in Atlanta where she previewed some of her recipes for her new book, “From Basic to Brilliant”. I couldn’t wait for it to be released. Virginia is a graduate of  L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne and, previously, was the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living. Virginia expands on her incredible style in this 150 recipe cookbook where she offers incredible preparation and presentation techniques (her writing is amazing too). This recipe for Winter Greens and Butternut Squash Gratin is just one of the many stellar recipes in this book. I served it to company this weekend on a cold evening, and I received rave reviews. Her amazingly beautiful photos were taken by Helene Dujardin of Tartlette. “From Basic to Brilliant” can be found at Amazon or any of your favorite online stores as well as bookstores nationwide.

For a chance to win a copy, leave me a comment telling me why you want a copy of this book. Winner will be drawn on Thursday, November 10th and must be a U.S resident. For more chances, leave as many comments as you like telling me that you did the following:

1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

2. Like Ingredients, Inc on Facebook

3. Follow Virginia Willis on Twitter

4. Like Virginia Willis on Facebook

 

“Reprinted with permission from Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company by Virginia Willis, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.”

Photo credit: Helene Dujardin © 2011

Perfect Thanksgiving Side Dish-Simple Roasted Asparagus

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Whether I am having Thanksgiving dinner or just a weeknight meal, I like to prepare asparagus by simply roasting it in the oven. It comes out crisp-tender, and the flavors intensify perfectly. Be sure to cover the baking pan with aluminum foil, spray it with cooking spray and cleanup just got to be even easier. If you don’t like pine nuts or have guests who are allergic to nuts, just substitute almonds or pecans or eliminate them from the recipe. To me less is more with asparagus, but feel free to top this recipe with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or even crumbled feta or goat cheese. 

 

Simple Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts

Asparagus is full of vitamins such as Folic Acid, Vitamin C and Potassium, so enjoy.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3  pounds  fresh asparagus

1  tablespoon  olive oil

2  garlic cloves, minced

1/2  teaspoon kosher  salt

1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

1/2  cup  pine nuts, toasted

Preparation

1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with garlic, salt, and pepper.

1. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness, tossing gently half-way through cooking time. Transfer asparagus to a serving dish; sprinkle with pine nuts.