With Thanksgiving approaching, we’re planning out our holiday menus. Tess Bredesen, Thrive’s Cognitive Nutrition Director, says her crispy golden cauliflower recipe is one of her favorite side dishes to celebrate the holiday. A cauliflower head chopped into bite size florets and roasted with avocado oil, warm spices, sea salt and black pepper, it’s a nutrient-filled dish that is perfect for this time of year.

We asked our Thrive community to share with us the different nourishing recipes they’re making this year. Which of these dishes will you make?

Roasted almonds with sea salt

“I love making roasted almonds, which are lightly buttered and sprinkled with sea salt. My dad and I always cracked almonds watching football on Thanksgiving growing up, and everyone got a nut cup with buttered roasted almonds.”

—Beth Buzzell 

Harvest vegetable tart

“I love hunting for a new recipe to serve at Thanksgiving!  We have a lot of dietary restrictions in our family with some folks eating vegan and others eating grain-free, sugar-free, and nightshade free. It makes it challenging (but fun!) to come up with something new.  This year I stumbled upon a recipe called “Harvest Vegetable Tart.” You cut leaf shapes out of all sorts of root vegetables and squash, such as sweet potatoes, purple carrots, butternut squash.  I’ll probably use Japanese purple sweet potatoes and yucca as well. I’ll make a grain-free cassava crust. I’ve bought my autumn leaf cookie cutters already.”

—Marijke McCandless, writer, workshop leader, playfulness instigator, Las Vegas, NV

Cinnamon baked apples

“One of our family classics is so simple and awesome that people ask us to make extra so they can take some home too! Using washed seasonal apples, spray a large cookie sheet with olive spray, and sprinkle a light layer of cinnamon across the entire sprayed baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the apples in half and remove the cores, stems and bottom flower areas and cover the entire surface of the baking sheet with cut apples, with the cut side up and ‘shoulder-to-shoulder.’ Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 45 min, and then reduce heat to 400 and bake until golden brown, or bubbling with juice. Serve warm with a small dollop of ice cream or  at room temperature. In our family, people hover around the pan to see if the current batch has a fruit roll up or crispy apple candy treat sitting in the baking pan when the apples are done!”

—Ellie Wolf, MS, BCB, Fellow/BCIA, NJ

Candied yams

“Every year, I keep my family’s tradition going by making my Grandmother’s sweet potato recipe. I’m not quite sure how she ever made them taste so good, because as a child, I remembered the sweet, savory flavor would just be a little bite of heaven on a fork. Over the years, I have tried to make them taste the same, and while I’ve come close, somehow, they are missing that special ‘Grandmother’s touch.’ The candied yams include butter, brown sugar sprinkled over the top, and of course miniature marshmallows, these are then browned together to perfection in the oven, and when removed are a bubbling, gooey, scrumptious combination that no one can resist. I know they aren’t low calorie, but it is still a good way of getting fiber in, sans the topping if one is nutrient conscious. This is a little bit of love and brings back memories of a time when laughter would fill the living room.”

—Elaine Hamilton, author, Santa Fe, NM

Homemade cranberry sauce

“Without fail, my wife makes a homemade cranberry sauce which to this day is a secret. The only ingredient she reveals is ‘love.’ Otherwise, we all wait 365 days to dig in.”

—Joshua Miller, master certified executive coaching, Austin, TX

Baked bread dressing

“We have a family tradition that includes a simple bread dressing (not stuffed but baked) which has been a part of our family for generations. It is a simple recipe with dried wheat bread cubes, sage, celery, onion, and  turkey stock. We savor the dish throughout the holiday weekend with turkey gravy and noodles on top. It’s a moment of family joy having this as a side dish that day.”

—Ellen Dunlap, professional organizer, TX

Roasted green beans

“It has been a bit of a guilty secret that I love green bean casserole. My favorite aunt made it, my godmother made it, and I am emotionally connected to it. This is the year that I will forsake my green bean casserole and try a new green bean recipe. I realized that my friends are really just tolerating my attachment to the green bean casserole. My late mother would never have made the green bean casserole.  Eight years ago, a few days before Thanksgiving she died. In her honor and out of respect to my friends, this year the green beans come straight from Bon Appetit.”

—Margaret Meloni, author, Long Beach, CA


  • Rebecca Muller Feintuch

    Senior Editor and Community Manager


    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.