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​I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Around the holidays, I am especially thankful for our continued good health and my immediate family that all live nearby—my wife Nicole, my adult boys, my grandson Lorenzo, and the mom and a new grandchild due in April.

Below are a few recipes for side dishes that I enjoy over the holidays. Hoping that you have much to be grateful for over Thanksgiving.

Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower

Adding cauliflower and a touch of garlic to mashed potatoes adds a pleasant flavor and makes them healthier as well. The option of Mushroom Gravy (below) goes super well with this dish.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 8

5 medium-large Russet potatoes

1 medium-head cauliflower

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

4 medium garlic cloves, chopped

1 ½ cups full fat organic milk (or almond milk plus 2 tablespoons ghee)

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely

Peel and cut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces, cover with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and cook until soft (about 10-12 minutes), then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut cauliflower florets into 1-inch pieces, cover with water in a pot, bring to a boil, and cook until soft (about 8-10 minutes), then drain and set aside.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add ghee, then garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until garlic is lightly yellow but not browned. Remove from heat and combine with cooked cauliflower.

In a small pot, warm milk over low heat. Stir in salt to dissolve.

Combine potatoes and cauliflower in a mixer or mash and mix by hand, add black pepper, and slowly add 1 ¼  to 1 ½ cups of milk as you blend to the desired consistency.

Spoon or pipe into a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.


Mushroom Gravy

A light, flavorful gravy that goes well with mashed potatoes. A bonus is that vegetarians can enjoy this gravy with the rest of the family. Using almond flour also gives you the option of a gluten-free recipe. This recipe can easily be made the day before and reheated when dinner is nearly ready.

Preparation Time: 15 – 20 Minutes
Serves: 8

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, chopped finely

4 cups mushrooms (such as baby bellas), chopped finely

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or almond flour

1 cup red wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce, low-sodium

2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium

Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat, add oil, then onions and sauté with an occasional stir for 2 minutes, add mushrooms and salt and sauté another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have softened.

Stir in flour and heat for another 2 minutes. Add red wine and soy sauce and reduce heat to simmer, then add stock and heat until mixture thickens.

Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. If after storing for 1-2 days refrigerated, add extra stock if gravy becomes too thick.


Cranberry Sauce with Ginger and Orange

This is a delicious and vibrant-colored holiday sauce. You can make it 1-2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 10-15 Minutes
Simmering Time: 10 Minutes
Serves: 8 (makes about 2 cups)

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup maple syrup

6 ounces Cranberries

1 small pinch of sea salt

1 medium orange, peeled, segmented, and sliced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped

Heat juice and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, when gently bubbling, add cranberries, salt, orange, and ginger.

Simmer for 5-10 minutes until cranberries open. Remove from heat.

Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.


I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, CNS


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