Fruits & Veggies Make a Fun Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday at HealthBarn USA because it’s the ultimate harvest feast and special family meal with loved ones.  This wonderful day of gratitude is a celebration of nature’s nutritious abundance and the gift of so many family recipes.  We are cooking up a delicious and nutritious feast with recipes from Stacey’s Appetite for Life Book and some new dishes, too!  Start a fun tradition this year by getting the whole family to participate in preparing this thumbs up menu:

The Appetizer:

  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip

The Main Course:

  • Roasted Turkey with Turkey Acorn Squash Stuffing with Delicious Chickpea Gravy

The Sides:

  • Harvest Wheat Berry Salad
  • Mighty Beet Salad
  • Sweet Oat Rolls with Roasted Garlic

The Treat:

  • Pumpkin Spice Donuts

We are so excited to share our recipes with you, make sure to scroll down to the end so you don’t miss the Pumpkin Spice Donuts!

The Appetizer:

The Spinach and Artichoke Dip:  This fabulously flavorful low-fat dip tastes amazing but it’s a slimmed down take on the popular (and very rich) appetizer that is a holiday crowd pleaser!  Our version is a good source of fiber for digestive health and features immune-boosting vitamin A.


1 bag (6 ounces) baby spinach leaves

1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

14 ounces frozen (thawed) artichoke hearts or 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained

1 package (3 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

Pita chips and/or cut-up vegetables


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In medium saucepan, heat 4 cups water to boiling over high heat.  Meanwhile, prepare ice bath in large bowl; set aside.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add spinach in small batches and cook 30 seconds.  With slotted spoon, transfer each batch to ice bath to stop the cooking and retain vibrant green color.  Squeeze as much liquid out of spinach as possible. (If you like, squeeze excess liquid into mug to drink…it’s full of nutrients!).
  4. In food processor, combine spinach, beans, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, garlic, basil, and pepper.  Pulse until smooth.
  5. Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in ¼ cup mozzarella.  Spoon into non-stick shallow baking dish; top with remaining ¼ cup mozzarella.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes or until dip is heated through and top is lightly browned and starting to bubble around edges.
  7. Serve with pita chips or cut-up vegetables.

Makes 20 servings (2 tablespoons per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 50 calories; 2g fat (1g sat fat, 1g mono, 0g trans fats); 5mg cholesterol; 6g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 0g sugar); 3g protein; 70mg sodium; 10% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 2% DV vitamin C; 4% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.

Roasted not fried turkey is a healthy choice

The Main Course:

Turkey typically gets all the attention on this holiday, but this bird deserves the red carpet treatment!  Roast a Plainville Farms Turkey, which is raised hormone and antibiotic free and fed an all-vegetarian diet.  Our Turkey and Acorn Squash Stuffing is a versatile recipe that works great stove top, or stuffed in the bird – whichever way you prefer it, guests will love this fresh stuffing recipe!

Top the roasted bird with our delicious Chickpea Gravy that gets a thumbs up on taste and bonus points becasue it’s gluten-free and vegan!  Having vegetarians over this year?  Tell them they’re in luck – they don’t have to skip out on the gravy atop the mashed potatoes!  We left the turkey pan drippings out of this one and use chickpeas to thicken up our gravy for that same home style taste and texture.


½ cup canned low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pulse chickpeas in food processor until they resemble a fine breadcrumb consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add chickpeas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable broth to saucepan, bring to a simmer and whisk continuously for 10-12 minutes until gravy thickens.
  4. Stir in pepper, transfer to serving dish, and enjoy!

Makes 8 servings (2 tablespoons per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving:  45 calories; 3.5g fat (0g sat fat, 3g mono, 0.5g poly, 0g trans fats); 0mg cholesterol; 2g carbohydrate (0g fiber, 0g sugar); 0g protein; 35mg sodium; 0% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 0% DV vitamin C; 0% DV calcium; 0% DV iron.

Add some crunch to the holiday meal

The Sides:

Harvest Wheat Berry Salad:  Put some crunch in your holiday feast with this sweet and satisfying whole-grain salad full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamin A and iron.  The leftovers are delicious, too!


2 cups water

1 cup hard wheat berries (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

2 carrots, shredded (1/2 cup)

½ cup dried cranberries or raisins

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1½ teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1/8 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In medium saucepan, combine water and wheat berries; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 minutes or until wheat berries are tender but still firm to the bite. Drain wheat berries; set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In large bowl, stir together wheat berries, carrots, and remaining ingredients.

Makes 6 servings (½ cup per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 210 calories; 7g fat (1g sat fat, 3g mono, 3g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 34g carbohydrate (5g fiber, 8g sugar); 5g protein; 20mg sodium; 30% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 2% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium; 10% DV iron.

This fresh citrus flavor lightens up the meal

To add one final splash of color (and a serious helping of nutrients) serve the Mighty Beet SaladIt gets its name from the mighty dose vitamin C it packs to help absorb iron from the beets.


1 pound red and/or yellow beets (about 3 medium)

2 navel oranges

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil

5 cups packed mixed salad greens

¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1 tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled


  1. In medium saucepan, combine beets and enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20–30 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain beets; set aside to cool.
  2. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel under warm running water. Cut beets into 1/4-inch wedges and place in bowl.
  3. From 1 orange, grate 1 ¼ teaspoons peel and squeeze ¼ cup juice. Peel remaining orange and separate into segments; set aside.
  4. In large bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange peel, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Gradually whisk in oil until blended. Add beets and orange segments to citrus dressing.
  5. Divide salad greens among 8 bowls; top with beets, orange segments, and citrus dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts and goat cheese.

Makes 8 servings (1 cup per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 110 calories; 8g fat (1g sat fat, 5g mono, 2g poly, 0g trans fats); 0mg cholesterol; 8g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 5g sugar); 2g protein; 40mg sodium; 30% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 40% DV vitamin C; 4% DV calcium; 4% DV iron.

Sweet Oat Rolls with Roasted Garlic:  Leave the butter dish in the fridge and roast some fresh garlic for spreading on these easy to make Sweet Oat Rolls that fill the kitchen with a delicious aroma of home-baked bread. Click here for roasting instructions.


1 3/4 cups warm water (105°-115°F)

1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 tablespoons agave nectar

2½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (used to knead dough)


  1. In large bowl, combine 1/4 cup warm water with yeast and agave nectar; stir until yeast dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. With wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour, oats, salt, egg, 1/4 cup oil, and remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water until blended and a soft dough forms.
  3. Scrape dough onto surface lightly coated with all-purpose flour. With well-floured hands, knead dough 5-6 minutes or until smooth, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to surface and hands (but make sure not to over-flour).
  4. When dough is pliable and springy (it should be hard to pull apart), divide into 14 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball.
  5. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over balls; with hands, lightly coat entire surface of each ball
  6. Place balls, about 1 inch apart, on large baking sheet. Cover with paper towels and let rise in warm place (80°-85°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 14 servings (1 roll per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving:  210 calories; 7g fat (1g sat fat, 4g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fats); 15mg cholesterol; 32g carbohydrate (4g fiber, 2g sugar); 6g protein; 45mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) calcium; 10% DV iron.

The Dessert:

Tired of the same old boring pies every year?  Keep those classic flavors but switch up how they’re served.  This year we’re making Pumpkin Spice Donuts, served with hot cider at the end of the meal, don’t plan on leftovers!  You can tell yourself you’re making them for the kids, but adults won’t be able to resist them either.


¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

½ cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

½ cup low-fat (1%) milk

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, divided

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a mini donut baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, flaxseeds, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger and allspice.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, ½ cup brown sugar, egg and vanilla.  Slowly add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk until smooth.
  4. Spoon batter by heaping tablespoons into mini donut pan.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with remaining tablespoon brown sugar.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top of donuts.
  5. Bake donuts for 9-10 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow donuts to cool before removing from pan.

Makes 9 servings (2 donuts per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving:  160 calories; 1.5g fat (0g sat fat, 0.5g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fats); 20mg cholesterol; 32g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 15g sugar); 4g protein; 180mg sodium; 45% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 0% DV vitamin C; 6% DV calcium; 10% DV iron.

Exercise is good for the heart and sou

Bonus:  Motivate everyone to take a family power walk in nature so you can get some fresh air and get your body moving again!

Please comment below on any of the recipes that you make or would like to try.

We are so thankful for all of our wonderful HealthBarn families!  Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with family and friends.



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