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Sweet potato salad

With Thanksgiving a few days away, the countdown to the yearly feast begins. Before you finalize your menu and shop for the same old dishes, consider these healthy and delicious recipes. Here I’ve cultivated a few nutrient-dense options reminiscent of seasonal favorites. Made from delicious whole foods and intriguing combinations, these dishes will add spice, color, and nutritional value to your plate. And before you clear the table, count your blessings. It just might help your digestion.

Sweet Potato Salad

2 roasted, cubed sweet potatoes
4 cups arugula
⅓ cup crumbled feta
1 avocado, sliced
Lemon wedge, for squeezing
3 tablespoons toasted pepitas
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Tahini Dressing according to the recipes.
2. Assemble the salad on a large platter with the arugula, a drizzle of dressing, the sweet potatoes, and feta. Top with the avocado slices and squeeze a little lemon juice over the avocado.
3. Drizzle with more dressing and top with the pepitas. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tahini Dressing

¼ cup smooth tahini*
3 tablespoons water, more if needed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
¼ teaspoon sea salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, and salt until smooth.
**If the dressing is too thick, add more water, ½ tablespoon at a time until it’s a drizzleable consistency.

Glazed Heirloom Carrots

Maple Glazed Heirloom Carrots with Lemon Cashew Cream


1½ lbs heirloom organic carrots washed but not peeled (I used a potato brush to give them a good scrub)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp pistachios coarsely chopped

Cashew Cream
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper to taste
¾ cup raw cashews soaked 2-3 hours or overnight
1 lemon juiced
¼ cup filtered water


  1. Soak the cashews in a bowl covered with water for anything between 2 and 10 hours.
  2. Wash the carrots and dry them with a towel. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, and line the carrots on it.
  3. Mix the maple syrup and olive oil together with a fork and mix until it binds together. Drizzle over the carrots, and using your hands, move them around so that the carrots are well coated.
  4. Cook in the oven at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how big your carrots are. (You don’t want them overcooked)
  5. To make the sauce, simply put the soaked cashews, the lemon juice, water and a generous pinch of sea salt in a high speed blender, and blend until very smooth. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water.
  6. When the carrots are done, sprinkle a bit of grey sea salt on top, and pepper if using, then drizzle generously with the sauce, and top with some chopped pistachios.
  7. Enjoy!
Apple crumble

Vegan Apple Crumble

For The Apples

3 medium apples or 2 large, cored and diced into small pieces (I prefer Honeycrisp)
Juice from 1 lemon.
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon

For The Crumble

1¼¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup steel-cut oats
3 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix apples, lemon juice, maple syrup and cinnamon in a large bowl until well combined.
3. Pour apple mixture into a 9×9 or 7×11 baking dish and spread evenly. Really, any smaller baking dish will work.
4. Using the same mixing bowl add crumble ingredients and mix well. Spread oatmeal crumble evenly over cinnamon apples. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crumble begins to brown.
5. Remove from the oven, let cool before serving, and enjoy as a delicious dessert or snack.

Gratitude Practice

We are quickly approaching the start of the holiday season for many. Though it’s typically viewed as a time of happiness and celebration, it can also be overwhelming and chaotic at times. Having tools to stay present and mindful allows for a more enjoyable experience.

We spend a lot of time focusing on what we don’t have or what is lacking. We may often find that we’re stuck in the past or get consumed by the future. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to start practicing moment-to-moment gratitude by focusing on all that we do have.

When you find yourself thinking about what you don’t have, gently pivot your thoughts towards gratitude. What are you grateful for right now? This simple shift will reorganize your energy and raise your vibration. The more we practice this, the easier it becomes to focus on the abundance we already have in our lives and attract more of what we want.

Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or treatments mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a licensed medical practitioner for medical advice.

At Innovative Medicine, we believe in transparency. We want you to know that we may participate in affiliate advertising programs pertaining to products mentioned herein.


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Meet the Author

Nicole Ritieni, RN

Nicole began her medical career training in the Medical ICU at North Shore University Hospital with critically ill patients. Prior to nursing, Nicole was eager to pursue her passion for health and wellness by becoming a registered dietitian, as she believed poor nutrition was a major contributor to disease. Though her path changed, she proceeded to enroll at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition obtaining her holistic nutrition and health coaching certification. Nicole is currently obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner to further her career as a provider. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, exercising, meditation, and spending time with those close to her.
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