Four delicious not-so-traditional Thanksgiving recipes for your festive table

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Village Health Clubs & Spas Dietitian Jamie Miller shared these not-so-traditional Thanksgiving recipes for your holiday table with us in Good Morning, Arizona. Hmm!

Cornish Hens with Cranberry Apple Rice Stuffing


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked rice (long grain and wild)
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced apples (about 1/2 large apple)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • splash apple cider
  • Optional: parsley or sage, to decorate


  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple or monk fruit syrup with brown sugar (for the low sugar option)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of ground cinnamon


  • 4 Cornish hens (1.25 to 1.5 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and black pepper

Filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add walnuts, sage, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 more minutes, until the nuts are fragrant. Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple cider and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Remove from heat and add cooked rice, apples, and cranberries. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Set aside.

Glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider and maple syrup or monk fruit. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 1/3 to 1/2 cup, which will take about 15 minutes. Whisk together the Dijon mustard and cinnamon until smooth. Set aside.

Stuff and roast the chickens: Remove the Cornish Hens from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before roasting. Remove the giblets, rinse the chickens, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Preheat oven to 425 F with rack in bottom third of oven. Place a roasting rack inside a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Spray broil rack with cooking spray. Season the cavities of the Cornish hens with salt and pepper. Pour about 1/2 cup of filling into each cavity. Tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the birds. Place the chickens in the pan with space between them. Brush the top of each hen with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Continue to roast for an additional 40-50 minutes. During the last 30 minutes, lightly brush the chickens with the glaze every 10 minutes. If the chickens start to brown too quickly, shield them with a piece of aluminum foil. When done, hens should register 180 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh and juices should run clear. Let chickens rest for 10 minutes before serving. Arrange on a bed of extra wild rice filling and garnish with parsley or sage if desired.

Green Beans Salad

  • 1 pound green beans, chopped
  • ½ head of chicory cut into strips
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced ​​shallot or red onion
  • 2 ounces goat or feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts or sliced ​​almonds
  • ¼ cup fresh tarragon

Honey Dijon Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated or minced (or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water nearby. Add the green beans to the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water long enough for them to cool completely, about 15 seconds. Drain and place on a towel or in a colander to dry. Transfer the beans to a bowl and toss with the radicchio, onion or shallot slices, and a few tablespoons of the dressing. Arrange on a platter and top with small dollops of crumbled goat cheese or feta, the walnut or almonds, and fresh tarragon. Drizzle with more dressing, season to taste with salt, and serve.

Roasted Sweet Potato with Tahini Yogurt Sauce (demo)

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, 1-inch cubed
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds or pepitas

Tahini Yogurt Dip

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tahini
  • ½ lemon, grated and juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Water to dilute, 1-2 tablespoons or to desired consistency

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil. Add cubed sweet potatoes to baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cardamom. Toss with your hands so the sweet potatoes are evenly coated, then spread the cubes evenly in the pan. Grill for 20-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. When they are soft and lightly browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the potatoes are roasting, in a small bowl add all the yogurt tahini sauce ingredients and stir until well combined. Place in the refrigerator. When the sweet potatoes are done cooking and partially cool, add them to a serving plate or bowl. Sprinkle a few generous dollops over the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle the dish with cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Easy Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package cake mix (yellow, spice cake, or vanilla flavored)
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional: ¼ cup of chocolate chips and chopped walnut for the dough


  • 1 package (8 oz.) low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub whipped topping (such as TruWhip), thawed
  • Optional: caramel sauce and chopped nuts to decorate

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare 2 8-inch round baking pans by coating them with cooking spray and lightly dusting with flour to prevent sticking. In a stand mixer or large bowl, add the packaged cake mix, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin spice. Beat until smooth. Optionally add chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts to the batter and stir until combined. Pour batter into 2 prepared baking pans and spread batter evenly with a spatula. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely. While it cools, make the frosting. In a stand or bowl mixer, add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Set the glaze aside. Once cooled, remove the cakes by carefully running a knife around the edges and turning them over in your hand. Place a cake on a cake stand. Add a large amount of frosting to the center of the cake and spread it evenly over the top of the cake. Place second round of cake on top and repeat with another large dollop of frosting. Continue spreading the frosting until the entire cake is covered. Garnish as desired with a drizzle of caramel sauce and/or chopped nuts.

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