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Clean Thanksgiving Recipes on HLN


By: Candice Kumai

Hi friends! I’m back on HLN chatting with my girlfriend and anchor Lynn Smith about all things wellness and clean eating. Check out some of my delish, clean and insanely addictive Thanksgiving favorites. YUM! xx ck

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Serves 8


1 medium pumpkin, peeled, halved, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch cubes (canned pumpkin is a-ok! Approx 1 ½ 15 oz cans)

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme

3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup canned light coconut milk

4 cups pasta shells or penne, cooked and drained

1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Gruyère or Parmesan cheese (omit for vegans, vegans use Nutritional Yeast)

Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the pan

Herbed Bread Crumb Topping


1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1⁄2 cup finely chopped kale leaves



Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, combine the pumpkin, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, salt, broth, and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, and making sure the all the pumpkin is submerged. Simmer until the pumpkin is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.

Carefully place the squash mixture in a food processor or blender and purée until velvety smooth.

 Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water, remove all excess liquid.

Spread out the pasta in the prepared pan, and pour the squash–coconut milk purée over the pasta. Gently fold in the 1⁄4 cup cheese (if using) and mix well to combine, ensuring that all noodles are coated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping.

Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, uncover, and sprinkle the top with the herbed bread-crumb topping, followed by a sprinkle of the remaining 2 tablespoons grated cheese. Transfer to the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until brown and bubbly.


Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 6


1 kabocha squash, halved, quartered and thinly sliced into 1⁄2-inch moons

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1⁄2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups curly kale leaves, tough stems removed, finely chopped

1 Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, cored and sliced into 3⁄4-inch pieces

1⁄4 cup raw pepitas

1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Yields 31⁄2 ounces


1⁄4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoons manuka honey



Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.


In a large bowl, toss the squash slices with the olive oil until well coated. Spread the squash out in an even layer across the baking sheet, making sure each piece is touching the surface of the pan to ensure even browning. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, then flip the squash and roast for another 20 minutes on the opposite sides. When the squash is fork-tender, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette.

While the squash is roasting, make the salad: To a large bowl, add the apple cider vinaigrette, quinoa, and kale and toss gently to coat. Add the slightly cooled squash, apple slices, and pepitas to finish. Toss well to coat and serve immediately at room temperature.


Brussels Sprout Salad with Seasonal Fall Apples and Walnuts 

Serves 4 to 6


11⁄2 pounds Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

1⁄2 cup cored, halved, and thinly sliced Bartlett pear

1⁄2 cup raw walnut pieces

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Honey-Mustard Dressing


2 teaspoons manuka honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt


Wash the Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Thinly slice the sprouts on a mandoline to a thickness of 1/8 inch. If you do not have a mandoline, use a sharp knife.

In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and toss to coat with the dressing. Add the pear slices, walnuts, and blue cheese. Serve immediately.



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