thanksgiving recipes!

thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking
thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking

Friends! Whether you’re gearing up for thanksgiving, or just starting to think about holiday menus … there is no doubt that this is a great time of year to cozy up with loved ones and cook the day away. While I am not doing the cooking for thanksgiving this year (I'll be giving thanks to someone else for doing the cooking and the dishes) .... I am starting to do some menu planning for the many holiday dinners / cookie swaps / parties I have coming up. I started to look back through the archives and realized that I have some fun recipes that I am looking forward to recreating, so I thought it would be great to share them (again!) with you. Many of these would make great additions to any table for any occasion… and many of them are great to make ahead of time, in case you’re the one in charge of bringing a dish to a party. 

If you are celebrate thanksgiving .... I wish you a very happy holiday, full plates + full hearts. xx



ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunchy quinoa
cauliflower + hazelnut soup with fried sage


brussels sprout latkes
thai sweet potato skins 


roasted squash wedges with dukkah
chili + coconut brussels sprout slaw
broccoli + cauliflower + pomegranates with tahini
delicata squash salad with lentils and cashew cream 


braised kale + cauliflower with lemon, garlic, and olives
roasted carrots + green beans + fennel over creamy polenta with za'atar


coconut cream pie with a toasted coconut + pistachio crust

pear + thyme tartlets   

thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking
thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking
thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking
thanksgiving recipes! | what's cooking good looking

roasted carrots + sautéed green beans + caramelized fennel + za'atar | and, how to make the creamiest (DF) polenta

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you have been making polenta wrong. Actually, this is me talking to myself ....... you may very well know how to make a delicious, velvety smooth polenta .....  I, however, have been making it wrong for a very long time. 

Polenta is a wintry indulgence for me. Whenever I've tried restaurant polenta and it's super smooth, I've assumed is was loaded with all sorts of butter, milk, and cheese. Whenever I try to recreate that super smooth polenta at home, I usually end up with a sad version that seems creamy at first, but hardens quickly as it cools. I always just assumed that it was because I wasn't adding milk or cream to my polenta, and my polenta was inevitably doomed. So I put it on the backburner for a while, because nobody likes semi-smooth polenta.

So, it turns out, the reason my polenta was not super creamy, was not for the lack of milk ..... it was because polenta is happiest when it's hydrated. Those very fine corn kernels need lots and lots of liquid to be happy and tasty. Who knew? Not me apparently. Before I learned this, my liquid to cormeal ration was 3 parts liquid to 1 part cornmeal. After some experimenting, I found it was that creamy dreamy texture I was seeking after adding more than double that amount, a ratio of 7 parts liquid to 1 part cornmeal. No special stirring or equipment, just lots of liquid. Oh, and a really good (homemade) flavorful stock is a must. 

Okay .... so why am I on a polenta rant anyways? Well, first of all, thanksgiving and all the other holidays are coming up and polenta is a festive, gluten-free indulgence which (using this method) can be dairy-free too. Also, I am not a huge mashed potato fan and, if I could have it my way, this creamy polenta (with all the veggies on top) would be served instead. Actually, this right here would be my ideal, festive, holiday side. Maybe add a brussels sprout dish, a salad, and a pie for dessert ... that would be my kind of holiday menu. 


roasted carrots + sautéed green beans + caramelized fennel + "creamy" polenta + za'atar

6-8 as an appetizer


for the roasted carrots:
about 12 small-medium sized carrots, tops removed
olive oil
salt + pepper

for the polenta:
6 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken, preferably homemade) 
1 cup of polenta
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt *may not be necessary if your broth is salty enough

for the fennel + green beans:
1 fennel bulb (white part only, green parts reserve), sliced thin
about two large handfuls of green beans (tips removed)
olive oil
salt + pepper
about 1-2 teaspoons of za'atar
some additional sesame seeds (there should be some in the za'atar, but I like a little extra)


Start by roasting the carrots:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425º. 
  • Place the carrots onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes until the carrots are fork tender and starting to brown. Remove, cover (if you like), and set aside until you're ready to assemble. 

While the carrots are roasting, cook the polenta:

  • Heat the broth over medium high heat, and slowly pour in the polenta while stirring (the broth does not need to be boiling). Continue stirring for about a minute or two until it's starting to thicken slightly. Turn the heat to low, and set the timer for 30 minutes. You will want to stir your polenta every 5 or so minutes to make sure it's not sticking on the bottom. 
  • After 30 minutes, taste to see if you need any salt. Drizzle in the olive oil, stir, cover the pot, and remove from the heat until you're ready to serve. The polenta should be very creamy at this stage. If for some reason it is not, add more water or stock.  Also, if you're making this ahead of time, you can let the polenta sit, covered, and to warm up just add a little water or broth and stir it over low heat. 

Sauté the fennel and green beans (you can be doing this while the polenta is cooking):

  • In a wok, or a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and cook, while occasionally stirring, until the fennel is brown and very soft. Remove the fennel from the pan and set aside. 
  • Using the same pan, add a little more olive oil (over medium heat still) and add the green beans. Cook them for 1-2 minutes, and then add 1/2 a cup of water. You're doing this to quick steam the green beans. Keep stirring until the water has evaporated completely, and then keep cooking until the beans have a slight brown/char on the outside. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and remove them from the heat. 

Assemble the dish:

  • On a large serving plate, spoon the polenta out onto a single layer. Then add the green beans and carrots on top. Finish with the caramelized fennel, a sprinkle of za'atar, and some additional sesame seeds (if you like). Serve immediately (warm). 

ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunchy quinoa

ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking

Most of what I cook at home and for here is determined by what I find at the farm stands and famers market. I try to buy all of my produce there, and fill in the other pantry staples at whole foods or the hippy yoga grocery store across the street from my apartment. I do realize that this is a tremendous luxury, one that not many people get to do, and one that I certainly do not take for granted. 

One of the biggest things that I have learned to appreciate about shopping at farmers market all year round is that I have grown a serious appreciation for what is in season and exactly when it is in season. Oh, and the fact that I can find unique, cute little veggies like these baby butternuts, or a whole stalk of brussels sprouts is a big bonus too.  A few years ago, before I was primarily shopping at farmers markets, I would have told you that a tomato was a year-round fruit, or that there was some magical, local avocado and banana greenhouse/farm place that produces loads and loads of avocados and bananas ALL YEAR LONG! Well, I never ever see avocados or bananas at my farmers market so that theory was sadly demolished. I still sneak over to the grocery store every now and then to pick up some of those out of season treats that I would be sad to live without.  I wish I could say I lived hyper-local and hyper-seasonal all the time, but ..... this girl needs her bananas and avocados. However, you will never catch me buying a tomato out of season. That's where I draw the line. 

When you shop at the farmers market, you also become in-tune with what must be going on back at the farm. How different weather patterns effect what you see at the market each week. If you have a warm spring, you might see tomatoes earlier ....... a long and cold winter might mean that my beloved spring veggies are delayed. Right now, I am really enjoying this unseasonbly warm fall. Not only do I get to walk to the farmers market in a t-shirt and no jacket (which is unheard of for this time of year), but the market still has an abundance of those early fall veggies and some fun extra treats like these babes right here. 

In speaking about the seasons, we need to speak about SOUP. Soup is one of those meals that carries through each season, but the type of soup I like to make is highly dictated by whats in season, what I find at the market, and the method I will use to cook the soup. Warming stews in the winter, lighter soups in the spring, gazpacho in the summer, and lots of squashy-type soups in the fall. 

Soup is one of the best meals ever because it can be totally humble and simple, or fancy and sophiscated. It can be a snack, or an entire meal. It's the kind of thing you can throw together in 30 minutes on a busy weeknight, or spend hours and hours stewing. You can eat it in pajamas on your couch while watching sex in the city re-runs, or you can serve it in fancy bowls at a dinner party. Personally, no matter what the occasion, I tend to lean towards soups that highlight a main ingredient, with  just a few other add-ins to make that one ingredient really shine. And texture. Let's not forget about texture. I am a firm believer that all soups need contrast in texture, and toppings, in order to make it feel more like a complete dish or meal. 

This miso butternut squash soup can be both a couch potato dinner, and dressed up dinner party appetizer. The flavors are complex, but there are still very few ingredients. And, the crunchy quinoa, which can be made days in advance or in large batches, takes this soup (or anything you want to sprinkle it on) to a whole new level. 

ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking
ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunch quinoa | what's cooking good looking

ginger miso butternut squash soup + crunchy quinoa

SERVES about 4 


for the crunchy quinoa:
1/2 cup of quinoa
1 glove of garlic, thinly sliced
about 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of water

for the soup:
about 3lbs of butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
a drizzle of olive oil
salt + pepper

4 tablespoons of chickpea miso (or mellow white miso)
4 cups of filterer water

1 tablespoon of ghee (or coconut oil, or a neutral oil, if you prefer .... cooking oil choice will slightly effect the taste of the soup)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon of ginger, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
red pepper flakes (optional)

optional additional topping for the soup: microgreens, gomascio


Roast the butternut squash and dissolve the miso:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425º
  • Place the squash onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 25-30 minutes, until tender. 
  • Remove and cool until you're able to handle the squash, and then using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin. Discard skins, or save them to make vegetable broth. 
  • Dissolve the miso into 2 cups of the filtered water, and set aside while the squash is cooking. 

Prepare the crispy quinoa (you can also do this up to a couple of days in advance):

  • Place all of the ingredients for the quinoa into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Once the quinoa is done cooking, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool down. 
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, you're going to toast it in a large cast iron by spreading it out into a single layer in the pan over medium heat. Let it sit, undisturbed, until you hear it sizzle and pop. Then give it a stir and spread it out into a single layer again. Keep doing this until your quinoa is browning and toasted, for about 5-10 minutes. Set aside until you're ready to serve the soup (or store in an air-tight container if you've made this in advance). 

Make the soup and serve:

  • Heat the ghee (or oil) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and just starting to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for two minutes, just enough to release their flavor. 
  • Add the apple cider vinegar, and deglaze (cook for a minute or two until it's dissolved). 
  • Add the squash flesh, stir to coat it with the ginger onion mixture. Then add the dissolved miso and water as well as the remaining two cups of filtered water. Give it a good stir, and allow the mixture to simmer over medium-low heat (do not bring to a boil), and cook for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Remove from the heat. 
  • Puree the soup. I like to only puree half because I like to leave a little texture, but you can puree it all if you prefer a really smooth soup. Place the desire amount you want to puree into a blender (be careful, it will be very hot!), and then blend until smooth. Add it back to the remaining soup in the pot and stir. 
  • Serve and assemble the soup by ladling the soup into individual bowls, and adding the crunchy quinoa and additional toppings on top. 





When I first met Michael, and we were in the "honeymoon" phase of dating, we cooked a lot at home. However, instead of eating super healthy stuff like we do now, we were eating super indulgently .... blissfully downing a bottle of red wine and a cheese plate before every meal. The thought of doing that now makes me laugh, but that's what you're supposed to do when you fall in love, right? Eat twice as much and twice as indulgently as you normally do and become plump and happy-in-love?

Eventually those cheese plates caught up with me, and my body started to reject those types of foods. Also, once that honeymoon phase fades away (but you're still very much in love) a desire to take care of and nourish each other takes over. During out "cheese plate days" I starting having these strange symptoms, like acne and a chronic cough, and I was spending a lot of time visiting doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Eventually I did figure out that dairy (cow's milk in particular) might be the culprit. I cut dairy completely out of my diet for a few months, and my strange symptoms magically disappeared. I got some tests done, and it turns out that I am allergic to cow's milk, and my body had a weird way of telling me. To this day, I still try to avoid it as much as possible, but I do make room for things like goat and sheep's milk cheese, and plain greek yogurt, which do not seem to have the same negative effects for me.  (Oh, and that occasional slice of NYC pizza might happen once in a while too.)

Since omitting some dairy, there is not much that I miss. I do find there are so many great substitutes, however, the one thing that is pretty hard to replicate melty, gooey cheesy dishes. I realized when I first cut out dairy, it also cut out a lot of appetizer foods that I was so used to, like that good old classic cheese plate, and creamy dips like a spinach and artichoke. Recently, I became determined to experiment and  come up with a version of a spinach dip, that I could feel good about and that I could feel good about serving guests for the upcoming holiday season. 

And here we are, not 100% dairy free, but the yogurt is a lighter more healthful sub to all that mayo and cheese in a traditional spinach dip. There are very few ingredients in this dip, and the caramelized leeks are blended with the yogurt to give it that gooey-ness that makes this dip so good. Just so you know, I did experiment with a cashew cream and a white bean cream, and while they are fine if you don't do yogurt, they weren't quite as balanced and delicious as the greek yogurt version.  If you want to sub a cashew cream, just make a cup of your favorite version and swap out the yogurt. 

Also, this socca is one of my favorite naturally gluten-free, quick-to-make, cracker / bread type snacks. It's so easy to make, sometimes I whip some up to snack on all by itself. This version I shared today has a good helping of dried herbs and spices to make it super flavorful. I teamed up with my favorite spice brand, simply organic, and my favorite food sharing community, feedfeed, to develop this recipe ...... and I am also sharing of few of my favorite Fall recipes over on their instagram and website today so be sure to check it out! 


herbed socca flatbread with creamed leeks + spinach + chard 

several as an appetizer


for the socca:
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of cumin

1 cup of chickpea flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
3 tablespoons of olive oil (plus a little more for the pan)
the juice of 1/2 a lemon (1 tablespoon)
about 1/4 cup of sesame seeds, white and/or black (optional)

for the creamed spinach + leeks + chard:
a tablespoon of ghee or butter
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
1 very large leek, sliced thin (about 6-7 cups)
½ teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6oz of plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/3 cup of filtered water
3 large handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
6-7 chard leaves, stem removed and roughly chopped


Prep the socca:

  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind the rosemary, thyme, salt, peppercorns, garlic powder and cumin until finely ground.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and half of the spice mixture and whisk to combine.  Allow the batter to sit for 20-30 minutes while prepping the rest of the ingredients for the dip.

Bake the socca:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 450º. Grease a 9”x13” shallow baking pan.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan, sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture as well as the sesame seeds (if using). Bake for 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown. You can also cook for another couple minutes longer if you want your socca really crispy. Slice the socca into squares, remove them from the pan, and set aside until you’re ready to serve with the dip.

Make the spinach + leek dip and serve:

  • Turn the oven heat down to 350º.
  • In a large cast iron, heat up the ghee + olive oil over medium heat and then add the leeks. Cook while stirring often, until the leeks are very soft, but be careful not to brown the leeks. Add the garlic and salt and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Place ½ cup of the cook leeks into a blender or food processor along with the yogurt, water, and lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Keep this mixture in the blender while you cook the spinach and chard.
  • Place the leeks back over the burner and turn the heat on to medium. Add the chard and spinach and cook, while stirring, until the leaves have wilted. Turn the heat off again, add the leek cream mixture, and stir to combine everything.
  • Place the cast iron in the oven and bake the mixture for 5 minutes. Remove and serve immediately with the socca squares. 

concord grape + coconut water smash

concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking
concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking

Where I live, Halloween, for those adult years after college and before you have kids, is all about dressing up in something cute, sexy,  scary, or something cleverly related to pop culture, and having some cocktails. In my neighborhood in NYC, it's more about the adults than the kids. Greenwich Village hosts a huge walking parade that marches down 6th avenue, and if you don't mind huge crowds of people dressed up in crazy costumes, then this parade is for you. It's tons of fun, but after having participating in my share of parades over the years, I now pretty much avoid it all together. It's not that I won't be dressed up or drinking cocktails, it's just that nowadays I will be doing it in a (slightly) more civilized environment with less people and fancier cocktails. In fact, this year we are starting the party at our place, and I am in charge of the "fancy" cocktails ....... and this cocktail here will definitely be served. 

I partnered with ZICO to mix up this drink, and I was so excited to do so because, besides being a huge fan of coconut water, when I do have coconut water I like to make sure it is organic, fair trade,  and not from concentrate. ZICO's new certified organic, fair trade coconut water checks all of those boxes. Not only is it great to drink on it's own .... but it's also makes really delicious cocktails such as this grape smash cocktail (or mocktail, if that's how you roll). The best part about adding coconut water to your drinks, since it is super-hydrating, is that it gives you a little leg up on that next day. Some added electrolytes and hydration while you are imbibing are always a good idea!

**This post is sponsored by ZICO's new organic line of coconut water! I only work with companies whose products I believe in and would use myself. All opinions are my own. 

concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking
concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking
concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking
concord grape + coconut water smash | what's cooking good looking

concord grape + coconut water smash 

*If you would like to make this drink alcohol free, just omit the vodka, and add a splash more of coconut or regular (filtered) water. 

MAKES 1 drink


7-8 concord grapes
4-5 mint leaves
2 lime wedges
1 cup of ZICO organic coconut water
2 ounces of vodka

YOU'll ALSO NEED: a cocktail shaker and a pestle (or something with a long handle to smash the ingredients)


  • Place the grapes, mint, lime wedges, and 1/2 cup of the coconut water into a cocktail shakes and smash really well with the pestle to release the juices and flavors from the ingredients. 
  • Add the vodka, the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut water, and a cup full of ice, and shake!
  • Fill around an 8oz glass with ice, and strain + pour the cocktail over the ice. Enjoy!