How to Host Your First Ever Thanksgiving

OK, first-timers, we’re going to let you in on a little secret. Thanksgiving dinner isn’t really a complicated dinner to make. Roasting a turkey is like roasting a very large chicken, which is pretty basic stuff. Trust us, you’ve got this.

Photo by Ashley Rodriguez

Photo by Ashley Rodriguez

Still, when you’re hosting your first Thanksgiving, there are plenty of small steps you can take to ensure you pull it off without a hitch.

1) Make a List, Check It Twice

First things first. Make a guest list. Then plan your menu. Are you doing all of the cooking or are friends and family bringing dishes? Create a complete shopping list. But before that…

2) Minimize the Menu

Don’t make the feast a beast. Do what you can to make it easy on yourself. Simplify the menu down to the essentials: Turkey, taters, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie, for example. Considering the size of the meal, it isn’t necessary to load guests up on a vast array of fancy appetizers. Keep things simple: Roasted nuts and maybe a platter of cut fresh vegetables should do the trick — and a glass of sparkling wine.

3) Time to Take Stock

At least two weeks out, take stock of your dinnerware, kitchen tools, and gadgets, spices and other staples in your pantry…and don’t forget to count chairs.

4) Shop Early, Preferably at Off Times

At least one week before the big day, do your shopping. The longer you wait, the more packed the grocery stores get. Plus, stuff gets sold out. For a low-stress shopping experience, head to the store early in the morning or late evening.

5) Perform a Test Run

If you’re really nervous about making Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, take some recipes out for a little test drive beforehand. If you like, pair them up with the wines you plan on serving. Tweak what needs tweaking, and you’ll be set up for success on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving side dishes

Photo by Allrecipes

6) Make Your Make-Aheads

This is a seriously major-league sanity-saving move. Plenty of side dishes, desserts, and breads can be made ahead of time. You can cross stuff off your to-do list and save counter space on the big day. If you do have to make several dishes on Thanksgiving day, try to distribute them evenly between the stovetop, oven, microwave.

Make-ahead Thanksgiving recipes

7) Unfrozen Bird Is the Word

You’d be amazed how often people forget to thaw the turkey. Usually it’s not wholesale forgetfulness, it’s that they don’t realize just how long it takes to thaw a big frozen bird. To thaw a turkey in the fridge, you’ll need approximately 24 hours of thaw time for every 5 pounds of turkey. For more on the three ways you can thaw turkey, check out How to Safely Thaw a Frozen Turkey.

How to Safely Thaw a Frozen Turkey | Thawing a Turkey in the Fridge in a Pan

Photo by Meredith

8) Timing Is Everything

This is really the hardest part about the meal: getting everything to the table hot and on time. These tips can help you time Thanksgiving right.

9) Tend to Your Bird

Keep the turkey basted as it roasts and let it stand for at least 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven. While the turkey rests, pop your make-aheads into the oven to heat up.

Prepping turkey for the oven

Photo by Allrecipes

10) Time for Time-Savers

Don’t be afraid to give yourself a break. Buy a store-bought dessert and add a little personal flair. Defrost a frozen pumpkin pie, top with streusel, and bake. Or simmer cranberries in orange juice and a little sugar just until they pop and spoon over purchased pound cake.

BONUS TIP: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

If something goes South along the way — dry turkey, burnt pie, lumpy gravy — don’t sweat it. We have solutions for common Thanksgiving disasters. But even if you can’t fix the foul ups, the true secret to being a gracious host is to not let the mess-ups ruin the day. If one of your side dishes burns, simply toss it out and enjoy the bounty you do have. If the turkey turns into a flaming torch, try take-out. And don’t forget, even if your first Thanksgiving is a total 3-alarm disaster: Tragedy + Time = Comedy.

Photo by Ashley Rodriguez

Photo by Ashley Rodriguez

Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.

The post How to Host Your First Ever Thanksgiving appeared first on Allrecipes Dish.

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4 Delicious Sweet Potato Hacks

We asked Hali Bey Ramdene, food editor at, for some new ways to use sweet potatoes. Below are three ideas she cooked up — but first, a genius way to eat sweet potatoes fresh from the toaster. Enjoy!

1) Sweet Potato Toast

Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise into thin slices. Toast them in the toaster, twice, until tender but a little crisp on the outside. Then top two ways: with peanut butter, slices of banana, and a drizzle of maple syrup … or with slices of avocado, lemon zest for a little zip, and a generous grind of black pepper. See how it’s done!

2) Sweet Potato Caramel Sauce

Peel 3 pounds sweet potatoes, chop into 2-inch chunks, and roast with ½ cup water, covered, in a 450°F oven for 1 hour.
Stir in 2 cups water, scraping up brown bits.
Roast, covered, 20 minutes more, then lightly mash.
Drain 1 hour in a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer set over a small saucepan. Reserve mash.
Simmer liquid over high heat until reduced by about two-thirds (but not burnt!), about 9 minutes.
Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon cream, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; chill thoroughly (it tastes sweeter cold).
You’ll have about ½ cup to drizzle over ice cream, plus 3 cups of reserved mash for…

3) Sweet Potato and Chocolate Smoothies

Blend ½ cup reserved sweet potato mash, ½ cup vanilla yogurt (not Greek), ½ cup almond milk, ½ cup ice, and ¼ cup hot cocoa mix in a blender until combined. Blend in more almond milk if it’s too thick. Get yourself a straw, stat!

sweet potatoes with slices isolated on white

4) Nut-Free PB&J Sandwiches

Stir ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon butter into ½ cup reserved sweet potato mash. Spread on lightly toasted bread with raspberry preserves or strawberry jam.

Check out more sweet potato recipes. And find out the difference between sweet potatoes, yams, and white potatoes.

This is an excerpt from the September/October 2016 issue of Allrecipes magazine — pick up a copy or subscribe today!

Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.

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The 1 Fitness Rule That Can Make Your Workouts So Much More Effective


Even if you work out as often as you can, odds are that doesn’t translate into doing intense exercise every single day. And that’s actually a good thing—peppering your workout schedule with off days is often key for reaching your fitness goals because the time to recuperate can help your muscles get even stronger. But there’s some confusion about what it really means to take a “rest day,” a topic celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson covers in a new interview with The Cut.

“As long as you’re not being invasive for your body and muscles, you don’t need a day to relax and repair. You need a day to relax and repair when you’re abusing your body,” she says in the interview. But that’s actually not true—taking a step back from your typical workouts is often a great idea, and it’s not only necessary if you’re “abusing” your body. “You can’t expect someone to ‘go hard’ day in and day out and not think accumulated fatigue won’t enter the picture at some point,” Boston-based certified strength and conditioning specialist Tony Gentilcore, tells SELF.

Keep in mind that taking a rest day doesn’t always mean doing absolutely nothing, as Anderson notes: “It’s so important to connect to yourself every day,” she tells The Cut. But there’s a middle ground between a complete rest day and breaking a real sweat. That’s why Gentilcore and many other fitness experts recommend adding active recovery days into your workout routine. Basically, it means you engage in gentle activity to allow your body to rest and rebuild muscle fibers that you tear while exercising. That can be anything from going for a walk to doing light yoga or taking a chill bike ride—the key is to get up and moving. And a major perk is that this kind of activity can make your actual workouts even more effective. Consider active recovery the fitness rule you don’t want to break.

Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition, is a fan of active recovery. “Active recovery is better than a rest day because your body and muscles recover faster with light work rather than complete rest,” he tells SELF. Active recovery helps deliver blood to your muscles quickly, bringing nutrients and oxygen to help the muscles repair and recover, he says.Although this would happen even if you were at rest, the benefit of active recovery is that oxygen-rich blood pumps through your body faster when you’re moving, giving your muscles more of the fuel they need to repair the micro-tears that occur when you work out, Matheny explains.

“Active recovery days can be important in maintaining momentum while training,” Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of New York City-based fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT, tells SELF. “Rather than completely forgo fitness, active recovery days allows you to do something healthful while still allowing your body to recover from a previous higher intensity workout.”

How you incorporate active recovery depends on the type and intensity of exercise you’re doing, as well as your personal goals. “But generally speaking, it’s a good idea to balance high-intensity workouts with lighter work,” Sklar says. Meaning, if you go for a long run one day, cut yourself some slack and go easier the next day. To help you figure it all out, here’s what a perfect week of working out looks like.

Gentilcore says it’s also important to give yourself a break and take a full day of rest if you need it—physically or mentally. Maybe you’re sick, injured, would rather spend time celebrating a friend’s birthday than working out, or have any other very valid reason to skip an exercise session. Sometimes life gets in the way, and if you can’t always fit exercise in, that’s OK.

Also know this: Rest and recovery days won’t derail your fitness goals. “Just like you can’t become super-fit after one workout, you won’t lose all that you’ve worked for by taking one day off,” says Sklar.

The post The 1 Fitness Rule That Can Make Your Workouts So Much More Effective appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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Smoked Salmon Alfredo

Smoked Salmon Alfredo

Our light and creamy smoked salmon Alfredo is a cozy Italian-inspired comfort meal. Crisp snow peas gives this dish a pop of color and a bit of crunch. If there are leftovers, stir in broth or water, and reheat gently in microwave or stovetop; the sauce will thicken as it cools.


Smoked Salmon Alfredo


8 ounces (360 grams) whole wheat fettuccine
1 1/3 cups (6 ounces or 85 grams) snow peas
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic
1 cup (250 grams) reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 ounces (120 grams) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 40 grams) shredded Parmesan cheese
3 ounces (85 grams) smoked salmon, sliced
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. During the last minute of cooking time, add snow peas to pasta. Cook 1 minute, until pasta is al dente and peas are crisp-tender. Drain; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and saute 1 minute, until fragrant. Add broth and cream cheese. Cook 3–5 minutes, whisking frequently, until mixture is well-blended. Add Parmesan cheese, stirring until smooth.

Stir pasta mixture into sauce until pasta is coated. Add salmon, stirring gently until just combined. Sprinkle with pepper and dill. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Per serving: Calories: 422; Total Fat: 15g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 36mg; Sodium: 540mg; Carbohydrate: 48g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 24g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 79mg; Iron: 20%; Vitamin A: 17%; Vitamin C: 45%; Calcium: 7% 

The post Smoked Salmon Alfredo appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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August Traffic and Income Report

August Income Report |

Hi there!

Bjork here checking in for Pinch of Yum’s monthly traffic and income report.

We’re playing a little catch up with these reports, so this one is coming out just two weeks after July’s report.

We’ve been publishing these traffic and income reports for over five years, which means this is post #61. You can see all of the past posts here. Before that, Lindsay had been blogging for a year and a half. Add it up and you’ll find that we’ve been working on Pinch of Yum for almost seven years.

I mention those numbers because it’s important to understand how long we’ve both been working on this. It’s taken a lot of time, energy, focus, and luck.

The day-to-day isn’t very sexy. It’s lots of time on the computer: email, Slack, accounting, photo editing, communicating with brands, communicating with readers, social media, developing recipes, etc, etc, etc…

We’re extremely grateful for the opportunities that Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro have provided us, and at the same time we’re extremely careful not to paint a picture of something that this is not. It’s not a four hour work week, it’s not working from beaches, and it’s not automated income.

It’s awesome work if you like it, but it’s definitely work.

The good news is that the platform that we’ve built this on (the internet!) doesn’t have restricted access. If you’re reading this, then you have the tools you need to get started. The cost of entry is insanely low. You can press publish. You can create content. You can share your passion and build a following and impact the way others think about the world.

Is it an overnight miracle? No.
Is it possible? 100%.

Our goal with these reports is to show you the nitty-gritty details of how we’re navigating the path to build “our thing” in hopes that it encourages you to build “your thing,” whatever that might be. Our friends and family can tell you – we’re passionate and excited about people getting to work on the things that they’re passionate and excited about.

Let’s jump into the numbers for August…

Income Report Numbers

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.


AdThrive – $29,204.84
Sponsored Content – $7,350.00
AdThrive Video – $5,973.04
Bluehost – $4,140 –> this income comes from a page where we show people how to start a food blog in three steps.
Amazon Associates – $2,974.12
Tasty Food Photography – $2,772.40
Swoop – $2,514.83
Gourmet Ads – $1,873.26
sovrn – $443.93
Federated Media – $373.47
Genesis Theme – $291.99
How to Monetize Your Food Blog eBook – $280.00
Elegant Themes – $224.00
ActiveCampaign – $35.13
AWeber – $14.40


Justworks and Contractors – $13,767.19
Studio Related Expenses – $4,080.57
Food Expenses – $884.56
eBook Affiliates – $633.35
ActiveCampaign – $415.00
Slack – $410.00
Video Related Expenses – $355.00
Insurance – $263.82
PayPal Transaction Percentage – $179.73
Adobe Creative Cloud – $107.43
LeadPages – $67.00
Travel – $65.04
Audible – $61.73
Zapier – $50.00
PayPal Website Payments Pro – $30.00
Shoeboxed – $29.95
Hotjar – $29.00
E-Junkie – $28.00
QuickBooks – $26.95
VaultPress – $20.00
Amazon S3 and Cloudfront – $26.84
GitHub – $25.00
CloudFlare – $20.00
SumoMe – $20.00
ViralTag – $18.00
Hello Bar – $15.00
Pingdom – $14.95
Backupify – $12.00
Buffer – $10.00
Dropbox – $9.99
CrashPlan – $9.99
Link In Profile – $9.99
BoardBooster – $5.00

Traffic Totals

Below are some Google Analytics screenshots from the month of August 2016.

Traffic Overview

Traffic Overview August 2016

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Traffic Sources August 2016

Mobile vs. Desktop vs. Tablet

Mobile vs Desktop vs Laptop August 2016

Income Report Takeaways

This month we’re trying something different and we’re going to be focusing on just one takeaway. I’m going to share about A/B testing, why I quit doing it, and why I’m excited about it once again.

A/B Testing

Some of you might remember a few posts I wrote about A/B testing using Google Analytics. Specifically, these two:

How to Increase Your Conversion Rates with A/B Testing
How we improved our landing page conversion rate by 138%

For those that aren’t familiar, A/B testing is the online version of a taste test. In a taste test you’re asking people which version they like better: Version A or Version B.

The same is true with an online A/B test. You want to find out version is best: Version A or Version B. But instead of showing one person both versions, you show 50% of people Version A and the other 50% Version B.

How A/B testing works

Here’s a basic overview of how A/B testing works:

Create a new version of an important page on your site
Pick a goal (i.e. sign up for my email list)
Show the old version to 50% of visitors and the new version to the other 50%
The version with the most goal conversions wins

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing fits really well with our philosophy of 1%∞.

1%∞ (one percent infinity) is all about making small improvement (one percent) every day over a long period of time (infinity). The symbol for infinity looks like this: ∞. Put it all together and you get 1%∞.

Really small improvements on important pages can have a huge impact on your business.

For instance, we’re currently running an A/B test on the Nutrifox home page. The previous conversion rate for free trial sign ups was about 3%.

Here’s what Version A (original) and Version B (the new one) look like:

A/B Test on Nutrifox Home Page

We’re still really early on in the experiment, but the new version that we’re testing is converting at 13%. Even if that goes down to 6% by the time the experiment ends it would still mean that we’d be getting 100% more free trial sign ups with this new version of the home page. That’s a major improvement.

I had fallen off of the A/B testing bandwagon for awhile because of the complexity with the way that we used to do it.

I was previously using Google Analytics to run these experiments, but the bummer with A/B testing in Google Analytics is that you need to create a brand new page, which meant you’d have two different URLs with similar content, like this: (Version A: original page) (Version B: new test page)

Not only is it a pain to create and publish the new page, but it’s also a pain to make sure that the test page isn’t indexed by Google and that you redirect it back to the home page after the A/B test is done running.

Those are relatively small things, but the friction was enough to keep me from continually running A/B tests on important pages.

Which is a sad, because there would have been some massive improvements that could have been made over the past two years.

So what’s the solution?

The most important thing for me was finding something that removed the friction of running an A/B test.

The solution that I found is a software called Optimizely.

It’s a super simple way to setup an A/B test. The two things I like are (1) it doesn’t require publishing a new page and (2) it doesn’t require any HTML editing.

It comes at a cost ($50 per 1,000 page views), which isn’t cheap. That’s why it’s important that you’re only using this for high-value pages, which brings me to my next point.

Our Action Plan for A/B Testing

Here’s our action plan for A/B testing. My goal is to keep it really simple to start.

Identify high value pages and their goals
Setup (significant) A/B tests for high value pages
Let the test run until a winner is found
If the new design wins then update the high value page with the new design

1. Identify the high value pages and their goals

Here are the high value pages that we’re starting with.

Nutrifox Home:
Nutrifox Free Trial Sign Up:
Food Blogger Pro Home:
Tasty Food Photography Sales Page:

And here are the primary goals for each of those pages:

Nutrifox Home: Sign up for a free trial of Nutrifox
Nutrifox Free Trial Sign Up: Sign up for a free trial of Nutrifox
Food Blogger Pro Home: Sign up for the waiting list
Tasty Food Photography Sales Page: Purchase Tasty Food Photography

Each one of those pages should have a goal.

The easiest type of goal to track is a URL goal. For instance, after someone signs up for something they usually see a confirmation page like

You can use that URL as your goal, as the only people that land on that page should be people that have successfully signed up. This is how we determine the success of those pages.

2. Setup (significant) A/B tests for those pages

Significant is an important word with this step. The general idea is that you don’t want to test tiny things like changing a button color or a single word.

You want to make significant changes, like switching out headlines, changing the structure and layout, or trying new colors. These changes are relatively easy to make within Optimizely.

3. Let the test run until a winner is found

This is the easy part. You just let the test run.

One thing to note is that with every test you’ll be able to pick a significance level.

Significance level is essentially saying “we’re this confident that the results of this test are due to the changes you made and not due to chance.”

Significance Level

For the tests we’re running we’re using a 90% significance level.

4. If the new design wins, then update the page with the new design

If the winning version is the new design then update the page to that new version.

Congrats! You’ve just increased your conversion rate.

5. Repeat

Rinse and repeat. Your new goal is always to beat the previous winner.


If you have high value pages, it’s time to start running A/B tests on them. The improvements you’ll see with the performance for those pages will almost always be worth the time that you spend setting up and running the tests.

Because of You

It’s because of you that this thing we call Pinch of Yum can exist as it does today. Thank you so much for making these recipes, leaving comments with your love and feedback, sending emails, following on social media, and sharing this food around the table with your families and friends.

Every month we use a portion of the income from the blog to support a special project at an orphanage that we worked at for a year called The Children’s Shelter of Cebu. We view it as a donation from the POY community, not just Lindsay and me, since you all are a vital part of keeping this little corner of the internet going strong.

This month we’re supporting CSC by donating to their meal fund. Every child at CSC gets three solid meals a day. All 90+ of them! That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed and we’re honored to be able to help put food on the table for these kids.

The post August Traffic and Income Report appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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5 Science-Backed Diet Tweaks to Reduce Inflammation


Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses. Heart disease, cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease can all be linked back to inflammation. Cooling down bodywide inflammation can help to reduce disease risk and improve overall energy levels and quality of life. One easy way to start fighting off inflammation is by making simple tweaks to your current dietary habits. With just a few adjustments, you can begin to experience marked health improvements. So what dietary tweaks are most effective at reversing inflammation? We turned to the experts to find out.

1. Adjust your ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-6 unsaturated fats — found in corn, sunflower and safflower oils — can give rise to pro-inflammatory responses in the body, says Elana Natker, MS, RD. Choosing omega-3 fats for cooking, such as canola oil, more often can shift the body away from inflammatory production and also support anti-inflammatory responses. Better yet, she says, “eating foods rich in omega-3 fish oils EPA and DHA — such as salmon, herring and sardines — helps support heart and brain health, too.” Try filling your plate with a 3-ounce fillet of those fatty fish at least twice a week, and grab a handful of walnuts a few times per week for an omega-3 packed snack.

2. Fill your plate with color.

If you have heard the phrase “eat the rainbow,” then you already know a diet that contains a variety of colors can help promote health. However, certain colors can help fight inflammation more effectively than others. “Look for foods that are black, deep red, dark blue and purple in color,” says Marie Spano, MS, RD. “Instead of automatically choosing brown rice, pick up black rice. Instead of a sweet potato, try a purple potato or reach for purple carrots. Vegetables and fruits with these colors have been shown to decrease inflammation and promote artery health.”

3. Swap refined grains for whole grains.

Whole grains can lead to decreased inflammation, says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN,“When compared to refined grains, whole grains decrease the amount of time your blood sugar level is elevated post-meal — which means less inflammation for your body.” Identify the grains you eat each day. If you enjoy white pasta, try swapping it for pasta made with whole wheat or chickpea flour. If you are a rice lover, try switching out the white rice for quinoa. To help you identify if a food choice is whole grain, take a careful look at the ingredient list. For grain products, the first ingredient listed should be a form of whole grain, such as whole-wheat flour, bran or whole oats.

4. Cool off exercise-related inflammation.

An intense workout can be a great way to build muscle strength and endurance, but it can also lead to soreness and inflammation. If you suffer from post-workout soreness, consider adding ginger and cherries into your diet. “These foods have been shown to decrease inflammation and muscle soreness after a damaging bout of exercise,” says Spano, “In addition, there is some evidence showing ginger, when consumed daily, effectively reduces pain from osteoarthritis.” By simply adding ginger to your tea or a handful of cherries on top of your yogurt, you can help ease muscle soreness and inflammation.

5. Say ‘Yes!’ to Chocolate.

Well, this is certainly an easy dietary adjustment to make! “Unsweetened cocoa powder might help lower inflammation linked with heart disease,” says Gorin. By adding cocoa powder into smoothies, yogurts or your favorite beverage, you may be helping to cool off inflammation while satisfying your chocolate cravings. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-risk patients who drank skim milk mixed with unsweetened cocoa powder daily noticed a reduction in inflammatory biomarkers compared with those who drank plain skim milk. Try mixing one tablespoon of cocoa powder daily into the beverage of your choice.

By making small adjustments to your diet, such as increasing your intake of whole grains and adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your plate, you may not only fight inflammation, you may reduce body fat as well. If body weight is improved and body fat is reduced, this change in overall body composition itself can promote an additional reduction in inflammation. “Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight in and of itself helps fight inflammation, since extra fat can promote inflammation,” says Natker.

The post 5 Science-Backed Diet Tweaks to Reduce Inflammation appeared first on Hello Healthy.

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Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash Recipe


Spaghetti squash is one of nature’s food miracles – vegetable noodles grown in a shell! I love the freshness of spaghetti squash and use it in any hot dish that usually calls for spaghetti noodles. It’s guilt-free and usually works great! This creamy avocado pesto is the perfect compliment to the freshness of spaghetti squash. Plus –  from start to finish, this recipe takes only 30 minutes!

I know, I know, cooking spaghetti squash can be a pain. As much as I love spaghetti squash, sometimes I don’t feel like going to the effort of baking it for upwards of 45 minutes. And then there’s always the worry that I’ll chop off my fingers while preparing it… Roasting squash has always felt like more work than boiling noodles.

Until today.

I’ve discovered the quickest, easiest trick to cooking spaghetti squash.

And it’s so obvious I wonder why it’s taken me this long to figure it out. Any guesses?


And the answer is… microwave it! Seriously.

All you have to do is poke around the squash every few inches with a knife and then stick it in the microwave for 5 minute increments 3 times. Once cooked, it’s easy to cut because it’s soft! Also much easier to scrape the seeds out. In sum: microwaving leads to quicker cook time and easier cutting. Game changer.

Now about this avocado pesto.

Pesto is a favorite around my house, and avocado takes it to the next level by adding some creaminess while also reducing the oil. We’ve used this pesto on sandwiches and noodles and loved it. I am sure it would be great on anything, really.


It is also really simple to make – all that’s needed is a food processor. Throw all the ingredients in while your squash is cooking and blend until smooth. It turns into a nice, thick sauce that coats the spaghetti squash noodles well.

Traditionally, pesto calls for pine nuts, but I’ve found that walnuts do a good enough job and at a fraction of the price. If you’re a pine nut lover though, feel free to use those in place of the walnuts in this recipe.


I decided to use shrimp and cherry tomatoes to round out this recipe, but it would also be delicious with some grilled chicken and spinach or peas. Pre-cooked shrimp and tomatoes worked well to make the dish in under 30 minutes because they only need to be sautéed for a few minutes and sprinkled with salt and pepper, but feel free to experiment with other veggies as time permits!

So there you have it, a very quick, very healthy, very tasty meal! I hope your family loves it as much as mine did!


The post Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash Recipe appeared first on Super Healthy Kids.

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8 Delicious Ways to Give Thanksgiving Leftovers a Global Spin

Thanksgiving is the most traditional meal of the year, a menu from which cooks rarely stray. But all bets are off the day after, when using up Thanksgiving leftovers can take you in so many different directions. Let’s hear it for next level next-day creations with a global spin. We’re talking turkey that’s comfortable South of the Border and cranberries that become dipping sauce for colorful spring rolls.

Have a blast exploring these 8 flavor-packed turkey dishes, so good you might want to serve them year-round. We’ve also included some suggested beverage pairings to make those leftovers party worthy.

1) Thanksgiving Won Tons

Stuff wrappers with chopped turkey and cranberries and fry until crispy. It just doesn’t get easier to transform the bird into something completely exotic. Think of these crunchy bites as itty bitty hand pies that you’ll want to dip into all that extra cranberry sauce.

Sipping suggestion: Honey Milk Tea is a refreshing, non-boozy beverage from Hong Kong that’s been described as Bubble Tea without the tapioca balls.

Photo by Baking Nana

Photo by Baking Nana

2) Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Pho

Toasting fragrant spices like cardamom and star anise gives this Vietnamese noodle soup a bright intensity that’s neatly balanced by the slurp-able rice noodles. Those spices are simmered with a turkey carcass for a warming dish that your friends are going ask for throughout the year.

Sipping suggestion: The satisfying Dragon Fruit Shake doubles up the soothing power of this comfort food meal.

Photo by Hello Angie

Photo by Hello Angie

3) Turkey Tom Kha Gai

Thai food has a reputation for being ultra-spicy, but this creamy creation defies expectation by coming on all tangy. That’s from a combination of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fresh ginger. Yes, you can add more chili oil if you want to turn up the heat.

Sipping suggestion: Stay cool with an icy pilsner from Germany, the “light” beer that goes with all sorts of flavor-forward Thai dishes.

Photo by Chef John

Photo by Chef John

4) Leftover Turkey Spring Rolls

This one’s like a super-size version of the won ton, going a step further by including stir-fried cabbage. That naturally sweet cruciferous veggie brings out the succulent savory of the turkey. You’ll be eating the dipping sauce by the spoonful.

Sipping suggestion: An off-dry Riesling from Washington state brings a whole lot of fab fruit to this appetizer party, while not coming off as too sweet. Thanks goes to those cool nights during the growing season that bump up the acidity.

Photo by Molly

Photo by Molly

5) Thanksgiving Turkey Congee

This popular rice porridge is eaten all across China, but it’s still mostly under-the-radar in the U.S., because the most authentic version is fairly bland. The beauty of this preparation is that turkey bringing heaps of savory goodness to the bowl.

Sipping suggestion: Green tea works if you’re serving congee for breakfast or brunch, while the rum-based Dark ‘n’ Stormy complements the ginger-y notes in the dish if it’s the dinner hour.

Photo by Meredith Publishing

Photo by Meredith Publishing

6) Enchiladas with Mole Sauce

Turkey loves bathing in the dark pepper sauce beloved in Mexico, the hint of cocoa bringing out the best of the bird and smothering its tendency to turn dry. Pass extra cojita cheese for a salty finish.

Sipping suggestion: A Beer Margarita is not only a party waiting to happen, it’s got the right amount of tart to smooth out the in-your-face spicy deliciousness of the mole.

Photo by Michelle Tschetter

Photo by Michelle Tschetter

7) Thanksgiving Quesadilla

The flour tortilla version of a post-Turkey Day sandwich works because it compacts the flavors in a tight space, adds gooey cheese and turns the whole thing toasty crisp. Want to keep the Thanksgiving theme rolling? Salsa-fy your cranberries with a couple shakes of hot pepper sauce.

Sipping suggestion: A Michelada is so much more than an ordinary red beer, bringing so much good cheer by including lime juice, chili pepper flakes and Mexican lager to the mix.

Photo by bd weld

Photo by bd.weld

8) Top-Notch Turkey Tettrazini

You’re already wearing Fat Pants after the Big Feast. Might as well indulge in this creamy, cheesy pasta dish that’s too fancy to be called a casserole. But, hey, it’s not all about the calories. There’s chopped parsley on top, right? And green is good for you.

Sipping suggestion: Italian Pinot Grigio is the kind of crisp, well-balanced white that might convince beer lovers to grab a wine glass instead.

edited 102248952 top notch turkey tetrazzini

Explore More on Allrecipes Dish:The Right Wine to Pair with Every Thanksgiving Course Thanksgiving Leftovers: 5 Safety Rules to Live ByUp Your Cranberry Sauce Game with These Quick FixesThanksgiving Menus for Beginners to ExpertsPlus, more than 100 Thanksgiving leftover recipes

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7 Fall Vegan Soup Recipes Ready in an Hour or Less

When fall rolls around, I’m always so ready–ready for the clothes, the blustering leaves and crispness in the air, and last but not least, the food. And vegan soup is always top of my list. After all, it’s been three whole months since I’ve had it as a dinner option! So, the second the temperature drops below 65 degrees, it’s soup city at my place.

Here are a handful of my favorite vegan soup recipes that are ready in an hour or less. (And for the record, the better part of those hours are just letting that pot o’ yum heat up while you breathe in the savory aroma–not a bad way to spend an hour, right?)

1) Black Bean Taco Soup

Ready in 15 minutes. I always say that this is soup to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. It’s crazy easy and can be whipped up in a hurry.

This vegan soup is ready in just 15 minutes!

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

Carrot Chile and Cilantro Soup

Ready in 1 hour. Garlic, cilantro, and chile paste are blended with cooked potatoes and carrots in this easy-to-make soup.

Photo by LynnInHK

3) Creamy Poblano Chile and Red Pepper Soup

Ready in 40 minutes. Dried poblanos give this soup just enough heat, blended cashews give it its creaminess, and cooked potatoes give it a little umph.

Just ten minutes of hands-on prep time needed for this soup before simmering. Ready in 40 minutes!

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

4) Red Lentil Soup

Ready in 55 minutes. Coconut milk, peanut oil, and a handful of savory spices come together to make this top-rated vegan soup recipe.

Photo by SunnyByrd

5) Coconut Curry Soup

Ready in 1 hour. Cauliflower is cooked and blended with red curry, coconut milk, and cashews to make this creamy, hearty soup.

Just ten minutes of hands-on prep time needed for this soup before simmering. Ready in 40 minutes!

Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

6) Creamy Corn Chowder

Ready in 1 hour. This low-fat, vegan version of a classic comfort food dish is great for a meal starter or as the main meal itself.

Great for a meal starter or even the main meal itself.

Photo by House of Aqua

7) Celery and Carrot Soup

Photo by LilSnoo

Ready in 35 minutes. This light, delicate soup with is seasoned with tarragon and onion, and makes a great first course to a fall meal.


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