Ask An Los Angeles Chef: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time of coming together by reaching across the table and sharing a meal. Whether you are entertaining for a large or small crowd, casual or gussied up, planning your Thanksgiving feast menu in advance is always helpful. Feast is an understatement during the holiday season, and Los Angeles chef and caterer Ella Freyinger provides you with healthy takes (and crowd pleasers) on side dishes this year.
Chef Ella Freyinger
Chef Ella Freyinger, Inc.
Confluence Food & Drink

Striving to uphold a business and personal philosophy of building communities over a nourishing meal, Chef Ella Freyinger makes a continuous impact in the lives of her clients and within the Los Angeles culinary scene. This Thanksgiving she is preparing seasonally grown whole ingredients including sweet potatoes, squash and figs and giving them center stage on holiday tables this season. Her catering business serves informal at-home gatherings, weddings, grand events. Chef Ella also creates menus for select restaurants.

(credit: Ella Freyinger)

Sweet Potato Chips with Thyme Salt

Chef Ella remembers these super simple and cost effective chips as have a part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition. They are the perfect pre-meal appetizer that both adults and kids will enjoy. She prefers to buy longer and skinnier sweet potatoes to ensure they will fit on the mandolin for slicing. Have more of a sweet tooth? Top the chips with cinnamon sugar instead of the thyme salt.

Ingredients for chips:

Directions for salt:

Directions to bake chips:

Related: Best Places For French Fries In Los Angeles

(credit: Ella Freyinger)

Roasted Tahitian Squash with Honey-Chili Agro Dolce
For Chef Ella, the Thanksgiving menu is not complete until there is a place for winter squash on the table. This recipe also works beautifully with pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata, acorn or kabocha so use whatever winter squash you have in your pantry or looks best at the market. You can roast the squash before the turkey goes in the oven and just throw it under the broiler before you serve so that you don’t take up too much precious time in the oven. Want to get “fancy”? Garnish with spoonfuls of honeycomb.

Ingredients for squash:


Ingredients for the agro dolce:


(credit: Ella Freyinger)

Fig and Cranberry Bean Salad
This easy to assemble salad is colorful and makes a great healthy and vegetarian addition to the holiday table.



By Sheryl Craig
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