Thanksgiving preparation is nothing short of ritualistic and chaotic. From Grandma's badly timed jokes to that one uncle who always forgets everyone's name, the last thing you need is something to go wrong with dinner and be the bearer of bad food. This year spice up Thanksgiving and swap out the spices in your kitchen cabinet for these popular herbs from Ayurveda. These herbs have healing properties and add a flavorful new taste to traditional recipes. Try these healthy, natural side dishes for your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner party!

Warm Kale & Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Turmeric Vinaigrette

featuing the popular Ayurvedic spice Turmeric


1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1⁄2 cups parsnips,turnips,and sweet potatoes, diced in 1⁄2-inch chunks
8 cups Lacinata kale, de-stemmed, cut in 1⁄4-inch ribbons
1⁄2 cup green apple, medium-diced


In a small saucepan over high heat, combine cider, vinegar, and spices. Bring to a boil. Remove vinaigrette from heat immediately and let cool.

Heat oven to 350°F. On the range, heat a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and root vegetables; sauté until lightly browned.

Transfer pan to oven and roast until tender, 10 minutes. Remove vegetables. Add remaining 2 tbsp oil, kale, and apples to still-hot pan. Cook on medium heat until kale begins to wilt, 3 minutes.

Add root vegetables and vinaigrette to pan. Cook, stirring until kale is tender and vinaigrette is reduced by half, 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Whipped Potatoes

With ghee, an Ayurvedic staple


1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
3⁄4 cup whole milk 1⁄4 cup ghee
1 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper


Heat a large stockpot filled halfway with salted water over high heat. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until fork-tender, 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a bowl.

In the same pot over low heat, combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Add potatoes and mash until almost smooth, but still slightly chunky.

Pumpkin Bisque with Maple Syrup

a sweet and spicy soup new to the Thanksgiving menu featuring ginger, one of Ayurveda's most popular ingredients


4 cups pumpkin, cut into 1-inch chunks 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1⁄2 cup diced onion, divided
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground allspice
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp apple-cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup


Heat oven to 350°F. In a roasting pan, toss pumpkin in 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast until tender, 12–15 minutes.

In a saucepan over low heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onions and cook, covered, until translucent, 4 minutes. Add cooked pumpkin, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Increase heat to medium; add remaining 1 tbsp oil and spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add stock and simmer, 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add cider vinegar and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Ladle into 8 bowls. Garnish each bowl with roasted pumpkin pieces and drizzle with maple syrup.