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Crispy Gnocchi Pasta with Tomatoes & Leeks

These gnocchi are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside because you sauté them in hot oil. Plus, they leave a little fond (crispy brown bits) in the pan that adds toasty flavor to the tomato and leek sauce, which is cooked in the same pan. Since this easy gnocchi recipe calls for store-bought shelf-stable gnocchi, it's quick to prepare--just 20 minutes, start to finish. Opt for whole-wheat gnocchi to get 2 extra grams of fiber per serving compared to white. This easy and healthy dinner is easy to customize too: see Tips for variations with shrimp, pesto instead of butter, and pork chops instead of gnocchi.

Cranberry Salad

This colorful and healthy cranberry salad will brighten up any Thanksgiving spread. It's sweet but not overly so, with juicy oranges, crunchy walnuts and crisp celery and apples. It's easy to make and can be prepped ahead--plus, you can use fresh or frozen cranberries, which extends the season of this salad. We call for Honeycrisp apples, but Gala or Fuji would also work well. Serve this cranberry salad with your Thanksgiving turkey, of course, or try it with chicken or pork any time of year.

Mashed Butternut Squash

For this mashed butternut squash recipe, we start by roasting the squash, which really intensifies its flavor and sweetness. That means you don't need to add much--just a few pinches of spices and a little butter and salt--to make the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish or partner for any other fall meal. If you want to dress it up more, add some honey and warm spices, like cinnamon, for a sweet profile; for a savory profile, add a teaspoon or two of rosemary, sage or thyme (or a combination) and sprinkle with Parmesan. Or go sweet and savory, with bacon fat (or bacon crumbles), maple syrup and additional cayenne. Using a food processor gives this mash a very smooth texture, but you could certainly mash it with a fork or potato masher for a more rustic texture.