By Mario McKellop

With fall now upon us, millions of Northeast Ohioans are now preparing for Thanksgiving. And the traditional weight gain that comes along with the annual holiday feast. However, those interested in having a healthy turkey day take a page out of the book of Johnson and Wales University-educated chef Laura Kanieski.

As a market kitchen and deli supervisor for Mustard Seed Market & Café, Laura specializes in crafting delicious dishes made with all natural ingredients. Here are three recipes that help make your Thanksgiving a little bit healthier and a great deal more flavorful.

Laura Kanieski
Mustard Seed Market & Café
3885 West Market St.
Akron, Ohio 44333
(330) 434-7333

Related: Ask A Cleveland Chef: Best Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

Spinach Salad with Cranberry Stilton


  • 3 pounds of fresh spinach
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberry stilton or gorgonzola
  • 1 red onion, julienned
  • Seeds from 1 whole pomegranate
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 4 Pears or apples, thinly sliced
  • Poppyseed dressing or a fruity vinaigrette


  1. On a bed of spinach, layer the pears or apples, nuts, onions and scallions and crumbled cheese.
  2. Drizzle with dressing and serve. Makes 8-10 servings.

Related: Ask A Cleveland Chef: Best Latke Recipes For Hanukkah

Roasted Butternut Squash


  • 4 butternut squashes
  • 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup Stevia or sugar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2” cubes.
  3. Toss squash with shallots, sugar, salt and pepper and oil.
  4. Put squash on a lined baking sheet.
  5. Note, two baking sheets may be necessary as you don’t want to overcrowd the squash pieces.
  6. Chop the rosemary and sprinkle over the squash.
  7. Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes until the squash is lightly browned and tender on the inside.

Serves about 10.

Related: Ask A Cleveland Chef: Best Breakfast Casserole Recipes

Southern Fried Green Beans


  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound. bacon
  • 2 Spanish onions


  1. Lightly steam the green beans until they are crunchy and bright green in color.
  2. In a heavy large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy.
  3. Then, remove from the pan.
  4. After cooling, crumble or chop bacon.
  5. Add julienned onions to the bacon grease, then salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook onions until they are caramel in color.
  7. Add in green beans and cook until beans are al dente.
  8. Toss in the crumbled bacon. Serve hot.

Makes 8-10 servings.