Keltie Knight Shares Her Trusty, Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe

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Keltie Knight DirtySugar Photography

Squash the cooking competition. With an autoimmune disease that requires a gluten- and dairy-free diet, vegetarian Keltie Knight needed a Thanksgiving dish that outshined turkey.

“Holiday meals were disappointing,” the Insider correspondent and cohost of The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS (airs November 24 at 9 a.m.) shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly. Then she found a recipe by holistic lifestyle and nutrition consultant Lisa Holowaychuk of

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“I make this as my potluck dish and fool everyone into thinking I’m an amazing cook!” says Knight, 34, who is wed to music manager Chris Knight.

Steve Giralt

Guilt-Free Holiday Comfort Food Sauté

Serves 4

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4 cups butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt or Himalayan pink salt

Black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large red onion, quartered and sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tbsp)

1 bunch sliced kale (center ribs removed)

1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup slightly broken-up toasted pecans


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash, the coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, massaging with fingers. Spread on a lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until squash is cooked through and browned on the edges. 

2. Fifteen minutes into roasting the squash, heat the olive oil in a thick bottom 4- to 5-quart pot on medium-high heat. Add the red onion and toss to coat; cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until onions are softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar and the kale. Stir until the kale is mixed well and soft. Carefully stir in the roasted butternut squash, the dried cranberries and the pecans. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

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