Three Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

By Sarah Leahy, CPT – November 1, 2021

Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and full of flavor.


1.5lbs baby potato medley
Fresh rosemary
Fresh sage
Avocado oil spray


  1. Wash and dry potatoes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 12-15 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are softening, coarsely chop 3 sprigs of rosemary and 6 large sage leaves. Set aside.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the water, place on a cutting board, and smash flat using the back of a sturdy spatula and the heel of your hand.
  5. Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes.
  6. Remove the air fryer basket, spritz with avocado oil spray. Add smashed potatoes, fresh herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Add another spray of oil and toss to coat.
  7. Return basket to air fryer and cook on max crisp 10 minutes, shaking basket once or twice during cooking.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish. Enjoy!

Green Beans with Crispy Onions

A fresher, brighter take on the traditional green bean casserole.


1.5 lbs green beans
3 to 4 shallots (or scallions, sweet pearl onions)
2 to 3 garlic cloves (more or less to taste)
1 large lemon
Avocado oil spray


  1. Wash and trim green beans, set aside.

Blackened Crispy Onion and Garlic Topping

  1. Peel and thinly slice shallots and garlic. You can substitute small pearl onions or scallions for shallots, or use a mixture of the three.
  2. Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes. Remove basket and lightly spritz the inside with avocado oil cooking spray, then add the onion and garlic mix. Spray the top of onions and garlic with oil and give the basket a good shake to distribute. Cook in the air fryer on max crisp setting for 8-10 minutes, shaking two to three times throughout the cooking process.
  3. Remove from basket, lightly salt and set aside. (Topping can be made a day ahead of time and kept in an airtight container.)

Cook Green Beans

  1. Prep an ice bath: fill a bowl larger than your colander with ice water, set inside your sink.
  2. Lightly salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add green beans, boiling approximately 3 minutes until bright green, then immediately remove the green beans to a colander and place on the ice bath. Rinse the beans with cold water. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  4. Transfer the blanched green beans to an oven safe dish, spritz with avocado oil spray, lighten with salt and pepper to taste, and gently toss. Top with thinly sliced lemon.
  5. Bake at 425°F for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Top green beans with crispy onion and garlic chips.
  7. Enjoy!

Baked Cranberry Sauce

Baked Cranberry Sauce

A bright, aromatic cranberry sauce with fresh fruit and warm spices.


1/2 lb fresh cranberries (or frozen + thawed)
2 large oranges (Tangelos or Navel Oranges both work well)
2 to 4 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of whole Cloves or 1 tablespoon ground cloves
Optional: liquid agave or honey

Prep the Sauce:

  1. Slice cranberries in half and place in bowl.
  2. Add juice and zest of one large orange.
  3. Grate fresh cinnamon, add 1 tablespoon whole cloves, and remainder of cinnamon sticks. 4. Mix, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Remove cranberries from the fridge, stir, and season with additional cinnamon to taste. If sweeter sauce is preferred, add agave or honey.
  3. Peel and chop one large orange and mix into cranberries.
  4. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.
  5. Remove from the oven, stir thoroughly and remove whole cloves.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish. Enjoy!

About the Author

Leahy is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin and is a certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer, and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Leahy’s passion for strength extends to your business, with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services.


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