A Thanksgiving Beauty Feast, with Sweet Potato Pecan Risotto


When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, eating for beauty probably isn't the first thing on your mind. Securing yourself a second helping of stuffing is far more important. But if you approach your holiday meal with a little understanding about the fall foods that are best for your beauty and body, you'll come away satisfied AND with a beauty nutrition boost. Why miss an opportunity to look and feel your best?

A holiday celebration can be a minefield of skin-sabotaging foods, but you'll probably also find plenty of beautifying seasonal foods to fill up on, like:

  • root vegetables (think beets, potatoes, carrots)

  • squashes and pumpkin

  • kale

  • onions and garlic

  • sweet potatoes

  • cranberries (but beware, the sauce can be a sugar bomb!)

  • nuts

This Thanksgiving, you might want to stack the deck in your skin's favor by throwing together this Sweet Potato Pecan Risotto (I promise, it's easy!), a powerhouse meal for youthful, clear skin. This risotto also makes a special vegetarian main dish (for those veggies who get tired of eating just the sides).

Sweet potato is loaded with beauty nutrition (just one cup has 769% of your daily vitamin A, a critical nutrient for healthy cell turnover, glowing skin and fewer blemishes, plus beauty minerals like iron, potassium and calcium). The classic sweet potato-pecan combo reminds me of traditional Thanksgiving pies and baked sweet potato side dishes that are usually loaded with sugar. For a more beautifying take on sweet potatoes and pecans, this dish skips the sugar, in favor of a warm, creamy, savory risotto that you'll want to make again and again, all winter long.

Sweet Potato Pecan Risotto

Serves: 6

This hearty, savory risotto makes a delicious vegetarian main dish on Thanksgiving, or any other time of the fall or winter. Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A to keep your skin smooth, glowing and blemish-free.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • heaping ½ cup chopped pecans

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 2 cups Arborio rice

  • 6 cups broth

  • scant ½ tsp ginger

  • sea salt

  • black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Scrub sweet potatoes and cut away any inedible areas of skin. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork several times and wrap individually in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until soft.

  2. When potatoes are finished baking, remove from the oven. Mash one potato until smooth and cut the other into bite-sized chunks. Remove any large pieces of potato skin (leaving some small pieces of skin), and set potatoes aside.

  3. Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until golden, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add pecans and toast over medium heat, 1 minute, then stir in maple syrup and turmeric. Add rice and deglaze with 2 cups broth.

  5. Stir frequently until almost all liquid is absorbed, then add 2 more cups broth and continue stirring.

  6. When liquid is absorbed, add the final 2 cups broth, mashed sweet potato, ginger, sea salt and pepper to taste, and stir until just absorbed.

  7. Remove from heat and add remaining sweet potato chunks.