Unless you reserved your local sustainable organic heritage turkey months ago, you are most likely going to roast the same old turkey. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good succulent bird drowning in brown gravy, but I am secretly a sides whore and easing up on factory turkey meat ain’t a bad thing, right? So let’s get weird and adjust our focus. Here are some fun, easy and healthy dishes that will make you say “What turkey?”
10 Slamming Sides For Thanksgiving
Grow up and don’t ruin the yams or sweet potatoes (or whatever you call them) with marshmallows. Ease into the eating frenzy with a spicy and sweet soup made with one of the healthiest veggies in the world!
My family always serves a huge bowl of pasta before the Thanksgiving meal. Every year it’s Nonna’s last lasagna, because she thinks she will be dead by the next year. (Last year, she almost killed my boyfriend with her lasagna!) If you must be so Italian and serve pasta, why not make this orzo with sweet squash and sage instead of heavy red sauce? Who am I kidding? It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a heap of lasagna as the appetizer. Traditions!
In certain family situations you take the booze where you can get it. When raiding Grandma’s stash isn’t enough just spike the cranberry sauce!
Mashed potatoes can never be boring. Whipped buttery carbs? But why not get colorful and use those gorgeous blue potatoes you see at the local market this year! Mash in some roasted garlic and herbs like rosemary or sage.
Most collard greens recipes call for a ham hock, but these flavorful greens are delicious without all the dead meat. This recipe will get the sweet and sour going with apple cider and apple cider vinegar, which can help with diabetes and obesity, two conditions many of us dangerously flirt with on Thanksgiving day.
Stuffing can be very simple or can be taken to the next level by using some fancy bread like brioche or even cornbread. Lots of people add sausage to stuffing, which is outrageously delicious, but if your son’s girlfriend is a veggie, use mushrooms instead. They have such a meaty texture and a deep flavor, you won’t miss the meat.
Adding some spice to the Thanksgiving table is always a nice surprise. Chili may help speed up your metabolism and help prevent obesity, two things we can use during the holidays.
A lot of people forget about the subtle and rich flavor of the parsnip, an undiscovered vegetable star. Often overlooked, it is one of those most dynamically sweet root vegetables. Instead of roasting, fry these suckers up and put them out on the buffet. They will get gobbled down in no time.
Brussel Sprouts are in season locally during Thanksgiving time so stock up. Impress your friends with a gigantic stalk as part of your cornucopia centerpiece. But don’t just decorate with these tiny vegetable pleasures, enjoy their sweet and subtle flavor, and reap the anti-carcinogenic health benefits they pack in each juicy bite.
You gotta have pumpkin for Thanksgiving, and since someone is making a Pecan Pie, sneak the pumpkin into the dinner rolls!
Cheers and keep your Thanksgiving local, Greenpoint!