Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away? Have you started planning your holiday menu yet? We have, and we’re excited to share our plans with all of you!
Here are some of our favorite sorta-healthy Thanksgiving sides to help lighten up the requisite roast turkey, stuffing and gravy this year – each is packed with nutritious fruits and/or veggies, but also delicious enough to feel worthy of the annual feasting holiday.
1. Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Walnuts and Truffle Oil by Oh My Veggies
Green beans and mushrooms are no stranger to the Thanksgiving spread – but too often, they are hidden beneath layers of creamy sauce and crispy fried onions. This year, allow the vegetables to shine in this simple and easy-to-prepare recipe. The green beans, mushrooms and walnuts are seasoned, tossed and spread on a baking sheet to roast and then get elevated to luxurious heights with a drizzle of truffle oil. The recipe says you can skip that last step if you wish, but we recommend that you don’t!
2. Apple Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes by Oh My Veggies
Brought to you by the same veggie-loving blogger, here’s another tasty yet healthful oven full of goodness: Roasted, seasoned sweet potatoes (at their best in the fall) are glazed in a sticky, sweet apple cider reduction. The result is a wonderful alternative to the traditional sweet potato casserole or yams with marshmallows. To pump up the flavor, add a dash of cinnamon; for crunchy texture, sprinkle toasted pecans.
3. Braised Red Cabbage, Beets and Leeks by What Would Cathy Eat?
Three often overlooked and underrated vegetables (red cabbage, beets and leeks) are given new life in this colorful and delicious dish. The veggies are shredded and braised in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, red wine and spices to create the perfect light Thanksgiving side. The blogger notes that the beets she used (those shown in the photograph) are striped chioggias; if you choose to use red beets, the dish will take on a deeper hue.
4. Roasted Winter Squash Salad with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts by Gourmande in the Kitchen
Roasting best brings out the subtly-sweet flavor of fresh winter squash, and this salad lets that flavor shine. The vibrant orange color, reminiscent of autumn’s leaves, is left in large pieces and paired with bright baby greens to create a visually stunning dish (that is also nutrient-dense and fiber-rich!) The whole thing is topped off with crumbles of fresh goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and a tasty maple and port wine vinaigrette. It could be served as a side or an appetizer.
5. Cranberry Apple Couscous by The Daily Muse
Along with ubiquitous pumpkin, there’s just something about the combination of apples and cranberries that screams autumn and Thanksgiving. Here, the classic duo is added to Israeli couscous – a grain not typically found on the holiday table. Other seasonal flavors like toasted pecans, fresh rosemary and maple syrup add complexity and texture to create a sweet-and-savory dish that you might find yourself craving long after Thanksgiving has passed.
6. Cranberry Chutney by Alaska from Scratch
Can’t get enough cranberries? Try this for a fix! Fresh, tart berries are mixed with apples, pears and golden raisins in this ultimate blend of fruity fall flavors. Crystallized ginger, cloves and cinnamon add spice while chopped hazelnuts and onion create contrast and depth. The result is a truly incredible condiment that works well with everything on your Thanksgiving table. And once you’ve made your own cranberry sauce from scratch, you won’t want to ever go back to store-bought cans… Really!
What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, healthy or otherwise? We’d love to hear! Share them with us in the “comments” section below, and be eligible to win a free gift from MyChelle!*
*Must be located in the United States.