Salads & Sides

Have a Healthy and Delicious Thanksgiving!

Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is one week away! It’s that time of year when we turn to our old family favorites and look for new recipes that inspire us to try something different in the kitchen. If you’re looking to add some healthier dishes to your Thanksgiving meal, take a look at this collection of recipes!

Side Dishes

source: Tasty Eats at Home (Green Beans with Smoky Pecans)

Gravy, Salad Dressings, & Sauces

Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy

source: Alta Mantsch (Make-Ahead Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy)

Desserts, Pies & Pie Crusts

Gluten-Free Pie Crust

source: Simply Sugar & Gluten Free (Flaky Pie Crust)

Fudge

source: Kelly Broyza (Dairy-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge on The Balanced Platter)

Breads

Savory Pumpkin Almond Twists

source: Hallie Klecker (Pumpkin Almond Twists)

Beverages

Wild Rice Sweet Potato Salad with Pepitas

This recipe came together several years ago when pulling together leftover bits from holiday meals. It turned out so delicious that Wild Rice Sweet Potato Salad is now a staple dish in my house. I originally used toasted pecans in the salad, but now use pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to emphasize the seasonal flavors of the dish and keep it nut free for family friends.

Wild Rice Sweet Potato Salad with Pepitas is a wonderful side dish fancy enough for the holiday table, yet easy enough to have on hand to put in the lunch box, or serve with cooked sliced chicken or grilled portabella mushrooms on top for a simple dinner with the  family. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does.

Wild rice is actually not a rice at all, but a semi-aquatic grass historically grown in lake, bays and tidal rivers.  The only grain native to North America, wild rice originated in the area of the upper Great Lakes. I live in Minnesota, so wild rice has always been a treat item used for the holidays and in autumn dishes during its harvest season. I love its nutty taste, the snappy texture and the way the grain opens when cooked. If you are looking for a warm way to serve wild rice, try Dairy Free Wild Rice Soup for a comforting and creamy soup featuring this unique grain.

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Late Summer Frittata with Cherry Tomato Salad

This time of year, with all the activities that accompany the start of school (and the fees that go with those activities), I like to have a few quick to pull together, budget friendly meals up my sleeve. Frittata is always a welcome one dish meal in my house, especially when studded with end-of-summer produce.

Frittatas are so simple to pull together, even the teens in my house can lend a hand at dinner time when it’s on the menu. Frittatas are similar to a crustless quiche, filled with a variety of pre-cooked meats, beans or your favorite veggies, however frittatas cook up so much quicker.  The secret to this one-pan egg dish is to pre-cook any veggies on the stove top in an oven-safe pan.  After the vegetables are cooked, add egg mixture to the hot pan.  This begins to set and cook the egg.  Then, simply pop the entire pan into a pre-heated oven to finish cooking.  Toss together a simple salad while the frittata has its final bake and dinner is on the table in half an hour. Perfect for busy weeknights!

Frittatas help me to stretch my food budget. I often use up bits of leftover cooked and seasoned chicken, sautéed vegetables or greens that need to be eaten by tossing them in a frittata.  Leftovers don’t taste like leftovers when presented in a new way!
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Getting Ready for Fall: Butternut Squash and Apple Salad

It may feel like we’re still in the middle of Summer, but Fall is just around the corner. And with Fall comes cooler weather, winter squash, and some of my favorite comfort recipes. My favorite Fall ingredient is Butternut Squash mainly because it’s delicious, but also because it is incredibly good for you providing:

  • Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fat
  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial properties
  • Blood sugar regulation

So I though I’d share one of my favorite Fall recipes with you. This Butternut Squash and Apple Salad is actually served cold, so it’s a perfect transition salad as Summer fades into Fall.

And it’s simple to make, which is a blessing this time of year with school starting and schedules filling up. Simply roast butternut squash cubes, onions, and garlic in olive oil.

Leave it out to cool, and then add apples, fresh herbs, and a few other magical ingredients.

Mix together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Then serve with a side of protein. Meat eaters, this pairs well with chicken or fish. Vegetarians, my favorite addition is a side of white beans. I also love mixing garbanzo beans right into the salad.
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