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Healthier Thanksgiving Sides

Published: November 5, 2019

As the cooler weather approaches, so does Thanksgiving! It’s certainly my favorite holiday—who doesn’t love having two days off, delicious food, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and spending time with family? (I’m not from Texas, so while y’all might have football on your TVs, up in the Midwest some of us watch college basketball instead ;)) 

The Thanksgiving feast is often decadent and delicious, and it’s also a great opportunity to add in extra servings of vegetables or fruit into your meal. The Nourish program, a nutrition-based program based out of Houston at the UTHealth School of Public Health, offers classes and workshops designed around healthy cooking, and learning about food through hands-on culinary endeavors. Recently, they offered a class about healthy holiday sides, so we are sharing with you some of their recipes to grace your Thanksgiving meal this year. These recipes are designed to be higher in fruit and vegetable content, and lower in unwanted calories, sugars and fats, giving y’all ways to incorporate health in your everyday life. If you’re looking for more recipes from the Nourish team, we’e got you covered—click here to be rerouted to their Kitchen page.

  1. Roasted Spiced Beets and Goat Cheese

thanksgiving1

Yield: ~4 servings

Serving size: ~ ½ cup

 

Amount:                      Ingredient:

 

1 lbs.                            Beets, unpeeled, cut into even size pieces

2 Tbsp.                         Canola oil

1 Tbsp.                         Thyme, dried, minced

½ tsp                            Pumpkin pie spice

¼ tsp                            Onion powder

¼ tsp                            Cocoa powder, unsweetened

¼ tsp                            Coffee beans, fine ground

½ tsp                            Kosher salt

¼ cup                           Walnuts, toasted, unsalted, chopped

1/3 cup                          Goat cheese crumbles                     

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F (convection)
  2. Combine all ingredients except walnuts and beets evenly in a large bowl
  3. Spread vegetables evenly on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper (do not over-crowd pan)
  4. Roast in oven for 25 -30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside
  5. Before serving garnish with walnuts and goat cheese 

Helpful Tips:

  • Substitute apple pie spice for pumpkin pie spice

 

Equipment Needs:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • ½ sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring spoons

 

 

 

  1. Stovetop Green Beans with Garlic Cream

 thanksgiving2

Yield: ~4 servings

Serving size: ~ ½ cup

 

Amount:                      Ingredient:

 

Sauce:

2 Tbsp.                         Whole wheat flour

½ cup                           Vegetable stock, low sodium

½ cup                           Whole milk

2 Tbsp.                         Thyme, fresh, minced

½ tsp                            Kosher salt

¼ tsp                            Black pepper, ground

Green Beans:

1 Tbsp.                         Canola oil

½ each                         Sweet onion, sliced thin

4 oz                              Cremini mushrooms, sliced thin

1 lb.                              Green beans, untrimmed

5 each                          Garlic, cloves, minced

¼ cup                           Parmesan cheese

¼ cup                           Panko bread crumbs, plain                            

 

Method:

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl, set aside for a later use
  2. Heat oil in a large cast iron pan over medium high heat and sauté onions (~3-5 minutes), until lightly browned
  3. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are tender (~2-3 minutes)
  4. Add green beans, and sauté for an additional 2-4 minutes.
  5. Add sauce mixture and bring to a boil
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently to prevent burning
  7. Continue cooking until green beans are tender and sauce is thickened (~3-5 minutes)
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in parmesan cheese and bread crumbs

 

Helpful Tips:

  • Substitute 1 Tbsp of dried thyme for fresh thyme

 

Equipment Needs:

  • Large cast iron sauté pan
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • Measuring spoons

 

 

  1. Roasted Thyme & Rosemary Brussels Sprouts

sprouts-2582679_960_720

Yield: ~4 servings

Serving size: ~ ½ cup

 

Amount:                      Ingredient:

 

1 lbs.                            Brussels Sprouts, quartered

2 Tbsp.                        Canola oil

1 Tbsp.                        Thyme, fresh, minced

1 Tbsp.                        Rosemary, fresh, minced

½ tsp                           Onion powder

½ tsp                            Kosher salt

¼ tsp                            Black pepper, ground

                        

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F (convection)
  2. Combine all ingredients evenly in a large bowl
  3. Spread vegetables evenly on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper (do not over-crowd pan)
  4. Roast in oven for 25 -30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside

 

Helpful Tips:

  • Substitute apple pie spice for pumpkin pie spice
  • Substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs by using ½ the suggested amount

 

Equipment Needs:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • ½ sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring spoons 

 

  1. Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

cauliflower-1465732_960_720

Yield: ~8 servings

Serving size: ~ ½ cup

 

Amount:                      Ingredients:

Bechamel

1 each                          Cauliflower, head, cut into equal size florets

4 each                          Garlic, cloves, minced

1 tsp                             Thyme, dried

½ tsp                            Kosher salt

½ tsp                            Black pepper, ground

2 cups                          Whole milk

Gratin

1 each                          Cauliflower, head, cut into equal size florets

½ cup                           Parmesan cheese

½ cup                           Mozzarella cheese

½ cup                           Panko bread crumbs, unsalted

1 Tbsp.                         Dried herbs, thyme, rosemary, or Italian seasoning

 

Method:

 

Cauliflower Bechamel

  1. Add cauliflower, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to soup pot, cover cauliflower with milk (~2 cups)
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until cauliflower is soft (~15 minutes)
  3. Remove from the heat, let cool
  4. Transfer mixture to a blender, blend until smooth

Cauliflower Gratin

  1. Preheat convection oven to 350*F
  2. Place cauliflower florets in an oiled 8 x 8 pan
  3. Cover cauliflower with bechamel sauce
  4. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown and bubbly
  5. While cauliflower is cooking combine cheese, bread crumbs, and herbs in a small bowl
  6. Top cauliflower gratin with breadcrumb mixture and return to the oven and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until breadcrumbs are toasted and cheese is melted

 

Helpful Tips:

  • Use a high-speed blender to create a smooth bechamel sauce

 

Equipment Needs:

  • Blender
  • Soup pot
  • Rubber spatula
  • 8 x 8 pan
  • Measuring cup (liquid)
  • Measuring spoons

Blog written by Czesia Eid; Recipes from Nourish Program 


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