While the turkey may be the centerpiece of many American Thanksgiving meals, the sides are usually my favorite part! I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the third year in a row, and have found a few crowd-pleasing, healthier versions of classic side dishes. You don’t need too much time or really any skill in the kitchen, either!
Almond Butter Stuffed Dates
If your family is anything like mine, there needs to be something to nosh on pre-meal. These are so stinkin’ easy and the perfect blend of sweet and savory. They’re also bite-sized, so you don’t need to worry about serving utensils or dirtying more plates. Simply just buy Medjool dates (usually in the refrigerated section of your health food store), slit the dates the long way on one side and pull out the pits. Replace the pits with a little spoonful of almond butter.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberry and Walnuts
Who doesn’t love Brussels Sprouts! Thoroughly wash your Brussels sprouts, peel the outer layers off, chop off the bottoms and cut in half. Roast for about 40 minutes at 350 (but keep an eye on them), with sea salt and coconut oil. Once done, just put them in a bowl then sprinkle with dried cranberries and walnuts. Voila! The easiest roasted salad, ever.
For this nutrient-dense spin on classic mashed potatoes, simply steam a head of cauliflower. Then you’ll need to blend the cauliflower til smooth with either an immersion blender or pop it in your Vitamix. Just add butter, fresh garlic and any other seasoning you like!
Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese
To be honest, this recipe is new to me, but it looks so fun! Simply roast a spaghetti squash, per usual. Once cooked, scoop out the meat. While roasting, steam broccoli. Add broccoli to the spaghetti squash. In a large saucepan, mix and heat your cheese sauce. Once complete, mix it all together and serve! For those who are dairy free, you could easily make a vegan cheese sauce with cashews and nutritional yeast.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Not only is this an impressive looking dessert, but it is also delicious and low in added sugar…and you can make it all in a skillet! It’s up to you whether to use a pre-made pie crust or make your own. Basically, you’ll need to slice a whole bunch of apples really thin and arrange them in a skillet so they fit tightly. If you really want to indulge, though, you can always top the tarte with a caramel drizzle, or serve ala mode.