Longer Reads

Healthy (Yummy!) Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is, perhaps, my most favorite of the holidays. We host the meal at our house, and the guest list has grown over the years to about 16 adults and 4 children. That’s a lot of cookin’! But I love it. My mom comes down the night before, sleeps over, and then we head out to the local farmer’s market bright and early to get the best selection on Wednesday morning. It’s usually cold and blustery and my gloves don’t last long (you can’t pick up your parsnips and Brussels with gloved-hands!), leaving me with ice-cold fingers and a freezing nose. But it’s part of the fun of tradition! We take the produce back to my house, crank up the tunes, and cook from morning well into evening (with ample sampling and tasting along the way, of course. And usually my tastes of my port-filled cranberry sauce leaves me with a delightful buzz!).

As I became more nutritionally-conscious over the past few years, our menu shifted from buckets-of-butter mashed potatoes to more healthy – yet delicious! – sides like roasted Brussels sprouts, baked squash, roasted root veggies, and collard green “bundles.” While the meal is just as tasty as before, our guests leave with a little more pep in their step and less “brain fog” than in Thanksgivings-past.

I wanted to give everyone some healthier options for the big day. Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish to your host’s home, these dishes help lighten up the meal but don’t skimp on flavor. Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes I’ve collected over the years. If you try one, let me know what you think! P.S.  You don’t just have to make them on Thanksgiving — they’re great all winter long!

-Wild mushroom bundles

Quick & easy sauteed Brussels sprouts

Roasted root vegetables

-Cranberry sauce with port and dried figs — best cranberry sauce EVER!!

-Roast butternut squash with shallots and sage