Thanksgiving Vegetable Guide
We know we're going to have turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner, but there should also be supporting players for the main event. Vegetables have to make an appearance: we expect the standard mashed potatoes, but there are loads of other vegetables you can try that will add a little zip to your holiday dinner. Here's a quick guide to Thanksgiving vegetables.
Sweet potatoes occasionally land on the Thanksgiving table from a can. Canned yams aren't the best way to eat your sweet spuds. Fresh is best, especially if you add brown sugar or marshmallows. Sweet potato casserole is a Southern standard ? the potatoes are cooked, mashed, mixed with eggs and sugar, and baked. It could pass as dessert, but adding it as a side lets everyone get their sugar fix before you slice the pie. For those who prefer something a little less sweet, peeled, cut into chunks, and tossed in a little bit of olive oil with salt and pepper, roasted sweet potatoes give your plate a healthy balance with a lot of vitamin A and B6 ? they taste pretty good, too.
Though they're like tiny cabbages for garden gnomes, Brussels sprouts are not typically a favorite of, well, anyone, but that largely depends on how they're served. Trimmed, tossed in olive oil and roasted, Brussels sprouts take the place of any spot broccoli might occupy. If you want something a little richer, try making Brussels sprouts gratin. Mixed with a cream sauce, topped with cheese and sprinkled with breadcrumbs, Brussels sprouts taste a little less like earthy goodness and more like cheesy nirvana.
Root Vegetables & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and root vegetables like carrots, turnips, parsnips are surprisingly delicious. They're best roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper, but the ones with pale flesh mash well. While you probably don't want two mashed vegetables on the table, you can mix your mashed potatoes with mashed turnips or cauliflower. It adds an extra layer of flavor and significantly cuts the calories (and carbs) of regular mashed potatoes.
Green beans typically show up at the Thanksgiving table drowning in cream of mushroom soup and buried under French fried onions, but they don't have to be mushy to be delicious. Try a healthier approach. Toss cooked green beans with a vinaigrette, pine nuts and bacon bits, or make a traditional green bean amandine by tossing with butter, lemon juice and slivered almonds. It's an easy and delicious way to add fresh vegetables to your holiday spread.
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, summer squash is gone and we're left with butternut and acorn squash ? but you won't hear any complaints if you choose the right recipe! Butternut squash is typically served as soup, but you can roast it and use the cooked squash as the filling for a delicate turnover or mix it with cheese and breadcrumbs for a rich casserole.