Thanksgiving Recipes: Five Special Side Dishes You Must Add to Your 2016 Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving side dishes

Thanksgiving in America always falls on the fourth Thursday of November. For Thanksgiving 2016, it lands on the 24th. Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. is a day of football, family, friends, and a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Many Thanksgiving recipes with certain side dishes will likely be part of the big meal.

The Thanksgiving menu will certainly include a stuffed turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin pie. It’s a good idea to try a healthy spin on your Thanksgiving meal this year. The following are a few of my favorite side dishes that you can add to your turkey or another main course.

Sweet Potato Casserole

The following sweet potato casserole can be a side dish or a dessert. It tastes just like an oatmeal cookie, and the sweet potato filling adds some natural sweetness.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 or 6 large sweet potatoes, and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 tsp. of ghee or vegan butter
  • 4 tsp. of virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1.5 tsps. of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. of ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. of Celtic grey sea salt
  • Almond milk, as needed

For the Crumble:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/3 cups of pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup of almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. of Celtic grey sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. of melted vegan butter or ghee
  • 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1.5 tsp. of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. of virgin coconut oil
  • Coconut oil, ghee, or vegan butter for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven for 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly grease a 2.5-liter casserole dish with coconut oil, ghee, or vegan butter.
  • To make the mashed sweet potatoes, place them in a large pot, add water, and cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high, and boil for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer back to the pot.
  • Add the coconut oil and ghee or butter, and mash until smooth. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. If you want to thin it out a bit, add some almond milk and continue to stir. Spoon the mixture into the casserole dish.
  • To make the pecan crumble, pulse the oats in a food processor, but do not grind them into flour. In a medium bowl, stir the chopped pecans, oats, salt, cinnamon, and almond meal or flour. Pour in the melted coconut oil, ghee or butter, and maple syrup, and stir until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the crumble topping on the sweet potato mixture and evenly layer it.
  • Finally, bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dish is hot all the way through. The topping will still appear light in color. Plate and serve immediately with a little coconut oil, ghee, or vegan butter.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Coconut Oil

Do you remember when you were a kid and you hated Brussels sprouts? Well, I don’t think you’ll hate this version! They’re perfect for your guests. I dare you to leave any of these on your plate.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of more or Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tbsp. of virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. of Celtic grey sea salt
  • 2 to 3 tsp. of hot chili flakes (optional)
  • Freshly grounded pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 shallots

Directions:

  • In a large pot, steam Brussels sprouts until tender for about eight minutes. Preheat oven for 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the cooked Brussels sprouts in a large bowl with coconut oil, sea salt, pepper, tomatoes, shallots, and chili flakes. Place everything in a baking pan uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Let rest for five to 10 minutes, and then serve to your guests!

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Parsley

Rainbow carrots are perfect to add some color to your Thanksgiving feast. You could use plain orange carrots instead, but if you can find them, rainbow carrots are great to add some color and a slightly different flavor. It is an easy recipe to follow too that won’t have you confused and rushed to start plating for your guests. See for yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 12 to 15 rainbow carrots (use more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp. of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1-2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of Celtic grey sea salt
  • 1 tsp. of freshly grounded black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel, trim, quarter the carrots and chop the parsley. Mix the carrots, parsley, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and other preferred spices in a large mixing bowl, and coat the carrots with your hands.
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven to stir well, and roast for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and transfer to a serving bowl.

Sources:

McCarthy, J., Joyous Health: Eat and Live Well Without Dieting (Toronto: Penguin Group, 2014), 231.

Prepon, L., The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health (New York: Touchstone, 2016), 257.

Liddon, A., Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2016), 133.