Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New winter side dishes

For our Thanksgiving menu, I planned on mostly tried-and-true dishes: mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, the usuals. However, I added in two test vegetable side-dish recipes that I found that looked like the perfect Thanksgiving experiments: few ingredients, relatively simple directions, and could be made while so many other things were going on in the kitchen.

I am pleased to say that both recipes were big hits with everyone at our table, and I'm excited to share them with you today. Both are, like I mentioned, pretty easy to make, and both will be good all winter long (not just at Thanksgiving!). I can't wait to make each of these again!

Roasted Root Vegetables
lightly adapted from Weight Watchers magazine (Nov / Dec 2013 issue)
Serves 8-10

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425*. Line large baking sheet with heavy-duty nonstick foil.
  2. Whisk together maple syrup, oil, mustard, vinegar, and thyme in large bowl. Add carrots and parsnips and toss to coat.
  3. Spread vegetables onto baking sheet and roast until vegetables are tender (about 40 minutes), tossing halfway through cooking time.
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't roast my vegetables in the oven - it was Thanksgiving, and the oven was full! Instead, we got out the electric skillet, cranked the heat as high as it would go (400*, I think), and then cooked the vegetables uncovered for about 30 minutes and covered for 10 more. We didn't want them covered the whole time, in order to avoid steaming instead of roasting, but covering them for the last few minutes ensured they were soft. Either cooking method works, and next time I will definitely roast these in the oven!

Lemony Brussels Sprouts
lightly adapted from Weight Watchers magazine (Nov / Dec 2013 issue)
Serves 8-10

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • zest from one small lemon
  • juice from one small lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  1. Bring large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until crisp-tender (about 4-6 minutes). Drain and transfer to large bowl of ice water to cool and stop cooking process. Using slotted spoon, transfer Brussels sprouts to paper towels and drain well.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs and Parmesan. In another small bowl, whisk together sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Pre-heat large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and water and bring to simmer, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are hot. Uncover and cook until water is evaporated (about 1 more minute). Sprinkle evenly with cayenne and stir to mix well (no one wants a mouthful of Cayenne pepper!).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream mixture; coat Brussels sprouts evenly.
  5. Top with breadcrumb mixture and serve.
I was nervous about this combination of sour cream & lemon juice with the Brussels sprouts, but it actually turned out to compliment the tiny cabbages wonderfully! The cayenne pepper adds a little something extra, and it makes for a side dish that is truly delicious. Even the non-Brussels-sprouts-eaters around our Thanksgiving table enjoyed this one - or at least they claimed to! :) 

Special thanks to my brother-in-law for taking the pictures above - he was a wonderful photo-document-er of our first Thanksgiving!

Never The Same Spice Twice


Ashley Barnhill said...

I love that both of these aren't the traditional (or at least aren't traditional for my family) dishes you normally see during Thanksgiving!

Lindsey @ The Crafty Practitioner said...

I would never normally say this but your brussels look really good!!! (I normally dont eat them). I am a new follower, found you through Kinspiration. Hope you will stop by my blog as well =)

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

YUMMMM these both sound delicious! I'm definitely going to have to add some dijon mustard next time I roast some root veggies - that sounds amazing! And those brussels sprouts sound AWESOME. Now if only I could convince Chris to actually eat them... haha.