Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Appetizers

If you’re still looking for some last-minute easy recipes that aren’t loaded with calories but sure do have tons of flavor, try these! I’ve been so busy with life (and testing my pumpkin-oat-cranberry scone recipe) that it took me until today to realize I’m running behind on posting Thanksgiving recipes.  Such is life sometimes!  So I will cut myself some slack and go get started prepping my pearl onions for my FAVORITE creamed onions of course.  Wishing everyone a truly happy Thanksgiving. Gratitude is everything! Enjoy…

Spinach & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

by Susan Greeley, MS, RD

1 package large “stuffing mushrooms”, rubbed clean and stems removed (about 10-12 mushrooms)
1 Tb. olive oil
1 large package fresh spinach, washed and dried
1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
4 ounces goat cheese
1 tsp. dried sage or herbs de provence
salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the mushrooms with a bit of olive oil and then place them bottom-side up in a 9×9 glass baking dish.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and add all the spinach and garlic or garlic powder.  Cook this until spinach is soft.
Add the bread crumbs and herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir together. Turn the heat off and add the goat cheese.  Blend all together until goat cheese, breadcrumbs and spinach are evenly distributed.
Spoon or fork the spinach mixture into the mushrooms. Sprinkle with a salt and pepper before baking. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until browned on top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Simple, Savory Butternut Squash

1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut in small chunks
1 small white onion, peeled and sliced into small pieces
2-3 Tb. Olive oil
1-2 Tb. Orange juice
Fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper

Fill a medium-sized pot with about 1/2 inch of water and bring to a boil.  Add the butternut squash and cook covered for 7 minutes.  While squash is cooking, heat about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the onion.  Sautee the onion on medium-low heat just until soft and translucent.  Chop about 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary and add to the onion.  Stir around and let simmer just a couple minutes. Add 1/4 tsp. salt.
Place cooked squash in a serving bowl, making sure to drain off any remaining liquid. Pour onion & rosemary mixture on top and toss evenly. Pour  on the orange juice and a bit of olive oil if desired. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper and toss to coat squash evenly. Garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary. Serve and enjoy!

Caribbean Sweet Potatoes

(A recipe from my husband’s grandmother, cuz every Thanksgiving table needs at least one recipe from a grandmother!)

(serves 4-6)

2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 tsp. orange rind
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2  cup brown sugar
2 Tb. butter
1 Tb. lime juice
3 Tb. dark rum

Cook sweet potatoes about 1/2 hour at 400 degrees (or microwave until soft but still firm.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel & slice potatoes. Combine the spices
Arrange potatoes in 2 layers in a shallow casserole — sprinkle each layer with spices.
Heat butter, sugar, lime juice & rum in small saucepan over low heat. Pour over potatoes.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, spooning glaze/sauce over potatoes every 15 minutes.  Let stand 10 mins. before serving.

About Susan Greeley
Helping others achieve optimal health through good nutrition and lifestyle, Susan Greeley promotes wellness through diets rich in healthy, wholesome foods. She counsels clients in her own private nutrition practice and works as the staff nutritionist for a YMCA.

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