Thanksgiving means spending time with family and friends, drinking hot cider and cocoa, building cozy fires and giving thanks for all that we have over a truly wonderful meal.
It can also be one of the more hectic times of the year with people traveling back home, running around finishing last minute errands and for some, partaking in Black Friday specials.
So why not seek out ways to make this time a little easier? Personally, I do that by being efficient in the kitchen! The following two Thanksgiving sides are simple to make, yet delectable to eat. And best of all… they both fit on one roasting pan!
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
During Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, brussels sprouts seem to be a regular staple. However, you may not be a big fan of them – I know I wasn’t! At least until AlgaeCal’s COO Vivian introduced me to this incredibly delicious brussels sprouts dish last fall. So this is for you, Viv!
Adding coarsely chopped nuts (try toasting them!) and aged balsamic vinegar is what sets this recipe apart. And if you want to add a bit more umami (savory taste), pan frying some chopped bacon will elevate this dish even more…
Brussels sprouts boast some major health benefits, too, and have been linked with unique benefits in the area of DNA protection.
They have also been used to determine the impact on thyroid function as cruciferous vegetables are often not recommended for those with thyroid disease. One preliminary study had participants eat 150 grams of cooked brussels sprouts daily for 4 weeks, along with a normal diet. The researchers found no effect on thyroid function suggesting that while further studies are needed, brussels sprouts can be beneficial without putting your thyroid gland at risk.
In addition, one cup of brussels sprouts contains:
- 38 calories
- 125% DV (Daily Value) of Vitamin C
- 195% DV of Vitamin K
- 10% DV of Potassium
- 15% DV of Manganese
- 87 mg of omega 3 fatty acids
- 1 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, cut in half through the core
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup pecan and walnut mix, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional additions: bacon bits, capers, shredded parmesan
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon
Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and considered one of the healthiest foods on earth! It is apart of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli) and research suggests it is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Cauliflower has been linked to cancer prevention and weight loss due to its extremely low-calorie content.
In fact, one cup of raw cauliflower contains:
- 25 calories
- 77% DV of Vitamin C
- 9% DV of Phosphorous
- 8% DV of Manganese
- 14% DV of Folate
- 11% DV of Vitamin B6
- 20% DV of Vitamin K
- 37 mg of omega 3 fatty acids
- And close to 0 grams of sugar, sodium or fat!
Red pepper flakes, freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley give this dish life!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large head of cauliflower. chopped
- ¼ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Clean and trim brussels sprouts, then mix brussels sprouts and chopped shallot in a medium-sized bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour onto a baking sheet and spread evenly.
- Then, clean and trim your cauliflower and chop into florets.
- In a medium-sized bowl mix cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour onto baking sheet evenly next to the brussels sprouts.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Then rotate and flip the sprouts and cauliflower and bake for another 10-15 minutes. * Rotating and flipping helps them brown evenly so they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Take out the pan and divide the cauliflower and brussels sprouts into separate, medium-sized bowls.
- In your cauliflower bowl add the chopped parsley, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and additional salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Mix.
- In your brussels sprouts bowl, add the aged balsamic vinegar and chopped nuts. Mix.
- Check for seasoning and serve!
What are you planning to make this Thanksgiving? Share your favorite recipes in the comments below!