Three Thanksgiving Sides You’ll Love!

Recipes / November 21, 2019

side angle of thanksgiving side dishes

To me, Thanksgiving truly marks the beginning of the holiday season. It’s when we start craving all those “cozy” things… building a fire, wrapping your hands around a cup of hot chocolate, and surrounding yourself with friends and family.

But if you’re like me, you may also find Thanksgiving a bit stressful. Especially if you’re doing the cooking!  

That’s why I’m always on the lookout for holiday recipes that are easy to prepare… and I’m thrilled to share three of them with you here! 

These side dishes are a cinch to whip up, and your guests will rave about them. Even better — all three recipes are loaded with nutrient-dense veggies you can feel good about eating. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving them all season long!

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts seem to be a staple of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. That said, you may not be a big fan of them — I know I wasn’t! 

That is, until AlgaeCal’s COO, Vivian, introduced me to this incredibly delicious Brussels sprouts recipe. 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 for DNA protection

Brussels sprouts 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, which suggests that while further studies are needed, Brussels sprouts can be beneficial without putting your thyroid gland at risk.

In addition, 1 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

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 228 kcal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour onto a baking sheet and spread evenly.
  4. Then, clean and trim your cauliflower and chop into florets.
  5. In a bowl, mix cauliflower, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  6. Pour onto baking sheet evenly next to the Brussels sprouts.
  7. 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.
  8. Take out the pan and divide the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts into separate, medium-sized bowls.
  9. In your cauliflower bowl, add the chopped parsley, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and additional salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Mix it all together.
  10. In your Brussels sprouts bowl, add the aged balsamic vinegar and chopped nuts. Mix.
  11. Check for seasoning and serve!

Recipe Notes

Don't forget that you can bake your Brussels sprouts and cauliflower at the same time. So check out the recipe for "Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon" below!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts cut in half through the core
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup pecan coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnut coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • bacon bits optional
  • capers optional
  • parmesan shredded, optional
Nutrition Facts
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 733mg21%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1280IU26%
Vitamin C 145.1mg176%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

cauliflower and brussels sprouts on a pan

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable, and is considered one of the healthiest foods on Earth! It’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli), and research suggests it’s an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

Cauliflower has been linked to cancer prevention, as well as weight loss due to its extremely low calorie content. 

In fact, 1 cup of raw cauliflower contains:

    • 25 calories
    • 77% daily value (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 g of sugar, sodium, or fat!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon

Course Side Dish
Servings 6
Calories 348 kcal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Clean and trim your cauliflower and chop into florets.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl mix cauliflower, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour onto baking sheet evenly.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Then rotate and flip the sprouts and bake for another 10-15 minutes. *Rotating and flipping helps them brown evenly so they're crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  6. Take out the pan and put the cauliflower into a medium-sized bowl.
  7. In your cauliflower bowl, add the chopped parsley, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and additional salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Mix it all together.
  8. Check for seasoning and serve!

Recipe Notes

Kick it up a notch: Red pepper flakes, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and parsley give this dish extra character!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 large head cauliflower chopped
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds raw, shelled
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped, fresh
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
Nutrition Facts
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Sodium 26mg1%
Potassium 212mg6%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1560IU31%
Vitamin C 25.7mg31%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

aerial shot of balsamic brussels sprouts and roasted lemon cauliflower

Healthy Holiday Stuffing 

If you’re like me, your childhood memories of Thanksgiving dinners include a stuffing your mom prepared from a box. I admit it… it was my favorite part of the meal! 

But those packaged stuffings have never exactly been good for you. They tend to be high in calories and refined carbohydrates, and low in fiber and nutrients. (Check the nutrition panel of any of the popular brands next time you’re at the grocery store.) That’s because their main ingredients are things like wheat flour, vegetable oil and sugar. Even most traditional homemade stuffings are full of bread and white rice… foods that contribute to the chronic, low-grade inflammation that promotes bone loss.  

That’s why we created this healthy version of the stuffing you grew up loving! Unlike traditional and packaged stuffings, this one is loaded with nutrient-dense veggies, like parsnip. Just 1 cup of parsnip contains more than 6 grams of fiber, plus significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin C, and more. 

Just like with carrot, roasting brings out the parsnip’s natural sweetness… which beautifully complements the savory onion and herbs in this recipe. Feel free to experiment with your favorite seasonings, and let us know what you think in the comments section below! 

Healthy Holiday Stuffing

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 165 kcal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the chopped parsnip, carrot and onion separately from each other. (Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may need a second one to hold all the veggies.)
  3. Place the baking sheet on the middle oven rack, and roast for 30 minutes. (Check after 20 minutes. If the onion is cooking faster, remove it from the sheet and transfer it to a bowl. Stir the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet and return them to the oven.)
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter (or coconut oil) in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant but not browned (1-2 minutes). Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender and just starting to brown (5-6 minutes). Remove from heat.
  5. When the roasted vegetables are cooked, transfer them and the mushrooms into a food processor. Add the thyme, sage, salt and pepper.
  6. In the food processor, quickly “pulse” the vegetables so they’re blended but still chunky.
  7. Taste and add more thyme, sage, salt and/or pepper, if you like.

Recipe Notes

Want to add a touch of sweetness? Try stirring in some raisins, dried cranberries or finely chopped apple after you’ve removed the mixture from the food processor. You can easily double this recipe too… you’ll just need a second baking sheet! 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups parsnip chopped
  • 1 cup carrot chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups mushrooms chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • fresh or dried thyme to taste
  • fresh or dried sage to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Holiday Stuffing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 64mg3%
Potassium 767mg22%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 5435IU109%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanksgiving Sides Last Note

What are you planning to make this Thanksgiving? Share your favorite recipes in the comments below!

Author: Monica Straith, BS

Comments
Pam Ballard
Pam Ballard

All of the ingredients for all three of your recipes are on my grocery list and soon to be on my Thanksgiving table. Thank you for giving me just what I wanted!

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Amazing, Pam!!

So glad we could be of help 😄 Let us know how the recipes turn out and Happy Thanksgiving!!

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Dale
Dale

I have made both the Brussels sprouts and cauliflower dishes and they are now family favourites. Thank-you for these tasty and healthy dishes
Dale

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Amazing!! We’re so happy to hear that, Dale 😊

Thanks for taking the time to share and we hope you and your family will continue to enjoy some more of our bone-healthy recipes!

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

IngieB
IngieB

Will like to try the Holiday Stuffing without.the mushrooms because my sister is allergic to them. I will probably add some of the other items. Hope it taste the same without mushrooms.
Happy thanksgiving to all at AlgaeCal.

Megan AlgaeCal
Megan AlgaeCal

Hi Ingie!

Some people like to substitute other vegetables such as zucchinis for mushrooms. Do let us know how your stuffing turns out, and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! 💕

-Megan @ AlgaeCal

Denise for Vibrant Health
Denise for Vibrant Health

Love it enough to make a lot!
Adding dried Herb de Provence and fresh chopped garlic to bake with items smells & tastes heavenly!

Monica
Monica

That sounds so good, Denise! Thanks for that 🙂

– Monica

Sherry Braud
Sherry Braud

Thank you and Happy blessed Thanksgiving! These veggie recipes sound delicious!

Tricia O
Tricia O

Sounds so yummy….and healthy! Will be trying out this recipe on Thanksgiving. Thanks!

Monika Tuttle
Monika Tuttle

I like both Vegetables any time.
I know I will love and enjoy your recipes.
Thank you for sharing.
Happy Thanksgiving

Colleen Phipps
Colleen Phipps

I love the recipes because I cook only fresh ingredients from the market or farm. I look forward to mor of them!

With much appreciation.

Colleen Phipps

Jill Ankerson
Jill Ankerson

Brussel sprouts are delicious this way. I am looking forward to trying the cauliflower. We are a mixed group and celebrate both Thanksgivings…Thanks

Kim
Kim

Sounds delicious…we will be trying both.
Thank you. This is a very nice service.

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