Two Thanksgiving Sides You’ll Love!

Recipes / November 16, 2018

side angle of thanksgiving side dishes

Thanksgiving means spending time with family and friends, drinking hot cider and cocoa, creating cozy fires and giving thanks for all that we have over a wonderful meal.

But Thanksgiving can also be one of the more hectic times of the year…

People are traveling back home, running around finishing last minute errands, and even partaking in Black Friday specials.

So why not look for 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!

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

During Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Brussels sprouts seem to be a staple. However, you may not be a big fan of them – I know I wasn’t! At least until AlgaeCal’s COO (and Dean’s wife) 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 for 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

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Course Side Dish
Servings 4
Calories 228 kcal


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Clean and trim Brussels sprouts.
  3. Finely chop 1 shallot.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl add Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper and shallot. Mix together.
  5. Pour onto a baking sheet and spread evenly.
  6. 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 are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  7. Take out the pan and put the brussels sprouts into a medium-sized bowl.
  8. In your Brussels sprouts bowl, add the aged balsamic vinegar and chopped nuts. Mix.
  9. 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!


  • 1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts cut in half through the core
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 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 considered one of the healthiest foods on earth! It is part 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!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon

Course Side Dish
Servings 6
Calories 348 kcal


  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 are 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.
  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!


  • 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

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

Author: Monica Straith, BS

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!


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


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

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