By Anne Gienapp
Thanksgiving is here so you likely already have all of your dinner ideas in place. However, if you’re in a bit of a time crunch to get things done, here are a few super healthy, kid-friendly meals your whole family will enjoy. They are easy to make too so put your kids to work in the kitchen!
I was inspired to make these recipes because my kids are not big turkey eaters. For them, it tends to be all about the side dishes. Like most kids, mine love their mashed potatoes. To make things interesting with more nutrients, I combine potatoes and cauliflower into a mashed creamy goodness and the taste is heavenly! Savory vegetable dishes often pack lots of flavor punch so they satisfy the palates of both vegetarians and meat eaters. Plus, they are a nice counter point to the sweet treats that often follow the Thanksgiving meal. Here are a couple of delicious Thanksgiving veggie dishes that have gotten rave reviews from my kids. Enjoy!
Mish-Mashed Potatoes & Cauliflower
2 pounds potatoes such as Yukon gold
1 head cauliflower
4 Tbsp./60 ml. olive oil
4 Tbsp./60 ml. vegetable broth
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1.) Peel and chop the potatoes into ½”/1.25 cm. pieces and chop the cauliflower into 2”/5 cm. pieces.
2.) Put in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3.) Drain and return veggies to the pot. Mash with the potato masher then add olive oil and broth.
4.) Continue to mash by hand or use a hand-held blender until veggies are smooth and creamy. Season to taste.
Savory Butternut Yum
1 large butternut squash
3 Tbsp./45 ml. coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup/80 ml. balsamic vinegar
2 whole sprigs of rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1.) Preheat oven to 400 F/204 C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.) Peel the squash and cut it lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds, then slice each half creating “half circles” that are no more than ¼”/.75 cm. thick.
3.) Put each squash half on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with half the coconut oil. Bake the squash for 10 minutes, then flip the slices and bake for another 10 – or until the edges of the slices are browning.
4.) While the squash is in the oven, prepare a balsamic reduction. Put the vinegar and rosemary springs into a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, and reduce the mixture by half until the vinegar is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so much that is sticks to the bottom of the pot. You’ll need to watch this closely – it should take about 15 minutes once the simmer starts. Once the vinegar is reduced, discard the rosemary sprigs.
5.) Take the squash out of the oven and drizzle lightly with the vinegar, top with chopped rosemary and parsley, and season to taste.
Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
Will serve about 6, though if your kids love green beans you may want to double this!
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
1 Tbsp./15 ml. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp./45 ml. coconut oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp./15 ml. lemon zest
1 Tbsp./15 ml. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.) Blanch green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop beans from cooking.
2.) Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the coconut oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3.) Add the beans and continue to sauté until coated in the oil and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper.