Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas soon after that! I have a feeling you might be giving some thanks as you scroll down this page! These are The Organic Kitchen’s “Easy Holiday Side Dishes”. They all have only a few ingredients and take minutes to prepare.
In the last 33 years my mother has cooked the turkey all but twice…I know lucky me, right? Needless to say, I have become very proficient at side dishes. So here are my holiday favorites.
Appetizer: Warm Brie with Cranberries
- 1 - 8 oz round of Brie cheese (I use double cream brie...yes, that is what I said)
- 2 T dried cranberries, chopped
- a pinch Herbs de Provence
- 2 T chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
- Your favorite crackers
- Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in center position
- Use a knife to cut the rind off the top of cheese. Place in oven safe baking dish, top with nuts and cranberry, sprinkle with herbs de Provence. Bake for 15 minutes. Spread on crackers and listen to everyone rave.
Grandma Julia’s Green Beans with Basil, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
- Serves 6
- 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 2 lg garlic cloves, minced
- 3 T butter
- 6 basil leaves chopped
- 1 large tomato diced
- 2 med sized shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- sea salt (I use Maldon's)
- roasted pine nuts (optional)
- Prepare all ingredients while you bring a large pot of water to boil. When water comes to a boil, begin sauteeing shallots in a separate sauté pan with butter. Place beans in boiling water, blanche for 3 minutes. Drain in colander then pour beans into pan with shallots. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and basil, cook for 1-2 more minutes. Add diced tomato, and pine nuts, sprinkle with sea salt, toss and serve.
Roasted Carrots with Gremolata (My favorite way to prepare carrots! (recipe here)
My favorite holiday salad: ‘Greens with Pomegranate Vinaigrette” (Recipe here)
The Recipe: Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Nutmeg
- 3 Cups fresh cranberries
- Juice and zest of 3 oranges
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (like this)
- Use a microplane to zest oranges, scraping just until the white is exposed then move to a new spot. Squeeze juice from oranges (should be about a cup of juice, I use this). Place juice, zest, sugar and cranberries into a pan and bring to a simmer. While berries are simmering stir occasionally and use the microplane to grate fresh nutmeg. When cranberries begin to 'pop' add nutmeg. Simmer just a couple more minutes then turn off heat. Sauce will thicken even more after it cools.
Decadent Smashed Potatoes (recipe here)
15 Minute Apple Pie ~ Are you ready for your food coma yet? (recipe here)
I must say I have much to be grateful for, a really good husband (he’s a catch!) beautiful children and grand children, my health, this amazing country in which we live and the abundance we enjoy. May your holidays be filled with love, family, friends, good food and gratitude! This is a favorite quote on the subject of gratitude:
“This is a wonderful time to be living. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.
“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues” Thomas S. Monson
Happy Holidays friends!
~ Linda Spiker
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