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Side Dishes

From vegetables to gravies to salads, you'll find it here. Since people categorize things differently, we just decided to make it easier. Anything you wouldn't classify as a main dish or a dessert can be found under the heading Side Dish.


Savoury Pear Stuffing

675g loaf white bread, sliced
3 large onions
3 large celery stalks
2 leeks or 1 large red onion
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp dried tarragon leaves (optional)
2 tsp ground sage
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 pears, peeled

  1. Position oven racks in top third and center of oven.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Slice off bread crusts, if you wish.  Cut bread into 1/2" cubes.  Spread out on 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Bake in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 12-15 minutes.  Place in large bowl.

  2. Meanwhile, finely chop onions and celery.  Cut root ends and dark green parts from leeks.  Cut leeks in  half lengthwise.  Fan out and rinse under water to remove any grit then thickly slice.  If using red onion, thinly slice.

  3. Melt butter in a large, wide saucepan set over medium heat.  Add onions, celery, leeks and seasonings.  Stir often until onions are soft, 8-10 minutes.  Coarsely chop pears.  Add to onion mixture for last minute of cooking.  Add to bread and stir evenly to mix.  Cool completely.  If making ahead, coer and refrigerate up to 2 days.  Stuff turkey just before roasting.


Roasted Winter Vegetables

5 peppers, preferably a mix of colours
4 parsnips, peeled
1 large red onion
340g pkg baby carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp each paprika, dried sage and oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
1 green onions sliced

  1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Lightly oil 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Cut peppers into quarters.  Cut parsnips into thick pieces.  Slice red onion into thick wedges.  Place in a large bowl with carrots.  IN a small bowl, stir oil with honey.  Drizzle overtop vegetables.  Sprinkle with seasoning.  Toss until coated.  Tumble onto baking sheets, spreading vegetables out in a single layer.

  2. Roast on top and bottom racks in preheated oven until vegetables start to brown around edges, 25-35 minutes.  Switch sheets halfway through roasting and stir vegetables.  When done, arrange on one or two large platters and sprinkle with green onion.


Creamy Holiday Mashed Potatoes

10 large potatoes, peeled
2 cups milk, 2% or homogenized
8-oz block cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
snipped chives (optional)

  1. Cut potatoes ni half and place in  a large saucepan.  Cover with water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Gently boil, partially covered, until potatoes are fork tender, 25-30 minutes.

  2. Just before potatoes are done, pour milk into large bowl or measuring cup and microwave just until hot.  Whisk in cream cheese and butter.

  3. Drain potatoes well, then mash in saucepan using a potato masher.  Or put through a ricer, then return to saucepan.  Stir in hot milk mixture and salt.  Top with snipped chives, if you wish.  If making ahead,cover and refrigerate up to 5 hours.  Reheat in microwave, stirring often and adding more milk if needed.


Low-Carb Cranberry Relish

1 cup sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
1 cup water
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon orange zest

Combine sugar substitute and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add cranberries and orange zest and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings
Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Calories 31
Fat 0 grams
Saturated Fat 0 grams
Carbohydrates 8 grams
Fiber 2 grams


Low-Carb Sausage and Herb Stuffing

3/4 pound turkey sausage (you may use pork breakfast sausage)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 eggs
2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Equipment: 8 by 8-inch square baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove sausage from casing and crumble it into a pan over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until browned. Drain fat if necessary.

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix in the sausage mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Pour the stuffing into the baking dish and bake until hot and browned, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings
Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Calories 120
Fat 2 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams
Carbohydrates 3 grams
Fiber 1 gram


Low-Carb Wild Mushroom Turkey Gravy

>2 cups defatted turkey juices from turkey roasting pan, or homemade turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, stemmed and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry sherry
Salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Bring the juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce by half. Add the cream and cook until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, and sherry and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and almost dry, about 6 minutes.

Combine the mushrooms with reduced gravy and season with salt and pepper. Reheat, if necessary, and stir in the vinegar. Transfer to a gravy boat and keep warm until serving.

Makes 8 servings
Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Calories 110
Fat 10 grams
Saturated Fat 6 grams
Carbohydrates 3 grams
Fiber .5 grams


Low-Carb Green Bean Casserole

Onion Straws:
1/2 cup very thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup soy flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup no-sugar, low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup sour cream

Equipment: 10-inch glass pie pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the Onion Straws: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, toss to mix, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Make the Casserole: Bring a small pot of water to boil and season lightly with salt. Boil the green beans until tender, but still crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain and chill beans in an ice water bath or under running cold water. Drain again and transfer to a bowl.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, salt, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and thyme and cook until almost all the liquid is evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl of green beans, add the sour cream, and toss to combine.

Pour the green bean mixture into the glass pie pan. Bake the casserole and onion straws on separate racks until the straws are well browned and crispy (almost burnt, otherwise they will be soggy), about 15 to 17 minutes. Top the casserole with the straws, and serve garnished with thyme sprigs.

Makes 6 servings
Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Calories 120
Fat 7 grams
Saturated Fat 3 grams
Carbohydrates 11 grams
Fiber 4 grams


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