Thanksgiving Menu Series – Side Dishes

November 10, 2014
©Diane Eblin
Green Bean Casserole (gluten, dairy-free!)
An all-time favorite for many and yet this version is a nice change from the traditional casserole.
If you’re used to the canned version, throw that notion out the window – you and your guests deserve better than that and you will be amazed at how uncomplicated it can actually be to use fresh green beans!
Don’t want to spend Thanksgiving day prepping too many dishes?  This can be made a day (or two) ahead of time – simply reheat and serve!
serves 6
1 lb baby red potatoes (can cut in half)
4 handfuls of fresh green beans, cleaned, stem end off and cut in half
2 shallots chopped
3 handfuls of cremini mushrooms quartered
1Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tblsp organic virgin coconut oil, melted
5 sprigs of fresh thyme, just the leaves
 salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  In a big bowl, toss the washed potatoes, cut green beans, chopped shallots, thyme leaves, quartered mushrooms, salt and pepper. 
Add in the two oils to coat (if the vegetables aren’t coated, use a bit more of the oils).  
Pour into an oven proof dish and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are done.  
Keep a check on the dish every 10 minutes to toss so all sides are getting a nice roasted edge.

Sweet Potato Drop Puffs (gluten, dairy-free)
I have to admit, these puffs are quite tasty if you add in a favorite cheese into the mix, but I am going for the healthiest option and dairy can do quite a number on people’s digestion.  But if you are not bothered by the dairy, by all means add it!
serving size: 2 biscuits
1 large sweet potato
3 Tblsp coconut flour
3 eggs, whisked
6-8 strips of bacon, diced and browned (reserve the rendered fat!)
3-4 Tblsp green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt n’ pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 415 degrees
Poke holes in sweet potato with fork and place in oven for 30-40 minutes, until soft.
Let cool.
Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
Peel and mash sweet potato in a large bowl.
Add eggs and mix well.
Add rendered bacon fat and mix well.
Add diced bacon and chives and mix well.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a large spoon, drop biscuit mix on sheet and shape into neat mounds.
Bake 25-27 minutes.
Allow to rest a few minutes before serving.
Warm Spinach & Kale Salad (gluten, dairy-free!)
Not everyone has tried adding kale to a spinach salad and perhaps raw kale has too much of a green, roughage taste for some , but when cooked – the kale takes on an entirely different flavor and, in this salad, it’s incredible!
serves 2-4
1 1/2 Tbslp coconut oil
2 c kale, chopped
3 c spinach
1/4 c dried cranberries
2 Tblsp sliced almonds
1-2 Tblsp water
Heat coconut oil in cast iron skillet (any other skillet works fine – cast iron is my favorite for best flavor!)
Add kale with 1 Tblsp water.
Cook, stirring frequently until kale has softened (3-4 minutes).
Add cranberries and cook another 2-3 minutes more.
Add spinach.
If kale begins to stick, add another Tblsp water to the pan.
Stir until spinach is wilted.
Stir in almonds.

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