Wellness for the Family: Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Most of us will eat between 3,000 and 4,500 calories that day, and a lot of those come from the side dishes.
Registered Dietician Grace Derocha, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has a few healthier options to try.
Cauliflower Au Gratin with Tahini
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk or milk substitute
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg, or to taste
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp smoke paprika
- Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish.
- Heat butter in a small saucepan over low heat; cook and stir onion in the melted butter until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually pour milk into mixture, whisking into a smooth sauce. Cook until just simmering.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in half the Cheddar cheese until melted; sprinkle with pepper and nutmeg.
- Stir in tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and paprika into cheese mixture.
- Place steamed cauliflower in the prepared baking dish; pour cheese sauce over cauliflower. Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and browned, about 25 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Pear Pecan and Sausage Stuffing
- 6 cups whole wheat bread(1 loaf or 20 oz.) cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage casings removed, chicken or pork
- 2 pears peeled, cored, diced into 1/2-inch cubes, Bosc or Anjou
- 1 yellow onion diced into 1/2-inch cubes, about 2/3 cup
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups turkey stock(or chicken stock)
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
- 1 tablespoon sage chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
- Heat oven to 275°F. Distribute bread cubes in one layer over 2 baking sheets. Bake for 25-35 minutes (stirring after 15 minutes), or until lightly browned and crunchy. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add sausage, breaking apart with a spoon. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to medium.
- Stir in onions and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add pears and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release brown bits. Mix in pecans, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir in cream.
- Pour mixture into a bowl with bread, stir until well combined. Transfer to an 11 x 7 x 2-inch casserole dish, pressing down a bit with a spatula. Place dish on a large sheet pan. Cover dish with aluminum foil and transfer sheet pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!
For more recipes and health and wellness tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.