Many of you have asked us for recipes for the upcoming holiday, so we thought we would share our absolute favorite holiday side dishes. While some are heart healthy, others would be considered naughty list-worthy. As far as we’re concerned, the holidays should include a little bit of indulgence. Everything in moderation, right?!
We would love to know what you think and whether you decide to try any of these recipes this holiday season!
Easy Breezy Ginger & Pear Cranberry Sauce
This has been a family favorite in my house for the past 3 years. I never liked cranberry sauce until I tried this one and fell in love. It makes a beautiful side dish on the plate, and is a much healthier alternative (especially when made with low glycemic “Agave” sweetener) to eat with turkey than a ladle of gravy. It is also scrumptious by itself. –Heather
16 oz. fresh cranberries
2 c brown sugar (or you can substitute the Agave Syrup, and you’ll need less)
1 c orange juice
2 TBL finely chopped ginger (I found mine in the nuts section; it’s covered in sugar and looks like candy)
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 finely chopped pear
Combine all ingredients (except pear and ginger) in saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 mins or until berries pop. Skim and remove foam. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Once cool, add chopped pear and ginger. Mix well with cranberry sauce and eat immediately or store in refrigerator.
I read online that you could store this cranberry sauce in your refrigerator (without the pears) for up to 3 months, covered. It usually doesn’t make it past day 2 in my house. My hubby gobbles it all up.
Savory Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Courtesy of Elusive Cat, Flickr
I have made this salad for many a potluck and always get compliments from friends and family on how delicious this salad tastes. I can’t believe I’m giving away all of my trade secrets, lol. –Heather
1 lb spinach
1 pt strawberries, sliced
3/4 c sugar (or 1/2 c Agave syrup)
1/3 c vinegar
1/4 c poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp grated onion
1 tsp dry mustard
1 c canola or olive oil (regular vegetable oil is made from soybeans, which we try to stay away from)
Mix all ingredients for dressing in blender. Pour on salad. NOTE: I have never used the entire amount of salad dressing on 1 lb of spinach. I usually use about 1/3 of this dressing and then keep it in the refrigerator to use on salads for the following week or two.
Kael’s Candied Carrots
My hubby and I had these carrots at a friend’s house and I had to have the recipe. This is a holiday and everyday staple in my house. In fact, I have some of these carrots in my refrigerator right now. –Heather
1 pound of baby carrots (less boiling time for peeled and chopped carrots)
2-3 small pats of butter
1/8-1/4 c brown sugar
Splash of vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
Boil carrots for 12-15 mins (check to make sure that the carrots are tender). Place 2-3 small pats of butter (less than 1/4 stick of butter!) on top. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir.
Pepper and Parmesan-Crusted Green Beans
I have made these green beans countless times. They are de-LISH! You can also add slivered almonds for extra flavor. I usually keep them out because I have not given any nuts to my 15 month old per her pediatrician’s recommendation. –Heather
1 pound of green beans
1 pat of butter
Small drizzle of olive oil
3/4 c Fresh parmesan or romano cheese
Fine sea salt and coarse pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place green beans on cookie sheet and separate as much as possible. Drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of fine sea salt and fresh pepper corn flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins (until tender). Drizzle cheese on top of the green beans for the last 2 minutes while they’re in the oven. Place small pat of butter on top of hot green beans and place in serving dish. Enjoy!
Here is a photo of what your beans will look like before placing them in the oven for the last 2 mins to melt the cheese.
Vicky’s Crescent Rolls
You may remember my post about Thanksgiving memories in which I mentioned my mom’s fabulous crescent rolls. Well, these are they! I just can’t get enough of these sweet, buttery, dense rolls. –Jasmine
Makes 32 rolls
6 tbsp. warm water
2 yeast cakes (4 1/2 tsp)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 c. water
1 c. minus 1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
8 c. flour
½ c. melted butter
Combine yeast with warm water and sugar, and set aside for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Mix all remaining ingredients except for butter into the yeast mixture, using enough flour to make a smooth dough. Form dough into a large ball, and put it in a greased bowl to refrigerate overnight.
Remove dough at least 4 hours before serving. Let the dough come to room temperature (it can be a little cooler, but as it comes to room temperature it becomes easier to work with). Divide dough into 4 parts, and roll out each portion in a circle (approximately 12” in diameter). Brush melted butter onto each circle.
Cut each circle into 8 pie-shaped wedges, and roll each wedge into a crescent. Place the rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise 2-3 hours in a warm place. Bake at 375° F for 8-10 minutes, until light golden. At about 7 minutes in, brush crescents with melted butter.
Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
So I was always a candied yams kinda girl – you know, the ones with brown sugar and toasted marshmallows on top – that is, until my mom introduced me to this recipe. This sweet potato dish with a pecan streusel crust is to die for! –Jasmine
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
1/3 stick butter — melted
Sweet Potato Mixture
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs — well beaten
1 stick butter — ( 1/2 cup) melted
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in a mixing bowl, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
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