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Make it Natural: Classic Side Dishes

By Kate Rowe, November 21, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kate Rowe
green_bean_casserole For some folks, Thanksgiving is really all about the sides and not the turkey. Sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes and more, every family has their own traditions. We've put a healthy spin on three classic side dishes, those favorites that for many are required eating at a Thanksgiving feast. Corn Pudding We took this traditional holiday treat and made it a little healthier by substituting nonfat milk for whole milk and using unbleached flour and corn meal rather than a conventional cornbread mix (which might contain artificial ingredients). We also reduced the amount of sugar - our version highlights the natural sweetness of the corn and is not as overly sweet as some traditional versions. Green Bean Casserole For some, this is the essential T-day side dish. In our updated version, we use fresh green beans (not canned) sauced with creamy mushroom soup (not condensed) and top them with homemade baked onion rings (not fried). The resulting casserole has less sodium than the original version. Now you don't have to feel guilty about serving this classic! Scalloped Potatoes scalloped_potatoesThis dish is typically very rich, made with full-fat dairy products such as butter, cream and whole milk. In this lightened up version, we reduced the fat and calories by simply swapping in low-fat milk for the heavy cream. Fresh thyme and some parmesan add subtle flavor. What are your favorite sides for the Thanksgiving table? And do you have tips for making them a little healthier? We'd love to know! Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe for a makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.




Food Makes Fun Fuel says ...
I'd love to see these cookies lightened Italian Christmas Cookies 2 cups flour 1 cup white sugar 1/4 cup milk 1 egg 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/3 cup canola oil 2 teaspoons anise extract seperated 1/2 cup confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon hot milk Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and sugar. Make a well in the center and add in oil, milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons anise extract, and the egg. Mix everything until it becomes a sticky ball of dough. Pick off pieces and roll into 3/4 inch balls in palms of hand and press gently on a cookie sheet. Cook for 8 minutes and let cool. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon anise extract, confectioners sugar, and hot water. One at a time, hold cookies from the sides of the base and dip the crowns into the icing.
11/21/2009 10:36:18 AM CST
screwdestiny says ...
I'm actually making a "natural" green bean casserole this year. It sounds a little different than your recipe, but I'm confident that it'll be really good. My mom really likes green bean casserole, and my grandma used to bring it every year, but she won't be able to be there this time. So I offered to make it, but I told her if I did it would not be with nasty canned grean beans (blech!), cream of mushroom soup, and those "french fried onions." Instead I'll be using fresh grean beens as well, cutting up fresh mushrooms and making the gravy, roux, whatever you want to call it for them,, and frying shallots in bread crumbs. This recipe may just make me actually like it!
11/21/2009 3:05:30 PM CST
Amy says ...
I do a spin on green bean casserole, but roast the green beans and an onion in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast. The result is creamy and very satisfying!
11/23/2009 8:45:34 PM CST
Donna Harmon says ...
For mashed sweet potatoes, substitute agave nectar and chunks of pineapple for the brown sugar and marshmellows.
11/23/2009 9:09:30 PM CST
Cara says ...
A fresh, cool and clean salad that counters heavier Thanksgiving sides in a lovely way. Also very easy and frees up oven overload; try to make early in the day so that the raisins plump in the pineapple juice. I tend to use dark raisins because of an allergy to golden ones, but the latter works well. Healthy, Crisp Carrot Slaw w/Pineapple: A recipe actually inspired by Whole Foods sale on pineapple several weeks ago. 1 bunch purple carrots (preferably purple, but orange are fine) 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut in bite-sized chunks (eliminating the core, of course) 3/4 cup raisins (either golden, Thompson or even currants) 1-2 TBS honey to taste The juice of a 1/2 lemon (other options include a generous shake of cinnamon or even curry powder) Peel and then shred carrots in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl. Mix with raisins, chopped chopped pineapple, honey and lemon (raisins will plump through the day as the juices of the salad blend). Blend gently until all ingredients are mixed. Chill in a covered container in the fridge until ready to serve.
11/24/2009 12:15:57 AM CST
Art Ist says ...
We love Panettoni for the holidays but we are now vegan and Panettoni is full of eggs and butter. How about a vegan recipe makeover for this traditional holiday bread? Thanks! Art
11/24/2009 9:37:37 PM CST
joan comeaux says ...
Why doesn't WF sell natural fresh yeast.Dry active yeast is not the real thing.. Maybe you,ll consider it since no other place in BR sells it. After all we are all into eating healthier and WF is a leader in this effort..Thanks ,Joan
07/01/2011 7:05:11 PM CDT