Side dishes with star power

Perfect side dishesWhen planning your holiday feast, don’t make the mistake of putting all your focus on your main dish. Sure it’s the biggest component, but it isn’t going to be the only thing on your guests’ plates. In fact, choosing the right side can bring out the flavors of your entrée, making it taste even better than it would on its own. Here are five perfect side dishes, no matter what you’ll be serving.

 

If your main course is turkey, make…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Feta in a Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, each sprout cut in half

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1/3 cup pistachios

½ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roast Brussels sprouts for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are well-browned. Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and spread cranberries on the same baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until cranberries pop and begin to dry. Add cranberries to bowl along with pistachios, feta and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well-blended. Add to salad and toss lightly.

Nutritional information (makes 10 servings): 230.5 calories; 7.5g total fat; 1.9g saturated fat; 147mg sodium; 4.3g fiber

 

If your main course is a pork roast, make…

Apple Sage Stuffing

8 slices white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

3 apples, peeled and cubed

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch of dried cinnamon

½ cup chicken broth (more if necessary)

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the bread cubes for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onion, celery and apples until soft. Turn off heat and add sage, poultry seasoning, thyme and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, combine bread cubes and mixture from the pan. Add chicken broth, using more than ½ cup if the mixture isn’t moist enough. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional information (makes 8 servings): 160 calories; 6.4g total fat; 3.7g saturated fat, 15.5mg cholesterol; 378mg sodium; 2g fiber

 

If your main course is roast beef, make…

Creamed Sweet Corn Casserole

Pick up dried sweet corn from Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor (or online) and follow the package directions. If you’ve never had it before, you’ll love it!

 

If your main course is salmon, make…

Swiss Chard and Kale Greens pan-seared in Browned Butter with Toasted Pine Nuts

3 bunches rainbow Swiss chard

2 bunches kale

4 tablespoon butter

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup pine nuts

 

Remove stems and tough ribs from Swiss chard and kale. Tear leaves into 2-inch pieces. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil with 3 tablespoons butter. Add Swiss chard and kale and cook, stirring, until greens have wilted. Set aside.

Add final tablespoon butter to the sauté pan and heat on medium-low until the butter turns golden in color, about 5 to 8 minutes. Don’t let it get too hot or the butter will burn. Add greens back to pan with browned butter and toss to coat.

In a small sauté pan, toast pine nuts over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Sprinkle pine nuts over wilted greens and serve.

Nutritional information (makes 6 servings): 253 calories; 18.4g total fat; 5.8g saturated fat; 20.7mg cholesterol; 554mg sodium; 8.5g fiber

 

If your main course is beef tenderloin, make…

Twice-Baked Potatoes stuffed with Bacon, Cheddar Cheese and Chives

4 Russet potatoes

½ pound thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch strips

2 cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chives, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon paprika, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake potatoes for 1 hour or until soft.

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-covered plate and then crumble into a large bowl. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out insides, and add them to the bacon. Keep the potato skin halves whole.

Add sour cream, cheese, salt, pepper and chives to the potato mixture and mix well. Spoon back into potato skins and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Garnish with chives and paprika.

Nutritional information (makes 8 servings) 172.3 calories; 7g total fat; 3.9g saturated fat; 18.7mg cholesterol; 1064mg sodium; 1.1g fiber

 

 

Photo credit: Sofie Dittmann

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