Thankgiving recipes…with a twist

As I posted last week, we are planning an epic endeavor…Bacon Wrapped Turducken. Now man and woman cannot live on bacon bird alone…we need side dishes. Now we cannot do with instant mashed potatoes, no we are going for recipes with a twist on the traditional. Whether they are a unique family recipe or a new creation. Here are a few of the sides I am planning on making.

Mashed Cauliflower

I want to make this partly to try and attempt to balance out the Turducken (ok honestly nothing will balance out that besides some diet pills and exlax) but also just to have a bit different flavor than plain potatoes. Personally I’ve always loved mashed cauliflower just because its got a better taste than boring plain potatoes. My recipe is adapted from Dani Spires L’s Cauliflower Mash


  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream ( prefer light sour cream)
  • 1 cup chives or green onions finely diced
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika

Boil the cauliflower until it is soft…be sure not to overcook! About 8 minutes should be enough.  Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then dump it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the paprika and chives.  Blend until everything is smooth then transfer back into a pot.  Stir until everything is warm then stir in the chives/green onion.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

You could easily do some variations on this recipe…try roasting the garlic beforehand, adding curry for a spicy curry mash, more cheese for a cheesy cauliflower mash, or really anything else you would do to mashed potatoes!

Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds

I want to do something different than nasty green bean cassarole…honestly I dont know how this frozen canned soup monstrosity became a Thanksgiving staple.  Its the one dish I see getting passed over at every Thanksgiving dinner (except the grandparents…grandparents loooove green bean cassarole). So why not just do a delicious and light green bean side?  I mean with all the other rich heavy dishes we have going on, I want to save some room for Cesar’s homemade pumpkin pie.


  • 1 large bunch of green beans (about a pound)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6  medium sized shallots
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (you could easily substitute walnuts)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until they are bright green, about 3 minutes.  In a skillet heat some olive oil and saute the shallots until they are carmelized.  Toss in the green beans, a bit of lemon juice (just enough to coat the beans), the almonds and salt and pepper.

Voila! Easy huh?

So now that I have the green beams and cauliflower mash all figured out, i just need to figure out something to do with the sweet potatoes.  Im not a fan of the super sugary mini marshmallow sweet potatoes…so I want to do something different and more special. Im thinking either a cranberry and sweet potato dish…or ginger and honey sweet potatoes….something else that is a little more special.  When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to post it up ;)

OR you can help me out…anyone have any delicious and different sweet potato or yam recipes?

2 Responses to “Thankgiving recipes…with a twist”

  1. 1 katetheshark November 25, 2008 at 12:33 am

    oooooooooooh! try this sweet potato recipe:

    Sweet Potato Balls

    Serves 12

    *These sweet potatoes served atop pineapple rings are lightly sweetened with maple syrup and orange juice, they’re a terrific alternative to the standard sugar-laden sweet potato casseroles.


    4 large sweet potatoes
    2 tablespoons vegan “butter” (may use real butter if not making vegan)
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    Pinch nutmeg (freshly grated)
    Pinch cinnamon
    3 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 tablespoon orange juice
    Olive oil spray
    12 slices cored pineapple (fresh or canned)
    1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and crushed


    Bake sweet potatoes in a 350°F oven for 1 hour or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

    Cut cooked potatoes in half and scoop flesh from skins and place into a bowl. Discard skins. Add vegan butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup and orange juice to the bowl and mix well. Turn mixture onto a clean work surface and divide into 12 even portions. Roll each portion into a ball approximately 2 inches in diameter. (Wet hands with water or oil to make it easier.)

    Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Place cored pineapple slices on sheet.

    Roll each ball in crushed pecans and place a coated sweet potato ball in the center of each pineapple slice. When done, lightly spray top of each ball with olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Optional: For extra kid appeal, roll half of the ball in pecans (to make “hair”) and press raisins into the plain part of the ball to make a face (eyes, nose, mouth) prior to baking. Also, try adding one medium banana to sweet potatoes when mashing them for an exciting flavor.


    Per Serving (6.5 oz-wt.): 280 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 4g dietary fiber, 3g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 5mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium

  2. 2 seanalyn November 25, 2008 at 2:09 am

    ohhh that sounds delish!!! thats definitely a front runner! thanks hun! :)

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