One of my favorite holidays is coming up. Turkey Day! Out of all of the holidays, this one brings me the most joy. I really enjoy Thanksgiving because, well, I love to eat! I also really love how holidays have the unprecedented ability to bring families together.
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner this year or you will be a guest, it’s always a fun idea to bring some new dishes to that table that taste just as delicious as traditional fare, but have a healthier twist. After all, I’m sure we’re all thankful for good health, so let’s keep working on that, every single day of the year!
Here are 10 nutritious and delicious side dishes to add to your mouth-watering holiday menu!
Quinoa Salad with Autumn Pears, Baby Spinach & Pecans
A delicious and nutrition side salad rich in protein and fiber from the Gluten-Free Goddess. Recipe here.
Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are already a powerhouse of great nutrition containing healthy amounts of vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B6, Iron and magnesium and they make a really tasty side dish. Check out this recipe that doesn’t include a lot of the not-so-healthy fillers like tons of butter and salt in most mashed potato recipes.
Easy Roasted Mushrooms with Rosemary & Garlic
Mushrooms, rosemary and garlic are all nutritional monsters (the nice monsters) and are great for your health. Rosemary not only tastes festive and delicious, but it is traditionally known to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory and boost the immune and circulatory system. Mushrooms contain just as high an antioxidant capacity as carrots, tomatoes, green and red peppers, pumpkins, green beans, and zucchini. They taste great and your body will say a Thanksgiving prayer dedicated to you! That’s a win-win in my book! Recipe here.
Cranberry Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Okay, let’s be adult about this. Brussels Sprouts are GREAT for you! In fact, they are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are packed with way too many vitamins to even list, including vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium as well as being a warrior for heart health, cell repair, anti-inflammatory properties and so much more. Make sure to pack them into your Holiday menu and check out the recipe here.
Sausage, Apple & Sage Stuffing
You can’t have Thanksgiving without STUFFING! It’s one of my favorite side dishes, so it has to be done right! Stray far away from over-processed boxed Stovetop (c) and go for this beautiful nutrient-dense dish instead. This dish is made with sourdough bread, a healthier fermented alternative to white bread & wheat bread that has been shown to not spike your blood sugar the way the others do. Also, we can’t forget the powerful herb, sage, that encompasses many antioxidant , anti-inflammatory properties as well as harnessing soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more. Recipe here.
Wild Rice Pilaf with Squash, Cranberries and Pecans
This delicious holiday side dish is hearty, healthy and is made with nutrient dense ingredients like coconut oil, garlic, celery, squash and fresh thyme. Thyme is a powerful herb believed to boost immunity, lower blood pressure and boost your mood! See recipe here.
Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
Simple, but nutritious and delicious! The perfect holiday side dish. This dish is chock full of vitamins and minerals to nourish our full bellies to the fullest! See recipe here.
Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes
Every holiday menu needs a side dish of potatoes! Whether they are mashed, roasted or scalloped, they are definitely needed! These crispy yet soft roasted potatoes complete with a triage of beautifully nutritious herbs oregano, thyme and rosemary. Check out recipe here.
Butternut Squash Mac ‘N cheese
We have to live a little, right!? I’ll be honest, one of my favorite holiday side dishes is macaroni and cheese! Sadly though, Mac n’ cheese traditionally isn’t the best choice, due to loads of butter, salt and cheese. But I found that this recipe uses those ingredients sparingly and also adds a nutritional surprise, butternut squash! Squash is a super food that adds many valuable nutrients to this dish. See recipe here.
Broccoli Cauliflower Quinoa Bites
As much as I love corn bread muffins, most corn breads are filled with genetically modified corn, sugar and heavy ingredients like buttermilk. These muffins are a tasty and healthy alternative that are chock full of vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower and fiber-filled quinoa. A must-have holiday side dish! See recipe here.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. These dishes are not only nutritious but delicious, too! Ultimately, no matter where you are and what you’re eating this holiday season, I wish you nothing but health and happiness from my family to yours.
Thanks for letting me into your world awhile,
Naturally Nicole XO