Vegetable Side Dishes Make Holiday Meals Shine

Food background. Fresh vegetables, fruits, blank notepad on a dark background.

Excerpt from Healthy Families BC Blog Dec 5, 2017 by Joanna Drake, Registered Dietitian

(original blog

You have the turkey covered, now what do you serve with it?

Side dishes are where the magic is. They make your meal shine! Here are some tips to help plan a meal you, your family, and friends won’t soon forget.

Start your holiday dinner with a salad that will get your taste buds singing. What about a Roasted Beet, Walnut and Arugula Salad or a Balsamic Pear and Candied Pecan Salad? If salad isn’t your thing, why not a soup? Try Red Bell Pepper & Nutmeg Soup or Spiced Up Butternut Squash Soup?

Next, plan the stuffing and hot vegetable dishes to accompany your turkey. Stuffing is often considered to be the turkey’s wingman (pun intended). Many people limit the stuffing’s ability to Wow! by making the same recipe every year. There are so many options to choose from—traditional recipes flavoured with onion, celery, and herbs; combinations of diced apple or pear; dried cranberries, prunes, or raisins; leeks or shallots; various kinds of mushrooms; toasted walnuts or cashews; the list goes on and on.

The trick to picking side dishes is to look for flavours you enjoy. Then try to get a variety of textures and colours so that each dish is distinct from the others. What looks good and smells good has a lot to do with how much you enjoy it.

Here are some vegetable side dishes worth considering:

Your imagination is the only limitation to what you pick for dinner. But remember, not every dish needs to be something new. Adding new dishes to some of your family traditions is a great way to reinvent your festive holiday meal. Hopefully by now you’re a little bit hungry and ready to start planning! Best wishes to you for a delicious meal and a wonderful holiday season.