With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’ve had your main dishes planned for weeks now. But what about all of those accompanying plates? I don’t know about you, but I get tired of the same old sides year after year. That’s why I’m here to inspire you with a last minute crash course in cooking up some creativity on Turkey Day.
Have a great idea that I’ve left out? Be sure to comment below and share the holiday cheer!
7 Ways to Use Squash
With its warm color, soft texture and sweet taste, squash is a perfect option for fall cooking. Squash is a versatile veggie that comes in a variety of sizes, tastes and textures and can be used in everything from soup to dessert. On top of being delicious, squash is a super healthy food packed with nutrients such as antioxidants, beta carotene, folate and vitamins C and B6.
Roast It. Seasoning and roasting slices or halves of squash is simple way to get the most flavor from your gourds. Drizzle squash halves with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F for a super easy recipe with chef-quality results. For a sweet and savory take on roasting, check out this Honey Glazed Acorn Squash recipe. Two halves won’t be enough! Try my Honey Acorn Squash recipe.
Get Baking. Muffins and cakes are a great way to incorporate squash into your diet. The sweet taste and creamy texture of butternut squash pairs perfectly with cinnamon and nutmeg for a flavorful winter morning muffin. Top muffins with pumpkin seeds or dairy-free cream cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Don’t Forget the Seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a delicious snack that contains iron and as much protein as an equal serving of nuts. After gutting your pumpkin, clean your seeds and rinse with a colander to get off any bits of pumpkin meat. Spread the seeds out on a tray and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Put in the oven preheated to 325 degrees F for 10-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Dive into a Sweet Soup. Acorn and butternut squash can be roasted and pureed with vegetable or chicken stock, nutmeg and cinnamon for a sweet and creamy winter soup. This hearty soup can be topped off with a dollop of dairy-free cream cheese and sage and eaten alone or with gluten-free whole grain bread and a salad. If you make more than you can eat in a few days, store the leftovers in the freezer to reheat on a busy day.
Take a Dip. The creamy texture of cooked squash makes it easy to use in dips. Get creative with your flavors with a seasonal Pumpkin guacamole. This sweet take on a classic dip pairs well with roasted veggies such as potato or zucchini fries, and can serve as a flavorful replacement for mayo on your sandwich. Try this Roasted Corn Pumpkin Guacamole.
Use in Place of Pasta. Spaghetti squash is a lighter squash that takes the shape of spaghetti when prepared. Use spaghetti squash as a healthier replacement for pasta in classic dishes such as spaghetti & meatballs or as a side with chicken or seafood.
Top Off Your Salad. Slices of roasted squash are the perfect addition to a salad to give it a winter flare. Try butternut squash chunks with arugula, dried fruit, pecans and quinoa and a drizzle of olive oil for an irresistible and nutritionally dense salad.
6 Ways to Make Gluten Free Stuffing
Traditional bread-based stuffing is a popular holiday food that may seem off-limits when you’re eating gluten-free. But there’s no need to worry this Thanksgiving if you’re a gluten-intolerant stuffing lover— many brands offer a gluten-free stuffing product and there are tons of delicious ways to make gluten-free stuffing yourself using healthy favorites such as nuts, herbs, dried fruit, mushrooms and cooked veggies. Check out these six gluten-free stuffing recipes that will allow you to fully appreciate this year’s holiday feast without bothering your stomach.
The Classic. In general you can use your favorite traditional stuffing recipe and simply substitute the bread with a gluten-free variety. Make sure to cube and toast your bread first to keep it from falling apart or becoming too mushy when you add your liquid ingredients. Dress up your breadcrumbs with a gluten-free broth, sautéed celery & onions, parsley as well a sage for straight-forward classic stuffing. Put the mixture in a casserole dish and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Mushroom and Herb Stuffing. Use gluten-free multigrain bread for this flavorful take on stuffing. In addition to chicken or vegetable broth, onions and celery, add baby bella mushrooms, sage, and thyme to your breadcrumbs for a sophisticated yet simple stuffing. Add the herbs while you’re sautéing the veggies and mushrooms to enhance their flavor.
Wild Rice Stuffing. Replace the usual cubed bread with brown and wild rice for a stuffing with a new texture and taste . Give your wild rice stuffing a warm and nutty flavor with chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, sausage, and thyme for seasoning.
Pear Walnut Stuffing. Give your stuffing a touch of fruity flare with this pear walnut recipe. Sauté sliced pear with onion and garlic and coat with a seasoning of salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Mix in the onion pear sauce with multigrain gluten-free bread cubes and finish off with chopped toasted walnuts.
Apple Pear Stuffing. Pear is a great stuffing ingredient for fruit lovers to enjoy. Try using fresh rosemary to complement sliced apples and a multigrain cubed bread base. For an extra kick, try using a spicy chili powder for flavor.
Quinoa Stuffing. Quinoa is another yummy bread alternative for this year’s stuffing. The rich color of red quinoa makes it a great option for fall. Add butternut squash, dried cranberries and pecans for a layer of sweet flavor. Another nutritious option is to add kale and mushrooms to your quinoa
Share your thoughts
Love these ideas! I always forget about squash at Thanksgiving, even though we love it at other times. I look forward to surprising our family with tasty, gluten-free options.
It would be an honor to receive this great giveaway gift of a vacuum-sealed leftover set from Vacucraft. I have been needing some new containers as mine do not seal well and most importantly they are not BPA free which I desire. I make so much food (my husband says I only cook in small army quantities) that I am always in need of containers to hold the leftovers. It would be nice for once to have good containers to keep my healthy fair fresh and healthy. Thank you for the chance to win this great set.
Would love to finally win something !! Please 🙂
I guess I glazed over the part about leaving a comment here instead of FB – but I’ll see if it’s not to late. Basically I said that if I want something yummy like this crunchy treat I’d have to make it myself (like coming up with my own version of granola bars I found online). Out here, the west coast is a bit behind in appreciation and knowledge of food allergies. There are options, but not a lot and they’re not all that great, not to mention expensive. Finding out I am Celiac the week of my last birthday has been quite an adventure, but a fun and challenging one full of answers. I’m sure it will get better with time. Thank you for the gift of being able to enter your giveaway though!
Happy Holidays ~
Your giveaway sounds delicious. Love to try it!
love squash soup and the other different ways squash can be used, as mentioned in the article!
The Nutcase Crunch looks so good!! Would be great for my daughter in college too! Thanks Amie!
While I normally love showing off fancy vegan dishes to my non vegan family, I was just tired this year and we had so much food already, I focused more on myself. I had plenty of salad and veggies, made roasted brussel sprouts, bbq onions, and then brought a slice of a whole raw vegan pecan pie my bf had given me (wasn’t going to share such an expensive pie with family who wouldn’t even understand “raw vegan” haha).
All of these would be great, thanksgiving or any regular day I had more time to cook!
Really excited for the nutcase crunch giveaway!
I would love to try the Nutcase crunch!! Thank you!
I’d love to win your giveaway
great recipe. I hope I win!
I love the recipes!
I hope I win!