Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'Call Any Vegetable' : Thanksgiving Side Dishes

For my Thanksgiving veg, I kept things simple this year.  'Simple' tends to be my motto in the kitchen, and excellent advice for busy moms and dads looking to incorporate fresh home cooked meals into their meal plans.  Yes, labour intensive dishes are wonderful and fun to eat and (usually) make. But let's keep it real here people, gourmet is not typically an everyday preference.  This year while I was in the middle of organizing and preparing two European lectures for my employer, I found myself taking part in 4 Thanksgiving meals AND I was recruited by my sister-in-law to work her booth at the Vineland Craft Show(Whew!!).  All of that coupled with the kid's busy schedule meant I didn't have a lot of time to seek out and make new and inventive dishes.  Aside from the staple peas and creamed corn, I made three other veg dishes for my family's Thanksgiving:

Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme Roasted Veg
Inspired by the classic "Sacarborough Fair"
and yes, I had it playing while preparing ;)

Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Carrots, sliced on the bias
Rutabaga, cubed 
Portobellas, sliced
Fresh parsley, chopped 
Rubbed sage
Dried rosemary 
One bunch of fresh thyme 
Salt and Pepper 


MIX all veg on large cookie sheet or baking pan 
TOSS in herbs to taste, ensuring the veg is evenly coated (I snagged a carrot to try)
PLACE cookie sheet on medium-high grill, turning over the veg every few minutes or so
REMOVE from direct heat once the veg start to become tender (approx 1/2 -3/4 cooked)
CLOSE lid and let cook for 10 minutes, or until rutabagas are fork tender
REMOVE branches of thyme, plucking some leaves to add to the mixture
GARNISH with some fresh, finely chopped parsley, salt & pepper

Chipotle Grilled Eggplant Sweet Potato and Parsnips
This was going to be a casserole of sorts, but we ended up 
with 23 degree weather so I switched things up and 
went outside to the BBQ!!

1 Eggplant, sliced 1/4 of an inch thick
3 Sweet Potatoes, sliced 1/4 of an inch thick 
5 Parsnips, sliced 1/8 of an inch thick 
3/4 cup Olive Oil (approx)
1 tsp Chipotle powder*
Juice of 1/2-1 grapefruit
Pinch of salt and pepper 


MIX olive oil, chipotle powder and grapefruit juice in small bowl
TASTE and adjust flavours accordingly (I was going for a hot and sour feel)
COAT the vegetables in the mixture
HEAT grill to medium-high
ADD vegetables once grill reaches full temperature (very hot!!)
FLIP vegetables after 3 minutes or once grill marks are achieved
FLIP once more and test to see if fork tender.  *The eggplant will likely be done first
REDUCE heat and continue to cook, flipping often to avoid scorching
SPRINKLE with additional chipotle powder 

Maple Glazed Carrots
This is Madison's favourite and a nice 
contrast to the predominately salty holiday dishes 

1 lb carrots, sliced
1/2 - 1 Tbsp vegan buttery spread 
2 - 3 Tbsp maple syrup


SLICE carrots (baby carrots work nice too, and saves you a bit of time)
ADD to medium saucepan and cover with water 
BRING to boil, reduce heat and continue to cook until tender
STRAIN water and add buttery spread and maple syrup
MIX until all carrots are coated
TASTE and adjust flavours accordingly
SEASON with pepper 

Here are some photos from the first couple days of Thanksgiving weekend.

The weather was SO nice that we had to bring
the cooking party out to the BBQ!!!
Troy (The girls dad) is such
an amazing cook, and I was lucky
to have him as my sous chef!
Day 1 of the Vineland Thanksgiving ARTfest
with Kendra Fisher
Just inside the entrance of Vineland Public School
I ran into an old friend of mine who now has her own line of
natural products.  Check them out here
Everything is all natural and looked divine!!
Sunshine Skin Products
The crowd at her both was very impressive!!
It really was a beautiful day!
Me pursuing a local tea vendor
Dinner #1 chez Moroz
Aren't we such good kids to clean up after dinner??!!
A pie advertisement if I've ever seen one!!

Well there you have it folks, a couple of recipes and my first few days of the holiday weekend!  Stay tuned for the rest of my weekend and a few more Thanksgiving dishes. Better late than never...right?!

Peace and Love,


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