Thanksgiving is right almost here and it is, by far, my favorite food holiday of the year. I always make extras of everything to guarantee leftovers. Some people think turkey is the star of the show, but I think it’s the sides. And, with the amazing growing season we have here in Charlotte, you can get most of these veggies from the farmers market or even your backyard garden.
Thanksgiving sides don’t have to be fancy. With turkey taking up most of the oven space, I love simple sides that take minimal effort or Thanksgiving sides that can be made ahead.
Biscuits and Bread
Raise your hand if you had crescent rolls on your Thanksgiving table every year? Raise your hand if your mom burned them almost every year! Yep. Every single year. Burnt crescent rolls. Every homemade thing came out perfectly, but the one delicious side that comes from a can ended up black on the bottom every year.
I still serve the crescent rolls on my Thanksgiving table, but now I also serve cornbread muffins for our gluten-free family members. Cornbread muffins are easy to make ahead so you don’t have to worry about taking up oven space. The recipe below is for sweet cornbread muffins, but if you are interested in a savory recipe, check out this recipe for Bacon and Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins.
Sweet Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins
– 1 cup fine ground cornmeal (I use yellow)
– 1 cup gluten-free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 cup buttermilk
– 2 eggs
– 4 to 6 tablespoons butter , completely melted
– 1/4 cup honey
1) In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients – cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
2) In a second bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and honey.
3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well – check for floury lumps.
4) Pour the batter into 12 greased muffin tins.
5) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.
Sweet or Savory Carrots?
My kids are divided on which carrots are better. I say both ways are delicious! One of the simplest ways to prepare sweet carrots is to use maple syrup. So easy. So delicious. All you need is one bag of baby carrots, ¼ cup of maple syrup, ¼ cup of water, 2 tablespoons butter, and some salt and pepper. Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the carrots are tender. That’s it. Enjoy!
My favorite way to prepare a slightly more savory carrot is to roast them with olive oil and cumin. That’s it! The recipe is really that simple. Go to this link to see a few more details. My kids devour these carrots before any other food is even served.
Green Vegetables For The Win
Any green sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and salt is a huge winner in our house. My kids’ favorite is definitely broccoli with crispy garlic, but this simple combination works well with swiss chard, collards, spinach, asparagus, and broccolini.
All you need to do is peel and finely chop an entire bulb of garlic. I smash each clove of garlic with the flat part of the knife, peel it, and then slice it into thin strips like the one you see in the photo above. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a combination of olive oil and butter and add the sliced garlic. Salt the garlic and stir it around until it starts to get crispy. Once the garlic gets crispy, add the greens. Cook for just a few minutes. You don’t want your greens to lose their beautiful color. That’s it. Delicious green veggies for the win.
Slow Cooker Sides: Make Slow Cooker Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are such a North Carolina staple, I feel like they must be on our Thanksgiving table!
Glazed Sweet Potatoes in A Slow Cooker
– 4 large sweet potatoes (about 2 to 3 pounds)
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup apple cider
– 1 large tablespoon corn starch (as a thickener)
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 to 2 Tablespoons butter
1. Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Put in the slow cooker.
2. Combine brown sugar, apple cider, corn starch, and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl or Pyrex measuring cup. Pour over sweet potatoes.
3. Sprinkle with sea salt. Dot with small pieces of butter.
4. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours.
For more Thanksgiving side recipes, look here…