Thanksgiving Dinner Sides


Green Bean Casserole is one of my favorite vegetable casseroles and many people serve it for the holidays. With all the rich foods like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy I prefer a plainer less creamy vegetable side dish.

Green and Yellow Beans with Mushrooms

1 pounds beans, green, trimmed
1 pounds beans, yellow wax, trimmed
3 tablespoon oil, olive, extra virgin
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
8 ounce(s) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Watkins Black Pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and wax beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. (Cook for another minute or two if you like your green beans more tender.) Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

4. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mushrooms for garnish. Add the cooked beans to the mushrooms in the pan and cook, stirring to combine, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve topped with the reserved mushrooms.


Cranberry Gelatin Salad

1  package (3 ounces) raspberry-flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O)
1  can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1  Granny Smith apple, diced
1  large orange, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4  cup chopped walnuts
1/8  teaspoon Watkins Ground Cinnamon
Dash  Watkins Ground Cloves

1. Prepare gelatin according to package directions in an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish.
2. Stir cranberries, apple, orange, walnuts, cinnamon and cloves into gelatin mixture.
3. Refrigerate overnight or until firm. Serves 8.



Swiss Chard with Orange and Bacon
This recipe is deliciously fresh. A leafy green similar to kale or spinach, coarsely chopped Swiss chard blends beautifully with diced lean bacon, fresh orange juice and orange zest. This recipe provides the perfect, light complement to the richness of the sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes and gravy.

2 pounds Swiss, tough stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
4 slices lean bacon, diced
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 cup, freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the chard about 3 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain, squeezing out any excess water from the leaves.
  2. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate. Pour the orange juice into the same skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat. Stir in butter or margarine, orange zest and chard.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, top with diced bacon and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

To make this dish vegetarian friendly, simply substitute a soy-based product for the lean bacon. Look for soy bacon or tempeh bacon in the natural foods refrigerated section of your local grocery or specialty store.

Cooking for the ones you love is one of the greatest gifts of the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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