Vegetable-filled sides for Thanksgiving

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This Thanksgiving, you'll be thankful for veggie-filled side dishes that fill your vegetable quota for the day, but cut your work load in half.



Sure, we all want that Thanksgiving table filled to its edges with dishes of delicious goodness. But when you get right down to it, cooking a turkey, stuffing, gravy and countless vegetable side dishes takes a lot of work, and a lot of oven space that some of us simply don't have. Instead of serving four different vegetable side dishes, try one of these easy vegetable-filled recipes that give your guests plenty of vegetables all in one dish. Added turkey-day bonus? You can make these ahead of time and reheat the day of.



Squash crumble

Makes 8 servings

A mainstay on the Button Thanksgiving table for many years — and now brought to our friends' home for turkey day, this recipe originally came from The Associated Press. The natural sweetness of butternut squash makes it a wonderfully versatile ingredient. Squash crumble can be served as a side alongside the turkey and the traditional fixings or topped with ice cream or whipped cream for a delicious, somewhat-healthy dessert. (True confession: I've eaten it for breakfast, too!)

(Submitted by Margaret Button, associate features editor)

INGREDIENTS:

For the filling:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks

3 baking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into small chunks

For the topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

5 tablespoons butter, cold

1/2 cup pecans

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

To make the filling, in a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just tender. Drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, mix the squash and apples. Add the brown sugar mixture, toss well, then transfer everything to the prepared baking dish.

To make the topping, in a food processor combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the pecans and pulse to chop and combine. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and squash. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the squash and apples are tender.

***

Spaghetti squash casserole

Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe.

This recipe originally called for mushrooms, but you can use any sauteed or roasted vegetables you have on hand, which makes it perfect for using up leftovers, or for squeezing as many veggies as you can in one side dish for Thanksgiving. The sweet, gooey spaghetti squash acts as a binder for this deceivingly rich recipe — your guests will think you used a pound of cheese in this casserole!

(Submitted by Lindsey Hollenbaugh, features editor)

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon butter

1 bag of fresh spinach (or frozen)

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cans of diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup dry bread crumbs

1 cup cottage cheese (I used chive flavored, cottage cheese, yum!)

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add 1/2-in. water and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet. Add the spinach, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper; saute until onion is tender and spinach has wilted. Add tomatoes; cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

Scoop out the squash, separating strands with a fork. Combine the squash, tomato mixture, bread crumbs, cottage cheese and parsley.

Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.

***

Caramelized-vegetable salad

Prep 10 min. Total 30 min.

From bettycrocker.com

Caramelized onions, beans and potatoes are a sweet and fragrant topping for leaf lettuce in this warm veggie salad.

(Submitted by Meggie Baker, calendar editor)

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound green beans, cut in half

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine

2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)

1/4 cup balsamic or cider vinegar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 cups bite-size pieces leaf lettuce/spinach

Freshly ground pepper, if desired



DIRECTIONS:


Heat 1 inch water to boiling in 4-quart Dutch oven. Add potatoes, green beans and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender; drain and set aside.

While vegetables are cooking, melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions in butter 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour onion mixture over potatoes and green beans; stir until coated.

Arrange lettuce on large platter. Arrange warm vegetables on lettuce. Sprinkle with pepper.



Meggie's notes:


Other good veggies to try: Asparagus, turnip, carrots. Recipe is root-veggie friendly. Just up the caramel and reduce the lettuce.






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