Meatless Monday – Thanksgiving Sides

Because it is Thanksgiving week I figured I’d make Meatless Monday about Thanksgiving sides that are as obviously stated meat free.  During Thanksgiving, my favorite things to eat are the sides.  “What?!?,” you exclaim.  “What about turkey,?” you ask.  I’m not a huge meat person.  I’ll eat it, but I don’t eat a lot of it.  In fact when I go to a deli, I take off some of the meat they put on my sandwich because it’s too much meat for me.  :-\

Here are my meat free sides that I’m planning to make on Thanksgiving.

Pioneer Woman’s Deliciously Creamy Mashed Potatoes – I made these last year and fell in LOVE with the recipe.  It’s a lot of butter but OMG RIDICULOUSLY SINFULLY DELICIOUS!  You must try them!!!

Pioneer Woman’s Deliciously Creamy Mashed Potatoes from last Thanksgiving

Alton Brown’s Baked Mac and Cheese – I haven’t made this but it’s received a lot of good reviews.  Last year, I had to ease up on the sides as there were only four of us (still are but why not?!? Plus the hubs loves him so mac and cheese!) and didn’t make mac and cheese.  This year I’ve decided to make this cheesy treat.

Buttered or Creamed Corn – I haven’t decided which one I’m going to make.  I suppose it depends on how much time I have.  If not a lot, I’ll go with the simple buttered corn using frozen kernels.

Paula Dean’s Creamed Spinach or Spinach Salad – Again, I haven’t decided which one I’m going to make.  I want to make creamed spinach but it depends if I make creamed corn or not.  I think thats too much Philadelphia cream cheese over multiple dishes as Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes uses this ingredient (again so sinfully delicious – give yourself a break this one day!).  If I do go with the spinach salad, I have a feeling my mother in law and I would be the only ones eating it.  (Typical of the men to leave the salad to the women.  😛 )  I’ve done sauteed green beans 2 years in a row now, so I don’t want to make it AGAIN.  So as of today, I’m unsure what greens would be best for Thanksgiving day.  Not doing brussel sprouts as I’ve never cooked with them.  Don’t want root vegetables either.  Maybe roasted asparagus or broccoli (both of which my husband and I really like) as secondary options to the creamed spinach (and healthier than this option) or spinach salad.  We shall see.

Sauteed garlic green beans from last Thanksgiving

Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls – I’ve been DYING to try these since last year but didn’t have time to make them, so we went with potato rolls instead.  I hope I have time to this year.  I’m hoping to make them a day in advance.

TJ’s Cranberry Sauce – Last year I made cranberry sauce by scratch using Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but this year I opted to buy bottled (let me repeat that for you I said BOTTLED, not canned.) from Trader Joe’s as the cost of fresh cranberries cost the same as their bottled cranberry sauce.  Why do all the work when i can just use the bottled stuff?

Pioneer Woman’s Cranberry Sauce from last Thanksgiving

Trader Joe’s bottled cranberry sauce

Rice –  We’re asian.  We have to have rice with almost every meal.  ‘Nuff said.

What sides are you making for Thanksgiving?  Please comment below and share!

recovering…

from a week of GLUTTONY.  My wonderful in-laws were in town this past week and as always when you have guests, you eat well.  Whether its taking them out or making them a meal to have them feel comfortable in your home, you’re bound for some good eating.  And we were INDEED.

It’s crab season right now in the bay area (which btw, totally throws me off because crab season is in the summer on the east coast.  still weirded out.) and Dungeness crab is prevalent everywhere.  I’ve seen signs on the road for crabs on sale or crabbing tours now.  There’s this seafood restaurant in the Bay called Boiling Crab which takes about an hour plus to 2 1/2 hours to get a seat.  Yes, it’s that popular and apparently it’s always like that.  The hubs and I have been planning to go but just haven’t had the time.  When we actually do decide to go we realize that it’s late and we’d probably wait longer than we’d like… so we pass and go with our next option.  My in-laws went with their friends and came home with time GINORMOUS dungeness crabs for me and the hubs.  While tasty and meaty (it really was good.), I must say… I STILL LOVE MY CHESAPEAKE BLUE CRABS!!!  Sweeter, smaller, and easier to handle.  I’m such an east coast girl.  I didn’t think there would be THAT much meat in those crabs and definitely had a food coma right after I was done eating.

Wednesday, I took my in-laws to wine country while the hubs was working.  I fortunately had the day off and my mother in law had wine train tickets she had to use before the end of December.  The hubs and I had used ours in August (Groupon had an awesome deal!).  I was planning to go to the outlets or go to other wineries that I like that were neighboring Napa, but weren’t on our way home, while they were on the train.   However, when I went down with them at the train station to make sure they got on OK, the both insisted I come along with them.  They didn’t take no for an answer.  Which was fine, I do like their company and I would just be wandering by myself around Napa buying who knows what.  The food was DELISH and just as good as the last time I went.  It was a bit heavy for lunch but so yummy.  Definitely had a huge food coma after that lunch.  Then when we got home from touring Napa and visiting friends we had a late dinner… and yet again STUFFED.

Then Thanksgiving day…gluttony persisted.  I didn’t get the bird started until 3ish.  I was trying to take off the chill and it was a fresh, not frozen plus it was a petite bird; so I didn’t put it in earlier…plus it was just the four of us, so there was no rush.  I really kept it low key this year and didn’t make as many sides or desserts (even though I really wanted to).  Everything was pretty good.  Here’s the spread and the links to the recipes I used or the actual recipe.   For dessert, our godparents from our wedding gave my in-laws an apple pie to give to us to devour for Thanksgiving (it was from Marie Callendar’s bakery.   it was pretty good).  So we warmed that up and had that along with some ice cream.

The spread

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples by Art Smith

Homemade Cranberry Sauce by PioneerWomanCooks

Good Eats Roast Turkey by Alton Brown

Close Up View

Creamy Mashed Potatoes by PioneerWomanCooks (p.s. TO DIE FOR.  YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE!!!  Forget about the butter… it is DELISH!)

Sauted Garlic Green Beans by me (recipe on a later post)

I made the cranberry sauce two days ahead.  I also steamed and blanched the green beans the night before so that I could quickly saute them within minutes of having dinner.

Leftovers were eaten the next day.  Then the day my in-laws left we went out to a Filipino restaurant called Max’s chicken.  Again… heffer status continued.  I couldn’t help myself.  Filipino food is just THAT delicious.   🙂  Now its Monday and guilt has came over me for all the overindulging I did this weekend… so I went for a quick run.  I shall be performing my workout regimen again until Christmas.  Have a work holiday party and a graduation dinner within a week of each other and while my dresses may be forgiving… pictures are NOT.  Workout mode (well an attempt to at least.  I hope it’s successful) until Christmas.  Although… I don’t know how well that’ll work when I’ll be testing a couple recipes out the next few week for the family Christmas party.  😛