Healthy alternatives to Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Indy Style

Ah, the classic Green Bean Casserole. It’s a favorite in many households, but if you’re looking for a lighter version this holiday season (without sacrificing flavor), Chef Kat Marris, freshandbalanced.com, has a recipe just for you!

First though, here’s Chef Kat’s take on Cranberry Apple Stuffing. Kat says: Don’t use the boxed stuffing, make this lighter and much tastier version instead! Toss bread cubes with apple juice and onion/apple mixture and pour into a pan.

Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 medium tart red apples, cored and diced
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 bag (6 oz) dried cranberries
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups dry whole wheat bread cubes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To a large skillet, add olive oil, celery and onion. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Stir in diced apples, apple juice, mustard, cranberries, parsley, rosemary and thyme. Cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Add onion and apple mixture from the skillet, broth and apple juice, toss gently until well mixed. Spoon into lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake stuffing for 15 minutes. Remove foil then bake an additional 20 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top.

When it comes to her recipe for Green Bean Casserole, Chef Kat says to elevate this traditionally mushy side dish by roasting the green beans. Share tips for roasting green beans. Instead of using high sodium canned cream of mushroom soups, make your own creamy mushroom sauce for the casserole!

Don’t settle for high fat crispy fried onions on top! Make your own!

Green Bean Casserole
Makes 6 servings
Beans and Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds green beans trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, 1/2 diced and 1/2 thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups low fat milk or unsweetened nut milk
Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
Olive oil cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
For the Green Beans and Sauce: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss green beans in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and evenly spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender.

In a large skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add diced onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until soft over medium low heat. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, mushrooms and garlic and stir. Add milk or nut milk to the pan and keep stirring until sauce is thick (about 4 minutes).

Once green beans are roasted, remove from the oven. Pour the mushroom sauce and roasted green beans into a large casserole dish. Stir to combine.

For the Onions: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine bread crumbs, flour and paprika in a medium bowl. Toss thinly sliced onions in the flour mixture. Sprinkle breaded onions on the baking sheet. Generously spray onions with the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until brown. Watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn!

Top casserole with the crispy onions and place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
2 (16 oz) packages riced cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Place riced cauliflower in a large pot with olive oil. Cook and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until cauliflower has lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Pour in broth and water. Bring to a boil and cover and cook for 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain, but reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place drained cauliflower back in the now empty pot. Using an immersion blender or potato masher, mash drained cauliflower with parsley, garlic, reserved cooking liquid and salt and pepper. Top with chives.

About Kat: Kat Marris is a local Indianapolis chef that focuses on making vegetables your friend! She writes and develops healthy recipes for her blog, Fresh and Balanced as well as shares healthy eating tips and tricks on her Instagram(@katmarris). Passionate about plant based eating and cooking, she brings her expertise as a chef to meal prepping dishes that taste delicious and are easy to make!

Instagram: @katmarris
Facebook: Fresh and Balanced

For more yummy recipes, visit www.freshandbalanced.com.

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