Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grandma Marion’s Easy Thanksgiving Recipes - Sides Featuring Fresh Ingredients

Still deciding about your Thanksgiving menu or planning a festive meal over the weekend? I’m taking a break from cooking and thought that I would share these two recipes with you. Both are great vegetarian dishes and share some of the same ingredients and so preparation can be done at the same time. Both dishes are old fashioned homade holiday favorites – but they are healthy with my easy updated recipes. The pictures were taken this morning before baking so they are not the final dishes.

Green Bean Casserole
What is Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole. This is one with all fresh ingredients – no soup – that is festive in color and flavor.

2 lbs. green beans
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
2 medium slicing tomatoes
Italian bread crumbs
2 tbs butter
Cut off ends of green beans and if long cut in half. Dice the onion and green pepper. The the tomato in half and prepare very thin slices of tomato. Although you can dice or cut the tomato in smaller pieces, these thin sliced tomatoes add to the luxury of this dish. Steam the green beans for about 4 minutes. They should still have their rich green color and be partially cooked.

Butter your casserole pan – bottom and sides. I use this oval corning ware. It’s a go to casserole dish if there ever was one. Put a layer of beans on bottom of pan. Add a layer of the thin sliced tomatoes across the top of the beans. Sprinkle a layer of diced onions and diced peppers. Sprinkle with a thin layer of Italian bread crumbs. Drizzle with some melted butter.

Repeat with one or two layers. You can make this up to this point ahead and refrigerate if you have other things to prepare.

Bake covered in a 350 oven – 20 minutes covered and then 10 minutes uncovered.

This is a healthy dish made with fresh ingredients. It is simple to make but looks and tastes right for the holidays.

This gets made separate from the turkey and so you can make it with a ham or whatever roast you want. It also is completely vegetarian and features fresh ingredients. it will be on everyone’s plate – for seconds and take home portions too.

I package Pepperidge Farm cubed Country Style stuffing
2 large onions
1 large green pepper
3 stalks of celery
1 lb mushrooms
6 tbs butter
2 cups water

Dice the onions, green pepper celery and mushrooms. Melt butter in large frying pan. Saute onions and green pepper but do not brown. Add celery half way through. Add mush rooms and complete sauté. Add the stuffing and mix well. Add the water – icup right away and then gradually until well mixed – well but not drenched or soggy.

Arrange in a sauté pan or casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

These are two good dishes to make at the same time. You can dice and slice the fresh ingredients the day before – my husband did all of that yesterday – wow he is wonderful - and preparation on the day of cooking does not take that long. They also can be put in the oven at the same time – after the turkey is taken out and cooling.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and let us kow if you tried these recipes or have your own favorites to share.

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