Wake Up Your Thanksgiving Table with These Creative Side Dishes

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You’ve got the turkey all set to go — so what do you do for sides? Most of us know the drill: sweet potatoes (or do you call them yams?), mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, and, for some of us, it’s not Thanksgiving without green bean casserole! But if you want a bit of “zip” this year, here are some great ideas for varying those sides from Better Homes and Gardens (bhg.com). Try candied orange sweet potatoes (the same great taste, less sugary, and with a tang of citrus) — or sweet potato fritters with a dipping sauce. Try stuffing made with challah, fennel, and dried fruit, butternut squash, or caramelized onions and Capocollo rye bread. Yes, these flavors are all over the map…and that’s only the beginning.

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How about glazed carrots with pistachios? The extra crunch will be a welcome addition. Mashed potatoes take on a whole new aura in a recipe with blue cheese and garlic; and you might just turn green bean casserole haters’ heads with cheesy green beans and fennel, a two-tone bean salad with hazelnuts and parmesan, or roasted green beans with beets, feta, and walnuts. Speaking of beets, dress them up with a touch of brown sugar and poach them in red wine: instant pizzazz. Put together a cranberry relish and you’ll not only have something great for Thanksgiving dinner, but a handy condiment for sandwiches afterward; or forego the cranberry sauce in favor of a cranberry-quince jelly. The options are wide: with some 30+ recipes from bhg.com, you just might find a new family favorite.

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Written by Janet Butler

Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).