Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Branching Out

Sometimes Thanksgiving food gets a little old. We have stopped doing mashed potatoes altogether, because no-one in this calorie conscious age wants to waste their calories on potatoes and gravy, not when there is roquefort dressing and pecan pie to consider! So here are some relatively low calorie additions we have made in recent years, trying to substitute rich taste for fat.

Balsamic roasted Sweet Potatoes
(Oh, so easy!)

Scrub sweet potatoes and take off any growths, etc. Leave skin on and cut into circles about 1″ thick (2.24 cm) Spray a baking pan with olive oil, and lay sweet potato rounds in the pan – they don’t have to be flat. Sprinkle with sea salt (yes! it matters!)

Make up a mixture of about 1 cup olive oil to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle about half of this mixture over the sweet potatoes. Put them in the oven about two hours before the turkey is finished roasting, and after the first hour, every fifteen minutes or so, when you baste the turkey with turkey juices, baste the sweet potatoes with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil solution. The roasting concentrates the sweet flavor, which is complemented by the vinegar.

Green Beans
It’s the French in me. I gotta have the green beans.

Fresh green beans are best – make sure to take off the strings, and I like to cut off the little ends, too. Bring a pot of water to a boil, pop the beans in and WATCH closely! As soon as they turn bright green – about one minute – take them off the heat, and maybe one minute later, pour out all the water. Put 2 Tablespoons of butter in the pot with the green beans. Sprinkle a little sea salt over them. That’s it. They’re good, just like that.

Thanksgiving Spinach

If you can get your hands on fresh spinach, that is the best. In a very tall pot, sautee about five cloves of finely chopped garlic in really good olive oil (about 1/4 cup), turn the heat down, add just a little water and add a whole lot of fresh spinach. Put the lid on. Give it maybe five minutes to steam down, then open the pot, add a little sea salt, and stir so that the spinach glistens and the garlic is mixed well into the spinach. Oh! So simple. So delicious!

*If I knew, really knew the way Kuwaitis and Qatteris know, how to make machboos, I would serve Machboos with the Thanksgiving meal. It would be perfect.

November 20, 2006 - Posted by | Cooking, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Recipes, Thanksgiving


  1. Im getting such a kick out of reading these recipes! Thanks so much. They seem easy enough but we’ll see how it goes once I try some of them inshalla.

    Please PLEASE do take pictures and have them posted when you’re done. It really helps to see what things are supposed to look like when you’ve never cooked them before.

    Comment by 1001 Nights | November 22, 2006 | Reply

  2. Uhhhh pictures. Hmmmm, OK. Wish I were Equalizer. I am not that great on presentation . . .

    They ARE easy!

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 22, 2006 | Reply

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