thanksgiving sides

Thanksgiving is upon us.  Literally, it's tomorrow!  Do whole months ever just slip away from you? For me, November has been a blur.  We are trying to find a new apartment, my car is in the shop, my social calendar exploded, my kid brother got ENGAGED to the sweetest girl on earth, and I had some adorable photo shoots thrown into the mix.  I really intended to post three or four separate Thanksgiving recipes, but I'm lucky just to get these up prior to the holiday. 

On Turkey day, sides kind of make the meal. The turkey is a given, but the sides allow you togive the meal your own touch.  Are you a green bean casserole kind of a chef or is your touch melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes? This year, I wanted to mix things up a bit.  In our family, the turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie are all sacred. Don't even think about changing the recipe, but the vegetables are up for grabs... 

Twice-Baked Chipotle Garlic Sweet Potatoes

These twice baked sweet potatoes have a bit of a kick.  Instead of your average brown sugar crusted sweet potatoes, they are whipped with garlic and chipotle peppers.  AMAZING! And, they are 100% paleo... not that we are paleo on Thanksgiving, but something should be good for you, right?

Tequila-Lime Cranberry Sauce

This boozy dish is not your grandma's cranberry sauce.  Instead of the staple orange cranberry sauce, these cranberries are cooked with tequila, vanilla, and lime juice for a much zestier side. This is something you can make ahead and toss in the fridge too. 

Roasted Acorn Squash with Crispy Parmesan Kale

This recipe combines two of my favorite veggies, acorn squash and kale.  Warm, buttery squash topped with crisp garlicy kale and a touch of parmesan. GLORY!  

Jump for the recipes! And, I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Twice-Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes (Paleo)

4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chipotle pepper chopped with 2 tablespoons adobe sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons ghee or butter
Dried parsley

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Drizzle sweet potatoes with olive oil.  Wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes or until soft.

2. Remove potatoes.  Cut in half and scrap insides into a bowl. Set aside 4 empty sweet potato skins.  Add chipotle pepper, adobe sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, and butter and whip with a hand mixer until well blended.  

3.  Fill potato skins with mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the outside is wee bit crusty. Top with parsley and serve! 

Tequila-Lime Cranberry Sauce

1 lb fresh cranberries
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup tequila
1 lime
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour or more


1. Place all ingredients in a small saucepan except lime. Zest lime and toss into pan. Then, cut the lime in half and add lime juice to mixture.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for about 25 minutes.  

2. Remove from heat and chill before serving. 

Roasted Acorn Squash with Crispy Parmesan Kale

1 acorn squash, quartered with the seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic power
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 cup kale, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
Shredded parmesan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, melt butter.  Add spices and, using a pastry brush, coat squash with butter mixture.  Cook for 30 minutes or until squash is soft.

2. In the meantime, place kale, olive oil and remaining garlic powder in a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

3. Remove squash from oven.  Toss kale in the center of squash.  Top with parmesan.  Cook for 15 minutes or until kale is crisp and cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.