As great as your turkey is going to be, you’re gonna need things surrounding it. Plain and simple. Even the best-tasting turkey in the world needs side-dishes to break up the monotony. But when you can combine great side dishes, and a great main protein, you’re looking at a winning Thanksgiving (or any) dinner, and one your friends and family will remember.
Now I know that there are a plethora of “traditional” Thanksgiving side dishes that you are probably thinking about or have eaten. There’s nothing wrong with the traditionals, but I would recommend some alterations. For instance, green bean casserole is a classic. However, made the “traditional” way, you’re using canned cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onion straws… and probably even canned or frozen green beans. Quick caveat: there’s nothing wrong with frozen vegetables as long as they’re treated with respect. Now for my points of contention with this recipe…Canned cream of anything soup contains more sodium than any one item should. It’s insane. It’s really unhealthy and poses a health risk. The goopy grey-ish mass in that can is pretty nasty, in my opinion. It’s way fatty, and just… useless. The canned fried onions are kinda the same thing. Sure they taste pretty good, but do you know how many “ingredients” have to be used to keep them crunchy? Spoiler alert: a lot. Now I’m not trying to say that I don’t eat my fair share of chemical-laden foods. I do. It’s pretty hard (not to mention expensive) not to. Anyway, the green bean casserole can be made using real ingredients, from scratch with a high level of easiness.
There are other traditional dishes that I would recommend that you explore. I would also suggest venturing outside of that. Canned cranberry “sauce” is another quick example. There’s something about that red cylinder with those ridges in it that make me feel a little uneasy. I opt to make a homemade version that I can feel good about because I know what I’m putting into it.
I would also day that you should venture out a little bit from the norm. Maybe not a full-frontal assault, but maybe start small for one year and see how it goes. Heck, a turkey-fried rice sounds pretty good to me right now. Mix in some veggies and other tasty ingredients and you’ve got a sound side-dish that could go really well.
Another thing is to not forget about the leftovers. You’re gonna have them. You know you will. You know what I plan on doing with mine? Grilled leftover pizza.