WIC Kitchen: Colorful, tasty (and healthy) sides brighten your holiday
Nov. 15, 2023
Have you considered switching up side dishes this Thanksgiving? This month, WIC Kitchen is showcasing two colorful, tasty and healthy recipes that will wow family and friends at the holiday table.
Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts take about five minutes to prep and 12 minutes to roast in the oven, so it also helps move the menu along on a busy cooking day.
Cranberries are a traditional Thanksgiving food but that does not mean they can only make an appearance as a gelled salad. They also offer so many nutritional benefits. They are high in antioxidants, so they aid in cancer prevention and in providing anti-inflammatory effects.
This superfood also improves cardiovascular health, lessens the risk of UTIs, improves gut health, lowers blood pressure and protects against liver disease.
Complementing the deep purple color of the cranberries, the golden highlight of the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and is beneficial to the lungs by helping to prevent asthma and reducing lung cancer risk.
And kale is good for gut and brain health and aids in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, which is an added bonus during Diabetes Awareness Month.
At WIC Kitchen, we understand that the holidays are not necessarily a time when people are focused on healthy foods, but it’s helpful when you can find tasty, easy and healthy fare to pair with your stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and assortment of pies.
Happy holidays and enjoy!
Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half*
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup fresh cranberries*
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
Mix in the cranberries and pecans and roast for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the cranberries are beginning to burst and are tender.
Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)*
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 heaping cups fresh kale, chops and ribs removed*
3-4 heaping cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped*
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries or craisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (*see note below)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese*
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread butternut squash pieces into a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Toss gently to coat and then roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing once during cooking, until squash is tender.
Allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Add kale and spinach to a large salad bowl.
Top with remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently.
Items marked with an asterisk* are available through Monongalia County Health Department WIC. Please call 304-598-5181 or check out monchd.org/departments-programs/wic for more information.