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Sharp Health News

Healthy holiday side dishes (recipe)

Nov. 19, 2015

Healthy holiday side dishes

Thanksgiving is almost here, and healthy, tasty side dishes can help sidestep the seasonal wearing of elastic-waist pants. Sharp Grossmont Hospital offers these four delicious recipes to complement your main dish.

Autumn Squash and Pumpkin Soup
Put some yum in your autumn with this seasonal soup.
Yields 10 to 12 servings

4 ounces butter
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup zucchini squash, peeled and diced
1 cup yellow squash, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups acorn, kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1/3 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chives, minced

Melt butter in a large saucepan or pot. Add onions, celery, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, bay leaves, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger; cook over medium heat. Allow vegetables to cook until tender and well-caramelized with the butter and spices.

Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and add pumpkin puree. Simmer over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Carefully puree mixture with a hand mixer or blender. Finish with honey and cream. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Place soup in a tureen for service or portion into individual soup bowls and garnish each with minced chives.

Any hard autumn or winter squash can be substituted for green acorn squash. For additional sweetness, add more honey. This soup can also be garnished with toasted squash or pumpkin seeds, and served in a hollowed-out pumpkin.

Orange, Grapefruit, Quinoa and Kale Salad
Citrus, greens and quinoa, oh my!
Yields 8 to 10 servings

1 cup fresh orange segments
1 cup fresh grapefruit segments
1 cup quinoa, cooked and drained
2 bunches green kale leaves, rinsed and patted dry, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup baby red grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Citrus vinaigrette    
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2/3 cup olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

Prep salad ingredients as listed, and set aside. Prepare citrus vinaigrette by placing orange and grapefruit juices, vinegar, mustard and honey in a mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously while incorporating olive oil in a light steady stream until all of the oil is added. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place kale, orange and grapefruit segments, quinoa, red onion and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with citrus vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Gently toss to combine ingredients, taking care not to break fruit segments. Transfer to a chilled serving platter or bowl, or to individually chilled salad plates. Serve as a festive holiday side dish.

Use enough citrus vinaigrette to lightly coat kale leaves, quinoa and fruit. Refrigerate remaining dressing for use with other leafy green salads.

Fresh Ginger Cranberry Apple Relish
Skip the canned cranberry sauce and whip up this tart and tasty side.
Yields 6 to 8 servings

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 Granny Smith or Pippin apple, peeled and diced (pears may be substituted for apples)
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 strip lemon zest
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup water

Place cranberries, diced apple, sugar, cinnamon stick, grated ginger, lemon zest, apple juice and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce flame. Simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Cranberries will burst and naturally thicken sauce. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad
Your guests will go wild for this dish’s nutty, fruity flavor.
Yields 8 to 10 servings

2 cups wild and white rice blend, cooked
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled, diced and cooked
1 Granny Smith or Pippin apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon chives, minced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon leaves, minced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Prepare dressing by combining light mayonnaise, juice, vinegar, honey and tarragon in a mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Place cooked wild and white rice blend, cooked diced butternut squash, diced apple, raisins, chives and pecans in a bowl. Add dressing. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with roasted poultry.

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