Roasted Delicata Squash w/ Red Cabbage & Blue Cheese

Roasted Delicata Squash w/ Red Cabbage & Blue Cheese

Happy Saturday!

I’m popping in today to share one more fall squash recipe that would make for a tasty Thanksgiving side dish (or a tasty any-dinner side dish if you don’t celebrate T-giving!).

This one is a little bit different for me because I haven’t been a big fan of blue cheese. That is, until a few weeks ago, when Jack and I shared a squash dish with blue cheese at the Publican (here in Chicago) that I was completely enamored with. The pairing of sweet roasted squash with tangy cabbage, pops of sweet currants, and a base of a creamy, lightly funky, blue cheese sauce was so delicious that I was inspired to make my own version at home. And here it is!

Roasted Delicata Squash w/ Red Cabbage & Blue Cheese

If you haven’t tried delicata squash – now is your moment. I love it because its small size makes it easy to cut. The skin, once roasted, is tender and delicious so there’s no need to peel it.
   Roasted Delicata Squash w/ Red Cabbage & Blue Cheese

Roast the squash until it’s golden. While it roasts, make the creamy blue cheese sauce and marinate the cabbage with the currants in a bit of apple cider vinegar. Once the squash is done, it’s time to assemble! I just love the way the red cabbage pops against the squash – in color and in flavor. Both the sauce and the cabbage can be made in advance so this is pretty quick and easy to make.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Many Ways

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Many Ways

Earlier this fall, I started making a list of my potential Thanksgiving blog recipes. One of the items on that list was called “Brussels Sprouts TBD.” As every other recipe got named, resolved, tested, and put in the works, “Brussels Sprouts TBD” remained on the list just like that. I love love love Brussels sprouts at this time of year, but I just couldn’t settle on one idea or flavor combination… then it hit me – I’ll post many ideas! And you can choose!

Any of these simple combinations would make for a delicious, last minute holiday side dish. Each recipe starts with roasting the sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper… and then the fun flavor elements get added. Easy peasy. Here we go:

Spicy Peanut Brussels Sprouts

Spicy Peanut
Just like it sounds – the sprouts are roasted and then doused in a tangy/spicy peanut sauce. Sprinkle crushed peanuts over the top and add sliced Thai chilis to wake everyone up at the T-giving table!

Shiitake Bacon & Brussels Sprouts

Shiitake Bacon & Brussels
People always like bacon with their Brussels sprouts, so I thought – shiitake bacon! These are drizzled with a light, tangy sesame sauce and topped with sesame seeds and microgreens.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Tahini, Feta & Pomegranate

Tahini, Feta & Pomegranate
I don’t often pick favorites in these situations, but I’m going to this time. This one is my favorite! The sprouts are drizzled with lemon tahini sauce and topped with feta, hazelnuts, and pomegranate. A perfect combination of creamy, tangy flavors with a pop of pom.

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Lemon-Thyme Parmesan
This is a classic combination, but that doesn’t make it any less special. Obviously, I love lemon on (just about) everything. In this recipe, the salty Parmesan and herbaceous thyme leaves bring out the lemony brightness of these sprouts. Yum, yum.

Favorite Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Favorite Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving is SO early this year?! Five minutes ago it was summer, then the leaves were falling, then we had a bit of snow last week(!), so needless to say, it’s suddenly holiday season! Whether you’re hosting the big meal or you’ve been assigned to bring a salad or side dish, here are a few recipe ideas. This is a short list of recipes that are my favorites right now. There are also tons more listed under the Thanksgiving tab of our recipe index.

Start the meal off with this Butternut Squash Hummus. In my opinion, this is the best fall dip. It’s creamy, it’s squashy, and it’s nicely spiced with cumin and coriander. Make it extra fancy (and extra delicious) by sprinkling it with feta cheese and pomegranates.

Butternut Hummus with Feta & Pomegranates

Stuffing is always my favorite part of the meal. Here are two versions that I love because they pack a decent amount of vegetables in between the bread. This Kale & Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing is rich with celery, rosemary, a touch of balsamic vinegar, cranberries, and savory sage leaves. An umami-tastic stuffing.

Kale & Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing

Stuffing option number two is this Butternut Squash & Leek Stuffing that I made last year. I love it because it’s so colorful from the squash, herbs, and little purple cipollini onions.

Butternut Squash & Leek Stuffing

For mashed potatoes, I have three choices depending on your potato preferences:

Cauliflower Parsnip Mash with Roasted Garlic is a non-traditional mash because, well, it’s not actually made with potatoes. I just love the nutty, earthy, complex flavors from the parsnips and the roasted garlic.

Cauliflower Parsnip Mash w/ Roasted Garlic

For a more traditional mash, make these Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. Cauliflower subs in for half of the potatoes, making them smooth, fluffy, and light.

Vegan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Then, of coarse, there are these Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes that I posted the other day. This recipe makes a “rustic” mash, which is my way of saying that it’s a no-peel dish with a wonderful chunky texture and lots of flavor.

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

For a veggie main course (or a nice side dish) try this Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimchurri. The bright flavors here are anything but traditional, but it’s such a cozy and delicious stuffed squash recipe.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas and Chimichurri

Keep the vegetable side dishes simple – you’re cooking enough already! These Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus will brighten up the whole meal while keeping your grocery list short.

Simple Roasted Beets with Citrus

If you’ve been assigned the salad, this colorful Fall Farro Salad with Halloumi & Pomegrantaes is sure to impress.

Fall Farro Salad w/ Halloumi & Pomegranates

Or for a quicker easy-to-bring salad, make this Shredded Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad. It’s so tasty with so few ingredients. You can even buy the bag of pre-shredded Brussels sprouts – I won’t tell.

Shredded Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad

For dessert, I’m obsessed with this Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding. To me, it tastes like the best pumpkin pie filling ever – the freshly roasted squash brings such wonderful natural sweetness.

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding

Last but not least – maybe you’re having an intimate Thanksgiving just for two? For so many years, Jack and I stayed home in lieu of dealing with crowded airports. I’d always keep our dinner simple but festive by making butternut squash risotto… but you could spice things up by making this Butternut Squash Pasta with Chili Oil, Feta & Mint.

Butternut Squash Pasta with Chili Oil, Feta & Mint

For more Thanksgiving recipes, check out our recipe index and click “Thanksgiving” on the right sidebar!

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving is next week, but I’ve been eating mashed potatoes for a while now because blogging life means eating holiday recipes early! I first made these for a family dinner a few weeks ago and while I was in the kitchen mashing stuff in a bowl, my brother-in-law came over and asked “what’s in the mashed potatoes?” I said “potatoes”… and he said ” no, I mean, what’s the “potato”…is it cauliflower…is it parsnips? He knows me so well.

It dawned on me how rarely I make actual potatoes, but we’re changing that today – this Thanksgiving our potatoes are potatoes! We’re also adding a bunch of kale to them because, well… I’m still me.

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes ingredients

These potatoes are not your creamy whipped cloud potato – if you’re craving that style of mash, go make this recipe. Today’s recipe is more of a rustic mash with garlic, scallions, and rosemary. The skins of the potatoes are left on which makes for a wonderful texture and also ease of cooking. This whole recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and requires no peeling.

There’s nearly a whole bunch of kale in this recipe, but no one will realize it, because it cooks down and mixes in to the potatoes so well.

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Instead of butter or sour cream, I use good amount of olive oil, which adds such a delicious flavor and creamy texture. It also makes this recipe vegan without having to use any type of vegan butter substitute. I just love olive oil so much.

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

mmm… look at all of that kale!

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

Every year in November, I like to post one new vegetarian main dish recipe. I find that Thanksgiving hosts often like to have a special option for vegetarians at their table, especially if they are newer to the family. But what people don’t know is that, for the most part, herbivores are usually just as happy to fill up on stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, roasted veggies, pumpkin pie, and more.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri ingredients

So this year, my “main dish” is doubling as a side dish. Instead of making giant acorn squash halves stuffed with everything and the kitchen sink, leaving me way too full to eat anything else, I’m making a platter of acorn squash quarters, filled with warmly spiced chickpeas and topped with a tangy chimichurri. It’s a delicious dish with unexpectedly bright flavors that everyone can enjoy.

I made these a few weeks ago for dinner for my extended family (which is how I test out Thanksgiving blog recipes) and they were a big hit next to some yummy mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts (that I will tell you about in a future post). Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, all of these fresh ingredients can be found so easily and affordably at ALDI. I often spend hours (and hundreds of dollars) at the grocery store for a big family dinner, but Jack and I gathered everything for our entire family meal in about 20 minutes at ALDI, including these seasonal acorn squashes.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

For the recipe, you’ll first quarter the acorn squash and get it roasting.

As the squash roasts, start the chickpeas. I cooked the chickpea filling with yellow onion, and braised them in a little vegetable broth seasoned with lemon, cumin, and a touch of cinnamon. I know, it sounds like an odd combination, but it really works – the pinch of cinnamon brings out the sweet flavor of the acorn squash. I also want to mention that ALDI’s Dakota’s Pride chickpeas are my favorite canned chickpeas of all time – they have a more al dente bite than others, which means that they hold their shape nicely as you cook them.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

For some fresh herbaceous flavor, I made a topping that’s a riff on chimichurri. Or rather, it started as a chimichurri, but I wanted the sauce to be thick enough to sit on top of the chickpeas, rather than fall within the crevices, so I added some ground pepitas for texture. They also provide a nice nutty flavor.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

A drizzle of lemony yogurt adds a creamy touch. And for a little spice, I sprinkled each squash piece with a few red pepper flakes.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri

Happy Thanksgiving month! Stay tuned for some awesome mashed potatoes coming up next week, and until then, go check out all of the affordable fresh finds at ALDI!

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri