Rethinking Sides: Transform traditional fat and calorie laden side dishes into healthier yet appealing side dishes. Don't stop there, transformed sides become tempting entrees the next day.
Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle admits that making healthy choices when putting together side dishes this Thanksgiving can be stressful. Some of us have worked hard to lose weight and others may have dietary restrictions due to a medical condition. And vegetarians in the family that need side dishes prepared especially for them come across as an afterthought.
The thought of having to rework a time-honored recipe may seem impossible since we all want to carry on with family traditions that include serving dishes from our childhoods. However, healthier ingredient choices don't have to feel restrictive when the dish is visually appealing and taste tempting. Using fresh herbs, vegetable-based fats instead of butter, hearty vegetables, and creative flavor enhancers will pump up the flavor of healthier choices. No one should be able to look down the buffet of sides and be able to pick out the vegetarian dishes, the calorie conscious sides, or the gluten free recipes. All of the dishes should be universally appealing.
When faced with Thanksgiving sides the day after, no matter how appealing they were previously, it's hard to move beyond what they are now, leftovers. Transforming leftovers is not hard when a little creativity is applied. Take a look at the root vegetables, and starches. Many times these are mashed or pureed. With a little chicken stock you can turn them into delicious soups. Grain based dishes, even some pasta dishes can be transformed into hearty entrée salads. Vegetable sides with a little vinaigrette can become a sandwich topping, warm salad, or slaw. Enjoying leftovers the second day can be as exciting and tasty; it just takes a little thought and creativity.
Mixed Grains with Sour Cherries and Warm Balsamic Reduction
Makes: 4-6 servings
1 TB olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced, optional
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked buckwheat
1 cup cooked quinoa
¾ cup dried sour cherries, plumped in hot water for 10 minutes
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic. Cook until fragrant. Pour in balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook until reduced, about 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine wild rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, and sour cherries in a large serving bowl. Toss with balsamic reduction. Stir in parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are good as a cold salad.
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Transforming side-dishes Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
3720 Mt. Olive Rd.
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
About Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen:
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.