Thanksgiving Sides

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Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Pine Nuts

Quinoa is a super food, literally. This dish makes a great side or vegetarian entree and tastes great the next day too, so take it to go for a healthy lunch solution.

Cooking Planit Recipe: Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Pine Nuts

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  • Butternut Squash – 1/2 Pound
  • Fresh Parsley – 3 Tablespoons
  • Green Onion – 2 Tablespoons
  • Pine Nuts – 4 Tablespoon
  • Quinoa – 1 cup
  • Chicken Stock, Low Sodium – 1 Cup
  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Cumin – 2 teaspoons
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 3 Tablespoons

  1. Cut both ends off the squash. Cut in half crosswise down the middle, then stand each half upright and use your knife to cut down the sides to remove the skin. Discard the skin.
  2. Cut each half in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy membrane, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Place the squash cubes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly, then scatter the squash on a sheet pan in a single layer. Use two sheet pans if necessary.
  4. Trim the parsley leaves from the stems and finely chop to measure the indicated amount. Place in another large mixing bowl.
  5. Cut the ends off the green onions and peel away any loose or damaged outer layers. Rinse under cold water and dry thoroughly. Thinly slice the green onions to measure the indicated amount. Add to the parsley.
  6. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Place in a medium saucepan.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the sheet pan(s) of squash in the oven. Bake until squash is very tender and caramelized, about 30-35 minutes. Stir the squash every 10 minutes so it caramelizes evenly.
  3. Pour chicken stock and water into the saucepan with the quinoa. Place over medium heat. Proceed with the next step as the liquid comes to a boil.
  4. Heat a small saute pan over medium-low heat.
  5. Once pan is warm, add the pine nuts and toast until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Shake pan often to prevent burning. Once toasted, transfer to the large bowl with the parsley and green onion.
  6. Once quinoa liquid is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed and grains are tender. They will look almost translucent with a little white curl showing.
  7. After you’ve removed the quinoa from the heat, fluff it with a fork. Pour into the large mixing bowl with the parsley, green onion and pine nuts.
  8. Stir the cooked squash into the quinoa mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Transfer the quinoa into a serving bowl or onto dinner plates. Serve warm.

Potato Casserole



Potato Casserole
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 pkg. Au Gratin Potatoes
  • 1 (16-oz.) can pizza sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. shredded cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in ungreased 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish, combine potato slices and contents of sauce packet from potatoes.
  3. In medium saucepan, combine pizza sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Pour over potato mixture; mix well. Add milk and beef mixture; mix well.
  4. Bake at 400°F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; stir. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven; bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving to thicken sauce.
The nice thing with this recipe is that you can add anything you want to it like mushrooms, green onions, etc.

Hash Brown Casserole

This is one of those recipes that you can really add in whatever you want. Next time, Bill wants me to add some crumbled bacon. However, my original recipe for this calls for chopped green pepper, chopped green onions, and chopped pimiento. I didn’t have any of those ingredients, so I made it with what I had, and it was excellent!

Hash Brown Casserole
  • 1 package frozen hash browns (28 oz)
  • 8 oz cubed ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can of condensed cream of celery soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, ham, 1½ cups of cheddar cheese, soup, and sour cream. Spoon this mixture into your dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  3. Bake 60-75 minutes or until it bubbles around the edges.