Fall is my favorite season. There’s something about enjoying a meal with family and friends in the fall that just seems special. Maybe it’s the gratitude thing or that more people are less obnoxious as the holidays get closer.
Whatever the reason for more delicious goodies and goodwill among humans, I’ll take it!
I’ve noticed that most side dishes for fall are kind of boring. Potatoes in some form, a steamed veggie with (maybe) some spices thrown on it, or a typical salad.
Are you ready to shake things up and try something new?
In the spirit of making meals for family and friends that aren’t the same tired rehashes of old stand-bys, I put some of my favorites together for you. A couple of them are recipes I’ve found, tried, and pronounced divine. I linked to the websites so you can enjoy!
Fall Side Dish Recipe #1 – Truffle Cream Spinach
This isn’t your grandmother’s creamed spinach recipe. You’re going to love it once you try it. This is the single most requested side dish requested by my friends and family.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense food because it has incredible amounts of vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories. Like other members of the leafy green family, benefits your bones, brain, hair and nails, and blood. It’s also naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and packs a punch in the antioxidant department.
One thing I love is that spinach is good for you whether you opt for fresh or frozen! That means you can get it pre-steamed and chopped (which saves loads of time) in the freezer section of your market and still get the great benefits.
- 1 large bag of frozen cut spinach (at least 24 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ stick butter
- ¼ cup flour (4 tablespoons)
- 1 cup milk (or half-n-half)
- ½ cup grated parmesan or asiago
- 1 teaspoon truffle salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Microwave frozen spinach in a big bowl covered with plastic wrap
- Let cool, drain water, squeeze in a sieve – squeeze it good! No likes watery spinach
- Set aside
- Prepare béchamel (the sauce you’ll blend with the spinach).
- Melt stick of butter
- Stir in flour and whisk until golden – this will look a bit crazy so keep your wits about you. Cook about 3 minutes and keep whisking. Stop when it’s golden.
- Pour in milk gradually (½ cup at a time) and whisk until you get a creamy delicious sauce of the gods. It should thickly bubble up.
- Add in spices and stir well.
- Add in spinach and allow entire mixture to cook 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Don’t stop stirring!
- Add in cheese, stir well until melted.
Optional: You can opt to make this spinach gratin by placing in an oven-safe dish, sprinkling with breadcrumbs, and baking for 30 minutes at 350 degrees but everyone I know prefers the original.Spinach is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and packed with antioxidants. #SuperfoodClick To Tweet
Fall Side Dish Recipe #2 – Maple Whiskey Sweet Potatoes
This recipe calls for two of my favorite ingredients – sweet potatoes and apples. It’s a great alternative to candied yams or plain mashed potatoes that decorate most tables during the holidays.
Sweet potatoes have a fabulous nutrition profile and are a great anti-aging food. They have far more benefits than standard white potatoes and several studies have named them as part of an anti-cancer diet. The natural sweetness is also a great for calming a sweet tooth.
A recipe that also includes apples is just goodness on top of goodness. They’re a fruit you need in your life that helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other major diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Check out this delicious (and shockingly nutritious) recipe on the Well Plated website and be sure to scroll through some of the others they offer as well!Sweet potatoes are a great anti-aging food. #FoodforBeautyClick To Tweet
Fall Side Dish Recipe #3 – Homemade Cranberry Sauce
With only 45 calories per cup, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and veggies packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. They’re anti-bacterial and anti-cancer on top of being delicious. This is a spin on the over-processed cranberry sauce most often used this time of year. Once you make your own, you’ll never go back to that sugary, preservative filled variety again. Experience the tart fresh flavor of raw cranberries with this super simple condiment that comes together in minutes.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, about 4 cups
- ½ cup orange juice
- Place dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 15 minutes to soften.
- Drain dates and place in a food processor.
- Add cranberries and orange juice, and process until evenly chopped.
- Chill until ready to serve.
- Keeps in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Fall Side Dish Recipe #4 – Cauliflower Gratin
Cauliflower is another powerful nutrient-dense food that brings all the good stuff without the caloric or glycemic load. It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and proven to lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
It might not be your first choice when you think about side veggies but give it a chance! Like many of the most effective disease-fighting vegetables, it’s all about preparation.
Smitten Kitchen has a great new take on this old favorite that will truly surprise you. Check it out on their website and enjoy several other great options I’ve either tried or have on my (ever growing) list to try.
Fall Side Dish Recipe #5 – Peach and Cherry Quinoa Crumble
As a bonus, I’m going to share one of my favorite desserts that no one realizes is incredibly healthy. It’s an alternate to standard apple crisp desserts that are packed with calories and sugar. You’ll love it! I like to top it with a scoop of fresh French vanilla ice cream (our little secret).
- 4 peaches chopped (fresh or frozen)
- 2 cups pitted cherries (canned organic are amazing)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1½ tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup red quinoa, rinsed
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine peaches and cherries in a large bowl.
- Whisk together honey, 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil (melt the coconut oil if it’s not already liquid), and extracts in a small bowl and pour over fruit mixture, tossing to coat thoroughly.
- Pour fruit into square baking dish.
- In another small bowl, combine quinoa, almond flour, cinnamon, and remaining coconut oil. With your fingertips, mix well until it loosely forms crumbs (the coconut oil will help).
- Sprinkle mixture over the top of fruit in the baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly browning/crisping and the fruit is bubbly.
- Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm (and treat yourself with a bit of ice cream).
Your holiday meals (or meals throughout the year) don’t have to be the same tired and overused ingredients over and over. You can find (literally) thousands of recipes that give you new options. I try new recipes all the time. Some I hate, some I alter, and some I love.
Don’t be afraid to try new things! Your taste buds will be giddy!Most side dishes for fall are kind of boring. Let's shake things up and try something new!Click To Tweet