Somewhere between putting my kids to bed and sitting down to work on Monday, I glanced at the calendar on my fridge. I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized Thanksgiving is next Thursday. It’s not that I didn’t know the date–I just didn’t realize November had flown by so fast. Since then, I didn’t manage to buy a turkey (but I bought the pan on Tuesday!), which means my good intentions of finding a kosher organic turkey are slim to none. Tofurkey anyone?

I did manage, though, to think of two delicious side dishes, which are seasonal, delicious and easy.

1 cup of wild rice
T olive oil or Earth Balance

For the chestnuts:
1 package of chestnuts, already peeled
T olive oil
t salt
freshly ground pepper
t chili pepper
t cocoa powder
t paprika
t garlic

Prepare the rice according to the package and mix in a T of olive oil or Earth Balance and salt and pepper when it’s done. Crush the chestnuts into smaller pieces. Mix the spices, olive oil and chestnuts together in a bowl. Roast at 350 for 20 minutes and stir them into the rice. (Note: You can use fresh chestnuts in the shell. They’ll taste better if you do it right, but it’s easy to overcook them. Here are instructions.)

Peel and dice any of the following root vegetables:
sweet potatoes
whole crushed garlic
red onion

Toss them all into a large pan and drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add some sprigs of rosemary too, if you like. Roast, stirring once or twice, at 375 for at least 45 minutes. (If you’re using rutebega, start roasting that first, as it needs extra time to soften.)

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