It seems like the month of November has really flown by! Thanksgiving is just a week away and we’re all looking forward to time with family and friends – not to mention all of the delicious food! While some holidays spotlight foods that might traditionally be a challenge to manage when you have braces, Thanksgiving is typically filled with foods that are braces approved!
If you’re looking to add a new side dish or two to your Thanksgiving table this year, we’ve found two contenders that will not only look spectacular but might also become a new favorite for your family. Both of these would be perfect to bring to a potluck meal since they can both be assembled in advance and each takes less than 30 minutes to heat.
Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
- 4 lbs. sweet potatoes
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
Place whole sweet potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and one teaspoon of salt. Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook just until cranberries pop, typically about 5 minutes.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.
Green Bean Cheddar Casserole
- 3 lbs. green beans
- 2 cups stale bread
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Bring a large saucepot of salted water to boil. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse bread into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and sliced green onions. Toss to combine and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until all cornstarch is dissolved. Add nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Heat slowly over medium heat, and slowly whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk. Allow sauce to boil for 2 minutes, keep whisking! Reduce heat to low, and add in cheeses one handful at a time, waiting until cheese melts before adding the next handful. Once all cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, remove from heat. Toss with green beans until well coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish until ready to bake.
When ready to bake:
Sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture over green beans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
· To save time, purchase fresh green beans in a microwaveable bag and skip the boiling all together!
· Use your favorite store-bought breadcrumbs to save additional time in lieu of making them yourself. Panko breadcrumbs are also an excellent substitution, adding even more crunch to the topping of this dish.
We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! All of us at Spannhake Orthodontics are thankful for each and every patient we’ve had the pleasure of serving. Now, what are you going to make with all of the leftovers?