I love Thanksgiving. It is one of or maybe even my favorite holiday of the year. As cliche as it sounds, what I look forward to the most about this time of year is being with my family. My most cherished times during Thanksgiving are laying on the couch and watching football. I tend to lounge around all day, sometimes not even leaving the house. Which honestly, is needed. I am constantly go-go-go with teaching, nutrition, spending time with friends, exercise, you name it. I know I am not alone with that feeling either. These upcoming couple days to do absolutely NOTHING is necessary in our world.
This year, my family rented an Air B&B in Crested Butte, Colorado. I’m sure I’ll be outside enjoying the glorious mountains and awesome little town, but the first place my mind went when we booked the trip was “what are we going to eat?!” All I’m thinking about is the yummy snacks we can stash in our house and how we can divide up meal planning this week. My little brother hates (no joke) a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so I’m faced with a task…how can I help plan a Thanksgiving dinner that feels like autumn, is traditional, but not “gross” to some people with particular palates.
I think this side dish is a good place to start. I thought about all of my favorite seasonal fall foods and wondered how I could combine them into one side dish. You can buy all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s-so it won’t break your bank, which is needed during this time of year! If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s all these ingredients are seasonal and should be available at any grocery store.
Preheat the oven to 350. On a cutting board, spread out the pecans. Cut into fourths, or small chunks using a large knife. Spread on top of a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a darker brown. Your kitchen will smell AMAZING.
Rinse and wash the brussels sprouts and squash. You can get a great vegetable rinse at Trader Joe’s as well. I always make it a priority to not only rinse my vegetables, but wash them with a vegetable rinse. Dry with paper towels or a rag.
Using your thumb, puncture the pomegranate and pick off the skin. Careful! The juice will stain.
Pick out the seeds, and place in a strainer. If you are not up for this task you can also buy just the pomegranate seeds. Rinse and set aside.
Dice the garlic and shallot. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet, and turn onto medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic and shallots start to turn translucent. Add the butternut squash. When you’re cooking more than one vegetable at a time, you always want to add the heartier one first because it will take longer to cook. Coat in the oil and spices.
Once the squash starts to brown, add the brussels sprouts. Coat in the oil and spice mixture. Cook for about 5-10 more minutes. When the brussels begin to brown, they are finished. Turn the heat off and add in the pecan and pomegranate seeds. Stir.
Serve as a side dish or place on top a bed of greens.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!
A Trader Joe’s Savory Thanksgiving Side Dish
Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate Seeds, and Pecans
1 pack of Trader Joe’s Cut Butternut Squash (about 2 cups)
1 pack of Trader Joe’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts (about 1.5 cups)
1 cup of pecans
1 pomegranate (about 1 cup of seeds)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Bake the pecans on a cookie sheet at 350 for 10-15, or until they turn a darker brown
2. Rise and wash squash and brussels
3. Dice shallot and garlic
4. Using the tip of your finger, puncture pomegranate and tear apart. Place seeds into a strainer. Rinse. (Careful! The juice will stain.)
5. Add olive oil, shallots, and garlic to a large saucepan or skillet. Turn on medium heat.
6. Cook for 2 minutes, until translucent
7. Add butternut squash, and cook for another 5 minutes
8. Add brussels sprouts. Top with salt and pepper. Combine all vegetables in the oil and spice mixture.
9. When the squash and brussels are cooked (you should be able to easy cut through the squash with a fork and the brussels will brown) add the pecans to the pan. Add pomegranate seeds. Stir.
10. Serve as a side dish or on top of a bed of greens