With the big meal coming up, I would like to share some side dishes that we eat every year with our turkey. We are not the traditional stuffing and cranberry sauce kind of family, as you’ll see!

Warning : These recipes come from the cookbook : “Mom’s version of food never needing to be accurately measured”. Go with your taste buds! And thanks to my mom for the years of food and not giving up on us to actually liking some specific foods one day, it worked!


Red Cabbage


Put 375 g of lard, into an 8 litre pot.

Fill it up with shredded red cabbage until the rim.

Add caraway seeds to taste.

Add about ½ litre of wine vinegar to it and cook for 3-4 hours, add sugar to taste during process.

Stir from time to time to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Can be frozen in small portions.


This is best eaten with applesauce. As a kid, I hated this dish (sorry Mom!) but as I grew older (and wiser), it grew on me and now, I just love it because it really reminds me of Christmas with my family.


Saucy cauliflower


Cut a whole cauliflower in big chunks and boil it until soft.

When cauliflower starts boiling, melt butter (or margarine) in another pan (like, a chunk).

Add same amount of flour to the butter and mix. Let it cook about a minute to get rid of the floury taste.

Add milk, enough so the sauce doesn’t clump up. Mix with energy to get rid of the eventual clump. The sauce will thicken, so cook it until desired texture (I tried the gluey version and it wasn’t a success, so stick with not too thick!).

Add salt, pepper and ground nutmeg to the sauce.

Strain cauliflower, and add to the sauce (or vice-versa, cauliflower pot usually is bigger…. )

Mix well, you want the cauliflower to break up into small pieces.

Serve with additional nutmeg on top. (We use this in our house instead of putting a lot in the sauce, since one of the kids doesn’t like nutmeg that much)


Peas and carrots


This one, if I remember it right, is made with water. But over the years, I discovered that with a little milk, all is well, so I add my little touch to it!

Take frozen peas and carrot pieces (the smallest you can, who likes cooked carrots anyways, would my little self say) and cook them until soft.

Strain but keep a little of the cooking water for the sauce.

Melt butter (a chunk), add same amount of flour.

Let cook to get rid of the floury taste.

Add strained water and more milk, mix well to get a nice saucy texture (don’t worry if it’s too thin, let it cook a little and it’ll thicken).

Add fresh parsley (we freeze it from the garden to use in wintertime), salt and pepper.

Mix in with the peas and carrots and serve!


Now that I read this, I realize that my mom used a lot of sauce on us to make us actually eat veggies! Guess it worked, and I now do the same with my kids… J


Beans and carrots, no sauce!


Yes, you read right, no sauce in these. It’s not my mom’s recipe! It did get hubby’s approval though, which is not an easy thing to do.


In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.

Cook 1 minced onion, for 1-2 minutes.

Add 150 g of minced green beans, 2 minced carrots and ½ cup of chicken broth.

Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle ¼ cup of pistachios (hit with a hammer texture) on top and enjoy!

*Recipe can be found on www.pratico-pratiques.com and was translated by yours truly.


And now, all that’s left to do, is mash up some potatoes (you guessed right, we add some butter, again! Hey, happens once a year, don’t judge) and swear a little, because, yeah, great veggies, but we forgot the turkey!! Luckily, there’ll be some desserts coming up to compensate…

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