Thursday, November 24, 2011

It May Be Turkey Day, But the Real Stars are the Veggies!

Back when I was a flexitarian my mother and mother-in-law used to fret about holiday meals. What ever will I eat if I can't have turkey or ham?!?

Truth be told, holiday meals are a smorgasbord for vegetarians.  It's the one time a year that many hard core carnivores actually welcome a spread of veggies to the table.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (or are they yams? What's the difference?), buttery dinner rolls, cranberry relish (just not Mama Stamberg's!)... MMMmmmmm.

We usually spend Thanksgiving with Jason's parents (Grammy & Dampa of the Pirate and Big Birthday Bakeoff party fame) and there are two standout dishes that I just love.

Vegetable Casserole

I grew up eating Campbell's Classic Green Bean Casserole, and I really like it. But I don't love it the way I do this recipe from Grammy's friend Dianne Taylor.

Ingredients for casserole

  • 1 can french style green beans - drained
  • 1 can shoe peg corn - drained
  • 1/2 cup celery - chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper - chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion - chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Ingredients for topping

  • 1/3 box Ritz Crackers - crushed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 stick melted butter

Mix the casserole ingredients and pour into baking dish. Top with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. 

It's toasty, crunchy, and mouth-wateringly yummy.

Pretzel Jello Salad

Grammy got this recipe from Main Street Cafe in Madison, Alabama, but it's made the rounds for years so I'm not sure where it originates. It's one of those salty-sweet things (like dipping your french fries in a Wendy's Frosty!)


  • 2 1/2 cups pretzels, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large container Cool Whip
  • 2 (3 oz) packages of strawberry jello
  • 2 (10 oz) packages of frozen strawberries

Mix the pretzels, margarine and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Blend the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Add Cool Whip, mix well.  Spread over cooled pretzels. 

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add strawberries, breaking up with a fork as you stir. Chill until slightly thickened. Pour over Cool Whip layer.

Chill until set. Cut and serve.

High-calorie heaven in a pan! (no one ever said vegetarian always = healthy)

Some more random holiday shots:

Miranda, with Chateau Gatorade circa 2011.

Olivia with her Thanksgiving Day favorite - black olives. Girl can put away some olives!

Hannah (and Olivia) folder the napkins into tiny little cranes. ("Who wadded up my napkin?!?" Dampa asked.)

From our family to yours -- Happy Thanksgiving!


Post a Comment