What would Christmas be without the food?

And why not surprise family and friends this year by bringing the best homemade side dishes ever! Make sides that will blow the entrées out of the water.

Here are a few suggestions on how to put a healthy spin on classic side dishes you’ll find on the Christmas table year after year.

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Potatopia

Christmas side dishes_1There really isn’t a side without potatoes. Potatoes are one of my favorite starchy vegetables because they are so versatile and can be so yummy.

Making delicious potatoes does not mean you need to smother them in butter, cream or cheese.

You might want to reconsider sprucing up that old-fashioned mashed potato recipe for new and improved “smashed” potatoes.

In order to achieve the ultimate smashed potato dish:

1. Boil or steam a bag of small red potatoes.
2. In a separate bowl mix plain Greek yogurt, scallions and parsley until well blended.
3. Add the cooked potatoes to the creamy yogurt sauce and mash with a fork to get a crumbled potato texture.

The result is a warm and tangy side dish that is sure to please even the most extreme potato fans.

All about the brussel sprouts

Christmas side dishes_2Bump brussel sprouts up a notch this year by mixing them with fruit.

That’s right – roast your Brussel sprouts alongside chopped apples and onions in the oven! The sweetness of the apple will bring out the wonderful flavors of the Brussel sprouts and the onion gives the dish character.

Squeeze some lemon juice on the final product for an extra kick. Feel free to sprinkle pepper as necessary.

Guard your chard

Christmas side dishes_3Chard is an amazing green veggie often found at the holiday table.

Chard is best sautéed on the stove in a little bit of olive oil.

While your chard is cooking, add sliced cherry tomatoes and shallots for extra flavor. When the chard is fully cooked, sprinkle a pinch of salt and toss crumbled walnuts on top. The walnuts add a bit of crunch and texture.

Your friends and family will thank you for this amazing healthy side. Chard-haters might even find a new respect for this dark leafy green vegetable.

Powerful Pomes

Christmas side dishes_4Pomegranates are such a big part of the Christmas season. Pomegranate adds that touch of red to the dish that makes the whole plate pop.

No need to cook this fruit. Pomegranate arils can be left raw and mixed with a tad of mint.

Leave the mint leaves in the bowl of pomegranate overnight to let the mint get absorbed. This juicy side will bring out the flavors of the meat in your dish and add a refreshing touch to the overall plate.

Almighty Mushrooms

Christmas side dishes_5Stuffed mushrooms are the side that I look forward to this time of the year. Stuffed mushrooms are the best because they only require a few ingredients and are so easy to make.

White mushrooms are best for this dish because they’re a finger food and are a great appetizer.

Stuffed white mushrooms are filled with chopped mushroom stems, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs. That’s it. They’re lightly drizzled in olive oil and popped in the oven for 20 minutes. Not a whole lot of time or effort for the best dish at the party.

Wow your guests by making some of this year’s best side dishes. Let the sides steal the show by trying one of these tasty suggestions.

Enjoy and have a very happy Christmas!

Connect with Expert Bonnie Giller

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