Side, By Side, By Side.

For some, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without having a bird as the guest of honour.
For others, it’s everything else that fills the plate; your aunt’s famous stuffing, homemade cranberries or your mom’s casserole that make the meal. Bumping elbows, it’s not tough to see, for our herbivore guests, the sides become the main. However, the gravy might be out, the stuffing perhaps filled that bird or decadence won with the addition creams and cheese, making even the sides slim pickings.

Since Holidays are about the company, these few tweaks on some delicious classics are sure to be enjoyed by the entire table. Be thankful, celebrate the season… and your guests. (& I’m sure they will thank you too.)

I’ve put together a few quick and easy side dishes for Thanksgiving, and beyond. Simple and fast to prepare, these sides can easily be doubled or made ahead of time and just reheated, allowing more time for company…. and dessert.


1 Head Cauliflower, cleaned and trimmed
1 Bulb Celeriac, peeled and diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and slightly smashed
2 Tablespoons Margarine
Pinch of Salt and Black Pepper* to taste
3-4 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Clean and cut the celeriac into 1/2″ cubes. Place it in a a roasting pan along with the mashed garlic cloves.
Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and gently toss while drizzling over the oil.
Roast in a 350ºF oven for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until tender.
Discard garlic, if too brown, along with the thyme.
Clean and break apart the cauliflower. Add it to a large pot of water to boil.
Cook the cauliflower, until soft, about 10 minutes.
Drain and empty into a large bowl. Add the roasted celeriac, margarine, salt and pepper.
Purée with a hand immersion blender.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with a dot of margarine and fresh sprigs of thyme, if desired.


1 Bunch Broccoli, stems removed, about 2 1/2 Cups
1 1/4 Cup Soy Milk
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Margarine
2 Tablespoons Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
Pinch Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper*
1 Cup Whole Wheat Ritz, Vegetable Thins or other salted vegan acceptable crackers (read your labels:), coarsely crushed

Clean and trim the broccoli.
Blanch the flowerettes in boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Meanwhile, gently heat the soy milk with the bay leaves, being sure not to let it boil.
In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat and whisk in the flour.
Once the flour has begun cooking and turned a light golden colour, discard the bay leaves and add half of the warmed milk.
Whisk well to incorporate. Once the sauce is smooth, reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the nutmeg, mustard, garlic powder, nutritional yeast flakes, salt and pepper.
Continue to whisk, adding the remaining milk, making sure to get anything that may have begun thickening on the bottom.
Continue cooking over the heat to thicken; 3 – 5 minutes.
Once the sauce will evenly coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the burner.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Evenly layer the blanched broccoli in an oven proof baking dish.
Pour about 3/4 the sauce over the broccoli from side to side.
Coarsely crush the crackers and layer over the sauce and broccoli.
Drizzle over the remaining sauce.
Bake the casserole for about 20 -25 minutes or until it is heated through and the top is golden brown.


Not exactly an original but certainly a classic, these elegant potatoes are also known as Rosettes and, quite frankly, very delicious.

5 Medium Yukon Gold Potatoes or 3 large Russets
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1 teaspoon Arrowroot Powder, optional but helpful
2 Tablespoons Margarine
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Crack of Black Pepper*
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Pinch Nutmeg

Peel and boil the potatoes until tender, about 7 – 10 minutes.
Drain and mash.
Dissolve the arrowroot into the cold soy milk.
Add the milk and 1 Tablespoon of the margarine to the potatoes with an immersion blender, food processor or hand mixer and blend until very smooth.
Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well.
Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Using a piping bag attached with either a star or flat tip, pipe the potatoes into 3 inch rosette shapes.
Melt the remaining margarine and brush over the potatoes.
Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

*White pepper could be traditionally used but I just like the taste and zip of the black better.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

7 thoughts on “Side, By Side, By Side.”

  1. You have a beautiful blog here. I am so happy to have discovered it. Thanks for writing to me Dayna :). Thank you very much for adding me to your blog roll too.

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