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Holiday Vegetable Side Dishes Far From the Mundane

November 19, 1987|TONI TIPTON

Thanksgiving is just one week away, and already memories of the season's hearty aromas come to mind. It's the time of year when novice and experienced cooks alike shine. They take full recognition for the fruits of their labor--a graceful holiday buffet table that offers the very best of the harvest. These cooks pay attention to every detail. Each item on the menu will be a complement to the other.

A feast of golden-brown turkey and all the accouterments is classic holiday fare--vegetables of the season such as squash and sweet potatoes, fresh fruits baked into luscious desserts and pies, and a cornucopia of fresh baked breads.

Just because you have an eye on fat and calories, there's no reason to settle for dull, ordinary foods, especially with the wide assortment of tastes and textures available this time of year.

The vegetable side dishes suggested here are a far cry from the mundane boiled peas and carrots of holidays past; and they avoid the rich, creamy cheese sauces that increase calorie counts.

Instead, these recipes combine vegetables as both warm and cold menu items, which provide the elegance the day demands, yet they are conscientiously prepared. Take note of the vastly differing calorie counts, however. The addition of walnuts and cream-cheese-and-oil dressing to the Spaghetti Squash Salad, for example, results in a whopping 295 calories and 22 grams of fat compared to 60 calories and 2 grams fat in Saucy Peas and Zucchini.


1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas with butter sauce in a pouch

1 cup julienne cut zucchini

1 tablespoon diced pimiento

Place unopened pea pouch in vigorously boiling water in saucepan. Do not cover. Bring to boil and boil rapidly 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer zucchini in 2 tablespoons water in medium skillet until water is reduced and zucchini is tender. Stir in pimiento and peas. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: 60 calories; 3 gm protein; 8 gm carbohydrate; 2 gm fat; 300 mg sodium; 140 mg potassium.


Protein 04% Riboflavin 06% Vitamin A 10% Niacin 06% Vitamin C 25% Calcium 02% Thiamine 08% Iron 04%


3 cups finely shredded red cabbage

2 (4 1/2-ounce) jars sliced mushrooms, drained

1 green pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill weed

1 clove garlic, minced

Layer cabbage, mushrooms, green pepper, walnuts and onions in 1 1/2-quart bowl. Combine yogurt, cucumber, dill and garlic in small bowl. Spoon over salad, spreading to cover. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours to blend flavors. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING: 90 calories; 5 gm protein; 9 gm carbohydrate; 4 gm fat; 140 mg sodium; 310 mg potassium.


Protein 06% Riboflavin 10% Vitamin A 02% Niacin 04% Vitamin C 80% Calcium 10% Thiamine 04% Iron 04%


1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup orange juice

6 orange slices

Cook vegetables according to package directions. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in orange juice and heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. To serve, pour orange sauce over vegetables and garnish with orange slices. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING: 80 calories; 2 gm protein; 11 gm carbohydrate; 4 gm fat; 250 mg sodium; 270 mg potassium.


Protein 02% Riboflavin 04% Vitamin A 40% Niacin 02% Vitamin C 50% Calcium 02% Thiamine 06% Iron 02%


2 dumpling squash, about 1 pound

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons butter

2 large red apples, peeled and chopped

1 leek, sliced (white part only)

2 tablespoons white wine

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Cut squash into halves. Place cut side up in microwave-safe dish with water. Cook in microwave on HIGH, covered, about 8 minutes, rotating once. Let stand 5 minutes. (Or, cook halves, covered in small amount boiling water over medium heat 15 minutes.)

Meanwhile, melt butter in skillet. Add apples and leek and saute 5 minutes. Add wine, cinnamon, pepper and allspice. Cook 3 minutes longer. Scoop seeds from squash and discard. Scoop out flesh and mash. Add to skillet and blend with apple mixture. Spoon mixture into squash shells. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: 146 calories; 2 gm protein; 22 gm carbohydrate; 6 gm fat; 73 mg sodium; 408 mg potassium.


Protein 03% Riboflavin 08% Vitamin A 85% Niacin 03% Vitamin C 19% Calcium 03% Thiamine 05% Iron 05%


1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

2/3 cup finely shredded carrot

Cut squash in quarters. Place in water in microwave-safe dish. Cook in microwave on HIGH, covered, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating once. Let stand 5 minutes. (Or, boil or steam quarters about 20 minutes.) Drain squash and cool. Scrape pulp from squash and place in salad bowl and chill.

Meanwhile, combine oil, vinegar, cream cheese, garlic, basil and pepper in food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

At serving time, toss squash with nuts, sweet pepper and carrots. Toss with dressing and serve. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING: 295 calories; 5 gm protein; 25 gm carbohydrate; 22 gm fat; 28 mg sodium; 714 mg potassium.


Protein 08% Riboflavin 16% Vitamin A 200% Niacin 06% Vitamin C 76% Calcium 07% Thiamine 10% Iron 09%

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