This is in no way a set of recipes aimed at bashing the traditional. I love creamy mashed potatoes, sweet and savory cornbread stuffing and a healthy portion of green bean casserole all smothered in gravy. Yeah, I cover my entire plate in gravy because gravy makes the world go round.

Taste over all else. I don’t care if it’s high in fat and made with copious amounts of butter. If it tastes good, I’m going to eat it. So to my surprise, these three recipes are all vegetarian. I don’t normally go for that type of stuff but if it’s good, it’s good. Didn’t even mean to do that. I could’ve added bacon somewhere, but honestly I think this is one of the few instances bacon is not going to necessarily make it better. *gasp*

Honestly, I’ve crafted these Thanksgiving recipes with the intent of increasing my turkey and pumpkin pie intake. These are lighter and are just as delicious as the traditional, but these will allow you to get more food into your belly. For me, that’s always priority number one on turkey day.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:40 minutes
  • Total Time:55 minutes
  • Servings:2-3 servings
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 16 oz mushrooms
  • 20 pearl or cipollini onions
  • 1½ tablespoon butter
  • 5 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Step 2

Peel and dice butternut squash into ½ inch cubes. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 3

Clean and trim mushrooms. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 4

Roast butternut squash for 30 minutes. Pop the mushrooms in the oven for the final 15 minutes to roast as well.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 5

Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to brown the onions in a pan over medium heat. Once they have gotten some color on both sides lower the heat. Add the 1½ tablespoons butter into the pan and let it melt until it has become a brown butter. Baste the onions in the melted butter.

#SpoonTip: Start this step immediately after you pop in the mushrooms. Once 15 minute comes around everything will be hot and ready.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 6

Toss together the roasted squash, roasted mushrooms and onions. The mélange of colors will evoke memories of fall perfect for Thanksgiving.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Pan-Roasted Asparagus w/ a Balsamic and Pomegranate Seeds

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:2-3 servings
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 20 spears asparagus
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 1

Prep by cutting the bottom 1 inch stem of the asparagus to remove the really fibrous part. Also, halve the pomegranate and use the back of a spoon to tap the seeds out of the pomegranate.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 2

Blanche in boiling water for 1 minute.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 3

Immediately remove asparagus from boiling water and put into a water bath in order to stop the cooking process.

#SpoonTip: This step prevents the asparagus from turning that unappealing brown color. It’ll stay green no problem.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 4

Let stand in the iced water bath for 1 minute and drain on paper towels to remove excess water.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 5

Add the olive oil to a pan and heat over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Once they have gotten a bit of char on them remove from the pan.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 6

Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over it to garnish.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 7

Take your phone out and Instagram the crap out of it. This thing is just so damn pretty to look at, you’ll forget that you actually want to eat it because you’re too busy trying to find the right filter to use.

“Sour Cream and Onion” Smashed Potatoes

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Total Time:45 minutes
  • Servings:2-3 servings
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 5 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 1

Boil potatoes for about 25 minutes or until they are fork tender.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 2

Smash your potatoes just until the skin has burst. You could use your hand to smash them or you could be civilized and use a slotted spoon.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 3

Finely chop the green onions and combine with the Greek yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes; it lets the flavors meld together.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 4

Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add a single layer of potatoes and let brown on both sides. Continue to do this in batches until all of the potatoes have had time to hang out in the oil bath.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 5

Remove the potatoes from the pan. Let drain on some paper towels to remove the excess oil.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 6

Spread the yogurt on a plate. Start piling the potatoes on top to make a little mound of potatoes.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu

Step 7

Garnish with the shaved Parmesan cheese, and let nostalgia take over to when sour cream and onion potato chips reigned supreme.

Photo by Alex Vu
Photo by Alex Vu