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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple Thanksgiving side dish recipes

Classic Thanksgiving stuffing is made with cornbread, dried

Classic Thanksgiving stuffing is made with cornbread, dried cranberries, walnuts and bacon. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

CORNBREAD, CRANBERRY AND WALNUT STUFFING

To omit the bacon, cook the vegetables in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

2⁄3 cup 1 percent milk

2 large eggs

2 (8.5-ounce) packages corn muffin mix

6 slices bacon

2 cups chopped onion

1 1⁄2 cups diced carrot

1 1⁄2 cup diced celery

3⁄4 cup dried cranberries

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄2 teaspoon dried crushed sage

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the milk and eggs in a large bowl; stir in the muffin mix and let stand 2 minutes. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and cut in 1⁄2-inch cubes. Allow to stand at room temperature 1 day or place on a baking sheet and toast in a 400-degree oven until golden.

3. Cook bacon in a large skillet: remove and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Crumble the bacon when cool.

4. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the drippings in the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and broth; cook 5 minutes.

5. Combine the cornbread cubes, crumbled bacon, vegetables, walnuts, thyme, sage, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to the baking dish and bake 20 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 295 calories, 6 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 576 mg sodium

TIP: Make the stuffing the day before and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH GOLDEN PARMESAN BREADCRUMB TOPPING

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 pints Brussels sprouts, halved

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1⁄3 cup breadcrumbs

1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan

1. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high. Add half the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and crisp-tender, about 9 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Remove from the pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and repeat. Transfer to the bowl and sprinkle with the salt.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan; add the garlic and cook until just golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl along with any oil remaining in the pan.

4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

5. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with the breadcrumbs; mix thoroughly and stir in the Parmesan. Sprinkle over the Brussels sprouts. May be stored in the refrigerator one day.

6. To serve, place in a preheated 350- to 375-degree oven until the crumbs are browned and the Brussels sprouts heated through, about 10 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 99 calories, 3 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 231 mg sodium

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MASHED POTATO AND PARSNIPS

2 1⁄2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut in 1⁄3-inch pieces

2 1⁄2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in 1⁄3-inch pieces

2⁄3 cup half-and-half

1 3⁄4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine parsnips and potatoes in a large pot: cover by 3 inches with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until both are very tender when pricked with a fork; drain.

2. Transfer to a large bowl and mash lightly with a potato masher. Add the half-and-half, 1 1⁄4 cups of the broth, the salt and pepper and mash until fairly smooth. The mixture should be light and fluffy, but hold its shape. Add the remaining chicken broth, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to reach the desired consistency.

3. May be made the day before and transfer to a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Reheat, lightly covered with foil, in the oven once the turkey comes out for about 20 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 164 calories, 4 g protein, 6 g fiber, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 226 mg sodium

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