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Budget Minded Side Dishes for the Thanksgiving Table

November 17, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInexpensive but tasty side dishes offer a variety to the Thanksgiving table and two ingredients that can easily be grown even in containers on a patio or a corner of the yard are sweet potatoes and squash. These also are mentioned in some stories of early Thanksgiving meals but they weren’t prepared quite like this!

Take six cups uncooked squash and three tablespoons minced onion, cook 10 minutes or until tender and drain then mash. Add in a can of cream of chicken soup, an 8 ounce of sour cream, a grated carrot and box of stuffing mix (the generic is fine – do look for sage in the ingredients). Mix together and put in a casserole dish then bake for 30 minutes at 350F.

Sweet potato casserole can also be made easy by taking three large sweet potatoes and setting them to boil. Once well done remove skins, add 2 tablespoons margarine, a rounded tablespoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon salt and mash/mix together until creamy. Add ½ cup (or more if desired) chopped pecans and ½ cup ginger snap cookie crumbs. Butter a baking dish and put about half the potato mixture in the baking dish, topped with about ½ cup mini marshmallows, then another layer of potato topped with another ½ cup mini marshmallows. Top that with some extra ginger snap crumbs and bake at 325F for a half hour.

Both of these are inexpensive to make and easy as well. For an even easier casserole side dish slice up some zucchini squash, yellow squash, green pepper, onions, tomato and layer in a casserole dish. Don’t add water, but top with cheese and bake at 350F until done. This is a great way to use a bumper crop of zucchini too!

Of course there are those for whom potatoes is the only acceptable side dish and there is an easy fix for them too. Take about two pounds shredded potatoes (hash brown style) and mix it with a can of cream of chicken soup, 2 cups shredded cheese, a pint of sour cream, 4 tablespoons diced butter, a small chopped onion, and mix thoroughly. Spread in a 9×13 baking pan. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and mix with 2 cups crushed corn flakes then spread evenly over the potatoes. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. This will serve 12 unless someone is really hungry!

Side dishes add to the meal but shouldn’t break the budget! These add taste and economy to the Thanksgiving table.

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