The Ultimate Thanksgiving Sides Newsletter!!!

4 unique, but traditionally-inspired recipes to make this year

Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’re somehow reading this and aren’t yet subscribed, be sure to do so below. You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers receive even more every Thursday!

It’s here!! All the Thanksgiving side recipes you have been waiting for!!

Here’s the gist: I don’t like to veer too far off the typical Thanksgiving flavors, but there are so many interesting ways to use them, we are going beyond the usual. But not too far off that Aunt Laurie gets all freaked out.

As always, I like to keep my ingredient list to a minimum, so if you choose to make all of these recipes, you’ll be using some ingredients in more than one dish!

One more note: Each of these recipes is for four people, but I know Thanksgiving party sizes can be much bigger! Just adjust the recipes as needed, if you’re doing something bigger or smaller.

If you want a special Thanksgiving dessert, don’t forget to become a paid subscriber! Tomorrow’s recipe is for my VIP members only!!

Alright, let’s jump right into it!!

Kale Salad with Apples, Cranberries, Pistachios, and Parmesan

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 bunches of lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped (about 8 cups)

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced (I mean, really finely)

  • Juice of 1 navel orange

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/3 cup crushed pistachios

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

  • 1 cup chopped apple (about 1 small apple)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

1. Add kale to a bowl, and add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale with your hands to soften. Then add in the finely minced garlic (it should be like a paste) and the juice from the orange and lemon, and then toss together. Add the pistachios, cranberries, apple, Parmesan, and breadcrumbs, and toss again. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Also, feel free to add some more olive oil or lemon if you want it richer.

Sweet Potato Fritters with Jalapeño Cranberry Sizzled Scallion Sauce

Ingredients (serves 4)


  • 2 medium/large sweet potatoes

  • 4 eggs

  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 4 tbsp avocado oil, divided


  • 4 large scallion stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 3/4 cup cilantro

  • 1/2 medium/large jalapeño, seeds included

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 tsp honey

1. Prepare the sauce first. In a large pan on medium, heat up 2 tbsp oil. Add the green onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes until scallions just begin to slightly char. Remove from the pan, and add to a blender or food pressor along with remaining sauce ingredients. Pulse until a smooth sauce forms (don’t over blend).

2. Peel and grate your sweet potato, and add to a large bowl along with eggs, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix together.

3. In the same pan you fried your scallions, add about 2 tbsp more oil, and turn to medium heat. When the oil is hot, use your hand to form a patty with the sweet potato mixture, and add to the pan. Press down the top of the fritter with a spatula, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain the excess oil, add more oil to the pan as needed, and repeat until all the fritters are cooked. You can keep them in the oven at the lowest temp to keep them warm. Serve topped with the jalapeño cranberry scallion sauce.

“Lightened-Up” Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 heads of garlic

  • 1 lb (16 oz) pasta shells

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 cup plant milk of choice (I used oat, just make sure it’s not sweetened or vanilla flavor!)

  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (don’t get pre-shredded)

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere (don’t get pre-shredded)

  • 4 tbsp almond flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove excess paper from your garlic heads, and cut off about 1/4 inch of the top so the cloves are just barely revealed. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and bake for 40 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare pasta according to package. While pasta is cooking, add Greek yogurt, onion powder, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper to a medium bowl, and mix together until smooth.

3. Once pasta is done, drain, and set aside. Turn the pot back to medium-low heat, and add in milk and shredded cheese. Mix until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

3. Add in the Greek yogurt mixture, almond flour, and roasted garlic (gently squeeze once cooled), and mix for 1-2 minutes on medium-low heat until everything is combined and the mixture begins to thicken. Lightly mash the garlic with a fork or spatula to ensure it mixes into the cheese sauce without too many chunks.

4. After a couple of minutes of warming the sauce and allowing it to thicken, mix in the pasta. Serve warm, and top with more rosemary or other fresh herbs, if desired.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms with Dates

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

  • 1 lb white mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 4 large Medjool dates, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup shaved sharp cheddar or Parmesan

  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Add brussels sprouts to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and toss with 2 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Do the same with the mushrooms on a separate baking sheet using the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, turning and stirring halfway. Brussels should be starting to get crisp on the outside, and mushrooms should be brown.

2. Add the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms to a bowl along with the dates, cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Toss until everything is combined, and serve warm.

Have a great time, and don’t forget to tag me in your creations!