21 days until Thanksgiving! How will you bring a little Culture Kitchen into your celebration?
Okay you are getting a Turkey, maybe a ham, some yams, and of course the stuffing, but what else is going to flank your Thanksgiving dinner? Why not bring some new flavors to your Thanksgiving table this year! Let the Culture Kitchen master cooks teach you some of their favorite side dishes that can easily swap in for the traditional standards or sit right next to the bird and create a whole new flavor palette that will impress and delight your guests.
Suchitra’s Spiced Vegetables:
Bursting with both flavor and color, this festive dish is the perfect addition to your meal. Suchitra shared this dish in her first class as it is a staple in special occasion dinners at her home and always a crowd pleaser. In addition to satisfying your taste buds, the herbs and spices in this dish also provide you with numerous health benefits. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties team up with red chili powder’s immunity-boosting power to help you get through flu season. Cumin and ginger are both promoters of good gastrointestinal health and will help you digest your Thanksgiving feast, even if you go back for seconds (or thirds or fourths).
Baraka’s Fava Bean Rice with Dill Dressing:
Surprise your guests by adding an Iraqi dish to your table! Baraka’s fava bean rice is flavorful but not overpowering, making it the perfect side to complement the rest of your meal. It’s a great alternative to bread stuffing with the added benefit of leaving you more room to fill up on the other delicious foods at your table. Plus, it is simple to make – if you’re overwhelmed with all the preparation time and complicated steps in your other recipes, this is the dish for you. Once you get it started, you just need to stir it occasionally and in the end you’re rewarded with a moist, fragrant rice dish. If you’d prefer to make a vegetarian version of this dish, you can easily substitute vegetable bouillon for the chicken bouillon in the recipe. Baraka uses fresh or frozen fava beans. You can often find fresh fava beans and she recommends cracking the pods open and removing the second layer membrane before splitting the beans in half. This is a great moment to bring friends or family into the kitchen and get everyone involved in the cooking like Baraka does in her kitchen. And don’t forget to garnish the top with peas and carrots, Baraka loves to create a beautiful visual with each dish making it as good to look at as eat.
Linh’s Cabbage & Shrimp Salad:
Try swapping in a salad for one of your heavier side dishes to lighten up your Thanksgiving meal. Linh’s recipe will give you tons of flavor without adding tons of extra calories (save those calories for dessert!). This is one of Linh’s favorite recipes as a kid and now to share with friends. The dressing is super easy to make the crisp, fresh veggies will provide a welcome contrast to the rich flavors and creamy textures that dominate most of the meal. Also just substitute mushroom stalks for the shrimp and soy sauce for the fish sauce if you would prefer a vegetarian option.