Colorful Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides — Fall Fest

Balance out the beige bread and potatoes on your Thanksgiving plate with vibrant, seasonal vegetable recipes like glazed carrots and creamed kale.
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HOW TO MAKE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE Alton Brown Good Eats/Bean Stalker Food Network Onions, AllPurpose Flour, Panko Bread Crumbs, Salt, Nonstick Cooking Spray, Green Bean, Butter, Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Garlic, Nutmeg, Chicken Broth, HalfandHalf,HOW TO MAKE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE Alton Brown Good Eats/Bean Stalker Food Network Onions, AllPurpose Flour, Panko Bread Crumbs, Salt, Nonstick Cooking Spray, Green Bean, Butter, Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Garlic, Nutmeg, Chicken Broth, HalfandHalf

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Mashed potatoes, stuffing and other sides that come in a delightful shade of beige make Thanksgiving the great holiday that it is. Still, everything in life is better with balance — even these all-important potato- and bread-based dishes. Next Thursday, build a well-rounded Thanksgiving plate with  vibrant, seasonal vegetable recipes for classic Thanksgiving side dishes.

Though the green bean casserole of years past might have meant canned cream of mushroom soup and limp green beans, Alton Brown's Best-Ever Green Bean Casserole (pictured above) is a modern take made totally from scratch. Fresh, crunchy green beans, half-and-half and real mushrooms give the dish its distinctive flavor, while home-fried onions create the crucial crispy topping.

FNK_BRUSSELS_BACON_H.jpg

FNK_BRUSSELS_BACON_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

With a dose of apple cider vinegar,  Brussels Sprouts with Bacon is a veggie recipe worthy of a holiday. Boil sprouts in water until tender before sauteing with crispy bacon and you'll never, ever go back.

Cuban Squash on a Gray Dish

Photo by: Marcus Nilsson ©Marcus Nilsson

Marcus Nilsson, Marcus Nilsson

Food Network Magazine's  Lemon-Maple Squash is a simple recipe worth making room for in the oven. After rubbing it with maple syrup and lemon juice, bake it until caramelized and delightfully tender.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cooking  Glazed Carrots in coconut oil imbues a subtle sweetness that goes well with honey. A hit of Japanese togarashi gives the carrots a special spiciness, while freshly chopped parsley brightens it all up.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Kale is anything but punishment in this rich rendition: Creamed Kale with Caramelized Shallot. Bobby Flay transforms the sturdy green into a luxurious side dish, with the caramelized shallots bringing on a natural sweetness.

Get more Thanksgiving side dish ideas from family and friends:

Jeanette's Healthy Living:  100 Healthy Holiday Side Dish Recipes

Big Girls, Small Kitchen:  Maitake, Leek & Bacon Dressing

The Cultural Dish:  Pumpkin Risotto
Napa Farmhouse 1885:  Sweet Potato Biscuits
Dishing With Divya: Ash Gourd Raita
Dishin & Dishes: Stuffin Muffins
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Eat Your Spinach Sides — Fall Fest

This season, grab baby or big-leaf spinach by the handful, for more reason than the ample health benefits. Whether you disguise spinach or make it the star of your dish, this recipe roundup will give you — and, hey, maybe even the kids — reason to love it.