Great IDEA: Side Dish Recipes for a Healthy Thanksgiving

What’s a Thanksgiving meal without plenty of side dishes? Well, IDEA has just the recipes you need to complete your Turkey Day spread.

We’re pulling these scrumptious recipes from our Healthy Kids Here cookbook.

The dynamic wave of wellness and nutrition at IDEA Public Schools known as Healthy Kids Here is in its fifth year. This initiative was started to provide a healthy and active lifestyle for our students, increase student access to healthy and nutritious foods, and educate the IDEA Team & Family on health, wellness, and nutrition. Why? Because we know that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds.

Here are a couple of our favorite side dishes from the cookbook that we hope will help make mouths water and tummies full this Thanksgiving.


Balsamic-Maple Kale Salad (Vegan)

By: Hernan Colmenero, IDEA Farms Manager

Serves: 4, plus leftover dressing  Time: 10 minutes


·         1 clove garlic, minced

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

·         4-6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

·         1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

·         2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

·         ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

·         1 small head of kale, chopped


1.       In a small bowl or jar, whisk all ingredients together, except the kale. The mustard should help it emulsify, coming together as a thick dressing that’s no longer separated. (If you use a jar, you can put the lid on and just shake it.)

2.       Using a large salad bowl, add the kale and about ¼ cup of the dressing you just created. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat, anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours.

3.       When ready to serve, feel free to add any additional salad toppings you like (ex- shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery).

4.       Store any remaining dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Oven Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts (Vegan)

Serves: 4              Time: 30 minutes


·         16oz fresh brussel sprouts

·         4 tablespoons olive oil

·         Pinch kosher salt

·         ¼ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

·         ¼ tablespoon garlic powder

·         4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat oven to 425˚F.
  2. Wash the brussel sprouts and remove any loose leaves. Slice in half.
  3. Pat the brussel sprouts dry and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to evenly coat brussel sprouts in olive oil and seasoning.
  5. Roast it in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Carefully drizzle balsamic vinegar, ensuring that all brussel sprouts are coated.
  7. Place back in the oven, roast for 5-10 more minutes, until tender.

Bon appétit!

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