If you try to steer clear of carbohydrates on a regular basis, there is a worry that the approaching Thanksgiving holiday has to mean carb city.
No way, according to Max Barajas, executive chief at Meez Meals, which delivers to its customers ingredients for meals prepped and all ready to cook.
If anything Thanksgiving is a time to put vegetables in a starring role. “Vegetables make a terrific centerpiece for a Thanksgiving meal, as well as great substitutes for traditional carbohydrate laden recipes,” he says.
For example, a vegetable stuffing could substitute for one that relies greatly on bread crumbs, Barajas says.
Max Barajas, exec chef for
Meez Meals, at work.
Just like anything else, the trick is to make them inviting for your diners. He’s a big fan of roasting vegetables (I’m with him on this). “It intensifies their natural sweetness and adds that crispy-on-the-outside texture we all find so irresistible in food,” Barajas says.
Different spice blends can add a nice twist, too, according to Barajas. “Tex Mex, Asian flavors, really any combination can give vegetables a whole new personality.” And it’s as simple as just sprinkling on some before roasting or sauteing (another good and easy option) vegetables.
Stuffing vegetables and pureeing them are two other ways to give them a more dressed-up look for the holiday meal. For pureeing, he advises: “Think past potatoes to carrots, parsnips, beets … any root vegetable works perfectly.”
Here’s one of the recipes Barajas and Meez Meals is offering as part of their Thanksgiving menu. The roasting gives the Brussels sprouts a nice crunch and the simple glaze will make them irresistible to any diner.
And if the idea of this appetizing dish makes you want to hand the reins over to Meez Meals for the holiday, you can order your holiday meal from the company by noon Friday (Nov. 21) for a Monday (Nov. 24) delivery. Here’s the menu.
BALSAMIC GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
4½ cups Brussels sprouts, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
For the balsamic glaze:
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅓ cup pecorino cheese, shredded
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Put the Brussels sprouts on to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and give it all a good toss, then arrange in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until golden in places.
Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, white wine, brown sugar and oregano until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Top the sprouts with the balsamic glaze and walnuts and mix together. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned. Serve and enjoy.
From Max Barajas, executive chef for Meez Meals