2 Quick and Healthy Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is almost here!  The tradition of the Thanksgiving meal is near and dear to everyone’s heart, but sometimes it’s fun to change it up a bit.  In preparation for this delicious holiday, one of my favorite mama chefs and a dear family member, Wendy Williams, is sharing some of her favorite unique side dishes you can make for your Thanksgiving table OR create with your Thanksgiving left overs. My favorite part about them? They are quick and easy, so you’ll have plenty of time to spend time with those you are most thankful for!  This way you get to do a little bit of WHAT You Love and still have time to spend with WHO You Love!

Here are two of her favorites (and mine):  Wendy’s Wheatberry Salad & Simple Shaved Raw Veggie Salad 

Wendy’s Wheatberry Salad


Wendy says, “This is a chewy and satisfying salad.  I like to serve this as the Thanksgiving green bean dish (instead of the calorie-laden casserole), or I make use of the leftover beans over the weekend.  This dish is even better the next day!  It tastes great warm, at room temperature, or even cold.”

Serves 4 to 6 for a main course (such as a light lunch) or 6 to 8 as a side

For the salad:
2 cups wheatberries
4 cups chicken stock or water
One red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green beans, stem end removed and broken into bite size pieces
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring wheatberries and chicken stock, or water, to a boil and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes or until chewed and starting to split.  Add water if needed during cooking process.  Drain extra liquid after cooking is complete.

Blanch beans in salted boiling water for three minutes.  Drain beans.

Combine wheatberries, beans, bell pepper and parsley.  Shake vinaigrette in a jar and pour into salad in increments, stirring until well dressed.


 Note: When I made this I had Landon help with the green beans – a great way to get kids involved!

 Simple Shaved Raw Veggie Salad


Wendy says, “This is a beautiful crunchy salad you can create for your Thanksgiving dinner or fix with your left-over appetizer crudités.  I love having something healthy and satisfying that will even be good the next day (when I might need a little calorie detox).”

Veggies that work for this salad:

Zucchini, split lengthwise and middle seeds removed with the edge of a spoon

**I also tried cucumbers and bell peppers using a veggie peeler which surprisingly worked really well!


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Shave veggies using a mandolin, veggie peeler or julianne slicer/peeler.  Shake vinaigrette contents in a jar and toss with veggies until lightly coated.

Wendy Williams, mother of three (newborn not pictured), has successfully navigated the transition from corporate life to being a stay-at-home mom. She is embracing her family’s move from the city of Chicago to the suburbs by gardening, cooking, sewing and having fun with her family.


Leave a Reply