If you’re anything like us, and leave everything to the last minute (literally, everything), we’ve got some good news and bad news for you! Bad news is: Thanksgiving is in just three days…Good news is: we’ve got you covered with three super easy side dishes. Because let’s be honest, the best part about Thanksgiving is the sides. Yes, you get a side! You get a side! And you get a side! I, personally, have the pleasure of being friends with a band of tummy troubled misfits (there’s a tie for first place in that group and I’m one of the contenders), and know first-hand how sometimes cooking and trying to appease family, friends, or even co-workers with food allergies and specific diets can be exhausting. Truly, exhausting. So, we’ve whipped up some ideas to have you prepared for Thursday’s eating activities, whether you’re cooking for humans with “normal” eating habits; vegetarians; or a gluten free meal, we’ve got you. Below, are three gluten free and vegetarian sides that will have everyone asking for seconds, and probably thirds too.


Cheddar and Chive Mashed Potatoes –


5 to 6 brown potatoes

3 tablespoons of Smart Balance butter

Pepper and sea salt to taste


Half a bag of shredded cheddar cheese (any brand will do)

Half bunch of fresh scallions


Wash, then boil the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes (until soft). Add two handfuls of cheddar cheese to the bottom of a large bowl, dice three scallion sticks, and add the hot potatoes on top of the scallions and cheese. Then, add two to three cups of soy milk (depending on how soft you want the mashed potatoes to be) and start mixing with an automated mixer. Periodically stop to add salt and pepper, soy milk, cheese, and chives. Mix for about a minute or two depending on how whipped you’d like them. Then eat!


Lemon Cooked Asparagus –


A whole pack of fresh asparagus

Salt and Pepper

1 lemon

Coconut cooking spray


Pre-heat your oven to 425. Wash and cut the asparagus, cutting the ends of the asparagus off (the roots not the heads). Dry the asparagus, spray coconut cooking spray on a cookie sheet so the veggies don’t stick, sprinkle sea salt and pepper over the veggies, and then slice two thick slices of lemon and squeeze over the asparagus. Pop the veggies in the oven for 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how crispy you’d like the asparagus. The more crunch the shorter the time. Take them out, add more salt and pepper, and a squirt of lemon and you’re ready to eat!


Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes –


5 – 10 sweet potatoes (depending)



Sea Salt



This is probably one of THE EASIEST and yummiest recipes. There’s really nothing easier than baking sweet potatoes. You can do this two ways: Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven on 425 and make holes (with a fork) in each sweet potato OR purchase each individually wrapped sweet potato on its own and microwave it for about 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds (per the directions on the label). If you’re pressed for time, the ladder is your best option. But regardless, once the potato is cooked, slice it in half and sprinkle sea salt and pepper for extra flavoring, stuff some marshmallows in that fold, and drizzle some honey on them. You can slice the potatoes in half to satisfy more guests for your buck, or serve as a whole potato. Either way, you and your guests will be in for a delicious treat! Just another thing to be grateful for!

About Jenn Quaglio

Actress, Writer, Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Urban Popp, and Animal Lover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *