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Perk up your Thanksgiving feast with one of these 5 unusual sides

Thanksgiving was originally created to celebrate the harvest but in recent decades, it’s become a turkey-with-starch fest. When it comes to produce, sure, there’s green bean casserole — but farmers’ markets and grocery stores are brimming with all kinds of fall fruits and vegetables this time of year. Perhaps it's time to add more of them to the table!Whether you’re seeking a fresh and l
Cheesy baked butternut squash
Diethood

Thanksgiving was originally created to celebrate the harvest but in recent decades, it’s become a turkey-with-starch fest. When it comes to produce, sure, there’s green bean casserole — but farmers’ markets and grocery stores are brimming with all kinds of fall fruits and vegetables this time of year. Perhaps it's time to add more of them to the table!

Whether you’re seeking a fresh and lively salad, a healthier (but delicious) alternative to mashed potatoes or a comforting squash dish, these recipes are sure to inspire you.

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1. Cheesy baked butternut squash: In this dish, chunks of butternut squash get covered with Parmesan and cheddar cheeses along with crispy breadcrumbs for a side dish even veggie haters will love. To pull this dish together quickly, feel free to use pre-cut and peeled squash.

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2. Roasted root vegetable salad: With sweet roasted root veggies, a punchy cilantro dressing and a clever, crisp savory granola, this stunning side hits a lot of spots on the tongue. To make the salad especially beautiful, use multiple colors of beets and sweet potatoes.

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3. Celery root and apple slaw: The Thanksgiving table can be full of rich dishes and long-cooked vegetables. For something more refreshing, try this crisp slaw dressed in a simple mustardy dressing. If you have one, a mandoline really comes in handy here when slicing the apple and celery root.

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4. No meat braised collard greens with porcini mushrooms: Collard greens have been hailed as the new kale. While tender versions of this super-green can be thinly sliced and used in salads, all collards are delicious braised. Pork — whether bacon or ham hock — is the traditional way to season them but mushrooms add such an incredible depth of flavor, you won’t miss the meat. 

5. Spinach-and-feta mashed cauliflower: Low carb dieters have long known about substituting pureed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Blended with Greek yogurt, feta and spinach, this spanikopita-inspired mashed cauliflower is so delicious, everyone will love it, whether they eat low-carb or not.