Almond Squash au Gratin and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

by: Tony Isaacs

(TBYIL) The holidays are a time for feasting on delightful dishes for many of us, including a world of side dishes. Some of those dishes can contain ingredients that are less than healthy though. Here are two healthier side dishes that are sure to please you and your holiday guests this year:
Almond Butternut Squash Au GratinThis is a tasty casserole dish that would be especially good for Thanksgiving and the year’s end holidays, but it would also be a pleasing dinner addition year round. As a bonus, it can be easily made vegan style.Ingredients*One 2 1/2 lb butternut squash
*1/3 cup butter (or a trans-fat free butter substitute if you want to go vegan – try to avoid products containing canola, corn oil or soy)
*1/4 cup flour
*1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
*1/4 tsp paprika
*1/4 tsp turmeric
*1/4 tsp mustard powder
*1/2 cup nutritional yeast
*1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal
*2 tsp lemon juice
*1/2 cup milk – preferably raw organic (or almond milk for vegan variety)


1)Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2)Grind almonds in food processor.

3)Mix paprika, turmeric and mustard powder into vegetable broth.

4)Melt butter (or butter substitute) over medium heat. Whisk in flour slowly until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add broth and spice mixture, whisking all the while. Whisk in nutritional yeast and continue whisking until mixture is thick and bubbly (about 2 minutes). Turn up the heat if it’s not getting thick and bubbly. Stir in lemon juice and about half the ground almonds. Turn heat off.

5)Slice squash in half vertically and peel and seed. Slice into 1/4 inch slices.

6)Place slices in a pot, cover with water and bring water to boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander.

7)Place squash in a 10″ diameter casserole dish, gratin dish or baking pan. Pour milk over the slices and stir enough to make sure the slices are all saturated. Pour your sauce on top and stir into the top layer of squash. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.

Serves about 4

Sour Cream and Chives Mashed Potatoes


*4 large potatoes (Idaho or russet, organic is much preferred)
*1 cup MSG-free chicken broth
*Sea salt to taste
*Freshly ground black pepper
*2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
*3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream (made from organic raw certified milk)


1)Peel the potatoes, cut them in half and place them in a pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to simmer until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork (about 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain.

2)Bring the chicken broth to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.

3)Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork, or use a food mill. Slowly add the stock until the desired consistency is reached.

4)Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the sour cream and chives.

Yields 6 one-half cup servings.

Healthy Tip

Have you ever checked the label on store-bought sour cream? Chances are that it contains ingredients such as: cultured cream, whey, modified food starch, sodium phosphate, sodium citrate, guar gum, carrageenan, calcium sulfate, potassium sorbate and/or locust bean gum.

That is not real sour cream! Plus, the dairy may have come from cows given growth hormones and antibiotics, and “modified food starch” is often used to hide dangerous MSG.