Tired of the same old sweet potato casserole? Want to rev up your holiday sides with locally-sourced ingredients? Here are three recipes for seasonal side dishes, perfect for holiday get-togethers.

{{Don’t worry. They’re palate pleasers for kids of all ages. }}

Individual Stuffed Acorn Squash with Fried Sage Farro

3 acorn squash, cut crosswise, de-seeded
2 tbsp butter
Drizzle of honey
Tamari soy sauce
Package of Farro
Glugs of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
Mushrooms (shitake or cremini work well)
Whole Italian red chilies
French green beans, cut on a slant into 1/2” pieces
2 Sage leaves
1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place both acorn halves in a baking pan, flesh side up with about a 1/2 inch of water in the pan. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the flesh. Add 1/2 tbsp of butter to each squash cavity, drizzle with honey, dash of tamari and black pepper. Cook squash until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Meanwhile prepare the Farro as directed on the box (or bag). I like to cook Farro like I am cooking pasta, there’s less measuring! Fill a pot of water or broth and bring to a boil, empty entire contents of Farro and cook until tender. Drain well and let sit cooling on a parchment lined cookie sheet to avoid clumping.

Family Friendly Sides: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Fried Sage Farro - (cool) progeny

While Farro cools, heat olive oil over medium to high heat. Once olive oil is glistening, throw 2 whole sage leaves in and let them crisp. You can use butter here instead of olive oil if you prefer. Remove once they are fried and crispy. Set aside. Using the sage infused olive oil, begin to sauté whole chile peppers and the whole peeled garlic.

Remove garlic once it has become wilted down and brownish. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until very tender and juicy. Add broth as needed to keep the mushrooms moist. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Using the same pan, add at least a cup of broth and let it simmer. Once it is simmering throw green beans in for a few minutes to blanch.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl: farro, mushrooms, broth, and the blanched green beans. Toss and let sit for a few minutes – once squash is out of the oven you can spoon your farro mixture into the cavity of the acorn squash; cover it slightly with foil, and throw back into the oven for less than 10 minutes before serving.

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Family Friendly Sides: Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole - (cool) progeny

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Casserole with Leeks and Toasted Hazelnuts

Serves 6

2 large butternut squashes (peeled & cubed)
4 leeks, trimmed and washed, white/ light green parts only)
1 small log of soft goat cheese
2 tbsp butter
1/2 to 1 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup Hazelnuts
Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Toss to coat cubed butternut squash in olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper
Lay out evenly on a roasting tray and bake until tender, nicely roasted on edges and set aside.

While squash is roasting slice leeks and sauté in about 2 tbsp of butter. Sauté on medium heat until fragrant and translucent, add dash of cinnamon or nutmeg and continue to cook down on medium to low heat, total of about 20 to 25 minutes.

Once squash is fully roasted and leeks are full of good buttery flavor, begin to layer in a baking dish, preferably one you can cover.

Family Friendly Sides: Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole - (cool) progeny

Layer leeks first, then butternut squash, add a few large crumbles of goat cheese on this layer, repeat these steps until you are finished with both squash and leeks. Add the most goat cheese to the top, cover and put into a 350 degree oven.

Meanwhile take a cast iron or good quality pan out to toast the hazelnuts On medium heat put one layer of hazelnuts in pan and watch closely! Shake pan vigorously over heat often, until hazelnuts are browned and/or quite fragrant. Let cool on a cutting board. Take your casserole out of the oven and slowly add about 1/2 to 1 cup of your broth around the outside and put back into the oven uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. Dish should be hot and goat cheese should look slightly melted, warm and delicious!

Roughly chop your toasted hazelnuts with a good knife, and to top just before serving.

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Family Friendly Sides: Creamy Raw Kale Salad - (cool) progeny

Creamy Raw Kale Salad

Serves 6. Easy to make ahead!

1 1/2 bunches Dino (Lacinato) kale
1/2 to 1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pine nuts for toasting
Granny Smith apple (optional)
1/2 avocado
1 finely chopped shallot
Juice of at least 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp of lemon zest
A few glugs of olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Rinse and dry kale. Take out the lower 1/2 inch of rough stem by cutting it out, then layer kale leaves on top of each other and roll tightly NOTE: You may not be able to use all the leaves in the bunch for this chopping technique, Try separating them. Once they are rolled as tight as you can get them, finely slice the kale in fairly thin ribbons. Once kale is thinly sliced, put into a big bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt, toss with hands gently, and set aside.

In a cast iron or other high quality pan you can toast the pine nuts and set aside. Toast them in an even layer, watching closely as these are very oily and can burn quickly. Every so often shake the pan vigorously over burner, make sure both sides get toasted to a nice light brown.

Family Friendly Sides: Creamy Raw Kale Salad - (cool) progeny

In your mini cuisinart or blender add 1/2 an avocado, juice of 1/2 a lemon, finely chopped shallot and pulse until blended. Continue to add glugs of olive oil, lemon zest and pulse again until combined. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste

Immediately scoop dressing out and add to your bed of raw greens, using washed bare hands, you need to toss and massage kale with your creamy dressing. Keep folding it over and rubbing kale together until it is fully coated. It should be creamy but not like you have poured wet dressing over greens, more like it has just thickened the greens a bit. Test taste it and add more lemon juice or olive oil if needed. Let this sit for some time. About 10/15 minutes before serving, add cranberries, toasted pine nuts, and thinly sliced apples, toss again. This is an excellent dish to make ahead, and pairs so well with the classic holiday dishes.