Braces friendly recipes for mashed winter squash, cranberry pear sauce and roasted mushrooms

With Turkey (or Tofurkey?) Day right around the corner, we thought we’d share three braces-friendly side dish recipes that can be easily incorporated into your holiday menu. Scroll down to view the recipes in the order written, or use the links below to skip to the recipe of your choosing:

The Recipes

Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices

Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices

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If you’re wanting to add some pizzazz to an otherwise traditional (read: predictable) Thanksgiving meal, this butternut squash with fragrant Indian spices is sure to fit the bill. Best part? It can be made a day ahead and then reheated in the microwave before serving.

  • 8 pounds butternut or buttercup squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Preheat oven to 400°. On 2 large, rimmed baking sheets, drizzle the cut sides of the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the squash halves cut sides down and roast for about 45 minutes or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pot, until they pop, about 1 minute. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil to the pot. Add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the coriander, turmeric and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Using a large spoon, scrape the squash flesh from the skins into the pot. Add the water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and lightly mashing the squash until blended and heated through. Season the squash with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, top with the toasted mustard seeds and serve.

Original recipe found on


Roasted Mushrooms in Brown Butter, Garlic and Thyme Sauce

Roasted Mushrooms in Browned Butter, Garlic and Thyme Sauce

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Next up on our list is a quick and easy roasted mushroom recipe that would be right at home on the holiday table. The photo alone has our mouths watering—we may not be able to wait until next Thursday to make this one ourselves.

  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toss the mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes, mixing half way through.
  • Cook the butter over medium heat until it starts to turn a nice hazelnut brown. Remove from heat and mix in the garlic, thyme and lemon juice.
  • Toss the roasted mushrooms in the browned butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Original recipe found here.


Cranberry Sauce with Pears

Braces friendly recipe for cranberry sauce with pears.

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The final braces friendly recipe we have for you today is a fresh cranberry sauce that is not only delicious, but is so easy to make that you won’t even consider going back to the canned stuff. This is another time saver that can be made ahead and either served at room temperature or heated over medium heat in a saucepan before serving. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days and 2 months in the freezer (if freezing, thaw overnight in the fridge).

  • 1 lb. cranberries
  • 1 pear
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest
  • ⅔ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. apple cider or juice
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, pear, orange zest and sugar; stir in the apple cider.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Original recipe posted by Woman’s Day Kitchen on

Whether you add these dishes to your holiday menu or stick with your own family’s traditional recipes, all of us here at Vancouver Orthodontic Specialists, PLLC would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂


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