Vintage Side Dishes

I come from a long line of terrific cooks.  My Mom can make an extraordinary meal out of nothing.  My Mother-in-law was a great cook too!  We have many recipes passed down through the generations, many of which are high in calories and fat.  Considering people used the ingredients they had in the “old days,” many of the ingredients were eggs, cream and lard.  Times have changed.  I still use many of my relative’s recipes—but only once or twice a year.  For example, my Mother-in-law’s green bean casserole, made with a three-pound brick of Velveeta only comes out at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My Grandma’s sour cream cut-out cookie recipe is used at Christmas.  These are added to a healthy diet, and consumed in moderation.

Side dishes can consume a large amount of calories during a holiday meal.  I try to eat things I may not have the rest of the year.  Like turkey, stuffing and real mashed potatoes.  I forgo the dinner rolls and other things I can have anytime.  I also save my calories for dessert.  Dessert doesn’t have to break the bank.  I consider dessert a side dish!  I want to share one of my favorites!


Fall = pumpkin in our house.  Any dish with pumpkin is a hit.  My friend put pumpkin in her spaghetti sauce the other night to thicken it up—and I understand it was incredible!  I learned this recipe in a Weight Watchers class and have shared it with MANY people.  It is simple, and has morphed, based on the person making it.

Pumpkin Cake

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Place in a 9 x 13-inch pan and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.  Cool.  Serve plain or with Cool Whip.  If you do not have a spice cake mix, use a white or yellow mix and add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

This is a wonderful dessert, and is a great source of vitamin A.  It can replace a pumpkin pie or cheesecake at Thanksgiving.  Some of my co-workers have added chocolate chips to it, caramel sauce, or made muffins out of them.  Any way you serve it—it is great.  Warm with vanilla ice cream sounds great too!  After dinner, a nice walk around the block will make everyone feel better!

For more great ideas for side dishes, check out these wonderful blogs!

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1 Response to "Vintage Side Dishes"

  1. what a smart idea to make this fit into thanksgiving table. I tried using box cake mix with diet coke
    and worked wonderfully. Adding pumpkin will add so much flavor and nutrition to this cake.