Sure, the main dish may get all of the glory, but your holiday feast is only as good as its sidekicks. Here are 20 of our favourite festive side dishes to round out your special meals.
Stovetop space is often limited when preparing big meals, so avoid the crunch and make this classic creamy side in your slow cooker, instead! Bacon makes this dish extra-indulgent, but you can easily omit it if you prefer to keep it vegetarian.
The combination of a creamy potato filling and cheesy breadcrumb crust makes this recipe one of our favourites. Gruyère cheese is notoriously strong-smelling, but it mellows nicely as it melts.
While it may look similar to broccoli, rapini has a distinct and assertive taste that many find bitter. Here, we’ve tossed the green with a sweet and savoury dressing, sweet yellow beans and nutty toasted almonds for a perfectly balanced blend of flavours.
Roasting the garlic takes some time, but it’s well worth the reward. The tender, golden cloves give a deep caramelized flavour to the dish, which pairs nicely with the sweet and peppery turnips that are mixed into the mash.
Sweet potato casserole is a must on holiday tables in the United States, but the traditional marshmallow-topped side doesn’t always have the same appeal here in Canada. For our Canadian twist on this dish, we’ve swapped out the marshmallows for a crunchy pecan and brown sugar streusel that’s the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
A mix of fresh and frozen peas gives this bright dish the best texture. If fresh sugar snaps aren’t available, simply double the frozen peas or substitute with broccoli or green beans, instead. The three-ingredient garlic butter is a great condiment to have on hand—simply toss with hot pasta or gnocchi and steamed veggies and you’ve got a meal in minutes!
This creamy dish is a cross between decadent creamed spinach and lighter slaw, making it a crowd-pleasing side to satisfy many palates. To make this vegetarian-friendly, simply use vegetable broth.
Toasted walnuts, tangy blue cheese and crisp kohlrabi converge in this simple autumn salad. A slightly spicy, creamy dressing is the perfect balance to the peppery arugula.
Adding Parmesan cheese to stuffing might seem unconventional, but it helps to keep this dish moist and gives it a nice crisp crust. Oyster mushrooms are an elegant addition, but you can easily use inexpensive cremini mushrooms if you prefer.
This rice-based dish is a great gluten-free alternative to traditional bread stuffing. Tossing sliced shallots with cornstarch before frying makes them extra-crispy, making for a delightfully crunchy topping.
Artichokes may seem intimidating, but they’re actually quite simple to prepare. To prep them, first cut off the sharp tips of the leaves, then slice off the top of the artichoke to remove the fuzzy centre. Simmering in water loosens the remaining tough leaves, making them a cinch to pull off. It’s best to do this work a day ahead so that all you have to do the day of the meal is make the topping and roast the artichokes until crispy. The show-stopping end result is well worth the effort.
Goat cheese lends extra creaminess and a hint of tangy flavour to classic garlicky mashed potatoes. Heating the drained potatoes for a minute cooks off any excess liquid, which yields the fluffiest mash.
The trick to giving this simple side dish a company-worthy look is all in the way you slice the carrots. Rather than cutting them in standard coins or sticks, we’ve sliced them on the diagonal to add a hint of drama to your holiday spread.
Delicate oyster mushrooms add easy elegance to this simple sautéed spinach dish, which takes only 20 minutes to make!
The secret to these crispy roasted potatoes is a dual cooking method—you simmer them first, then finish them off in the oven with goose, duck or beef fat. Look for the fat in the gourmet section of major supermarkets or in specialty markets, or simply reserve the drippings from cooking duck, goose or beef.
No holiday meal would be complete without a heaping dish of mashed potatoes, and this one, with its delicious blend of fluffy russets and colourful sweet potatoes, is sure to fit the bill.
Endive can be bitter when eaten raw, but roasting the leafy vegetable mellows the flavour and brings out its sweetness. An herbaceous and zesty dressing adds a welcome hit of freshness. Be sure to rinse the leeks well after halving them, as sand and grit can hide within its layers.
Flavour-packed capers are an effortless way to punch up the flavour of any side, and they work especially well with mild roasted cauliflower. If you find capers to be overly salty, simply give them a rinse before using.
Tender, sweet acorn squash and crisp bacon add extra appeal to Brussels sprouts. For even cooking, trim the thick bottom end of the sprouts, remove the outer leaves and halve them lengthwise so they’re about the same size as the squash cubes.
Spicy, aromatic infused oil adds unforgettable flavour to pepper (a.k.a. acorn) squash, especially when finished with a squeeze of lime juice. Make the oil up to five days ahead so you can prepare this dish in just 30 minutes.
Since hitting the spotlight, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau—along with her stylist Jessica Mulroney—has championed Canadian designers and brands. Take a look at her vibrant fashion choices.
For her second outfit during the Royal Canada Tour, Sophie wore a flattering dress by Tanya Taylor.
To greet Will and Kate on their Royal Canada tour, Sophie wore a dress by Éditions de Robes and a hat by The Saucy Milliner.
Sophie wore a Tracy Moore designed by Freda dress to greet the Chinese premiere.
Trudeau paired a Pink Tartan blazer with an UNTITTD gold dress and a statement necklace from Katherine Karambelas Jewelry.
While walking the blue carpet for the Global Citizen fesitval, Sophie wore this classic leather jacket from Canadian brand Mackage.
After walking the blue carpet, Trudeau ditched her Mackage jacket to reveal this black dress from Madame Moje.
Trudeau wore the same red jumpsuit by Lucian Matis that she donned for Canada Day. We love that she shops her own closet!
Sophie wore a dress by Jason Wu from The Room at Hudson's Bay on her husband's trip to China.
Trudeau wore a turquoise jumpsuit by designer Aleks Susak to celebrate Pride in Vancouver. Bracelets from Anzie, sunnies from Claudia Alan and Susie Wall and wedges from Browns complete the look.
Trudeau looked absolutely perfect on her first Canada Day as the nation's first lady, sporting a white hat and red one-piece by Canadian designer Lucian Matis.
Sophie wore American colours and Canadian designer Muriel Dombret to meet with President Obama in June, 2016.
Accessorizing with dangling earrings and pulled back hair, Sophie looked like a prize in a gold ballgown at the Ottawa State Dinner.
At the Press Gallery Dinner Trudeau wore this UNTTLD white dress—looking classy while having some fun.
Trudeau is wearing a custom Aleks Susak two-piece during a private ceremony in Ottawa in early June, 2016.
Sophie wore Lucian Matis to round out her Japan wardrobe.
Posing with other spouses of the G7 leaders, Sophie looks comfortable and elegant in a jumpsuit created by Toronto-born Tanya Taylor.
On May 26, 2016, the first lady of Canada sported a custom design by Canadian designer Wayne Clark during a cocktail event at the G7 summit in Japan.
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wore a pale pink dress by Jay Godfrey to meet Empress Michiko of Japan during a trip to the Imperial Palace on May 24, 2016.
On May 24, 2016, Gregoire Trudeau wore a floral dress by Erdem to visit the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.
For her arrival at the airport in Tokyo, Gregoire Trudeau wore a suit by Montreal designer Marie Saint Pierre.
Gregoire Trudeau in a lovely Greta Constantine dress accessorized with a simple string of pearls.
Sophie was dressed head-to-toe in Canadian designs for the 2016 Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards. She wore a tailored jumpsuit by Mikael D. with a deep V in front and a beautiful flowing cape with embellished shoulders.
We're used to seeing Sophie in feminine, colourful pieces, but this woman can rock a suit as well. She wore Canadian favourite Pink Tartan at the Catalyst Awards Dinner in March 2016, where her husband was honoured.
For the state dinner in March 2016, Trudeau chose a fuschia gown by Lucian Matis, and accessorized with a handbag by Ela, Zvelle shoes, John de Jong earrings and a Dean Davidson ring. The gown was classic in its design, but a vibrant and youthful choice for Trudeau, who isn't afraid of colour. Michelle Obama also chose Canadian (wearing custom Jason Wu) to the state dinner.
Wearing a red and pink dress from Lucian Matis, Trudeau accessorized with heels by Zvelle and a red clutch from Aldo.
Trudeau wore a custom DUY suit for her arrival with her family in Washington.
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau wore this dazzling Greta Constantine dress for the International Women's Empowerment Leadership Conference in Toronto in early 2016.
For the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa in 2015, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau chose a grey coat by the Toronto-based company Sentaler, and a cloche (hat) by Chapeaux de Madeleine in Ottawa.
Sporting a two-tone, floral dress by Erdem for Justin Trudeau's swearing in as Prime Minister, Sophie Trudeau looked regal. Her only accessory? A simple poppy for Remembrance Day.
Trudeau wore something a little more traditional as she arrived for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November of 2015, wearing a pale pink lace dress with a matching fascinator.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau helped design her own wedding dress, with a little help from Les Noces Couture in Montreal.
Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Fresh Sage Gravy<br>Photography by James Tse Credits: Herb-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Fresh Sage Gravy<br>Photography by James Tse
<p>Uniqlo's 11-story flagship store is located in Ginza, Tokyo's luxury shopping district.</p>
Fashion & Beauty director Julia McEwen travelled to Tokyo to learn about Japan's top clothing brand before it lands in Canada this fall.
I've never understood the fashion world's obsession with Frenchwomen and their unfussy Parisian style. For me, it has always been about Japan: land of dewy skin, nail art (top manicurists have celebrity status) and minimalist design. That's why when Uniqlo, a leading Japanese retailer that's about to land in Canada, invited me to Tokyo to experience it all in person, I jumped at the chance. And, I'm happy to report, it more than lived up to the hype that's been building since I was 10, when I developed a steady diet of ramen noodles and Sailor Moon.
Some of the most iconic minimalist fashion labels hail from Japan (hello, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake), so it's no surprise that Uniqlo, pronounced "you-nee-klo," has a similar sensibility—though at a much lower price point. One of the only major fashion brands to offer simple modern designs at affordable prices, the retailer caters to women, men and children and has more than 1,500 stores in 17 countries. This fall, you can bump that number to 18; Canada's getting two flagship locations in Toronto, and there are e-commerce plans being explored for 2017.
Down coat, $150, hat, $30 and Ines de la Fressange cashmere sweater, $80, uniqlo.com.
Immediately after I arrived in Tokyo, I was whisked away to a tower that houses Fast Retailing headquarters, Uniqlo's parent company, where I got to chat with its billionaire founder, chairman, president and CEO, Tadashi Yanai.
When his father retired in 1984, Yanai transformed the family's suit shop into the first Uniqlo store. Since then, the company has become one of Japan's leading retailers, and he's striving to make it the largest in the world by stocking easy-to-wear basics with high-style potential. "From my perspective, pieces of clothing are items in a toolbox," says Yanai, through an interpreter, from inside his spacious office. "Rather than sell very unique clothing, I believe uniqueness can be derived by the wearer, who picks and styles looks differently." This is a belief that is at the core of the brand; it's how you wear clothed, not the clothes themselves. They call it "lifewear."
That's why Uniqlo's offerings, though expansive, don't tend to touch on trends. "We have the most difficult design challenge in fashion because we're making simple styles, but we still need to insert newness, freshness and excitement," says Yuki Katsuta, the vice-president of global research and design for Uniqlo and FastRetailing. To do that, Katsuta believes in aligning Uniqlo with like-minded designers to create seasonal collections. Once of its most successful partnerships to date was +J, a three-year collab with minimalist master Jil Sander. In fact, that collection is what enticed me to enter my first Uniqlo in NYC in 2011. I've been hooked ever since.
But it's not just because of the collaborations or the $30 button-downs. Lifewear is an approach I can appreciate. In true Japanese style, it related back to simplifying things, something I think Canadians are hungry for. So welcome, bienvenue and yokõso, Uniqlo! I'm excited to have a breath of fresh air, and a little piece of Japan, right here at home.
Rock the jogger: Uniqlo modernizes the classic workout pant, allowing you to wear your joggers form exercise to everyday. $40, uniqlo.com. Pleats, please! This mid-length pleated silhouette fits snuggly at the waist and skims over all the right areas. $60, uniqlo.com. Mad for Motos: A cropped moto jacket can balance a pair of slouchy trousers or be the perfect companion to a fancy frock. $80, uniqlo.com.