All posts filed under: Thanksgiving healthy cooking

Food: Holiday Series – Thanksgiving Main Course

I am not a fan of Turkey, never have been and I doubt I’ll ever be. So this year, while searching for a main dish recipe I can live with, I stumbled upon this one, while reading an article on ‘how to have a sustainable Thanksgiving.’  And guess what? We are having A butternut Squash Vegducken! INGREDIENTS 1 cup pecans 1 (7 1/2″-long) zucchini 1 (9 1/2″-long) globe eggplant 1 (11 1/2″-long) butternut squash 2 scallions 2 garlic cloves, divided 1 shallot, coarsely chopped 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 9 sprigs thyme, divided 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 large eggs 1 cup finely grated Parmesan 1/2 cup fine plain breadcrumbs 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley, divided Kosher salt 2 tablespoons mint, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Special equipment: Kitchen twine  {follow recipe here} And in case you are curious about the sustainable Thanksgiving suggestions, I have included the article here.    {featured image credit}

Holiday Series: Vegan Pumpkin Mousse

I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, or cake but I am a fan of pudding or mousse alternative, so I feel like this year, we are going to have this vegan pumpkin mousse on our dessert table for thanksgiving.  So easy to make and naturally spoon right out of the blender. Okay, no I’ll do my best to scoop the masterpiece into serving bowls for a more civilized way of indulging. Ingredients 1 cup (225g) full fat coconut yogurt or coconut cream* 1/2 cup (125g) pumpkin puree  1/4 cup (80g) maple syrup 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp salt  {more} On another healthier alternative to desserts – here’s a banana Chia pudding recipe – although this one I’m considering for breakfast come Sunday morning.  {featured image source and inspiration for this post}

Thanksgiving: Turkey 101 or Whole Chicken

I am not a fan of Turkey and if I am not hosting an extended family dinner, I usually go with a whole chicken – applying the same recipe but on a different bird –  if you will.  Here’s a recipe I found, which is simple enough to follow for the first-time host or the expert. In case you go with the chicken recipe – no lined cheesecloth needed – you can go with the oven bag to lock in the flavors. INGREDIENTS 1 (14-16) pound turkey, giblets and neck removed, patted dry 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 tablespoons fresh sage, plus more for stuffing the bird 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for stuffing the bird 3 tablespoons fresh parsley zest of 1 lemon 3 teaspoons kosher salt 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper 1 piece large of double lined cheesecloth 2 lemons, halved 1 garlic head, tips sliced off 1 onion, halved 7-8 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth WHITE WINE PAN GRAVY 1 cup white wine 4 tablespoons salted butter 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour drippings from the turkey 2-3 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth, as needed  {more} And of course, we can all use …

How To’s For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving or Any Dinner Party

There are always first timers – in hosting one of the most important dinner parties in the U.S.  Please note: The rules also apply to other holidays  :). But I found these helpful suggestions and as we know felt the need to share. Check out what got my attention and for the rest of the 15 suggestions – visit here: {featured image source}

Thanksgiving Full Menu and Easy Prep

This site is my go-to for most any dish. Whether dinner for the family or a simple get-together appetizer ideas. So it’s no wonder I turn to HalfBakedHarvest for my Thanksgiving menu inspiration. The site truly cuts down on all the guesswork and stress. For example check out the “prix fixe” concept also known as menu guide BREAKFAST Tip: I always start the morning off with a good breakfast. We eat a little later than most, so breakfast is essential. Pumpkin Spice French Toast with Cider Syrup COCKTAILS Tip: both cocktails can be made a day in advance (see directions with recipes). Cranberry Thyme Spritz (party punch!) Pomegranate Ginger Paloma APPETIZERS Tip: each appetizer can be prepped a day in advance and warmed before serving. The acorn squash can be eaten at room temp. Honey Butter Roasted Acorn with Burrata and Pomegranate Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie with Maple Butter Roasted Apples Simple Salty Sweet Potato Skin Chips MAINS Tip: the lasagna can be made a few days ahead and baked before serving Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey with White …

Thanksgiving Menu: Sweet Potato in Variation

Let’s star the week off right – shall we? Sweet Potatoes have become a norm – offered up in restaurants past the holidays. My first exposure to sweet potato fries was in 2009 when I was working in Los Angeles and on my birthday I treated myself to the W Hotel in Westwood-Los Angeles poolside restaurant. I loved the sweet potato fries so much with a side of three dipping sauces, that I ordered another batch to go along with my cocktails. Fast forward to 2017, and sweet potatoes are a thing of the norm, and if you are planning on a new twist for this Thanksgiving holiday dinner, than consider these ideas: And this for sweet potato casserole: For that cinnamon Swirl Sweet Potato – this is what you want to try If Sweet Potato Mash is your thing – go here:

Food: Party Prep – You Had Me at…Honey Roasted Acorn

I try to change it up every year, in terms of side dishes or even a starter when I am hosting a get-together for the holidays – in the U.S. meaning to clarify – Thanksgiving or a party between the holidays. So, this amazing dish with honey butter roasted acorn, burrata and pomegranate made it on my menu for Thanksgiving: INGREDIENTS 2 acorn squash, seeded and cut into wedges 4 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste kosher salt and pepper 2-3 balls burrata cheese extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped 1/2 cup roasted, salted hazelnuts, roughly chopped 1/2 cup pomegranate arils

Food: Dinner Tonight – Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are in season and naturally this is the time of year, I make this vegetable in so many variations and just devour a bunch in one sitting.  So you can imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe and of course I had to share. Is your mouth watering yet? INGREDIENTS 2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and pepper 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/3 cup medjool dates, pits removed and chopped 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 8 ounces Halloumi cheese, cubed (continued)

Thanksgiving Part II – Desserts In Gluten-free form

In keeping up with my gluten-free menu this year, I have made my selection for thanksgiving desserts from here.  And frankly, the choices are a refreshing alternative to the usual pumpkin pie and such that’s been served in our household year in and year out.  Here are my picks for Thanksgiving 2016: