The most common protein featured at the Thanksgiving buffet is the turkey. But what flanks the turkey on the dinner plate? Traditionally (according to TV advertisements) it is congealed cranberries, frozen green beans smooshed together with concentrated “mushroom” sauce, and crescent rolls out of a can.
Sounds delicious doesn’t it?
The Thanksgiving menu doesn’t have to be difficult or even time consuming. With a little planning, your Thanksgiving table can be filled with fresh ingredients, family friendly dishes, and fond family memories.
Below are a few suggestions for each popular feast category.
Zucchini Ribbon Pesto Salad
- 1 zucchini
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
Peel zucchinis with vegetable peeler forming long ribbons. Toss with pesto and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- 12 cups frozen corn
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Fresh Parmesan
In a large saucepan, add frozen corn and water, cover. Heat over medium heat until corn is tender; approximately 4-6 minutes; stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
Carrots with Sage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 carrots, diagonally sliced
- 1/4 cup water, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil. Add carrots and 2 tablespoons water. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add remaining water and partially cover pan. Cook 10 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Add salt and pepper to pan; increase to medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes or until carrots are tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with sage.
Quinoa with Roasted Garlic
- 1 whole garlic head
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
- 1 tablespoon shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove papery skin from garlic head. Cut garlic head in half crosswise, breaking apart to separate whole cloves. Wrap half of head in foil; reserve remaining garlic for another use. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes.
Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and red pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Add quinoa to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in garlic pulp, spinach, tomato, cheese, and salt. Serve immediately.
Sweet Potato Salad
- 3 medium sized sweet potatoes (I used white sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into approx. 1 in cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine sweet potatoes and olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir around coating potatoes in oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes until fork tender and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, add potatoes, pineapple chunks, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and olive oil. Pour dressing over potato salad. Toss. Serve warm or chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.