Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, be thankful and gracious.
Honestly, this is my favorite week of the year. The weather begins to cool off making it an ideal time to nestle in and hang in the kitchen roasting sugar pies pumpkins, spiffing up the kitchen and setting the table. Perhaps a fire is burning in the fireplace as you begin to prepare for the biggest food day of the year–and making lots of lists and checking them twice.
I usually end up driving all over the city to visit several stores to get everything we need so that this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is even better than last year’s. That’s the way it is for us.
We carefully carve out a menu–one that somehow tries to top last year’s feast. Whether we challenge ourselves to make the best dessert that is gluten-free and paleo or concur that our cranberry relish is the best so there’s no need to change a thing, this annual event is one that we cherish.
If your holiday menu is not yet set in stone or if you have been assigned to make something, here are three essential dishes that will be on our Thanksgiving table this Thursday.
My father was a jellied cranberry man. He liked it straight from the can, and, yes, he also cut it right with the lines of the can. It grossed me out and that is why I was never a cranberry fan. Most other cranberry dishes always had nuts in it and I don’t like that either, so I just gave up on liking cranberries.
Until three years ago when I had cranberries that I fell madly in love with cranberries. In fact, this is the only way I have ever eaten more than one bite of this classic Thanksgiving dish. I love this recipe so much, I am doubling it this year. It’s that good.
Just get out your food processor and in a few minutes, you’re ready to go. Make it the day ahead so it can meld and get even more flavorful. Arrive to a party with this colorful, vegan and raw holiday essential and you’ll be a hero.
I was never a sweet potato and marshmallow kind of girl. It wasn’t part of my childhood and it never interested me whenever it might have been on the buffet table. But, as an adult, I feel the need for sweet potatoes at a Thanksgiving celebration. Other than turkey, it seems like a most likely dish that was part of the very first Thanksgiving meal in 1621.
This particular sweet potato dish is blended with just the right amount of roasted banana to create the ultimate sweet and savory balance. The light crunchy topping only makes this dish that much more memorable. Needing something to dazzle the family with? Try this for a change.
It’s not Thanksgiving without dessert. It would seem sacrilegious, wouldn’t it? Sometimes, I just don’t have room for any more food, but by modifying a few ingredients, I definitely have room for some of this.
The pecan crust is paleo, gluten-free and absolutely amazing. Fill it with pumpkin chiffon and you’ll enjoy ending the day on a sweet note but not with too much guilt. This lightened version of a traditional pumpkin pie won me over years ago and I have never looked back. This is the only pumpkin pie for me.
So tomorrow, as we come together to give thanks, my hope for you is that your table overflows with amazing food, your home is stuffed with loved ones and your heart spills over with gratitude. And may one of these three recipes inspire you to whip up something new and wonderful for this year’s celebration.