4 Easy Thanksgiving Food Ideas

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, it’s a great time to start planning this year’s feast. Why stick to cooking traditional dishes, when you can spice up your holiday meal with delicious and nutritious choices that your guests will rave about? Dare to be different this season! Here are four scrumptious and easy Thanksgiving food ideas that your friends and family are guaranteed to love.
GARLIC ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
Recipe from Stonewall Kitchen
Makes: 10 Servings
Ingredients and Instructions:
  • 1 Lb. Baby Carrots with tops, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 Lb. Parsnips, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 Oz. Cipollini Onions, peeled
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  1. Split large carrots in half lengthwise. Quarter parsnips lengthwise. Bring salted water to boiling. Add carrots and parsnips and simmer 5 minutes; drain.
  2. In a very large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until they begin to brown. Add carrots, parsnips, and cipollini onions to skilled. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until coated in oil and beginning to soften. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and ground black pepper.
HOLIDAY KALE & CRANBERRY SALAD
Recipe from Nancy Thompson (Better Homes & Gardens, Nov. 2012 Issue)
Makes: 12 Servings
Ingredients and Instructions:
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon-style Mustard
  • 2 Tsp. Finely Shredded Lemon Peel
  • 4 Cups Chopped Kale
  • 2 Cups Cooked Wild Rice, cooled
  • 1 Small Bulb Fennel, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Sweet Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Place cranberries and garlic cloves on pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. each salt and ground black pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until garlic is softened and cranberries are browned at the edges. Cool slightly. Remove garlic peels; finely chop garlic cloves.
  2. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine garlic remaining olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and lemon peel. Cover and shake well. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  3. In a large bowl combine cranberries, kale, wild rice, fennel, walnuts, sweet pepper, and onion. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.
HARVEST PUMPKIN TARTS
Recipe from Eagle Brand (AllRecipes.com)
Makes: 24 Individual Servings
Ingredients and Instructions:
  • 1 (14 oz.) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (Eagle Brand, or other)
  • 1 1/4 Cups Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 24 (3 Inch) Unbaked Tart Shells
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Whisk together condensed milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture evenly into tart shells.
  4. Bake for 18 minutes or until center is set and pastry is golden colored.
  5. Cool and garnish as desired (with whip cream, etc.).
SWEET CARROT SOUP
Recipe from Sarah Copeland (Health, Nov. 2012 Issue)
Makes: 4 Bowls (8 Servings)
Ingredients and Instructions:
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, smashed
  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger Root, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Lbs. Organic Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
  • 1/4 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Fresh Carrot Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Low-fat Plain Yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped Cilantro (for garnish)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seeds (for garnish)
  1. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook until tender (6-8 minutes). Add the garlic and finer, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add carrots, thyme, salt and pepper, and enough water to cover, and bring the soup to a boil. Cover loosely and reduce heat to low.
  2. Simmer until vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes). Cool slightly. Discard thyme. Puree carrot mixture with a blender until smooth (about 3 minutes). Stir in fresh juice, then reheat soup over a low flame to warm through. Just before serving, taste and adjust salt and pepper; stir in an additional 1-2 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Ladle into 4 bowls and garnish each with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of cilantro and sunflower seeds. Serve warm.

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