Thanksgiving 2017

My good friends at positivehealthwellness have asked me to share a wonderful menu with you all this year.

What a year this has been, I have been shown how to be humble and to show compassion, from our creator.

How to forgive others, and let go of the past.

This year was absolutely crucial in my growth as a person. I give thanks to God, my family, my friends, and the ones who believe in me.

Well, may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving 2017 and enjoy a few menu suggestions.

Not sure what to make this year?

Here is the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner menu that goes through absolutely everything you need for this year.

Don’t forget the sides and get a turkey dinner to die for!

For the Turkey: 3-Way Roulade

Why not make a Turkey roulade instead of a traditional bird this year. There are a few benefits to this. You will know that all the meat is cooked before you start serving everything up and you create smaller portions for everyone. We always end up overeating at Thanksgiving, and it’s not great for the waistline.

You will also get to avoid the big turkeys. You just need some turkey breasts, helping to keep the costs down.

The 3-way roulade offers three different stuffings for your bird. You can do all three if you’d like, but make sure you stock up on extra turkey breasts. This recipe will give you enough turkey for one filling of choice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless, boneless turkey breasts
  • 1 filling of choice (fillings below)
  • 1 1/2tbsp oil of choice
  • Salt and black pepper, for seasoning
  • Fennel-apple filling ingredients:
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Bacon and Mushroom Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1lb mushrooms of choice, chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine
  • 3tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Sausage and Cornbread Filling Ingredients:

  • 8oz of Italian sausage, out of the casing
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups of cornbread, crumbled
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup of chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with foil
  • Butterfly the turkey breasts, avoiding slicing all the way through
  • Wrap one open breast with cling film and pound to about ¼ inch thick
  • Season the breast with salt and pepper and then repeat with the second
  • Make your filling (method for each below) and then spread half into a turkey breast, pressing into the meat
  • Roll the turkey breast tightly and secure with butcher’s twine, tucking the ends in
  • Repeat with the other turkey breast, roll both breasts into oil, and season with more salt and pepper
  • Place on the baking sheet and cook for 40-45 minutes
  • Stand for 10 minutes and then slice to serve

Fennel and Apple Filling Method:

  • Cook the fennel bulb, shallots, butter, and apple in a skillet over a medium heat until golden
  • Stir in the fennel fronds and tarragon and then season

Bacon and Mushroom Filling Method:

  • Cook the bacon for 6-8 minutes in a skillet over a medium heat
  • Place on a plate and pour away the dripping, apart from 1 1/2tbsp
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add in the parsley and scallions, cooking for another 2 minutes
  • Add the wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the wine evaporates
  • Stir in the breadcrumbs and mix everything together, seasoning with the salt and pepper

Sausage and Cornbread Filling Method:

  • Cook the sausage for 5-7 minutes in a skillet over a medium to high heat, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add in the thyme and cornbread and then remove from the heat
  • Stir in the chicken stock to fully combine, and then season with the salt and pepper

For the Sides: Make Rosemary Monkey Bread Stuffing

Even with the stuffed turkey, people will want stuffing on the sides. There’s just something about Thanksgiving that calls for a delicious stuffing to sit on the side to work with the rest of your food options.

This rosemary monkey bread stuffing is perfect. The kids will love the name, and they’ll want to help you make it. Just expect questions about cooking monkeys when you have smaller children!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2lb rosemary focaccia, cubed (if you can’t find the bread, you can use 1 1/2tbsp chopped fresh rosemary)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F and butter a springform pan
  • Cook the onion and celery with the butter in a skillet for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat
  • Transfer to a bowl, allowing to cool for five minutes
  • Whisk the eggs and chicken stock until combined in a bowl and then season with the salt and pepper, and then add the onion and celery mixture
  • Stir in the focaccia
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bread, is golden brown
  • Cool for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan

This is much better served warm. If you want to use leftovers, reheat in the microwave or oven.

Vegetable Side: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Nobody likes Brussels sprouts on their own. While you’ll want to get the health benefits of sprouts, you’ll want to make them taste amazing. This gratin is the perfect way to do that.

Ingredients:

  • 3lb of Brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 9oz of Gruyere cheese, grated and divided
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F and butter a baking dish
  • Fill a pan with salted water and boil the sprouts for 5-8 minutes
  • Drain the sprouts and rinse with cold water to quickly cool, and then lay them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels
  • In a saucepan, cook the butter and garlic over medium heat for a minute and then sprinkle with the flour
  • Whisk the mixture for a minute, before adding in the half and half while whisking
  • Simmer for 6-7 minutes, whisking regularly to help thicken
  • Remove from the heat and then add in 6oz of the cheese, whisking, and season with the salt and pepper
  • Pour everything into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese, and then bake for 25-30 minutes

Allow cooling a little before serving. The kids will barely notice that you’ve served them Brussels sprouts. If you want to go one step further, you can chop the sprouts after cooking to help mix in with the cheese. It’s not quite as filling, but you’ll disguise the fact that you have sprouts!

Potato Side: Slow Cooked Mash

Mashed potatoes

Mash potatoes are a must-have for your Thanksgiving dinner. While they are well cooked normally, these will help to eliminate some of the stress from the day.

Ingredients:

  • 4lb of potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/3 cup of chives, fresh and chopped
  • ½ cup of milk, warmed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • In a slow cooker, cook the potatoes with the chicken stock and salt on high for up to 3 hours or low for up to 5 hours
  • Drain the stock and put the potatoes back into the slow cooker
  • Add the sour cream and mash to preferred consistency
  • Fold in the chives and milk, adding more milk if necessary
  • Season to taste and serve, topping with chives if you’d like

You will have people asking for seconds. You may find that this is a Sunday roast mash that you make a lot more regularly than Thanksgiving!

A Side Dish with a Difference: Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Salad

Potato and egg salad is commonly made, but you can opt for something a little different this Thanksgiving. You want to opt for a cauliflower and sweet potato salad instead. You get a mixture of flavors packed with a healthy punch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2lbs sweet potatoes, chopped into wedges
  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped into florets
  • 7tbsp oil of choice, divided
  • 3tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 8 cups of mixed lettuces, torn
  • 2/3 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with foil
  • Mix the potatoes, cauliflower, and 3tbsp oil, seasoning with the salt and pepper
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes
  • Whisk the rest of the oil in the vinegar, seasoning with some salt and pepper
  • Add the lettuce, pomegranate, and roasted vegetables and coat everything

With the Brussels sprouts and this potato salad, you will not need any more vegetables on the side. If you want them, just grab some frozen veggies like carrots and peas. You’ll find your guests won’t be that interested in them though.

Time for Dessert: Sweet Potato Snickerdoodles

Whoever said dessert has to be unhealthy and full of sugar? These alternative Snickerdoodles are the way to feed the sweet tooth without feeling like you’re forcing health onto your guests.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp baking soda
  • 1/4tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 1/2tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1 cup of butter, sat at room temperature
  • 1 can of sweet potato puree
  • 2/3 pt of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract, preferably pure
  • 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can of dulce de leche

Method:

  • Whisk the flour with the salt, baking soda, 2tsp cinnamon, and cream of tartar
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the puree, 1 cup of granulated sugar, all the confectioners’ sugar, and all the vanilla extract until fluffy
  • Add the eggs to the sweet potato puree mixture one at a time, beating until each one is blended
  • Add the flour mixture until everything is combined
  • Cover and chill for at least 2 hours to overnight
  • Preheat the oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Stir the rest of the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl
  • Roll up the dough into 1tbsp balls and then roll into the sugared cinnamon
  • Arrange on the baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Cook for a minute and then place on wire racks to continue cooling
  • Spread the dulce de leche on the flat side of the cookies and sandwich two together

Second Dessert: Pumpkin Cookie Crust Cheesecake

While the sweet potato sandwich cookies are great, they’re just not quite a dessert, right? You want a pie or cake that you can cut into. This is where this second dessert will help. You get a mixture of needs and wants with the pumpkin, the cheesecake, and a delicious cookie crust. Make sure you have room for a second slice. You’ll want it!

Ingredients:

  • 12 pecan sandy cookies, plus extra to garnish
  • ½ cup of pecans, roasted and salted preferably
  • 3tbsp butter, melted
  • 2tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4tsp salt, divided
  • 8oz cream cheese, left at room temperature
  • 8oz of sour cream, left at room temperature
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 oz of pure pumpkin puree
  • 2tsp vanilla extract, preferably pure
  • 1 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp ground nutmeg

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the middle
  • Place the pecans and cookies in a blender and pulse until ground finely
  • Add the butter, granulated sugar, a 1/4tsp salt, and pulse until combined
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan and then bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Allow to cool completely in the pan and then wrap the pan with aluminum foil
  • Reduce the oven to 300F
  • Beat the cheese with the brown sugar and sour cream until smooth and then add the eggs one at a time, beating each one
  • Add the rest of the ingredients with the remaining salt, and beat until blended
  • Pour the mixture into the cookie crust and bake for 1hr 10 minutes; the edges will be set, but the middle will still be wobbly
  • Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in with door closed for an hour
  • Remove from the oven and loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan with a knife gently, keeping the pan intact
  • Allow to cook for an hour and then cover and chill for at least 8 hours

Only after chilling should you remove from the pan. This helps to keep the setting, so the cheesecake doesn’t end up an unserviceable mess! Serve with some of the pecans, cookies, and a bit of whipped cream!

My thanks to Danielle and her team. Have a wonderful Holiday!

(SOURCE)

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