The Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving may just be our favorite holiday; a whole day dedicated to pie baking, endless eating, and sitting on the couch – what’s not to love? While we strive for everyday balance, we’ve gotta admit: nothing makes us happier than indulging in some classic turkey, stuffing, and our Mom’s sweet potato pie.

See below for our favorite recipes for all the Thanksgiving classics: We’re talking perfectly roasted turkey, tart cranberry sauce, and pies that will knock your wool socks off. Make these dishes on the big day; your family will be extra thankful…

Not Your Grandmas Green Bean Casserole

string-bean-casserole-recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted

1/2 White Onion, small dice

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 cup dry White Wine

12 ounces Greek Yogurt

1/3 cup Milk

1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1 bunch Tuscan Kale, washed and torn into bite size pieces

1 pound French Green Beens, blanched and drained

1/4 cup Slivered Almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking dish.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sweat for 5-7 minutes. Stir in kale. Sauté for 5 minutes until kale begins to wilt. Add Worcestershire sauce and white wine. Continue to sauté until white wine has reduced by half. Stir in the greek yogurt and milk. Add the green beans to the skillet, stir to mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the the milk has thickened, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with slivered almonds.

The Perfect Turkey, from Jonathan Waxman

turkey-roasted-thanksgiving-620x360

Ingredients:

One 12-pound heritage turkey

2 T Olive oil

Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

1 head garlic, halved

1 cinnamon stick

1 T black peppercorns

1 T anise seeds

1 T coriander

1 T juniper berries

2 T sweet butter, preferably organic

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, on convection, if available.

Prepare a sink big enough for the bird. Fill with hot water and 2 teaspoons salt. Wash the bird in hot water, pat dry, and let dry at room temperature.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a roasting pan. Sprinkle with a liberal amount of sea salt and fresh pepper. Lay the bird on top. Liberally season with sea salt and fresh pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil. Place the remaining ingredients inside the turkey’s cavity.

Place in the oven, and roast for about 8-10 minutes per pound. You will need to baste every 20 minutes. Spin the turkey around every 20 minutes to help brown evenly.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 1 hour, covered with aluminum foil.

Cranberry Relish

cranberry-relish-recipe

Ingredients:

1 orange

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 medium apple (a sweeter variety such as Gala or Fuji)

1 celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup shelled walnuts

¾ cup sugar

1 tablespoon orange liqueur

Directions:

Grate the zest from the whole orange and set aside. Cut off any remaining pith from the orange. Cut the orange into chunks.

In a food processor, combine cranberries, orange chunks, orange zest, apple, and celery and process until finely chopped. Be careful not to process too long because mixture will become mushy. Add the walnuts and pulse until chopped. Stir in the sugar and orange liqueur. Refrigerate unit serving time.

Maple-Mustard Roasted Vegetables

maple-mustard-vegetables

Ingredients:

¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil

2 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

2 Tablespoons dry white wine

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

½ pound butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

2 carrots, chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 red onion, peeled and cut into sixths or eighths (keep root attached)

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 medium sweet potato (e.g. Garnet or Jewel), peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

10 medium Brussels sprouts, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. I’ve noticed that darker sheet pans, even lined with parchment paper, caramelize vegetables better/more quickly than light-colored pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, syrup, mustard, wine and thyme. Make sure the maple syrup is well incorporated.  Add all the vegetables and toss to coat.

Spread evenly between the two pans in one layer and sprinkle well with salt and pepper (about ¾ teaspoon salt or more.)

Roast vegetables until tender and slightly caramelized, about 50 minutes, tossing after 30 minutes.  You may need to rotate the pans if they are not side-by-side in the oven or if your oven has hot spots.

Sweet and Salty Potatoes

best-roasted-potatoes

Ingredients:

3 large Sweet Potatoes, rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 pound of Baby Yellow Dutch Potatoes, rinsed and quartered

3 tablespoons Sage, minced, plus more for garnish

2 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Maple Syrup

3 tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar

2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In one mixing bowl, toss together 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil with minced sage and baby potatoes. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to a small baking dish.

In another mixing bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, and aged balsamic vinegar. Toss with the sweet potatoes to coat. Transfer to a separate small baking dish.

Roast the potatoes side by side in the oven for 35-40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from the oven. Combine the potatoes on one serving dish so that they are evenly mixed. Garnish with sage.

Sweet Potato Pie

liz-moody-modern-pie-620x360

Ingredients:

Crust

10 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup raw nuts of choice (mixed are also fine)

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 large sweet potato, unpeeled

2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (or 2 small cans of coconut cream)

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp salt

Crumble

⅔ cup raw shelled pistachios, crushed

Zest of 2 oranges

2 tbsp rose water

2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put sweet potato in oven over a pan or a bit of foil or parchment paper to catch any drips.  Roast until soft when squeezed, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, spread the nuts out in a single layer on a cookie sheet or pan and stick in oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Process toasted nuts and all remaining crust ingredients in a food processor until it forms one solid ball, and all sticks together.  Press into a parchment-lined pie pan, pressing the pie crust up to form pie’s edges.  Place in fridge to set while you make the filling.

Let sweet potato cool completely before scooping out its orange flesh.  Flesh should be about 1 cup, but a little over or under is fine.  Open coconut milk cans upside down; pour out watery liquid and reserve for another use, then scoop out white, solid coconut cream into food processor (no need to clean between this step and making the crust).  Add sweet potato flesh and all other filling ingredients to food processor and process until smooth. Spread evenly in pie crust.  I used a plastic bag with the tip cut off to dollop my filling in for a more decorative effect.  Place in fridge to set.

Mix together all crumble ingredients and spoon on top of pie.  Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours, or, for a firmer, less mousse-like texture, store in the freezer, letting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 1 pie.

Pecan and Pumpkin Seed Pie

pecan-pie-recipe

Crust:

1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 stick Unsalted Butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Salt

3 to 4 tablespoons Ice Water

Filling:

3 tablespoons Butter

3/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar

1 cup Maple Syrup

1 tablespoon Spiced Rum

1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups Pecan halves

1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until only pea-size pieces remain. Stir in the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time to bring together the dough in a shaggy mess. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times to bring the dough together completely. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours before rolling out.

When ready to roll out the dough, prepare a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a circular shape until it is 1/4” thick. Transfer to a greased, 9” pie pan. Fold any excess dough into a decorative shape around the edges.

Toss together the pecan halves and the pumpkin seeds and place in the pie dish. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Set side. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in light brown sugar, maple syrup, and spiced rum. Heat until all ingredients are combined and dissolved. Remove from heat. Slowly, while whisking pour 1/3 of the hot mixture into the eggs. Whisk until combined and then slowly add the rest of the sugar mixture. Keep whisking to completely combine. Pour over the pecans and pumpkin seeds to fill the pie dish.

Bake for 50 minutes until the pie is completely set and the crust is golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Spiced Bourbon Cocktail with Cranberry and Pear Juice

cranberry-cocktail-recipe

Ingredients:

12 ounces Cranberry Juice

12 ounces Pear Juice

2 Cinnamon Sticks

1 Star Anise pod

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger

5 1/2 ounces Bourbon

Directions:

In a medium pot combine cranberry juice, pear juice, cinnamon sticks, star anise pod, and ground ginger. Bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in the bourbon.

This cocktail can be served warm or shaken with ice to serve cold.

Trying to be healthier this season? Read Danielle Walker’s full guide to the paleo diet or check out our guide to the gluten-free diet.