We do the majority of our meal prep the day before Thanksgiving. This year we have family members bringing rolls, dessert, and potatoes, so it's a pretty light evening. On deck?
- Herb Butter
- Cranberry Relish
- Traditional Bread Stuffing
- Apple Sausage Stuffing
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Thyme, Feta, and Pecans
- Garlic Green Beans
This is the time of year my Cuisinart 11-cup food processor earns its keep. In addition to the onion and celery for both stuffings, we also prep shredded carrots. My mother and my mother's mother (and probably her mother) always added shredded carrots to her traditional stuffing. Who am I to question tradition? Plus, it adds a little texture along with some color.
If you live in the Twin Cities area, I highly recommend purchasing bread cubes for stuffing from Breadsmith*. The bread is top notch, cut to the perfect size, and packaged in breathable bags. As a result, I don't feel the need to par bake the bread in the oven; leaving it sit out on sheet pans is sufficient. (*While you're there, sample the chocolate babka and ginger cookies. Uh-maze-ing!)
The hardest part of making the squash is cutting and cubing it, and that's really pretty straightforward. Even so, that's a Mark job; I have an irrational fear of cutting off a digit when trying to cut something of that size. I also have surprisingly wimpy hands, so I measure out the pecans and feta (a substitution for the gorgonzola), and chop the thyme.
While Mark focuses on prepping the stuffing vegetables and squash, I take care of the green beans, butter, and relish. The green beans are blanched and stored in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Then I simply mince the garlic and measure out the butter, putting them into prep cups. Same goes for the herb butter.
The relish recipe I used this year is one someone told me about after one of my daily yoga classes. Super easy, raw and vegan:
Simple Cranberry Relish
- 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored, with skin
- 1 Large Orange, unpeeled, cut into quarters and seeds removed
- 3 C Fresh Cranberries
- 1/3 C Sugar (I substituted coconut sugar)
- 3 Large Peels of Ginger (or more to taste)
I threw it all into my Vitamix and pulsed to ensure I didn't over process it. So simple and really good!
Easy. Peasy. I'll be back in the kitchen tomorrow morning to get the birds in the oven. It's after midnight, so Happy Thanksgiving!