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Thanksgiving: Exploring the Holiday as a Whole

Thanksgiving: Exploring the Holiday as a Whole

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Here at The Daily Meal, our thoughts turned to turkey and all its trimmings as far back as early January. To us, Thanksgiving is the mecca of all food holidays, a wonderful blend of honorable traditions and awe-inspiring dishes that is meant to be shared with the ones we love.

With Thanksgiving finally here, we thought it was time to give you the holy grail of Thanksgiving guides. While we do have plenty of tips from top experts to help you improve your dishes, we're here to help you take care of more than just the bird. We’ve strived to be your guide throughout the season to help you achieve the most perfect holiday you could ever imagine.

The best part about having followed us as we made our way to the big day is that no matter what your concern is, we have had you covered. If you’re worried about what to serve on the side, we can give you everything from time-tested stuffing recipes to creative ideas for butternut squash. From easy table setups to elaborate, unique centerpieces, we know just what to suggest to help you wow your guests. And even if you’d rather experience the magic of the holiday by having someone else cook for you, we can help with that, too.

In this guide we will take you from start to finish to help you make the most out of our favorite food-centric holiday. Follow us from our first Thanksgiving coverage to our final bite of our leftover sandwich to help you survive and prosper this Thanksgiving.

First, Some History (How to Sound Smart at the Dinner Table)
There is no doubt that Thanksgiving is part of the very fabric of our nation, and there are even Thanksgiving traditions all around the world. But to really get a grasp of what this holiday means, we have to examine our traditions in action. The Daily Meal has done this in several ways: We’ve examined some of the White House traditions to better understand how our founding fathers celebrated this truly patriotic holiday, and we’ve shared what Thanksgiving was like for those who defend our freedoms through a detailed history of our military’s Thanksgivings. While we look forward to showing you how to have a truly successful holiday, we hope you take a moment to truly understand some of the history behind this delicious day.

Now that you understand some of the importance behind this great holiday it is time to start celebrating. For some of you, Thanksgiving is synonymous with travel, whether you head back to your family table or take off on a trip around the world. There are plenty of ways to bring your favorite parts of the world to your home table, but if you are looking for a guide to escape, we have everything you need to know. From identifying the best spots to celebrate Thanksgiving to how to celebrate this holiday abroad, we’ve got a guide for you to follow so you can have a holiday you are truly thankful for

Celebrating Thanksgiving at Restaurants
If you know that you aren’t quite up for a huge holiday trip, but definitely aren’t ready to hunker down in the kitchen for hours, we can still help. The fact is, sometimes treating yourself and your family to a night out can be better than hosting this epic holiday at home. And if you are wondering where to go and what to do, don’t stress — we’ve got a guide for that, too. From exploring the culinary prowess of fine restaurants across the country to retreating to the comforts of a familiar chain restaurant, we can tell you where to dine for a Thanksgiving as good as mom’s.

General Tips
Choosing to celebrate the holiday at home? Don't fret — we have an unbelievable amount of tips and tricks to help you survive the holiday. There are lots of questions that arise when planning a feast of these proportions, from where you start to how to serve the actual meal. We successfully address all of these concerns, beginning with the basics like how to manage a holiday budget.We can help you have an easy and elegant holiday that will impress and please every guest in attendance. We can even show you have to upgrade your holiday to help you surpass your Thanksgivings past. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, we won't be offended. We have compiled tips from some of the most prominent names in food, from Emeril Lagasse’s tips and traditions to Geoffrey Zakarian’s three tips for a successful holiday to Anne Burrell’s perfect Thanksgiving bite. No matter what your woes are, we can help you create the best Thanksgiving experience your guests have ever seen.

Setting the Scene
The first step to a successful holiday is setting the tone of your table. You first have to decide what kind of ambiance you want. Are you looking for a classic experience or a slightly untraditional one? To perfectly set the table to your style, we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you make the holiday your own no matter what vibe you choose. To capture a look that perfectly suits your home and guests, we rounded up a few suggestions to get you started. Selecting table linens and holiday dishware will allow you to lay down the foundation work of a fabulous table spread. Once your gear is in order, it is up to you to arrange and set the table appropriately. Once this is done, you’ll finish the look off with an inspiring centerpiece that guests will marvel at as they taste your masterfully served feast.

Special Diet
With your table set, it is finally time to plan out your menu. But pulling off a perfect Thanksgiving feast is not as simple as stuffing a turkey and letting it roast for a few hours. You have to not only think about your turkey’s trimmings, but your guests' palates as well. With the many dietary restrictions out there, you may have to prepare a menu you wouldn't cook on a regular day. After all, what if cousin Frank’s kid is allergic to something, or aunt Martha’s on a strict gluten-free diet? But if you aren’t quite sure what a Paleo diet menu entails or how to host a perfectly vegetarian celebration, don’t stress, we can help you get inspired. Heck, we can even show you how to make this typically gluttonous holiday a healthier one with a few simple guidelines.

Thanksgiving Alternatives
If tradition doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday with your own flare. Perhaps you aren’t a fan of turkey — that shouldn’t stop you from having a great feast! Just simply use some of the alternatives we thought up. If you’d like to give your holiday a little ethnic flare, you can try cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner enhanced by a few unique multicultural touches.And even if you wanted to throw a quirky Thanksgiving dinner menu à la a fast-food joint, we have all of the suggestions for you to do it. While this holiday surely is one with a great history, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own — even if that simply means adding bacon to everything. It's your holiday and you can eat what you like.

With a menu in mind, you are almost ready to begin cooking your decadent meal. However, you won’t get very far without the proper equipment! If you are cooking a turkey, you have to first decide upon your method (don’t worry, we’ll show you a few of them!). Once that is chosen, you can figure out what type of tools you need. For instance, roasting a turkey will not be successful if you don’t have the appropriate-sized roasting pan, and know the difference between some of the styles out there. For those attempting to deep-fry, you absolutely need a quality fryer to attain that crispy skin and tender inside. And to make sure everything is coming along smoothly, you need a few assistant tools like a meat thermometer, so you know exactly where dinner stands throughout the cooking process. These seemingly simple investments can make a huge difference in the success of your dinner, so be sure to stock up before the big day arrives!

Whole Food, Plant-Based Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas With Full Menu

Thanksgiving is undoubtedly one of the most important holidays people in the United States celebrate every year. After all, getting together with loved ones to give thanks is something just about everyone can get behind, especially when a huge feast is involved! On the other hand, many of us already fret about the potential for dinner table arguments over politics, religion, or even football. Those of us following a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet may have the additional worry that our food itself could be another source of tension. How do we manage the conflicts that may arise when our dietary needs run counter to “tradition?” More importantly, how do we celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving by establishing new, healthier, holiday traditions?

Veteran WFPB advocates inevitably find that the best way to win people over is to lead by example. That means showing them that a plant-based Thanksgiving can be not only healthy but delicious. There are so many wonderful and delicious alternatives to turkey as the centerpiece entree. When it comes to side dishes, you may have already noticed that the most popular Thanksgiving foods have always been plant-based anyway: yams, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and so on.

A bona fide WFPB Thanksgiving feast is easier than you might think. Look below to find a veritable cornucopia of our favorite recipes. If you bring some of these dishes to the table, even friends and family who haven’t embraced the plant-based lifestyle will have to admit there’s more than one way to celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, don’t be surprised if some of them bring plant-based recipes of their own the next time around!

Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living Thanksgiving Recipes and Holiday Recipes

Here you are going to find a huge resource full of recipes of all the types of foods above that are dairy free, wheat free, added sugar free (or very low sugar added, in the case of some recipes), artificial sweetener free, soy free, alcohol free.

Most of them have a lower than typical amount of fats added (when compared to most traditional Thanksgiving recipes which are loaded with butter!). Some of them are even vegan.

Also, keep in mind that a lot of consultants support you being 80%/20% on 30 Days to Healthy Living. This means that you eat 80% with the food recommendations and 20% whatever you want.

You COULD potentially use Thanksgiving as one of your cheat meals&hellip but let&rsquos be honest here&hellip if I chose Thanksgiving as a cheat meal, it would turn into a cheat DAY! There would be a full day of stuffing myself with unhealthy foods and junk.

Part of the allure of doing Arbonne&rsquos 30 Days to Healthy Living over Thanksgiving or Christmas is that you have support and accountability to eat healthier! So I encourage you to choose Thanksgiving or your Christmas Dinner as one of your 30 Days 80% meals and NOT a cheat day.

Food Network's Highest-Rated Thanksgiving Recipes

With less than 48 hours to go before Turkey Day, you're in the homestretch. If you’re still looking for that show-stopping Thanksgiving recipe, we've rounded up our 20 best Thanksgiving recipes of all time. With five-star recipes and more than 10,000 reviews, you’ve got your pick of tried-and-true recipes for the holiday.

By using a 6.5- to 7-pound whole bone-in turkey breast, you can shave hours off of turkey-cooking time. Ina's garlic-and-herb-smothered bird cooks up in just two hours. If you're looking for a no-fuss turkey recipe, this one is tops. One fan says: "The turkey breast came out perfectly seasoned and juicy! I couldn't believe how easy it was."

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses are the key to Giada's twist on classic mashed potatoes. You can prep the dish up to six hours ahead of time, then give yourself 20 minutes to let it bake in the oven before serving. "You'll never make regular mashed again after you taste this," says one Food Network fan.

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2009, Tara Donne

Tara Donne, 2009, Tara Donne

Rachael dresses up store-bought stuffing mix with celery, apples and onions. Bake the stuffing in muffin cups for perfectly portioned individual servings. One Food Network fan notes, "They are so delicious, and guests loved the novelty of everyone getting a crispy bite."

Tyler's classic cheesecake is a welcome addition to the apple and pecan desserts that fill your holiday spread. The beautiful presentation is thanks to a lemon-blueberry topping that requires only three ingredients. Food Network fans agree that this is one of their favorite cheesecake recipes "I've made this a couple times and followed the recipe to the letter. It is the best cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. It is moist, creamy, perfectly sweet and totally easy," one fan says.


Thanksgiving for a Crowd…

Greens with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup, Orange and Spices

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving for a Small Crowd…

Roasted Turkey Breast with Molasses

Same side dishes as “Thanksgiving for a Crowd” (just cut the recipes in half)

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving for Two…

Whole Roasted Turkey

This recipe is a smaller-scale version of Martha Stewart’s accurately named Perfect Roast Turkey. It’s not afraid of butter.

Greens with Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

Endive, arugula and radicchio are a great combination and easy to get all winter long the maple syrup balances the bitterness.

Thanksgiving Gravy

This is a classic gravy that really benefits from using all parts of the turkey—the neck to the sticky browned bits at the bottom of the roasting pan. Don’t throw any of that stuff away, it’s like gold!

Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry chutney is a wonderful seasonal condiment that goes beyond the turkey. We also use on our Stuffed Turkey Burgers, with cheeses, and more.

Classic Bread Stuffing

Generous on the onions and fennel seeds, this stuffing is hearty and satisfying but not soggy or heavy as stuffing can sometimes be.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

These get deliciously sweet and crispy as they cook. Serve as a winter side dish to your greatest sprout cynic and watch them convert.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup, Orange & Spices

These sweet potatoes get sticky, sweet, and full of great holiday flavor when roasted. Serve anytime of year.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Molasses

Brining the turkey breast guarantees moist meat and roasting it with plenty of stuffing, herbs and molasses assures great flavor.

Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Cranberry Ketchup

All the flavors of Thanksgiving in a burger—what could be better? Pair with some baked sweet potato or butternut squash ‘fries’.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

A cool alternative (literally) to traditional pumpkin pie using vanilla ice cream, good canned pumpkin and lots of wonderful spices.

Our Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

The turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table — so it’s no surprise that cooking the perfect bird can feel like an overwhelming task at times. Thankfully, these recipes make it easy. From classic takes to turkey with a twist, you’re sure to find a roast that’s perfect for your feast.

Related To:

Photo By: Chantell Quernemoen

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael Moutela ©2014

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2015

Photo By: Chris Lane , Chris Lane

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Yunhee Kim ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Adrian Mueller ©2012

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Adrian Mueller ©2012

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Adrian Mueller ©2012

Photo By: Corey Behnke ©Monday Sessions Media, Inc.

Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Chris Lane , Chris Lane

Sweet and Smoky Turkey

Molly&rsquos grilled turkey is a treat for both your eyes and your plate. She bastes the turkey with a mixture of pan juices and honey to ensure a sweet-and-smoky flavor and wonderful texture.

Classic Roast Turkey

Traditional Roast Turkey

Alton brines this bird overnight in a mixture of broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice and ginger.

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Perfect Roast Turkey

Homemade Gravy

Ina's pan gravy starts out with butter, onions and flour, and then she adds turkey drippings and chicken stock, plus Cognac, wine and a little heavy cream for richness.

Paprika Roast Turkey

Paprika comes in a few different varieties. This recipe uses a blend of two (sweet and hot) for the perfect balance of flavor.

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Turkey

Hosting a holiday meal is easy when you can make the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table (the turkey!) in advance.

Roast Turkey with Cranberry-Orange Glaze

Bake the flavors of Thanksgiving right into the bird with this cranberry-orange glaze with garlic and chipotle.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast Stuffed with Pear Hash

Cajun Brined Turkey Two Ways

No-Baste, No-Bother Roasted Turkey

Trisha's family recipe calls for cooking the turkey in a covered roasting pan with 2 cups of boiling water. This results in a juicy, tender bird &mdash no basting needed.

Butter-Blanketed Turkey

This turkey is extra juicy and gorgeously browned, thanks to the blanket of butter.

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

Ree takes her brined bird out of the oven halfway through its cooking time to spread butter on it before it finishes cooking. This ensures that it ends up with that deep, golden-brown color.

Perfect Roast Turkey

You can&rsquot go wrong with Ina&rsquos perfect turkey, flavored simply with lemon and thyme.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

A turkey breast cooks up quicker than a whole bird. Ina roasts hers rubbed with a classic mixture of fresh herbs and garlic.

Best Gravy Ever

Alton makes turkey gravy in the roasting pan while the turkey rests.

World's Simplest Thanksgiving Turkey

The name says it all. This is the simplest turkey you'll ever make, courtesy of Food Network Magazine. Take it easy!

Grilled Turkey with Prairie Rub

Rub a turkey with a unique blend of dry mustard, dried orange peel, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and more for a Thanksgiving roast that be talked about for years to come!

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

For his ultimate turkey, Tyler fills his bird with cornbread stuffing, bastes it in maple syrup and then covers it in bacon.

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

Anne's secret to moist, succulent turkey is a flavorful brine. Then she crusts the turkey in herbs and serves with a creamy gravy.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Peach Rosemary Glaze

Sunny uses apple cider, peaches and rosemary for a savory-sweet turkey glaze that's fresh yet rustic.

Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey

Spice up your Thanksgiving with Bobby's flavorful, Throwdown-worthy turkey.

Turkey with Stuffing

Get Alton's secret for cooking perfect stuffing &mdash inside your turkey.

Spatchcocked Grilled Turkey

"Spatchcock" is a funny word, but it's a seriously smart way to cook a large bird: It roasts faster, and if you make it on the grill, you free up space in your oven to cook sides.

Good Eats Roast Turkey

With thousands of reviews and a 5-star rating, Alton's classic turkey is the go-to, foolproof recipe that every cook can use.

Memphis Fried Turkey

This Southern-spiced bird gets rubbed down the day before with smoky paprika, cayenne, thyme and other flavors before getting fried up &mdash it&rsquos crispy, juicy and packed with flavor.

Roast Turkey with Garlic, Sage and Fennel

Deep-Fried Turkey

Sheet Pan Turkey with Sage and Brown Butter

Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Roulade

The many colors and flavors of Thanksgiving dinner are wrapped up in an elegant little roast that will wow your guests.

General Tso's Fried Turkey

Deep-fry your turkey in half the time roasting takes. Amp up the bird with this unexpected, totally addictive sweet and spicy glaze.

Roast Kosher Turkey with Asian Ginger Butter

A kosher brined turkey is rubbed with butter mixed with ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, scallions and garlic for a simple (and delicious) twist on a Thanksgiving classic.

Buffalo Fried Turkey

This flavor-packed fried bird slathered in spicy Buffalo sauce may ruffle Grandma's feathers, but is guaranteed to win Friendsgiving.

Air Fryer Thanksgiving Turkey

Want to get a turkey breast on the table in less than an hour, without heating up the house? Cook it in an air fryer. Guaranteed golden, crispy skin and no brining required.

Spiced and Super-Juicy Roast Turkey

Fried Turkey and Waffles

Chicken and waffles gets supersized with this spin on a classic fried turkey. Skipping the oven for hot oil keeps the meat moist and juicy. Basting the bird with glaze three times while it rests guarantees the salty-sweet flavor comes through.

Turkey Roulade with Cranberry-Apricot Stuffing

Dry-Brined Fried Turkey

Jeff&rsquos deep-fried turkey does require a bit of extra prep, but the juicy end result is so worth it. Before frying, he recommends placing the turkey in the fryer, filling it with water until the turkey is just submerged and mark the outside of the fryer where the water line is. That way, you&rsquoll have the perfect vessel-to-turkey ratio to keep the skin nice and crisp.

Roasted Turkey Gravy

Tyler makes extra-flavorful gravy by roasting a turkey wing with vegetables and herbs. He removes the wing, then adds flour to the turkey fat and juices, and simmers it with stock.

Bay and Lemon Brined Turkey

Chicken-Fried Turkey Legs

Giant fried turkey legs are a fun and eye-catching way to bring the holidays to your dinner table.

Roasted Turkey Breast & Gravy

Gluten-Free Gravy

In our quest for a delicious gluten-free gravy that everyone around the table would love, we tested all the starches--cornstarch, arrowroot, potato flour, you name it. Sweet rice flour was the winner -- it provides the best texture, doesn't impact the gravy flavor, and reheats beautifully back to that silky sauce we all crave.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Have a flavor-packed turkey on the table in less than an hour by cooking two boneless turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey.

Foolproof Turkey Breast

Guy&rsquos turkey is brined for juicy, flavorful perfection.

North Carolina-Style BBQ Turkey

Skillet Turkey with Roasted Vegetables

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Roll

Yes, turkey is the star on Thanksgiving, but a bacon-weave layer over the top makes it extra special for the holiday. Even better, the bacon bastes the meat as it cooks, keeping it from drying out.

Turkey and Stuffing

To protect the breast meat from overbrowning, Alex suggests dipping a large cheesecloth in melted butter and placing it on the turkey breast before roasting.

Instant Pot Thanksgiving Turkey Breast with Gravy

Five pounds of turkey breast, roasted and ready in under an hour &mdash complete with gravy! And did we mention it's tender and juicy?

Crispy-Skinned Herb-Roasted Turkey

Jeff knows that you only need a handful of ingredients (like herbs, citrus zest, butter and salt) to cook the perfect holiday bird.

Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

Alex's secret to an extra-juicy and flavorful turkey is the perfect turkey brine.

Whole Roasted Turkey with Fennel Spice Rub

Braised Turkey Braciole

Giada stuffs turkey breast with cheese, olives, capers and breadcrumbs, then braises the dish in a rich tomato sauce.

Deep-Fried Turkey

Alton safely fries his turkey in the backyard, but his first important step takes place in the kitchen. He places the bird into the pot that he'll fry it in and adds water just until it barely covers the top of the turkey and is at least 4 to 5 inches below the top of the pot. This test determines the amount of oil needed for frying and prevents overflowing.

Sliced Chipotle Turkey Breast with Pomegranate Cranberry Relish and Polenta

Sliced turkey breast is perfect if you're only cooking for a small group and don't want to manage a whole bird.

Accidental Turkey

"Everyone has a turkey disaster story, but this one actually had a happy ending," Ina Garten says.

Brined Rosemary Crusted Turkey with Pan Gravy

After you brine and butter your turkey, refrigerate it uncovered overnight. Not covering it will help the skin to dry out and become brown and crispy when baked.

Cranberry-Orange Glazed Turkey

For Thanksgiving Live!, Giada broke down her turkey into pieces before roasting to cut down on the cooking time.

Cider-Brined Turkey

Rachael showed the Thanksgiving Live! audience the secret to her flavorful bird: a soak in brine made with apple cider.

Citrus-Marinated Grilled Turkey

Roast Turkey with Mustard-Maple Glaze

Crispy Truffled Turkey

Pan-Roasted Turchetta

Ancho-Rubbed Turkey

Prosecco-Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Thyme

Garlic-Rosemary Turkey with Porcini

Lemon-Pepper Turkey with Bacon Gravy

Roast Turkey with Tarragon-Shallot Butter

A simple way to roast a flavorful, golden bird? Rub a turkey all over with butter mixed with tarragon, lemon and shallot.

Southwestern Turkey with Chipotle Gravy

Maple-Whiskey Turkey with Gravy

Spiced Glazed Turkey

Try this fruity turkey with a sweet pineapple-apple glaze.

Oven-Roasted Turkey

Make a flavor-packed, Southern-spiced turkey this year by seasoning it with thyme, paprika and cayenne.

Barbecue-Spiced Spatchcocked Turkey

Spatchcocking your turkey will cut your roasting time in half.

Turkey Roulade with Swiss Chard

This beautiful, unexpected twist on turkey is an amazing showstopper. And making it is easy with the roulade step-by-step from Food Network Magazine.

Dry-Brined Herbed Turkey

Can't decide if you want to brine? Try this dry-brine method to get the same flavorful bird without all the liquid.

Smoked Whole Turkey

Want to make a sweet-and-smoky Thanksgiving turkey but you don&rsquot have a smoker? No problem! Bobby&rsquos recipe works perfectly on a charcoal grill, too.

Triple Citrus Buttered Turkey

Lemon, lime and orange flavor this turkey for an unexpected, fresh twist.

Welcome to Thanksgiving on the Net

Thanksgiving Day in America is a time to offer thanks, of family gatherings and holiday meals. A time of turkeys, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. A time for Indian corn, holiday parades and giant balloons.

So here for your entertainment are some fun Holiday things for you and your family. We’ve got stories of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, turkeys to take home, holiday pictures for the kids to print and color, tasty holiday recipes and e-greeting cards to send your friends and family. We hope you find something you like!

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.

There are many ways to celebrate and express thanks at Thanksgiving. Even in difficult times, there are always things for which to be grateful. Some companies have adopted the practice of sending Thanksgiving Cards to express their gratitude to their customers and business associates. Thanksgiving cards may not have been part of history when the tradition first began but they do convey the original sentiment behind the holiday.

Did You Know? (Thanksgiving)
Here is a fun look at some of the facts and figures that describe how Americans will be enjoying Thanksgiving.

The Story of Thanksgiving
Throughout history mankind has celebrated the harvest with thanksgiving ceremonies

America’s Thanksgiving
The Pilgrims and America’s First Thanksgiving

National Day of Mourning
Focusing attention on past injustices to the Native American Peoples

When is Canadian Thanksgiving?
The dates of Canada’s Thanksgiving 2008-2020

Presidential Proclamation
US President Thanksgiving Proclamations

Thanksgiving Blog
Check out the latest articles and postings about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recipes
Some fun and tasty Thanksgiving recipes to help celebrate the holiday

Thanksgiving Crafts
Fun and entertaining craft projects to help celebrate your Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Coloring Pictures
Thanksgiving coloring pictures to print and color. All you’ll need to bring are the crayons!

Thanksgiving Greeting Cards
Send your friends and family FREE Thanksgiving Email Greeting cards

Holiday Home Decorations
Make an elegant Fall/Thanksgiving Garland for your home

Website Awards
“You like us, You like us, you really like us!”

Whole Food, Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu Ideas Plus Tips & Tricks

While this Thanksgiving may look a little different for most of us, it can still be a celebration of all that we are thankful for and filled with delicious and nutritious dishes.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking a Plant-Based Thanksgiving Meal

Preparing and sharing a Thanksgiving meal can be stressful. There is bound to be some tension, especially if you do not share the same eating habits as those you’re sharing the table with. If you plan to cook a Thanksgiving feast, we have some tips and tricks to help you impress your diners, without losing your mind in the process.

Focus on Wholesome Seasonal Ingredients With Familiar Flavors

When cooking for meat eaters or if this is your first plant-based holiday, you might be tempted to substitute the turkey and sides with processed meat substitutes and other high-fat, high-sugar ingredients, but you don’t have to. There are several dishes that can be prepared with seasonal and traditional spices that will please everyone at the table. If you are looking for a beautiful centerpiece, try a roasted cauliflower or stuffed pepper recipe. Mushroom roasts and veggie loaves are also very popular for those looking to replace a meaty dish. Casseroles, pumpkin soup, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, pilafs, mashed potatoes, and even pumpkin pie can all be prepared with wholesome seasonal ingredients.

Plan Ahead

Choose a couple main dishes, some side dishes, and at least one dessert item, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need before you start cooking. Mise en place (French for “everything in its place”) is key to successful meal preparation. Prep ahead as much as you can the day before, measuring all the ingredients and separating them by recipe, to ensure your cooking experience is a smooth and enjoyable one. Desserts, dressings, gravies, and casseroles can typically be prepared the day before. Stock your kitchen with cupboard staples such as whole grain flours, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, onions, garlic, apples, baking ingredients, and plant-based milk. You don’t want to have to run to the grocery store at the last minute to grab crucial missing ingredients.

Get Everyone Involved

Ask anyone dining with you to contribute. If you’re not sure whether they will know how to cook healthy plant-based meals, you could select a menu and assign recipes to them. Or you could choose recipes from a cookbook or plant-based site and have your participants pick the ones they feel comfortable preparing.

Think Outside the Box

You don’t need to stick exclusively to preparing traditional holiday recipes, unless you want to. Feel free to explore dishes, flavors, and spices from around the world. It might be fun to prepare a Thanksgiving celebration with a particular theme or cuisine in mind.

End With a Sweet Memory

Do your research and perform some recipe testing if you need to, but always end your meal with a decadent plant-based dessert or two! Once your diners realize that it is possible to enjoy delicious desserts that are free of animal products, they will begin to look at plant-based eating with a new set of eyes.

Finally, traditions are hard to change for many and a Thanksgiving celebration would not be complete without a turkey on the table. However, the best way to win people over is to lead by example. That means showing them that a plant-based Thanksgiving can be not only healthy but delicious. After all, there is a whole new compassionate and sustainable world to be created, and it is up to us to lead the way!

Cider-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Apples

A wet brine infuses the bird with apple flavor and plumps up the meat so it won’t dry out in the oven. Brining your own turkey also lets you control the sodium from start to finish. Line a roasting pan with the brining bag before adding the liquid and the turkey so everything stays in place. To make a quick gravy, strain the fat from the drippings and discard, then reduce the drippings with 21/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until thickened.

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Cream

Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving component. And what’s a holiday meal without dessert? It’s totally possible to be healthy and eat dessert too. Especially with recipes like this one for mini pumpkin pies that aren’t loaded with sugar and heavy cream. It’s a healthy version of your favorite Thanksgiving dessert and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and 100 percent satisfying.

  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 1/4 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk, extra cold

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a mini muffin pan, line each pan with muffin cups or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Pulse the almonds and cashews in a food processor until broken down. Add in the egg, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse again until it forms a crumbly consistency like dough.

Add a small amount of dough to each muffin cup and press down and around the sides to form a cup. It should be thin but firm in the muffin pan.

Make the pumpkin filling by mixing together the pumpkin purée, almond milk, arrowroot powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon the filling into each cup and bake in the oven for about 40–45 minutes.

Let the mini pies cool and then refrigerate for about 6 hours until firm or overnight. Before serving, make the coconut cream. Scoop out the thick cream from the can of coconut milk and add to a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on high speed until thick and fluffy. Top each mini pie with coconut cream.

Serves 6 (two mini pies per person)

With these recipes, you can make a full Thanksgiving meal that’s healthy and full of all the classic flavors. Serve Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash accompanied by Cauliflower and Mushroom Stuffing, Healthy Scalloped Potatoes, Not-Your-Grandma’s Green Bean Casserole, and Mini Pumpkin Pies with Coconut Cream to round it off. Everyone at your table will enjoy these yummy dishes and feel fully satisfied that they are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with a bounty of delicious food and blessings.

Learn Deepak Chopra's simple, often surprising ways to feel less stressed and more energetic each day with our self-paced online course, Secrets to Vibrant Health. Learn More.

Watch the video: How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday in America: Why is Thanksgiving the Fourth Thursday? - FreeSchool (July 2022).


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