It can get really hectic on Thanksgiving Day, more guests show up unexpectedly, you don’t think you have enough food to feed everybody, you forget to buy a certain ingredient, you forgot to put in the casserole, etc.
So this year prevent the last minute “freak out mode” predicament by using these tips:
Tips to stay organized
— Create a holiday menu and decide when you’re going to serve the meal.
— Build a shopping list from your menu and don’t forget to bring it along with you when you go shopping.
— Shop early. Most people shop two day before Thanksgiving, but if you shop a little earlier you can choose the freshest produce and avoid sold out products.
— Create a timeline for each dish you’re going to serve such as: 10 a.m. turkey in the oven, 1 p.m. sweet potatoes in the oven, 1:30 make salad, 1:45 heat rolls, and so forth. This way you won’t forget a dish and everything will be ready in time.
Unexpected guest tips
Have a few quick & healthy recipes on hand just in case you need them.
Buy extra food that you always use, for example: yams, potatoes, fresh veggies and leafy greens, milk, grains, rice and nuts.
Pick up a couple extra bottles of wine and/or sparkling cider to have on hand.
Purchase a few frozen items: peas, carrots, and maybe some Henry’s vanilla ice cream.
Henry’s is open on Thanksgiving, so if you find yourself with to many guest and to little turkey, why not dash over to Henry’s and buy a Tofurkey, a faux turkey usually made from seitan or tofu. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to try a Tofurkey, you’re just giving your guest more options.
Quick and easy last minute recipes
Curried Pumpkin Soup
This soothing soup will warm you right down to your toes. Use soy milk for a tasty dairy free version
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes, Serves 4
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Henry’s Organic Olive Oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
4 cups Organic Chicken Broth
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup heavy cream or plain soy milk
Salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Stir in curry powder, oregano and thyme. Add broth and pumpkin and mix well. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Puree with an immersion blender or carefully in a regular blender. Return to soup pot and stir in cream or soy milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Green Bean with Cranberry-Balsamic Glaze
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 25 minutes, Serves 8
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 TBLS butter
1 sweet onion
5 TBLS dried sweetened cranberries
1 medium orange, zested and juiced
2 TBLS balsamic vinegar
3 TBLS pomegranate-cranberry juice
Steam green beans until tender, about 10 minutes. In a large skillet, melt butter, add onions and cook over med-low heat until translucent. Turn up heat slightly and caramelize onions until golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add dried cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, and pomegranate-cranberry juice. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Just before serving, add beans, toss to coat and heat through.
Brussels sprouts also work very well with this recipe
Roasted Yam with Date sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 65 minutes, Serves 8
4 medium yams
salt to taste
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot fruit spread
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Pierce yams all over with fork, sprinkle yams with salt and place on rack in oven. cook for 1 hour or until yams are tender.
Meanwhile in small pan, combine dates, water and cinnamon. Cook mixture until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes until mixture is smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add fruit spread. Slice or squeeze yams open and drizzle warm sauce over yams. Serve.
Sweet Potato Casserole:
Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 45 minutes, Serves 10
3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 Tbs butter, melted
2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (sweeten or unsweetened)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375˚. Place sweet potatoes in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to boil and boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes. While the potatoes are boiling, combine the butter, half-and-half, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl.
Spoon the potatoes into a 8” X 8” baking dished coated with cooking spray. Pour half-and-half mixture evenly over the potatoes and slightly mash (the potatoes should be a little lumpy). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the over and top with coconuts and pecans. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes or until coconut begin to brown.