Preparing for Thanksgiving | News, Sports, Jobs


Holiday Vegetable Casserole (Photo provided – Yvona Fast)

Thanksgiving is almost here!

Last year, most did not reunite with family or friends due to the pandemic.

While COVID is still raging – last week the Essex County Health Department reported 101 new cases in just four days – this year is a little different. Maybe we’re just used to it, or maybe we feel safer because we’ve been vaccinated, but more of us come together – although in many cases these gatherings are smaller. than previously.

With a grateful heart, we give thanks for health, food and shelter, for family, friends and love. It is a day set aside to thank God for our many blessings, regardless of religious or cultural traditions.

Thanksgiving is also a harvest festival; many of the traditional sides, such as winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples and cranberries, are now in season. Buy them fresh and support our local farmers. They will have more flavor than their processed, frozen and canned versions.

Instead of a casserole of green beans, why not try some seasonal vegetables? Kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts and spinach are all available now from our farmers. And the tangy flavors contrast well with sweet potatoes and squash.

Prepare ahead and cook from scratch. What is “stripe”? Stripes are fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruits. This means making your own delicious desserts instead of buying them factory-made.

Cooking this way takes time but saves money. Even if you’re not a skilled chef, it’s pretty easy to whip up plenty of side dishes for your Thanksgiving table, like cranberry sauce, stuffing, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Have friends or family cook some meals, or make cooking a family activity – it’s a great way to spend time together.

After the feast, divide up any leftovers – your guests will enjoy coming home with treats. Plan to use other leftovers in casseroles and sandwiches over the weekend. And freeze some for later in individual containers.

Make Black Friday a day of cooking and crafting. Instead of going to the malls, keep the family having fun baking holiday cookies and other goodies and giving gifts; prepare cookie dough and freeze for baking later; make holiday decorations; assemble things like soup kits or bread kits to give as gifts; and set up seasonal decorations.

Have fun preparing for the holidays!

Holiday vegetable casserole

It’s a great dish to bring to your Thanksgiving reunion. You may want to double the recipe depending on the number of people at your holiday dinner.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium sweet potato or 2 cups cubed butternut squash

2 or 3 cups of Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound) or coarsely chopped broccoli florets

1 small red or yellow onion

1 clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth or apple cider

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/3 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

2 tablespoons grated sharp cheese

Instructions:

Casserole in oil or butter with lid. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the vegetables. Sweet potato or squash cubes. Wash and cut the cabbages; cut into quarters. Peel and slice the onion. Mince the garlic.

Toss vegetables in olive oil to coat them.

In a small bowl, combine the spices; Stir to coat the vegetables.

Put everything in a casserole dish and add the broth. Cover (us with aluminum foil if your dish does not have a lid) and bake for about 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and test the cooking.

Sprinkle with parsley, cranberries, nuts (if using) and cheese.

Return to oven and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and cheese is melted.

For 4 or 5 people (one-cup servings).

Cooking pot after Thanksgiving

Ingredients:

1 or 2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes

1 or 2 cups cooked green vegetables (such as kale, chard or spinach)

1 or 2 tablespoons grated hard cheese

1 apple, cored, cubed and diced, optional

1 or 2 cups leftover turkey, cubed

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

1 cup of sauce

1 or 2 cups of leftover bread stuffing

Instructions:

Casserole in oil or butter with a lid. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the sweet potatoes (could be mashed or cubed) at the bottom of the pot. Garnish with greens and sprinkle with cheese and chopped apple, if desired.

Top with diced or cut turkey. Spread with cranberry sauce. Pour in the sauce and garnish with the stuffing. Drizzle with a little melted butter or olive oil.

Bake to warm and brown the top, about 20 to 30 minutes.

For 2 to 4.

——

Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: fresh and fabulous meals from your garden, CSA or farmers market”, Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be found at www.yvonafast.com and joined at [email protected] or on Facebook at Words Are My World.

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