A Full Plate Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving this year, we decided to do a slightly healthier menu in keeping with our new eating habits. We're still splurging on a few things because who can resist pumpkin pie or gravy, but we've worked a lower carb, vegetable-rich approach through the menu. The menu below assumes a smaller gathering and will make 4 larger servings or 6 smaller servings of each dish.

*Fennel apple salad Roasted turkey with garlic herb rub and gravy Garlic mashed cauliflower Roasted delicata squash and pears Green beans with mushrooms and onion Pumpkin pie with whipped cream*

Previous Day:

Make a paste out of 4 crushed cloves of garlic, 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tsp ground sage, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Rub over inside and outside of turkey. Return turkey to refrigerator to marinate in garlic-spice rub.

Morning Preparation:

Make pumpkin pie, using the classic Libby's pumpkin pie recipe. The pie crust can be made with a half of this double pie crust recipe.

Early Afternoon:

Put turkey on to roast according to turkey roasting guide.

Late Afternoon:

Prepare vegetable dishes as follows:

Garlic mashed caulifower:

Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets and cover with water in a large saucepan along with 6 peeled cloves of garlic.

Roasted delicata squash and pears:

Cut 1 - 2 delicata squash in half and remove seeds. Cut into half moons. Core and slice 2 red pears. Toss pears and squash on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper.

Green beans with mushrooms and onion:

Trim 1-1/2 lbs green beans and place in the the steamer insert of a vegetable steamer. Thinly slice 1 sweet onion.

Once turkey is done, remove from oven and start preparing gravy and vegetable dishes.

Roasted delicata squash and pears:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash and pears for 20 - 25 minutes or until tender.


Remove turkey from roasting pan and drain/skim most turkey fat. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix thoroughly with remaining drippings from turkey. Add 2 cups water and stir to dissolve any browned bits. Strain through a strainer to remove any remaining pieces, then bring to a boil to thicken gravy, stirring constantly.

Garlic mashed cauliflower:

Boil cauliflower and garlic for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with 2 = 3 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

Fennel apple salad:

Using half the ingredients listed for 10 servings, prepare salad according to this NYT Cooking recipe

Green beans with mushrooms and onion:

Sautee onions and 8 oz sliced mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil until golden. Meanwhile, bring water in steamer to a boil and steam green beans for 4 - 5 minutes or until just tender. Toss green beans with onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste.