We asked each member of Triangle Acupuncture Clinic’s staff “What is your favorite food at Thanksgiving?” And this is what they said…
Danny: For the last few years my wife and I have been enthralled with the idea of eating un-traditional foods for the holidays, so any variation of fresh turkey, tofurkey, or Turducken is out this Thanksgiving! That's right. We like our turkey on Thanksgiving served Thai style as a nice spicy, citrus larb.
Kolleen: I have so many fond memories associated with Thanksgiving and the foods we eat around this time of year! My family has transitioned to a plant based vegan diet and I still want those flavors of the holiday so one of my favorite recipes is vegan mashed potatoes and gravy! It’s just as comforting and twice as healthy! *For recipe scroll to the bottom
Chris: Deep Fried Turkey and Potatoes Au Gratin
Bethany: My favorite Thanksgiving dish is curried sweet potato - the combination of spicy and sweet is delicious. Also, in Traditional Chinese medical theory, orange colored foods are extremely nourishing for the "Spleen", the body's digestive function, whereas the pungent and bitter curry boosts the "Heart" (emotional spirit) and "Lung" (immune system).
Kim: While I've been a fan of cranberry sauce since childhood, I was never very fond of the canned 'cranberry mush' or the overly sweet sauce made with fresh cranberries, a ton of sugar and not much else. My favorite is Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce because it is full of beautiful fall fruits! The tartness of the pomegranate and the crunch of the apples play well with the sweetness of the oranges, and tangy orange zest rounds it all out. This is amazing with poultry, and the leftovers can also be used for making tarts, or just eaten as is on your morning toast. *For recipe scroll to bottom
Kalpana: I love the sage, and poultry spices in the stuffing and of course love mashed potatoes.
Patrick: Simply Turkey
Katherine: My year wouldn’t be complete without stuffing. I love this simple flavor combination and resist making stuffing on a weekly basis just because Thanksgiving is my favorite meal all year! Even better is the leftover casserole that starts with a base of stuffing, layer of mashed potatoes, turkey on top covered with gravy.
Rick: Most of my marriage we have lived in a different state as most of our family. We don't always get the opportunity to go back home for Thanksgiving and when that happens we often invite friends in similar situations to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. My kids have never been big fans of Turkey and some of our friends don't eat meat. So for the first few years of hosting we tried a few different options. We tried the different fake turkey options. We have made lasagna and that went over well but doesn't really go with the other holiday side dishes. We kind of did something different each year, but somewhere along the way we ended up making stuffed baked potatoes. You start with the largest Potatoes you can find. After you bake the potato you scoop out some of the potato from the skin and make that into mashed potatoes and then we add ingredients based on the guests. We can make a vegan option, a vegetarian option, and a meat option usually chicken. They are usually topped with an alfredo sauce or something similar. What’s added to them still changes a little from year to year depending on guests and creativity. The nice part of the meal is it’s not hard to alter the same dish to satisfy any diet requirements while everyone is still basically eating the same thing. It goes well with the normal side dishes of the holiday and tastes great. It may not be traditional, but it has become a tradition for us.
Nital: As you know my family does not celebrate Thanksgiving but one of my favorite dishes is mashed sweet potatoes. Cinnamon and Nutmeg has a nice spicy taste. Maple syrup to make it sweet so my son will eat them 😉 Gee is better than butter and adds touch of Indian Culture . Perfect comfort food for my family �� It is very easy to make and simple:
- 2 Sweet Potatoes (boiled and mashed)
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 tsp of Cinnamon
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 spoon of gee
- little bit of maple syrup to make it sweet (depending on your taste)
- pinch of salt and paper
Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
FOR THE POTATOES
- 1.5 lbs red or yellow potatoes diced
- 4 cups water approx.
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk separated
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- chives chopped (optional)
FOR THE GRAVY
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 3.5-4.5 cups water separated
- 2 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian Chicken Flavor
- 1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- pepper to taste
Step 1 - Cut potatoes into equal size pieces. Add to a large pot and pour in water until potatoes are covered. Place on stove and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Step 2 - While potatoes are cooking, make the gravy. Combine corn starch and 1/2 cup water in a bowl and whisk until combined and corn starch is dissolved.
Step 3 - In a sauce pan combine bouillon, 3 cups water, poultry seasoning and white pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking frequently. Once it begins to boil, add corn starch mixture and decrease heat to low. Whisk frequently until gravy begins to thicken.* Add pepper to taste. Leave on low heat until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
Step 4 - When potatoes are tender (approx. 30 mins) remove pot from heat and drain. Add drained potatoes back to the pot. Add butter and 1/4 cup milk. Use a potato masher to break apart potatoes and incorporate the butter & milk. Add an additional 1/4 cup milk and continue to mash until potatoes are smooth (or until desired consistency is reached).
Step 5 - Add garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Step 6 - Transfer potatoes to a serving dish and top with chives. Serve with hot gravy. Enjoy!
Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce
Using fresh pomegranates here is worth the work of getting at those little arils! A good trick for easy, mess-free aril removal is to cut the pomegranates into quarters, and peel them in a bowl of cool water, making sure to remove all the white pith, then strain. You can adjust the sugar to your liking--as listed it's tart-sweet.
- 2 large tart apples (granny smith or pink lady work well)
- 2 pomegranates, peeled and arils separated
- 1 (16 fl oz) bottle pomegranate juice (make sure you get 100% pomegranate juice with no additives)
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 large oranges
- 2 (12 ounce) bags fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
Step 1 - Peel and core apples, and put peelings and cores in a small saucepan with pomegranate arils, 1/2 cup juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Chop the peeled apples, and place in a large saucepan. Remove zest from half of one orange, chop very fine, and add to apples. Peel oranges, chop coarsely, and add to pan along with cranberries and remaining juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
Step 3 - Remove small pan from heat, and strain juice into larger pan, using a sieve or fine strainer to remove seeds and peels. Add the remaining pulp that’s left to the larger pan. Stir in nuts, if desired. Cook about 10 minutes longer. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.