Who wants to be stuffed this holiday season with a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner? If the thought of cooking a turkey for hours and spending a small fortune on dinner ruffles your frugal feathers, then give these Thanksgiving menu ideas a try.
With this menu I’ve put together an easy to prepare, low fat, and more frugal alternative to Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Some of these simple recipes are also awesome for those cooking a first Thanksgiving dinner. Since Thanksgiving in Canada has passed, I’ll share my meal with my American friends.
Rolled Turkey Breast with Artisan Bread Stuffing
Opting for a rolled turkey breast over a whole stuffed turkey can save you lots of effort and money this Thanksgiving. Besides, serving smaller portions of healthier meat is better for you.
Go light with a simple turkey breast!
- 1 single boneless turkey breast (1-1/2 lb/750 g)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each dried Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper
Artisan bread comes in a wide variety of flavors. Pick you favorite for this easy and quick recipe!
- 3 cups (750 mL) cubed artisan bread
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped fennel
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried italian herb seasoning
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped black olives
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
This stuffing recipe makes extra, so don’t worry if it doesn’t fully fit into your rolled turkey breast. Wrap the extra in foil and heat in your oven.
- Stuffing: In food processor, pulse bread until in coarse crumbs, set aside.
- In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat: cook onion, garlic, fennel, herb seasoning, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Add bread, olives and parsley. Drizzle with chicken broth and toss to combine, set aside.
- Turkey with Stuffing: With a sharp knife held horizontally at thick long side of turkey, cut in half to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of opposite side. Open like book.
- Cover with waxed paper, pound to 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness. Spread with stuffing, leaving 1-inch border on all sides.
- Starting at skinless side, roll up. Tie securely with string at 2-inch intervals. If made ahead of time: wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
- Combine oil, herb seasoning, salt and pepper; brush over turkey. Place on rack in roasting pan. Add 1 cup (250 mL) water.
- Roast in 375°F (190°C) oven until no longer pink inside and meat thermometer inserted in centre measures 165°F (74°C), about 1-1/4 hours.
- Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
Potatoless Cauliflower Mash
Eat less starch this year and serve a lighter version of “mashed potatoes” with a Cauliflower Mash. This healthy twist on mashed potatoes is easy and delicious. Makes four servings.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) white miso
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp (4 mL) of psyllium powder (thickens the mash)
- 1 tsp (4 mL) poultry seasoning
In a food processor, process garlic into small pieces. Add the cauliflower in batches. Add rest of ingredients and process until smooth. This recipe can be eaten raw or slightly heated to your preference.
Serve with miso gravy (below) as a healthy gravy option.
Healthy Low Fat Miso Gravy
Stop smothering your Thanksgiving dinner in fatty bad fats. Try this delicious and healthy “gravy” recipe instead. Find miso in the refrigerator at your health food store. Makes 4 servings.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) miso (milder white miso is preferable)
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar
- 1 orange, peeled and seeded
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp pitted dates
In a blender, blend miso, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, water, orange, and dates until smooth. Serve with Cauliflower Mash.
Leafy Green Salad
No healthy meal is complete without a salad of greens. So get your favorite green leafy greens (iceberg lettuce does not count), and add some colorful veggies to the mix. Balsamic vinaigrette is a lovely dressing choice.
Eating a healthy, simple, and frugal dinner this Thanksgiving is very doable. Just add your own mix of friends and family to complete the holiday. ‘Cause being near to those dear to you is what being thankful is for.