I have a love/hate relationship with farro. It takes forever and quinoa is quicker but the chewy, nutty grains bring a real heartiness to this not-wimpy fall salad. The catch is that you have to pre-plan for farro – it’s easiest to make a big batch and keep it around all week. I’m not usually that organized but I happened to have made farro the day before my Farmhouse vegetables arrived so here we are… a grain salad with more veggies than could fit onto the subject line of this post.
The basic components are roasted sweet potatoes, peeled carrot ribbons and diced apples with a decent amount of greens worked in too. (I mixed kale and salad greens together because that’s what I had – feel free to use one or the other if you don’t have both).
Sweet, salty, crunchy, nutty… we ate this for dinner and then I ate it for lunch the next two days in a row. This would be a pretty addition to your Thanksgiving table and most of it can be made well in advance (see my make-ahead notes below).
Hi, my name is Jack and I have a problem. A mashed potato problem.
It started when I was a child. Every holiday with my dad’s family, the mashed potatoes came out and it was a frenzy. My uncle Billy, my grandfather and I would load up, devouring what seemed like a truck full of mashed potatoes. Usually, I would end the meal with a plate of half eaten mashed potatoes and sadness that I could never finish them all.
Fast forward to today. Today I have a lovely wife who makes wonderful, healthy food – all full of vibrancy and flavor. But there has always been a bit of a hole in my heart that only mashed potatoes could fill. So when Jeanine told me that we were making mashed potatoes, I was both excited and hesitant. There had to be a catch, and there was – cauliflower.
My fears were soon assuaged when we tried it. We mixed (roasted) garlic, olive oil and 1 part cauliflower puree with 2 parts potato put through a ricer.
What we ended up with were some of the smoothest, lightest clouds of mashed potatoes ever. In spite of the lack of “butter lake,” I’m officially a convert. I still ended up overly full and staring at a
plate bowl of half eaten potatoes, but happy to know that they’re back in my life.
Click here for more vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe ideas.
Let’s get this Thanksgiving thing started, but first things first - do you call it stuffing or dressing?
Obviously, based on the title here, you know where I stand. My humble opinion is that dressing is what goes on salad and stuffing is my favorite carb-loaded Thanksgiving side dish… of course my version here isn’t actually stuffed into anything. Except for my mouth, I suppose.
This year, instead of going crazy with stuffing made of cornbread or poblano peppers, I’m keeping things kind of classic. This is similar to my moms traditional recipe except I fancied it up with a mix of mushrooms, my favorite nine grain bread, olive oil (instead of butter or vegan butter), kale and tons of fresh sage & rosemary. As I just typed that I can feel my mom rolling her eyes because this isn’t exactly a stuffing recipe on a budget.
Cost of shiitake mushrooms aside (although you can totally sub them for any mushrooms), this is pretty easy to make and it also reheats really well. I think it actually tasted better the longer it sat. It was also delicious the second day so by all means - make this in advance. See my reheating notes below…
It took everything in me to not title this one “pair crisp.” With quotation marks. Because this is a dessert for 2 – get it? (Jack is sitting next to me right now shaking his head).
Bad puns aside, I love desserts that are easy to make in small portions. Because if I made this large enough to serve 4, it would still serve the two of us. Just one more bite after one more bite and it would be all over. We have no control.
If you love apple crisp as much as I do, I’m telling you, you have to try it with pears. They’re so soft and sweet that they practically melt into the crumble topping. And because (ripe) pears are so much softer than apples, this bakes in about half the time. Which is just enough time to wash the dishes, pour two after-dinner cocktails and cuddle up on the couch with two spoons.
You may or may not have noticed, but I love salads. I intended to start November off with big hearty Thanksgiving inspiration… but, well, I’m not sure if the thought of mashed potatoes made my jeans feel tighter or if it was all the Christmas cookies I ate last week (don’t ask)… this week I ended up craving soups and, especially, salads.
I’m really excited about this salad because it’s so simple yet so delicious with all of it’s shred-y, crunchy textures. If you have a mandoline, this will go really quickly. If you don’t, you can use a sharp knife, just try to slice everything as thin as you can. (And a side note: please use the safety attachment even though I didn’t here).
Shredded brussels sprouts and apples are the base of this salad. At the last minute I also tossed in some kohlrabi which had been sitting in my fridge for weeks as if it were waiting to be included in this salad. Sliced into thin matchsticks, it offers a really nice crunch. If you don’t have kohlrabi, you can skip it. But don’t skip the dried fruit or the toasted nuts. It’s these sweet & salty flavors that bring everything together.
We ate this salad with big bowls of pumpkin soup, but it’ll also be great as a lighter option on your Thanksgiving table.