Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Ideas

This time of year tends to drive me insane. The second the Halloween decorations come down, the world seems to be screaming at you that you should be thinking about the holidays. I almost puked when I saw a commercial advertising a Christmas sale on Halloween. There's also the fact that I'm a very non traditional girl. My favorite Thanksgiving ever was spent with my family and we feasted on shrimp and lobster instead of turkey. I'm not a huge fan of traditional Thanksgiving foods, but fall is my favorite time of year and I have a lot of fun with the produce the season brings. Here are some of my favorite recipes that can easily be incorporated into an outside the box Thanksgiving.

For an easy appetizer, try sweet potato discs with herbed goat cheese.

Roasted Sweet Potato Discs with Herbed Goat Cheese

This acorn squash and arugula salad is fun and also pretty to look at. Delicata squash can also be used and is less filling so you still have room for the main meal. 

Arugula Salad with Pomegranate and Roasted Acorn Squash

If you have vegetarian friends, or people who just aren't in to turkey, this butternut squash and caramelized onion galette is decadent enough to be a main course.

Butternut Squash Galette
Another alternate to turkey with a more meaty offering is sausage stuffed acorn squash. Once again, if you have vegetarians or vegans, you can sub quinoa or lentils for the sausage.

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffing is just not my thing, although I hear JenFinn's hubby makes a killer one so maybe I will be changing my tune soon. Another idea is roasted broccoli, grape, and asparagus quinoa salad which can be served warm and will certainly help stuff you.

Roasted Broccoli, Grape, and Asparagus Quinoa Salad

Though I love pumpkin, I am convinced that pumpkin pie is disgusting. Cheesecake is a great dessert that can be shared with friends (I may or may not have just watched the Friends episode with all the cheesecakes). Here are two of my favorites.

Blushing Pom Holiday Cheesecake has a silly name, but it is as delicious to eat as it is beautiful to look at.

Pom Cheesecake

Salted caramel apple cheesecake bars. Need I say more?

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

I'll be spending Thanksgiving with my friends and sister in LA. It's a potluck and I'm in charge of appetizers. My friends get pretty creative so I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring. Whether you're all about the tradition or want to go a little out there, I hope you have a fun, safe, and delicious Thanksgiving!

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Janet said...

These all look SO delicious! I just watched that Friends episode, too. :)

Heather Christo said...

What a great round up! I am adding Lobster to the menu this year- something different :)

Kristina Vanni said...

Such a beautiful spread! That cheesecake is making my mouth water...

Elliott said...

Sausage-stuffed acorn squash?

vanillasugarblog said...

:::sigh::: I fondly remember that butternut squash galette too.
Fall is NOT my favorite time of year...can you guess my favorite time of year? lol
have a good weekend totes. text me more often....miss you chicklet <3

Joanne said...

I love certain Thanksgiving foods but I love thinking outside the box way more. These are some great options!

lisa is cooking said...

It's seeing Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween that gets me. One holiday at a time, please! Love these Thanksgiving ideas. The stuffed acorn squash looks amazing!

Diana said...

THANK YOU for this. Pumpkin pie sucks.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Angela said...

Esi, I am already fooded out, but your acorn squash arugula salad looks divine. I am determined not to gain weight this season, and this might help. Also that grape thing looks amazing. I am not a turkey fan so I might just do your salad and a roast chicken and call it a healthy day. Is that so not food bloggie of me?

Kelly said...

Those all look fantastic, especially those cheesecake bars. I still have WAY too many apples on hand and may have to make these. Yum.

Esi said...

Haha Angela, I would do the same if I could :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) said...

I am just like you - thanksgiving food just doesn't do it for me!! I'm so glad I'm not alone! :) That sausage stuffed squash looks amazing!

LFadd said...

I made the stuffed squash using your recipe for the slow roasted tomatoes. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for the leftover tomatoes. Over pasta perhaps?

Esi said...

LFadd, try making a soup!

Pasta would also be great.