Happy Thanksgiving stateside friends! No matter where you’re reading from, these delicious wintery drinks will be cause for celebration. Gather your friends and family (or your cat) and start mixin’.
We’re republishing this yummy Thanksgiving inspired Tapas post from last year because it was so darn yummy. Steal a recipe or two (or all five) for your big dinner this year.
Happy Thanksgiving! I know, I’m a couple days early, but I wanted to show you how I celebrated Thanksgiving with my bf last week. I’m currently visiting a friend in Florida so I wanted to celebrate with K before I left. I decided to create a tapas inspired Thanksgiving because it is perfect for couples, small families or those who are scared of cooking a turkey (me!). With some prep the night before, this all came together in under an hour. Can you believe it?! I think my favorite part was the aioli tossed potatoes and the fact that everything is bite sized. Eating tapas helps me slow down, enjoy the meal and talk between tiny bites. We had a bunch of leftovers too and who doesn’t love that?!
One thing I try to do before starting to prepare a huge meal is to write a schedule. I jot down all the names of the recipes in the order that I should start them. That gives me a general guide so I’m not standing over the stove wondering what to do next. At the end of the post, I’ll share my schedule with you. I think it’d be easier to understand after you read the recipes.
Garlic Tossed Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts
- Half of an onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fill a tea kettle with water and turn it on to boil.
- In a large sauté pan, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the burner onto medium heat. After a couple minutes, when the oil has heated up, add the pine nuts. Toss the nuts every couple minutes. When they start to pop or turn slightly brown, use a slotted spoon and place the nuts on a paper towel to drain. Turn the burner off for a moment. This should take no more than six minutes.
- Place the trimmed green beans in a medium sized pot. Pour the boiling tea kettle over the green beans and turn the burner on high heat. Time the beans for seven minutes. The green beans should be cooked, but still crisp. Once they’re done, drain them in a colander.
- While the green beans are cooking, finely chop half an onion and two cloves of garlic. Add the onion to the sauté pan that you toasted the nuts in. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions. Cook the onions on medium low heat until they are soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for two more minutes.
- By this time the green beans should be finished boiling. Add them to the sauté pan and drizzle the remaining tablespoon over the green beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir the beans around to coat them with onions and garlic and add the pine nuts. Stir for another minute or two to incorporate all the flavors and serve.
Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Glazed Carrots
- 1/2 lb of baby carrots or large chunks of full-sized carrots
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Whisk together the maple syrup and the brown sugar.
- Put the carrots in a cast-iron pan or a vessel that is able to be baked.
- Add the carrots to the pan and pour the glaze over them. Don’t worry if the carrots aren’t completely covered or saturated. The glaze will bake into the carrots just fine.
- Cover the pan with tin foil to create a steaming effect.
- Time for thirty minutes. Check the carrots by piercing them with a fork.
*These measurements are based on baking carrots for 3 people – increase as necessary.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Stalk of brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Optional step: Wrap the stalk of brussels in plastic wrap and microwave for three minutes.
- Whisk together olive oil, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Place the brussels sprouts in a glass baking dish and drizzle with olive oil mixture.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
*I like my brussels sprouts nice and brown, if you don’t, check the sprouts every ten minutes.
Aioli Tossed Potatoes
- 1 egg – room temperature
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- sprinkle of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 lb of very small potatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a medium-sized pot of salted (add the tsp of salt) water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until just soft. Test the potatoes by piercing them with a fork. About ten minutes.
- Whisk together the room temperature egg, pressed garlic cloves, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle some pepper into the aioli.
- Slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil, little by little while whisking the aioli.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and put them in a large bowl.
- Toss the warm potatoes with aioli and parsley.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving so that aioli soaks into the potatoes.
Warm and Spicy Grilled Pork Skewers
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Juice from one large lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
- 1/2 – 1 lb pork
- The marinade must be made the night before; please keep that in mind.
- Whisk all the spices, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and olive oil in a bowl.
- Cut up the pork pieces into quarter-sized chunks and place in a single layer in a shallow nonmetallic dish.
- Pour the marinade evenly over the pork pieces, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Ideally, you should stir the pork two or three times over the course of 8-12 hours.
- 8-12+ hours later, place the pork pieces onto skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least twenty minutes prior to grilling.
- Place the pork skewers on the grill or broil them. I used a George Foreman grill and it took approximately 6 minutes to grill each group of skewers.
Also shown in the photos are cranberry goat cheese topped crackers and mini no bake pumpkin pies. I picked up the goat cheese from Trader Joe’s; served at room temperature, it is the perfect appetizer. The mini pumpkin pie recipe will be shared tomorrow, so stay tuned 🙂
After typing all those recipes, I realize that seems like a lot to do, but with a little preparation it comes together quickly. The night before you can prep by washing the carrots, brussels, green beans and potatoes. Chop a big pile of parsley and make the marinade and the aioli as well. I also did a mental walkthrough of all the recipes and pulled out garnishes, gadgets, pots, pans and serving dishes for everything. It’s a small step, but it really helps on the morning of. That way everything is sitting out on the counter ready to be grabbed at a moments notice.
The day of, start by making the brussels sprouts and carrots. Then bring several pots of water to boil for your beans and potatoes. After your green beans are completely finished and the potatoes are tossed with aioli, quickly grill up the pork skewers. By that time the oven veggies should be finished up and you are ready to serve dinner!
Thanksgiving is a great reminder to be grateful for our daily joys and all that we have, even when sometimes that feels like not enough. Today everything we have is plenty. Tomorrow we will have enough too. Be thankful for it all and spread around the excess today and every day.
If you are here in the U.S., how are you spending your holiday? I’m hitting the gym with my best friend and then we are going to a Friendsgiving where we will stuff ourselves silly. Last night we prepped some potato stuffing, peanut butter pie and a pumpkin roll, except it turned out more like a pumpkin blob. Sometimes life doesn’t pan out the way you expected, but practice thanks anyway 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Thanksgiving is a time of indulgence and as much as I love to nibble on holiday goodies, I hate the guilt that comes along with it. There is no reason you can’t make a concerted effort to eat clean, whole foods during the holidays. In some cases it takes a little bit more effort, but with these mini no-bake pumpkin pies, it takes considerably less! Pumpkin pie has been my favorite Thanksgiving dessert for as long as I can remember and while I love the original, I’m cheating on it with this new no bake, vegan and gluten free alternative.
This recipe substitutes out the eggs, half and half, butter and sugar for nuts, raisins, and natural sweeteners. It’s also a recipe that can be made a day or two ahead of time so that you have more time to relax with your friends and family. While it’s not technically raw because the pumpkin puree is cooked, this recipe doesn’t require any baking, which is pretty handy since your oven will probably be busy with other delicious eats. Join me in feeling great about this year’s holiday dessert choices; your guests and your waistline will thank you.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 cups walnuts
- 4 cups raisins
- Pinch of salt
- 1 15oz can organic pumpkin puree
- 2 cups cashews
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon clove
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- pinch of salt
- Pulverize 4 cups walnuts in food processor or high powered blender. Add 4 cups of raisins and blend until they combine with the walnuts and form a dough.
- Grease two 12 count muffin tins with coconut oil.
- Firmly press dough into each cup (about a half inch) and sprinkle each with a tiny bit of salt. Place in the freezer.
- After 2 hours run a butter knife around each muffin tin and pop the crusts out so that they’ll be easier to remove when the pies are completely finished.
- Blend the pumpkin puree, cashews, melted coconut oil and maple syrup until combined. While blending, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, all spice and salt. If you like your pumpkin a little sweeter, feel free to add more maple syrup. (The consistency should be nice and creamy, if it’s a little thick, add some coconut oil, if it seems runny, add some cashews. If you followed the recipe exactly, it will be just right.)
- Spoon a dollop of topping onto each frozen crust. However the filling settles is how it will freeze so take the time to smooth or swirl it, whatever you prefer. Allow the pies about two hours to freeze.
- Remove them from the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Use a butter knife to easily pop them out of the tins. Top with a piece of walnut if you wish.
*Recipe makes 24 individual sized pumpkin pies.
See that? Easy as pie. Now go pop these in the freezer so you have something to nibble on during the parade tomorrow 🙂