The True Flavors of Thanksgiving: 3 Recipes from the Garden

Thanksgiving Healthy Recipes

When I think about Thanksgiving the following words and images pop into my mind: abundance, food (piles and piles of food!), family, fires, maybe a little snow, deeply saturated colors like rusty reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows, and my garden.

I love to have a robust fall and early winter garden – it’s actually my favorite gardening season. And this time of year when the holidays are in sight, I like to dream about what dishes I’m going to whip up in my kitchen with produce fresh from my garden.

Last year we hosted family from both sides at our house for Christmas, so I had lots of fun planning several days worth of brunch and dinner menus. I even harvested a huge spinach salad straight from my front yard garden on Christmas morning!

This year we’re traveling to my in-laws in Iowa, so I’ve been starting to think about what dishes to bring with us. You’re probably wondering the same thing right about now, so I thought I’d share three of my favorite holiday dishes that make tasty complements to the turkey, mashed potato and cranberry sauce spread.

For gardeners like us, Thanksgiving truly is a celebration of the harvest season. Whether we feature produce from our own gardens or from the local farmers market, we know that some of the magic of the holiday lies in the food we celebrate with!

My garden is still bursting with lots of food to harvest, so I’ll be making some of these dishes straight from my garden produce this week.


rainbow of carrots from garden

CARROTS – Marrakesh Carrot Salad

In the Flavorful Life Garden Club we pick a recipe once a month and all cook it together in our kitchens and post our reviews and photos. This salad has been one of the most popular of the whole year.

The vibrant purples, oranges and greens, and it’s fresh, bright taste are the perfect complement to the heavier dishes of the holidays. And it’s great for holiday potlucks!

Grab the recipe here.


Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

BUTTERNUT SQUASH – Arabian Squash Casserole

We’ve been cooking this dish and bringing it to potlucks and holidays forever! It’s always a crowd favorite. My husband was a hit one year when he brought this casserole to a Thanksgiving gathering with his family. Everyone kept asking who made it!

You can never go wrong with a Moosewood Cookbook recipe. Mollie Katzen shares it here.


Garden Thanksgiving Recipes

CILANTRO & KALE – Coconut Quinoa and Kale with Cilantro Pesto

I hesitated including a kale recipe in this post because I know it’s a vegetable at which people often turn their noses up. But, I served this at dinner for guests recently and one of them said, “Megan, I think you’re trying to make me like kale. This salad is so good!” (It’s true, I’m secretly trying to get all of my family members on the kale party wagon.)

Why not push some boundaries at the Thanksgiving table this year and dare your fellow guests to fall in love with kale, too?

This one’s definitely on my list for this year, get the recipe here, but read my post about making massaged kale salads first here. (Hint: it’s all about the massage…)

I wish you a long, joyful Thanksgiving weekend full of delicious and healthy food, laughing families, and some quiet time to relax and cuddle up with a favorite book (that’s my plan).

Wish you had more vegetables in your garden right now to harvest for holiday dinners? We can fix that for next year. Get on the waiting list for The Flavorful Life Garden Club and be the first to find out when it opens for registration for 2017. We’ll make next year your best gardening season yet!

Have a favorite holiday recipe? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below this post.



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