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Thanksgiving: Traditional or with a Twist?

Are you a Thanksgiving traditionalist or do you like your meal with an exotic twist?  We’re hosting 18 family members. Everyone brings dish. The next night we have a “Friendsgiving” dinner and invite neighbors to bring their leftovers for a mash-up meal.

Every year when we plan the menu, I always sound like the odd man out. While most people are traditionalists when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal. I’m usually the lone voice suggesting something new. Yes, we have turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc. But, as a non-turkey eater who likes her greens, I’m always looking for a tasty and healthy side option.

This year we’re trying Melissa Clark‘s Wild Mushroom and Rice Casserole, a hearty dish of mixed mushrooms, leeks, spinach, wild rice and beans. Here is the recipe, recently featured in the New York Times(link)

I’m always in charge of making a salad. Yes, I like a simple salad amid the holiday carb -fest. After years of tossing up kale with fresh apples, dried cranberries, walnuts and assorted seeds for an autumn harvest salad, I am going rogue. Researching this week’s edition of The Connected Table LIVE, I was drawn to a salad of baby greens with grapefruit and mint in Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos‘ cookbook “Super Tuscan.” I’m adding pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds for some added pop and crunch. The lightness of the greens and citrusy zip of the grapefruit seem like a nice twist to the heartier side dishes.

Whether you plan to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal at home, in a restaurant or traveling elsewhere…served traditional or with a twist….we hope it is abundantly delicious and flavored with love.

By Melanie Young

The Connected Table is a media production company, radio show, podcast and blog specializing in wine, food and travel. Listen to The Connected Table LIVE and The Connected Table SIPS on iHeart and other major podcast platforms. Melanie Young and David Ransom are wine and food specialists, speakers and writers. We are experts in helping brands promote their products, destinations and services through custom content.