Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Thanksgiving Menu (thanks Google!)

Nothing makes me happier than planning my entire day around food. No occassion is more nurturing of this love than Thanksgiving. And no place, more accomodating than my parents home in Virginia, where I am currently spending this holiday.

While I have shunned the suburbs for most of my adult life, I must say the sheer amount of counter space really makes cooking a lot of fun. Especially when coming from my cramped Brooklyn kitchen.

Swati and I dreamed up our menu on the car ride down. We opted for a vegetarian feast, based on seasonal flavors, full of delicious sides. With a menu that features a good combination of old and new dishes.

This year we are truly grateful for Google as it has helped us mainfest a number of our ideas - including a roasted chestnut soup and gluten-free pumpkin bread.

We got the idea for chestnut soup after a visit to the Natural Gourmet Institute last winter. My friend Katie was completing her Chef's Training program and prepared a delicious chestnut soup as part of the school's Friday Night Dinner series. We were unable to get a hold of a recipe from her, but instead found a great, simple one on NYTimes.com courtesy of 'The Minimalist' Mark Bittman.

The pumpkin bread was also brought to us by Google (keyword : gluten free pumpkin bread almond meal). As you can imagine by my search, the intention was to find a recipe that featured almond meal, as I was eager to use up my supply of this ingredient from the zucchini nut bread I made this summer. We were taken to a great recipe from The Hall Center. In addition to using almond meal as the base (instead of white flour) it also calls for coconut oil (instead of butter) and agave nectar (instead of sugar). As a health counselor, I think my hands were tied on this one.

Here's the complete menu for tonight:

Roasted Chestnut Soup
Wild Rice and Cranberries
Sauteed Kale with Garlic
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Pumpkin Bread

I look forward to sharing the highlights and pictures from this evening. Happy Thanksgiving!

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