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Pacific Organic’s four Thanksgiving helpers. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
Even if you’re a committed from-scratch cook, it can make sense to use some premade foods for a complex meal like Thanksgiving.
We test-drove these four organic products from the Pacific organic foods line (you can find them at natural foods markets like Whole Foods). Here’s how we used them:
JELLIED CRANBERRY SAUCE
Our main cranberry dish is a homemade raw cranberry and orange relish, but we can never have too much cranberry.* We took this 3″ x 4″ brick of cranberry sauce and used it:
APPETIZER: For hors d’oeuvre, with cream cheese or fresh goat cheese on a slice of toasted baguette.
SALAD: In small dice, to garnish a salad.
GARNISH: In large dice, on a skewer with green grapes, as a plate garnish.
DIP: Mixed with plain or vanilla yogurt as a dip (add a dash of cinnamon, clove or nutmeg).
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
BUTTER SAUCE: Mixed with melted butter as a sauce for vegetables, potatoes or fish/seafood (we usually serve a scallop or shrimp course).
DESSERT: As a topping for sorbet or ice cream, a gluten-free dessert.
In addition to pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin mousse, consider:
BAKING: Make pumpkin bread, cookies, muffins.
COCKTAILS: Make a Pumpkintini or other pumpkin cocktail.
ICE CREAM TOPPING: Sweeten and add pumpkin pie spices.
PLATE GARNISH: We brush a swath of seasoned pumpkin purée on the plate before adding a protein.
SOUP: Mix with stock, herbs and seasonings for easy pumpkin soup (milk/cream optional).
MORE: Pumpkin recipes, both sweet and savory.
Most of these ideas work best post-Thanksgiving, but check out the mashed potatoes.
BISCUITS & GRAVY: Add diced turkey and enjoy for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving.
HOT TURKEY SANDWICH: Smother a cold turkey sandwich in gravy and heat it in the microwave.
POUTINE: Canada‘s favorite way to eat fries, with cheese curds and gravy.
REPURPOSED GRAVY: Use it over noodles, rice or other grains. You can dilute the gravy 1:1 with water and use it as the cooking liquid.
TURKEY MASHED POTATOES: Fun for the kids, mix gravy into the mashed potatoes.
Biscuits and gravy. Photo courtesy BettyCrocker.com.
TURKEY POT PIE: Use the gravy as a filling for turkey pot pies. Add diced turkey, carrots, mushrooms, onions and peas to a pie crust; you can use mashed potatoes instead of a top crust, shepard’s pie-style. Place in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes or until top is browned.
TURKEY SOUP: Cook carrots, celery, onions and other veggies like canned peas in stock or water; then add to the gravy with the water. You can add noodles, too.
STEW: Instead of endless turkey sandwiches on the days after Thanksgiving, make turkey stew: like the soup but o begin with, you can use this turkey gravy as the base for a stew. It just requires the addition of cubes of leftover turkey.
*According to the Cranberry Institute, cranberries are a rich source of dietary flavonoids (powerful antioxidant) and other phenolic acids that may provide a variety of health benefits, including the urinary tract health, the prevention of cardiovascular disease, certain stomach ulcers and even cancer.
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