Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I know everyone is probably preparing the same way I am: looking for a nice pair of expandable maternity pants for your post-dinner distended stomach and setting aside a soft, cool towel for when the meat sweats begin.
Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. It kicks off the holiday season, is an opportunity to see your friends and family, it’s the first day I’m allowed to eat chocolate chip coffeecake again and, most importantly, it’s a holiday dedicated entirely to eating. I challenge you to come up with a better day.
And although I’ve been known to stuff my face on Thanksgiving in a way that makes those around me wish I had attended charm school, I have a confession to make: I hate Thanksgiving foods. It’s true. I will, however, eat the traditional Thanksgiving foods because despite what my maturity level says, I am an adult.
Lucky for me, I have been incredibly lucky in years past. That is because literally everything that comes out of my in-law’s kitchen tastes like a piece of heaven, and my own parents are patient and kind enough to prepare the foods I demand on Thanksgiving, which typically include toasted marshmallows, green Jello, white bread and summer sausage. And I go to town on these foods. (Somewhere around my 25th year, my parents suggested we nix the green Jello and replace it with something more sophisticated, and I ran away for three days. Unfortunately, I was no longer living at my parent’s house at the time, so they had no idea anything was awry.)
If you’re anything like me and would like to change up your Thanksgiving game this year, here are some recipes that have no business being at the Thanksgiving table.
As you all know, Thanksgiving is a traditional American holiday where we vaguely celebrate our country’s beginnings. So naturally, I decided to bring a traditional Iranian dish to Thanksgiving last year. This chunky dip is a specialty in the Gilan province of Northern Iran. I hope you enjoy this green olive, walnut and pomegranate dip from Woman’s Day. (See how I Americanized this dish by saying it’s from Women’s Day and not Iran?)
Or, if you’d like to slap the host right across the face, bring this sweet potato and goat cheese dish from Food 52. It’s unbelievably delicious and uses a traditional Thanksgiving food (chickpeas obviously), but it’s a full-blown meal! Nothing says I don’t care for your cooking like bringing your own dinner!
Or, if you want something that’s seemingly appropriate, but matches NONE of the other flavors in the meal, try this recipe I invented myself. It’s delicious, healthy and one of my favorites!
Jennifer’s Brussels Sprouts
1 bag of Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Garlic Salt
Jalapeño flavoring, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop bottoms off Brussels sprouts and chop each sprout in half. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Then pour onto baking sheet covered with tin foil and PAM. Cook for 30-40 minutes, checking at 20 minutes. Serve once blackened and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
I hope you all have a safe, gluttonous and happy Thanksgiving! And let’s not forget to take a moment to remember the true hero of the day: Beyoncé. Because, let’s face it, she’s the hero of every day.