FNP Holiday Tips: Thanksgiving Meal Plan

Have you all been following our #FNPholidaytips on our Facebook page? Hopefully, all these tips will help you plan a healthier, more organized holiday meal for your family.

Holidays are a special time to share love and food with family and friends.

Holidays are a special time to share love and food with family and friends. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for this reason.

The Menu

(8 people)

Turkey
Better Baking Mix Biscuits
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Root Vegetables
Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Rice Pudding

The Shopping List

Dry Goods

  • All purpose flour
  • Whole-wheat flour or quick rolled oats*
  • Nonfat dry milk*
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • Brown rice*
  • Baking powder*
  • Salt*
  • Pepper*
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract*
  • Cinnamon*
  • Pumpkin pie spices*
  • Dried rosemary*
  • Dried sage*
  • Whole cloves (optional)*
  • Cooking oil* (We recommend these)

Meat

  • Turkey- 10 pounds (bigger if you like leftovers)

Vegetables

  • 2 Onions*
  • 10 Potatoes*
  • 2 Turnips
  • 5 Sweet potatoes*
  • 2 Rutabagas
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 head of garlic*
  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree

Fruits

  • 4 Apples*
  • 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • Orange
  • Raisins*
  • Orange Juice

Dairy

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Skim milk*
  • Light sour cream
  • 4 Eggs*
  • Margarine*

*Items that you might have in your Better Pantry*

Smart Swaps for a Healthier, Easier Menu

  • You’ll notice there’s not gravy on this menu. That’s because gravy, while flavorful, adds a lot of extra fat and sodium. If you really love gravy, and it’s a holiday treat, not a regular indulgence, this is a good recipe to use. (*Beware, this link has been slow to load, but it does work.) Be sure to use pan drippings for the best flavor and only use half the amount of salt to start, and taste before adding more.
  • Use one type of sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, or honey) in all the recipes. Keep an eye on the Crustless Pumpkin Pie and Fresh Cranberry Sauce if you change the sweetener, as it may change how thick it turns out.
    • You can also cut back a little  on the amount of sugar (1 or 2 tablespoons less) in these recipes and still enjoy the flavor.
  • Mix and match your favorite root vegetables in the Roasted Root Vegetables recipe. Parsnips, beets, and radishes would also be tasty options.
  • Ham is another option instead of turkey. Just be sure to pick one with less added sugar. I usually prefer spiral cut ham, but you may like boneless better.

Thanksgiving Meal Prep Game Plan

Monday

  • Place turkey in refrigerator to begin thawing. Plan for 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. Be sure to place turkey on the bottom shelf in a container to prevent leaking onto other foods.
  • Make Better Baking Mix (but wait to make actual biscuits until Thursday).

Tuesday

  • Make Fresh Cranberry sauce and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Cook brown rice and refrigerate until ready to cook Rice Pudding on Thursday.

Wednesday

  • Chop Root Vegetables and marinate in plastic bag until ready to cook on Thursday.
  • Prepare Sweet Potatoes and Apples through Step 5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook on Thursday.

Thursday

  • Three and a half hours before your meal, roast turkey at 350° F until it reaches 165° F in the thigh, wing, and breast.
  • An hour and a half before your meal, cook Roasted Root Vegetables in the oven with the turkey.
  • 45 minutes before your meal, cook Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the oven with the turkey and root vegetables.
  • While the turkey and other side dishes are cooking, make Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Rice Pudding on the stovetop. Keep these dishes warm over low heat until ready to serve.
  • As soon as the turkey, root vegetables and sweet potatoes and apples are finished cooking, make Crustless Pumpkin Pie and make Better Baking Mix Drop Biscuits. The pumpkin pie will be ready about the same time your family is ready for dessert!

 

I hope this helps you organize and plan out your Thanksgiving meal so that you can enjoy time with your family and friends instead of stressing about cooking! What are some of your family’s Thanksgiving traditions you’re looking forward to next week?

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