The countdown is ON until the big day. While everyone else is planning the football schedule and craving pumpkin pie, I’m thinking about how to make the big day as gorgeous as possible. So I’ve put together my list of 10 tips to make Thanksgiving a snap.
Make the cranberry sauce ASAP! Seriously, just get it out of the way. Still looking for the perfect recipe? Check out my Seriously Healthy Cranberry Sauce recipe, which you can make now and freeze.
Skip the potatoes! The peeling, the boiling, the butter and cream – so 1960s. Get with the 21st century and go for cauliflower mash instead. I eat it almost every week, so you can try it out now, and make sure you have tweaked it to perfection in time for the Holidays. Check out my favorite recipe here.
Make your own healthy pie crust! You’re not fooling anyone with that store-bought business. Need to impress (and stay healthy)? Check out this video I did with The Vegetarian Baker. Walnuts, goji berries and coconut? Oh my!
Make a list and check it twice No one wants to go to the grocery store twice – plus it’s a waste of gas! Spend some time with your recipes and day plan, and knock it out in one trip. Bonus points: Organize your shopping list by department IN STORE ORDER. Seriously, you’ll never shop the same again.
Plan your oven schedule! If you only have one oven, make a schedule. Look for longest cooking times, and items that have a similar cooking temperature to maximize space in your oven. And, to make things really easy, grab this awesome oven rack.
Green your table scape by using greenery and leaves from outdoors, and fruits! Plan to go green this year by decorating your table with nature. Think about bringing the outside in. You can start collecting things now like bunches of Eucalyptus (that will stay good for a few weeks), pine cones, dried herbs etc. Nearer the time you can go for a long walk and pick up fall leaves, ivy, pretty pieces of bark, etc, and use them to create a rustic feel. Think of adding baby pumpkins and squash to your table – even bowls of season fruits and nuts. Add in a beautiful non-toxic candle to complete the eco-feel, and scent the room. I love this one by Fable as it has a beautiful orange blossom scent, which isn’t too overpowering to have on the dinner table.
Most important, but often forgotten: WATER! Make sure you have a pitcher or carafe of filtered water on your table. I love the eco-friendly Soma filter pitcher with a plant-based filter. It filters all my tap water beautifully, and looks elegant on my table. Lovely additions include: fresh thyme, rosemary, lavender and mint. Or you could add slices of orange, lemon and even a few fresh cranberries.
Don’t Use Paper Plates! It’s not eco and it’s frankly not very nice! No one wants to wrestle with their nut roast on a flimsy paper plate. Visit a thrift store or restaurant supply instead and pick up plates for $1 a piece. You can then store them and bring them out whenever you have a big party again. I personally love mismatched china – it adds the the rustic/eclectic theme.
Your slow cooker is your BFF! Or, I should say my slow cooker is not only my BFF during this chaotic time, but it’s also a lifesaver in and around the Holiday season. With friends and family coming in and out of my home, I can easily throw together a veggie chili, a hearty soup, or a delicious vegan ragu or pasta sauce in my slow cooker. I have to say that my 360 Cookware slow cooker is the best slow cooker I’ve ever owned. It was worth every penny of the investment that I made. It’s made of high quality non-toxic, non-leaching steel. And it’s made in America by a family-run company, who I love because of their eco-friendly and ethical practices. But best of all is the functionality of this slow cooker. It goes from stove top to base, which is an absolute must for me when prepping. I simply toss in the onions, carrots, celery etc with a little broth or oil to saute, add the spices and herbs to infuse the flavor. Add ALL the other ingredients, and then set it on the base (which is always on my counter top). And then we’re good to go. 360 Cookware is offering a 20% discount on any of their incredible cookware through the Holidays – so it might be something you wanna take advantage of! (use the Coupon Code: SOPHIE20 at checkout.)
Wanna go plant-based or have vegetarians visiting? Pick a Gardein Holiday Roast or a Field Roast Celebration Roast. Although you could go healthier by making a Holiday Loaf from scratch, these are great options when you’re in a pinch. You could also try my delicious stuffed baby pumpkin, which is perfect for a celebration.