Thanksgiving Dinner – Part II – Appetizers and Sides

Our Thanksgiving dinner was way more than just the turkey, although at Thanksgiving, the turkey will always get top billing and will always be the center of attention. Since most of my family that joined us is vegan, we had a lot of vegetables and vegan foods.  I also was cooking for seven kids, ranging in ages from 6-15, so most everything was pretty simple, certainly much more so than my usual cooking  Aside from the turkey, I also made 2 kinds of mashed potatoes, both vegan and non-vegan.  The vegan mashed potatoes were  made with rice milk and vegan butter, and then regular garlic mashed potatoes with butter and heavy whipping cream for the rest of us.  There was also stuffing, using my leftover chorizo and spinach from when I made my Chicken stuffed with chorizo and spinach, obviously NOT vegan.  Chicken Stuffed with Chorizo and Spinach  This time of year is a great time of year for the Queen of Leftovers to appear.    We also had vegan, gluten-free rolls as well as herbed popovers for those of us who wanted real bread.  Herbilicious Popovers  But before we starting eating the main meal, we had a cheese and salami platter with crackers, served on one of my brand new serving platters from Cheforward, Presents for the Chef As usual, we had enough food for about another 10 or so people to join us.  So where were you?  I had enough food for everyone  🙂

Everything just seems to pop and come to life on this new serving platter.  I just love it!


I had just the exact amount of extra chorizo and spinach filling for the stuffing.   You can use any kind of bread you like, just make sure it is at least a few days old, and crusty, even a bit stale is a good thing.  This will ensure that it really soaks up the liquid and when cooked it will stay very moist.  I used a garlic loaf that I cubed.  There are so many different and delicious varieties of stuffing recipes.  There is no one particular one that is better than any others.  I usually vary them year to year, doing something different all the time.


I sauteed my onions, garlic and celery until they were soft and translucent, then mixed everything together, along with 1 can of chicken broth.


Once everything is well combined, add it all to a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Really press down and compact the bread, making sure it absorbs all the liquid.  Wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375* F for about 40-45 minutes covered.  If you want a little bit of a crust to the stuffing, remove the foil and continue to bake for abut 10-15 minutes.  Do not overcook though, or the stuffing will become dried out.


For veggies, I just made some corn, and then a vegetable medley with three different colors of cauliflower and broccoli and carrots.  These were all safe bets and pretty staple vegetables that most kids are guaranteed to eat.  I know all my nieces and nephews are big cauliflower fans too.  I just made it more fun by having the three different colors.


And then there was bread …. well popover rolls, actually.  I used fresh rosemary, chives, sage, thyme and oregano mixed in with the flour.  Herbilicious Popovers  I make these quite often.  I love how they are so light and buttery, and they just seem to go with everything.


These are just the foods I made.  We had a whole other array of vegan foods that my “sister” brought.  Needless to say, we had a feast for sure.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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