The Box Meal Plan
The countdown begins! T-gives in t minus one week, so get your saucepans and spatulas ready. This week we're stocking you up on some sides, especially vegetarian options.
Look, turkey, stuffing (or dressing), potatoes - they're all great. But do you know what unifies your plate? Gravy. Gravy makes everything better, but too often our herbivore friends miss out. This Mushroom Gravy is a great solution full of hearty savory flavor, so everyone can win.
Kale salad is a great easy item to pair against a bigger meal, because the kale can hold its own against whatever else your plate has, especially compared to lighter lettuces. Kale and Citrus Salad is practically self dressing, and the brightness of the citrus elevates the greens to balance out denser dishes.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes are a fun, flexible recipe, and the best part? They can be made ahead of time and heated up for the big day, which means less last minute crises for you on Thursday! Especially with the combination of orange sweet potatoes and the white-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes, these make a beautiful addition to the table.
If you are unfamiliar, poutine is a magical dish that traditionally consists of french fries with gravy and melted cheese curds (we know). This Thanksgiving Poutine is a great rendition and since you'll already have most of the elements on hand, it makes itself!
These are all ideas for great Thanksgiving (or any holiday or big meal day) sides, but they work well for regular life too.
Pate can be a real treat, but it can also be intimidating to try to make at home, and of course it won't fly with your vegetarian guests (or self). This Mushroom Pate is a wonderful spread option for your crostinis (or spoon) to keep mouths busy until the main event. We love this recipe's flexibility for ingredients (use the type of mushrooms, herbs, and vinegar that you prefer), and it's also nice to pick your consistency: super smooth or with bigger bites of mushrooms.
We've tried a few options for green tomatoes so far, other than their most famous (or infamous) incarnation of fried. A Green Tomato Jam is a great way to preserve their flavor and bring it into breakfast or appetizers or as a condiment on your heartier meats or roast veggies.
Roasted Sweet Potato Spears are always a popular hit, and using the exciting Japanese sweet potatoes from this week's Box is a fun visual twist on expectations. The white flesh doesn't look too far off from a typical fry, but the red skin provides a fun pop of color (and a bit of warning that this isn't your usual spud). We like this recipe's combination of spices on the sweet potato, so feel free to salt and savory to your own taste.
Looking for more gratin options? Well who doesn't need more recipes to cover in cream and cheese. If you want to craft a local meal, try Mirliton Gratin: the herbs, cheese, and garlic play nicely off the so-called pear squash without overwhelming it too badly. This is a good alternative to traditional potato recipes that can get a little heavy and starchy.
Continuing our love affair with Thanksgiving, we wanted to share some opportunities to use Box items from this week's selection, but in recipes that can be easily adapted depending on what you have on hand or what's in season.
The presence of cranberry sauce is an acknowledged must for any self-respecting Thanksgiving spread. A fairly well-known take on the homemade version incorporates orange juice and zest, but we insist that you try a more personalized Satsuma Cranberry Sauce this year. This one also uses maple syrup instead of refined sugar: the flavor doesn't come through too strongly, thanks to the very assertive cranberries. We'll also point out that if you are committed, you can swap in some honey syrup if you want to keep it more local.
We've loved sharing plenty of recipes to use all that homemade pumpkin (or winter squash) puree you made, and a Pumpkin Cinnamon Cornbread is no exception. This blend of sweet and savory experiences is a great side for the main event, but it's also a delight the morning after (or the mornings of the two weeks before).
Green beans as a Thanksgiving side are a tale as old as time, but instead of slathering them in canned soup and fried onions (no hate for either, here), blanch them real quick and toss them in with a citrusy saute of aromatics and satsuma zest for a Citrus Green Beans side that is healthier and will leave more room in your tummy for important things like potatoes.
The eternal dressing vs. stuffing debate reignites this holiday season, but don't worry, we'll taste test them all for you. This Mushroom, Herb, and Pecan Stuffing (their word, not ours) is a hearty option that is easy enough to make vegetarian, if you happen to have some at your table this year. Nuts are also a great way for non-bird-eaters to up their healthy protein intake for the night!
Gobble gobble! We have a few delicious turkeys available to pre-order in the market, so we are well on our way to being your complete Thanksgiving solution! Here are some more ideas to try out as individual dishes or to incorporate into Turkey day itself!
Though this recipe calls them "cookies," let's all be honest and acknowledge them for what they are: Pumpkin Pie Bites. If you are bakingly inclined, this dough recipe is a solid, simple option, but if not, there is no shame in using pre-made dough! The important thing is getting sweet pumpkin filling into your mouth via the flakiest option available. (Yes, this is our second hand-pie recipe in one week. So?)
This week is the first time we've been able to offer mirlitons in the Box, so we don't want to miss out on a chance to share an easy recipe with you. Depending on your preparation, mirlitons can have a very mild flavor, often compared to pears. This is a great light component to add, and it means you can take advantage of its great texture without overwhelming less rich dishes. We like julienning mirliton and bell peppers for a Breakfast Stir Fry. This quick savory breakfast is satisfying without being too time consuming or heavy, and it benefits greatly from your favorite preparation of egg!
Green tomatoes practically mean "fried green tomatoes" these days, but if you want a bit more of an edge, try making some Refrigerator Pickled Green Tomatoes. These are a wonderful addition plate accessory, and they can carry a BLT on their own, or make a great lunch out of some crusty bread and a light aioli.
Colcannon is traditionally a St. Patrick's Day dish, but we wanted to remind you that it could also be a wonderful mashed potato replacement (or companion!) for Thanksgiving. This recipe is dairy free, so you're more than welcome to swap back in regular butter and milk, but we love the addition of kale to the usual green cabbage.
We're excited to start thinking about holiday meals (even more than we have been already), so you'll start seeing more of those popping up here. We'll try to feature recipes that might be a few steps outside your typical mashed potatoes and stuffing, so we hope you have multiple parties this year!
We've featured a toasted pecan recipe before, but in the holiday lead up, this Five-Minute Candied Pecan recipe is too good to pass up. These are delicious to snack on year round, and they make a great addition to fall holiday desserts: either as a crunchy pie topping, or a last minute addition to ice cream (which will totally look like a prepared dessert). As a bonus, they look gorgeous, so pack some in a mason jar (who doesn't love mason jars these days) and presto: instant gift!
This seems less seasonal, but we wanted to get you a solid breakfast idea with this Box, and don't worry: we'll be playing with incorporating grits into more typical Thanksgiving dishes soon enough. This simple dish combines some great breakfast staples, so it's hard to go wrong with Spinach, Grits, and an Egg. As usual, you can mix it up with some arugula thrown in with your spinach, if you like a little bite with your breakfast, or add some diced green tomatoes into your grits.
Slightly more on topic for reinvented sides, try Parmesan Sweet Potato Stacks. These delicate piles of thinly sliced sweet potato are a fun spin on a classic presence on the holiday spread. Using muffin tins to keep your stacks vertical is just good sense!
Hand pies have always been a fall favorite: not only are they delicious, they are also a delightful pocket of warmth as the weather cools down. Green Tomato Hand Pies are a fun twist on our typical fried slices. The flaky pastry brings some of the buttery crunch of the breading, while the filling is a totally different experience! This recipe is for sweet hand pies, but we like to make two batches, so that some are ready to go for dinner!
Eggplant is one of our favorite vegetables, but it's unusual to find them pickled rather than sauteed, grilled, or baked. Olive Oil Pickled Eggplant is a delicious addition to a sandwich or burger, or as an elegant crostini for holiday parties!
A French Bean Omelet is a tasty breakfast incorporating healthy beans and eggs, and of course, as with any omelet, you can add whatever else fits your fancy!
We've been very fond of butternut and pumpkin and sweet potato soups lately, but don't over look the turnip! This Creamy Turnip Soup with Paprika is a garlicky treat as the weather finally starts to cool down.
Roasted Squash with Blue Cheese and Maple Syrup is a sweet and savory dish that makes a wonderful side for any holiday gatherings.
Between Halloween's excess and Thanksgiving's epic cooking, we wanted to introduce a few simple recipes that highlight a single item (more or less) and have some flexibility on uses.
Making your own sauce seems very intimidating, but fortunately, it's not as complicated as it seems. These Habanero and Sriracha Sauces are a treat to keep in the house, and they also make great gifts (as though you've started your holiday shopping).
With another opportunity to get 3 pounds of frozen blueberries in this weekend's in-store Box, we wanted to harken back to a more summery time of year (as though it wasn't just 80 degrees). Blueberry Muffins are a classic breakfast treat, and if you want to get them in more of a autumnal vein, try subbing out some of the pumpkin puree we shared before instead of the ricotta. Both will keep the muffins from getting too dry: just try and match the consistency.
Having the featured ingredient in a dish be green onions might seem odd, since many people view them purely as a garnish. In Ginger Scallion Noodles, they are a key part of the flavor in a recipe that lets them shine by not getting too busy. As you can tell from this recipe, this is a forgiving dish: we also love this sauce as a marinade for your protein of choice.
If you got a spaghetti squash in your delivery Box, or if you stopped by to get one on its own, we're quite taken with dubbing this a rice noodle squash for the occasion: Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai. This is not your average take-out's pad thai: not only does it tag in squash for noodles, but it reminds you that you can swap out cashews (or in our case, pecans) for the classic peanuts, in case you have any food allergies to manage.
We'll give you some more on Friday, but to give you a chance to plan more than a few hours in advance, welcome to the Halloween recipe edition! This week we're going a little off of our typical commitment to heavy focus on the Box alone, but we're still featuring ingredients available here in the market. Because if there's a time of year, Halloween is the holiday to (trick or) treat yourself!
Centerpiece? Dessert? Snack? Make-your-guests-jealous-with-your-incredible-kitchen-skills? This Jack-O'-Lantern Popcorn Bowl is all of the above. Feel free to follow the recipe to the letter, but if you want to try out the organic popcorn here in the market, you can also up your "candy" game with some sweet (or savory) toasted pecans, dried fruits, or local chocolates and treats.
Pumpkin Bread is always a treat, so the trick here is sneaking in the extra chocolate chips. This recipe in particular sticks to healthier options, so there's no need to start the day with any guilt. Save that for Saturday morning, post candy-binge.
If you need a pre-trick-or-treating meal, or you're looking for a cute dish for kids or a party, some Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Quesadillas are a tasty option that comes together in just a few minutes (if you made your pumpkin puree already).
We couldn't help but include a spaghetti squash recipe: it is just so fun and delicious! This Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Cream Sauce is a wonderful healthy meal, and hearty enough to carry you through a neighborhood trek with little ones in costume or the Quarter. If you aren't concerned with keeping vegan, feel free to use milk or cream in place of the coconut milk in the recipe, and similarly, switch out your choice of cheese for the optional nutritional yeast (for the flavors in this recipe, we like gruyere or swiss!).
Whipped Butternut Butter is a decadent addition to any breakfast (or lunch, dinner, dessert...). We shared a recipe for homemade pumpkin puree last week, and don't forget that butternut squash makes a perfect substitute in many dishes, including this one. Feel free to skip out on the added sugar if you're feeling extra health conscious or looking for a more simply gourd-flavored experience!
Of course, if you're less inclined towards the sweet spreads for breakfast, savory Butternut, Kale, and Feta "Muffins" are great. This recipe calls for pumpkin and spinach, but as always, swapping out similar ingredients is a great way to get familiar with new ways to cook on your own kitchen's terms.
Kale isn't for everyone, whether someone isn't a fan of the texture or they're just too cool to like such a hip vegetable. Making a pesto out of it is a great way to incorporate this superfood in a slightly under-the-radar fashion. Cheesy Kale Sweet Potato Skins are a great way to have a vibrant dish that'll land with veggie fans, kids, and sports fans alike (and don't forget: you can always add bacon!).
We love making our mac and cheese healthier, tastier, and orangier with pumpkin or butternut squash, and adding kale is a great balance of flavor plus bonus nutrients! Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese is a wonderful crowd pleaser, and it's easy to throw together for two people or a whole dinner party.
This week the Box features some different ways to approach spiciness or sweetness, so we're highlighting recipes that each explore a different style of taste! Plus, we're hoping some of these will catch your eye and expand the supplies and ingredients you tend to keep on hand.
"Cowboy candy" or Sweet Pickled Jalapenos are a fun spin on the typical pickled pepper. The amount of sugar sweetens these treats enough to create a playful balance with the jalapenos' natural heat. They're super easy, and as always, you can add any different spicesto suit your own tastes. We recommend using these on sandwhiches, bugers, nachos, in pastas, or just abotu anywhere you can think of!
Sweet potatoes are a great ingredient in baking, as they can bring a lot of flavor and moisture to your recipe. These Sweet Potato Biscuits are pretty much everything you've ever wanted from a biscuit: they're buttery and flaky, and they have a great autumnal color. If you've tried this with cornbread before, you won't be surprised to hear that adding some diced jalapenos can also be a great move!
We've already featured some orangey fall soups, but this Sweet Potato and Arugula Soup is a great way to boost your intake of greens. The arugula here brings a spicy bitterness, while the sweet potatoes counter with their mild sweetness. We also love any recipe with six ingredients, especially when you can tag out the main two for any other kind of potato or green, depending on your flavor preferences and what you have on hand!
This Coconut Eggplant Curry calls for more unusual ingredients than we generally prefer to highlight, but they're all delicious additions to your pantry, so if this recipe gets you to expand your staples, we won't feel bad. To make up for it, we made sure the recipe itself is super simple!