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From Trader Joe's to my Thanksgiving table
And an update on good deals
Having grown up in India and being vegetarian, my Thanksgiving table is not very traditional-looking. It is still however, an excellent excuse to gather with family, cook an obscene amount and eat our hearts out. I do dislike feeling like c%*p by 8pm though. But what I’ve found is that if I have plenty of interesting but healthy sides on the table, I don’t dive headfirst into the carby main(s) (of which usually we have multiple). And whether or not turkey is the center of your table, you can still have a vegetable-forward Thanksgiving if you zhuzh up your sides.
While I’ve gone all out with from-scratch sides in the past, now, with a toddler around, I don’t say no to a little help from Trader Joes. In fact, I insist that Trader Joes help me out. I took a trip to the one near me on Friday for some inspiration and here’s where I’ve landed. I hope this gives you some last minute, low-effort ideas for your table too. And if you live in a Trader Joes desert, my sympathies - but I think many of these packaged options will have similar offerings in your neighborhood stores.
But before we begin, a quick update on Black Friday deals.
My FIRST online cooking course, The Vegetarian Reset Lab is on a 50% off presale! This is a VIP offer for my newsletter family. I’m offering you half-off in exchange for feedback into the course materials (less than 5 minutes of your time every week over the next 3 months). That’s right - you get to tell me what to include in the course AND have lifetime access to the course materials. Which means if I ever update the core program and add more tutorials, videos and recipes (and you bet I will!), you’ll get them without paying a penny more! The offer is open until Nov 30.
For those of you that already bought the course (woohoo!) - please keep an eye out for an email from ‘email@example.com’ in your inbox and let me know if you didn’t receive it by replying to this email.
This is genuinely a good deal, you guys. If you’ve been subscribed to me for a while, I really don’t want you to feel like you missed out when I raise the price on Dec 1. As a bonus, you get a whole YEAR of Weeknight Simple thrown in. That’s an additional 52 weeknight-friendly recipes with 20-30g protein. (Oh and fellow TJ fans - I went to TJ to also scout for a special January edition of Weeknight Simple)
If you’re ready to invest in a life skill, purchase the course at the special presale price using the link below. The course goes live in Feb 2024 which is when you will get access to the materials.
The Vitamix is on sale!
I realized I forgot to include the link to the Ninja system that includes food processor and blender cups in my last newsletter so here it is..and yes it’s on sale!
If you haven’t already, please see my Favorite Things newsletter for more of my kitchen and pantry go-to’s, that will hopefully be on sale this week.
Okay, back to Trader Joes. Here’s everything I got and what I plan to do with it:
Cruciferous salad with baby corn and pomegranate
A nice combo of in season veggies, along with baby corn (forgot to take a picture) because they are irresistible, and a dash of color with pomegranate. A quick sauté with olive oil, and salt and pepper should do the trick here - keep the veggies still crunchy. Or sauté just the corn, keep the veggies raw and use a simple vinaigrette.
Holiday Vegetable Hash with shredded Kale and Chile and Garlic Cashews
Again, a quick sauté - the package already has herbs so maybe just add salt. Don’t let the root veggies cook too much. Add the cashews for a little crunch and heat.
Carrot coins with pesto and pine nuts, served over whipped lemony Greek yogurt (use zest) and garnished with spicy Italian Bomba sauce (thank me later).
Make this Ottolenghi-inspired side, with these sweet potatoes (also pine nuts, Greek yogurt and feta)
Or this other Ottolenghi-inspired side, Cacio e Pepe Chickpeas - with rainbow cauliflower and chickpeas. Also get parmesan and pecorino, or cheddar.
I hate to brag, but my Brussels Sprouts Chaat is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. Use the spicy cashews instead of the masala nuts to speed up prep.
I’m thinking about making these into fries, but need to toy with air-fryer settings. Maybe 400F for 15 minutes.
For dessert, I like to offer a cheese plate as one of the options - as it still hits that spot of luxury and is just lightly sweet. Here’s what’s on mine.
What am I making for the main? I’m not sure, actually. Maybe a seasonal variation of my Saag Lasagna from The Vegetarian Reset using collard greens. And the Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. Or perhaps I should try something different - NYT Cooking has some excellent options. In the past, I’ve also made the Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower from Ministry of Curry.
Wishing you good times, good eats and good deals! XOXO