As we set our table outside this afternoon, snowflakes fell onto the plates. But here in Summit, County, Colorado, at nearly 9100 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains, the snow is so light, the air so dry, we knew a few flakes would just add to the fun of an outdoor feast happening in, although technically fall, a winter setting. We bundled up and enjoyed our healthy winter dinner.
We've all gotten the word – this year it's best to forgo Thanksgiving traditions, for all of our better health. But don't hesitate to break out in exciting ways – and still enjoy the holiday, albeit conscientiously. An outdoor, socially distanced Thanksgiving is easier than you'd expect.
This simple-to-make menu is serving two here this year, though these dishes will easily feed 4 - 6 at the table. If it's just two of you - or you're cooking only for yourself, you'll have leftovers to enjoy! And they can transition to different types of meals, which makes them especially Thanksgiving-y!
• mixed greens salad with dried, tart cranberries (apple juice sweetened), pecans and flavored* vinaigrette (*whatever flavor you like - try raspberry vinegar with a nut oil)
• corn pudding loaded with sautéed vegetables
• apple streusel crisp
• hot apple cider (spiced, and even spiked, or not)
• Apple streusel crisp can be made ahead of time and tucked away in the refrigerator, then reheated in the oven at 325°F (163°C) before serving
• The corn pudding is very adaptable to different vegetables, so feel free to use anything on hand. This dish can also be pre-made and reheated, but it's nicer fresh from the oven
• If spiking hot apple cider with alcohol, we recommend dark rum
• If you are measuring using our metric calculations, please double check
APPLE STREUSEL CRISP RECIPE - EASILY VEGAN
Apple Filling Ingredients:
4-5 apples (any apples will do; we prefer Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Jonagold; using 2 varieties together is nice, too!) – cored, peeled (if you prefer no skin) and loosely chopped – better chopped than sliced into wedges; chopped make it easier to combine ingredients, as well as to serve
¼ cup (56g) packed brown sugar (can be light or dark brown sugar)
2 Tbsps (16g) flour (oat flour or other gluten free are fine)
2 tsps (10mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5.69g) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1.42g) nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 Tbsps (30mL) butter, melted (we use vegan, like Earth Balance or Miyoko's Creamery)
Optional: ½ Cup chopped walnuts
Streusel Topping Ingredients:
½ cup (65g) flour (we use glutten free - like oat flour or 1-to-1 replacement gluten free flour)
1 cup (90g) rolled oats (not instant)
¾ (168g) brown sugar, packed (we prefer light brown sugar for the streusel)
1tsp (5.69g) ground cinnamon
¼ tsp (1.42g) nutmeg
¼ tsp (1.42g) salt
½ cup (8 Tbsps or 62.5g) cold butter, cut into pieces (again, we use vegan butter)
1. Prep apples – wash, core, peel*, chop (*optional)
2. Stir together all apple filling ingredients except for the melted butter
3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
4. Combine all streusel ingredients in a bowl except the butter. Make sure the brown sugar isn’t rock hard in places – break apart if it is.
5. Toss the apple filling ingredients with the melted butter until well coated. Spoon the filling into an 8” or 9” square baking pan - either works fine.
6. Add the cold butter pieces to the streusel topping and combine using a fork and spoon. Toss/blend until the mixture becomes crumbly.
7. Spoon streusel topping over the apple filling and spread evenly with a fork or spoon.
8. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40-45 minutes – at about 20 minutes into baking, open oven and smooth the streusel so that it blends with the apple filling and leaves no dry flour mixture on top. You may need to drop a few more pieces of butter onto areas that aren’t blending in. Check again about 30 minutes in, and do the same thing if need be.
9. It’s done when the apples are very soft and the topping has a golden look around the edges.
10. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before serving. We recommend serving in ramekins or bowls, rather than on a plate.
11. Can top with vanilla ice cream (we prefer dairy-free) and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
This may be made a day before serving. Just cover and keep refrigerated, then reheat at 325°F (162°C) when ready to serve.
It also makes an excellent breakfast dish - LEFTOVERS!!
CORN & VEGETABLE PUDDING RECIPE
We wish we were better at photographing food, because the corn-vegetable pudding was just incredible! We'd made it before and thought it was...nice; fine; okay. But we kept perfecting the recipe and this version blew us away!! We think you'll really love it!
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked (about 5 cups/1250g?) of corn – canned or frozen are okay too)
1 ½ Tbsp (20.5g) coconut, other vegetable oil, or butter
3+ Tbsps (45g) butter, melted
1 ½ Cups (360g) milk – can be nut milk or coconut milk
½ tsp salt + a pinch or two
pinch or two of ground black pepper – to taste
Fresh thyme leaves from about 5-6 stems – to taste
Any vegetables you think will complement the corn; we like mushrooms, red bell peppers, scallions or any other type of onions, spinach
Optional: shredded cheese - we recommend a vegan Pepperjack, or a non-vegan Pecorino
1. If using fresh ears of corn: shuck the corn and remove from the cob on top of a bowl turned upside down inside of a larger bowl
2. Drizzle oil or butter over a saucepan
3. Transfer all of the corn kernels to the pan and mix in a few pinches of salt & pepper – to taste
4. If you want to add in additional vegetables, such as chopped peppers, mushrooms, onions (scallions/spring onions and leeks are nice), and/or spinach leaves, add them into the pan with the corn; you may need more oil
5. Sauté on medium high heat, stirring regularly until the vegetables look browned (about 15-20 minutes)
6. Melt the butter in a small pan on top of the stove
7. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
8. Place melted butter, eggs, milk and ½ tsp of salt into a bowl and whisk together. Sprinkle in the thyme leaves and whisk again.
9. After the corn and vegetables, if adding, have cooled down a bit, add to the bowl and blend together
10. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and place into the heated oven on the center rack
11. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 45-60 minutes (this will vary depending on your oven and where you are located; for us, it takes about 60.) The pudding is done when a fork inserted in the center comes out clean and the pudding is browned on top and no longer jiggles, but has a spongy firmness
12. Serve warm in a ramekin or bowl, or chill for transport ,or to serve in the coming days. Can be reheated at 325°F (162°C) or served cold. It's nice spread on toasted, hard crust bread – like a baguette or peasant bread.
Leftovers work well for lunch, dinner, snacks, or even breakfast!
*All photos are our own, and not in public domain. Please request permission for any use. Thank you!*