Happy Thanksgiving, friend! What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? If you are anything like me, your plans have changed several times and may change again before Thursday! With all the uncertainty and chaos that are part of pandemic living, trying to find a way to connect with our loved ones is very, very challenging!
The truth is that things don’t always go as planned, but the impact of that is never felt more than during the holiday season. It is during these times that we realize that good health goes far beyond the physical. Our social connections have a great influence on our level of overall physical and mental/emotional well-being.
When plans fall apart during the holiday season, it’s important to remember that maintaining relationships is more important than maintaining traditions!
This Thanksgiving may feel a bit overwhelming as we are focused on not only the food, but on creative ways to stay connected.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving that is focused on sharing and giving thanks, I’d like to share with you my “go to” Thanksgiving food solution for when things don’t go as expected - Thanksgiving in a Pan! This recipe was a lifesaver on the Thanksgiving that our plans fell apart due to a family crisis. This simple recipe allowed us to celebrate and stay connected while still enjoying some of the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving, but in a very efficient way.
Thanksgiving in a Pan is easy to make for yourself and easy to deliver to loved ones who you may not be able to see face to face this year. The recipe contains many Thanksgiving favorites, such as: turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and green beans. All you need is a can of gravy and you have a great Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving in a Pan is both simple and efficient, leaving you with the necessary time and energy to think of some creative ways of staying connected whether that be by Zoom, a socially distanced visit, or a phone call or letter.
Thanksgiving in a Pan
Source: adapted from https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/thanksgiving-casserole/
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, peeled and diced
1 large, sweet potato, peeled, thinly sliced, and diced
2 cups chopped fresh green beans (about 4 ounces), ends trimmed off
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 stalks celery, diced
fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 cups of stuffing bread cubes
1 pound diced cooked turkey
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Turkey gravy (canned or homemade)
Optional: chopped toasted nuts, for sprinkling (such as pecans or walnuts)
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick sauté pan. Add the onion and sweet potato and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is mostly softened. Add the green beans, garlic, celery, and season the mixture with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant.
3. Transfer the cooked veggies to a large mixing bowl. Add in the stuffing cubes, cooked turkey, dried cranberries, and fresh herbs. In a separate bowl, briefly whisk together the stock and eggs, then pour the mixture into the large mixing bowl. Very gently, use a spatula to toss the mixture until it is evenly combined. Transfer it to the 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spread the casserole out in an even layer.
4. Bake the casserole uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the top is nice and golden (if the top turns too brown, gently lay a layer of aluminum foil on top of the casserole until it is done baking.)
5. Remove the dish from the oven and top with turkey gravy. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Serve warm, drizzling each individual serving with extra gravy, and enjoy!
About the author:
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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