What’s on our Thanksgiving Table

November 24th, 2014

Here at AgriEnergy Resources, we strongly believe a delicious, bountiful Thanksgiving feast begins far before it reaches the dining room table. It begins when the farmer chooses what seed to plant.

It begins when that seed is planted into biologically alive soil. It begins when the farmer is dedicated to producing the most bountiful crop yet.

And it’s those innovative minds and hands that make it happen. So from our table to yours, we’ve gathered our top seven side dishes for this holiday season.

1) Stuffing. This classic stuffing recipe makes approximately 15 servings and takes 50 minutes to cook.
Classic Stuffing
– 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
– 1 cup chopped celery
– 3/4 cup salted butter
– 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
– 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
– 8 cups stale fresh unseasoned breadcrumbs/bread cubes
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1 teaspoon sage
– 1/2 teaspoon thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 1/2 cup or more as needed chicken broth
– 1 large egg, beaten.

Sauté onion and celery in butter over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Then cook sausage and mushrooms until the sausage is no longer pink. Drain the fat. Add the onion and celery and stir together. Then combine breadcrumbs and seasoning with sausage/vegetable mixture. Moisten with wine and broth. Add egg and mix well. If the stuffing seems too dry, mix in more broth. It should be pretty moist or it will dry out in the oven. This stuffing can either be used to stuff the turkey or baked in a covered casserole dish at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes and then an additional 10 minutes uncovered.

2) No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie. This recipe is my personal favorite as it tastes like a rich peanut butter cup, but is totally healthy. It’s perfect for those of you on a paleo or gluten-free diet.

For the Crust
-1 1/2 cups almond meal
– 1/4 cup cocoa powder
– 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
– 3 tablespoons coconut oil
– A pinch of salt
For the filling
– 1 cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
– 3/4 cup water
– 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
– 1/2 cup maple syrup
– 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the chocolate topping
– 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
– 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup at room temperature
– 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Line an 8-inch springform pan or pie dish with parchment paper and set aside. (Note: This pan size is smaller than a traditional 9-inch pie plate. If you use a traditional pie dish, the resulting pie will be thinner than what you see in the photo.) To prepare the crust, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to create a uniform dough. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined pan and set aside. To prepare the filling, combine the four ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth and silky. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get the batter very smooth and evenly mixed. (Alternatively, you could probably use a hand mixer to combine these ingredients, as long as they get whipped together very well. Mixing by hand doesn’t work as well.) Pour the filling over the top of the crust, and use a spatula to smooth the top. Place the pie in the freezer to set until firm, about 4-6 hours. Once the pie is firm, prepare the chocolate topping. Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in small bowl and whisk well to combine, creating a smooth chocolate sauce. (If your ingredients are cold, this mixture will clump, but it will become smooth again when gently warmed.) Use the parchment paper to easily remove the pie from the pan, then drizzle the chocolate over the top. When the chocolate touches the cold pie, it should solidify pretty quickly — like a “magic shell” topping you’d use on ice cream. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, to make it easier to slice and serve. Store any remaining pie in the refrigerator for up to one week. (If you freeze the pie, it will be too firm to serve right away.)

3) Pumpkin Pie. This recipe is also one you can eat seconds and not feel guilty about as it calls for all clean ingredients.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

For the Crust
– 2 cups all blanched almond flour
– 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1 egg
For the Filling
– 1 (15 ounce) canned pumpkin puree (or 1 1/2 cup homemade pumpkin puree)
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup coconut milk
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/8 teaspoon celtic sea salt

For the crust, place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly. Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press dough into 9-inch pie dish. For the filling, combine pumpkin puree and eggs in a food processor. Pulse in coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up.

4) Cowboy Beans. What’s a Thanksgiving feast without cowboy beans?
Cowboy Beans
– 1 pound hamburger
– 1 onion
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1 cup ketchup
– 1 large can (or 2 regular size) pork and beans (not drained)
– 1 can northern beans (drained)
– 1 can kidney beans (drained)
– A pinch of salt and pepper

In a skillet brown hamburger and onion (drain off grease). Then add brown sugar and ketchup. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large pot and add beans. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can either microwave for about 18 minutes or bake them in the oven for about an hour. Be sure to cover lightly with saran wrap or something, otherwise you will have beans all over your microwave!!

5) Sweet Potato Casserole. This recipe serves approximately 10 people and takes 10 minutes to prep. Plus, it saves room in the oven as it can be baked in the crockpot. Can you say yum?
Sweet Potato Casserole
For the Potatoes
– 5-10 sweet potatoes, depending on size
– 1/4 cup butter (softened)
– 2 tablespoons white sugar
– A pinch of salt
– 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon orange juice
– 2 large eggs
– 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup milk.
For the Topping
– 3/4 cup pecans
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup white flour
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup butter

Line your crockpot with a disposable liner or spray generously with nonstick spray. Peel, bake, and mash the sweet potatoes. Add butter, white sugar, pinch of salt, brown sugar, and orange juice in crockpot. Then lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Pour in the lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and milk into the crockpot. Beat until completely smooth. Smooth the mixture with a spatula. For the topping, stir together all of the topping ingredients in a different bowl. Spread mixture evenly on top of the sweet potatoes. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2.5 to 4 hours depending on how hot your crockpot cooks.

6) Scalloped Oysters. For all you sea-loving eaters, this recipe takes 10 minutes to prep.
Scalloped Oyster
– 1 quart shucked oysters in their liquor
– 2 cups coarsely crushed saltine crackers
– 1 cup dry bread crumbs
– 3/4 cup melted butter
– 1 cup cream
– A pinch of nutmeg
– A pinch of salt/pepper
– A pinch of celery salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pick oysters free of any shells. In a deep buttered casserole, mix together crackers, bread crumbs, and melted butter. Place a thin layer of crumb mixture in the bottom of the casserole. Cover it with half of the oysters. Season cream with nutmeg, salt, pepper and celery salt (if using). Pour half of this mixture over the oysters. On the next layer, use the oysters, 3/4 of the remaining crumb mixture and cover that with seasoned cream. Top with the remaining crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

7) Green Bean Casserole. This recipe seemed to be an absolute favorite here in the office as 3 folks recommended it.
Green Bean Casserole
– 1/3 stick butter
– 1/2 cup diced onions
– 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
– 2 cups sliced green beans
– 3 cups chicken broth
– 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
– 1 (2.8 ounce) can French-fried onion rings
– Pinch House Seasoning (recipe below)
– 1 cup grated Cheddar
Pinch House Seasoning
– 1 cup salt
– 1/4 cup garlic powder

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté onions/mushrooms. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

All these recipes have been AER staff approved for your enjoyment and we hope you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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