2020 menu plan for a non traditional and cheap two person thanksgiving. We are making our leftovers a priority this year. Isn’t it every other year that we go through the best sides first and don’t know what to do with the rest of the leftovers? Since it will only be two of us this holiday, we might as well make the most of what we can, and for now that looks like an excess of thanksgiving sides for two. I included some indulgent elements to our plan but ultimately the main part of the meal was very affordable with lots of leftovers!
Cranberry Lime Cocktail
Make Ahead: Zest limes, juice limes & clementines and freeze with pieces of dried wild apple mint.
Thanksgiving Day: Mix Frozen Juice Ice Cubes with Cranberry juice and Elderflower Rum (this was on sale at the Big Y in Great Barrington!)
Italian Pinot Noir
Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream – if we aren’t already stuffed.
Dairy Free Port Cheese with Treeline Plant Based cheese (I have never tried making it before so I do not have the recipe details yet.)
Goat Camembert (for my partner that eats dairy)
A selection of crackers – Simple Mills, Hu Kitchen & a fancy fig/pumpkin seed option.
Make Ahead: Caramelized onion
Thanksgiving Day: Assemble onion, sage, mustard, date & treeline cheese with bacon
The most crowd pleasing appetizer. They are always gone within 10 minutes and are the easiest appetizer to make. Makes about 16 bites.
- 1 packet bacon- gluten free, free range cut in half down the middle
- 1 onion* caramelized (see below)
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup dates thick slices
- fresh sage leaves
- firm cheese (I like goat gouda) cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Peel and cut your choice of onion in half. Then make sauté slices along the grow lines of the onion and cut away from the end of the bulb.
*Heat a large frying pan to medium low heat.
*Once pan is heated, add about a tablespoon of your choice of fat- make sure to use a high heat oil like ghee or avocado oil and salt, stir frequently.
*Continue cooking, adding more salt if necessary, until onions are transparent and sweated through.
*Once onions begin to brown, turn the heat up to medium or medium high (setting can vary depending on how hot your stove runs), and begin to stir less often. Only do so to prevent blackening or sticking to the pan.
*Once onions begin to caramelize, before they burn, add your choice of liquid to deglaze the pan. Set aside to cool.
Cut one package of bacon strips in half, hamburger style. Each bite will be half a strip of bacon.
Set your oven to 425 degrees F to preheat while you assemble.
On a lined baking sheet (preferably with raised sides), place a few strips of bacon to begin assembling.
Smear a dollop of mustard onto the bacon and layer with 1/2 tsp of caramelized onions, 1/2 a date, 1 cube of cheese, 1 medium sized sage leaf.
Fold over the ends of the bacon slice and turn over so the fold side is touching the pan.
Leave about 1-2 inches of space between each bite.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking occasionally. Time can vary depending on your oven and how thick your bacon pieces are.
Once out of the oven, use a spatula to scoop each bite onto a plate lined with paper towels to catch excess grease. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
* The caramelized onions are optional. If you are short on time, no need to cook them up. If you do have the time, it is incredible!
The Cheap Meal Elements:
Pork Tenderloin (I can find organic at $5 – $7 for 2 people w/ leftovers)
cut into 3-4 sections. coat in salt and pepper.
-with dairy free butter in the pan, fry each side on medium low until golden.
Set aside then bake at 400F until done.
Day Before Thanksgiving:
Garlic Confit in the Oven (I already made this and saved the garlic with some oil in the fridge and stored the rest of the excess oil in the freezer for a later day)
Mashed Potatoes (To reheat: add liquid to rehydrate then bake in the oven until golden on top)
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows (same as mashed potatoes but add marshmallows)
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Stuffing 2 ways (one gluten free and one regular)
*To keep ingredients fresh for the stuffing, I like to use mushrooms and sausage. I will be defrosting and browning sausage that I have frozen and will be rehydrating dried mushrooms.
Corn & lightly dressed green salad (olive oil, mustard, red wine vinegar)
All miniature pie bites using a mini muffin tin
I have already made & frozen:
Gingerbread Topping for the Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider Bites
A double recipe of pie crust
Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider Pie filling
Cherry Pie Filling
Weekend before Thanksgiving: make pumpkin pie filling & defrost frozen elements in the fridge
Two days before Thanksgiving: bake the pies so I don’t have to make the pies and sides all the day before or on Thanksgiving.
Topped with whipped cream of course!
This crust is hands down the flakiest and most flavorful gluten free crust. Tastes delicious and turns out crispy and holds well every time.
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 c cassava flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/3 c powdered sugar
- 1/4 c bobs red mill all purpose baking flour OR 1/4 c white rice flour + ( 1/8 tsp more xanthan gum OR 1 tsp tapioca/corn starch)
- 1 tbsp flax chia mix
- 3 tbsp shortening or 4 Tbsp Butter/Dairy free butter (cold)
- 1 tbsp ghee (cold)
- 2-4 Tbsp ice cold water
Life never works out exactly as planned so I will be going with the flow with what I have on hand and what we feel inspired to eat and cook for our non traditional and cheap two person thanksgiving. I hope this was helpful for you to find some new items to spice up your thanksgiving or try new meal prep tricks!