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Top 2018 Thanksgiving Dinner Trends

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends get together to eat, talk and express their gratitude. If the meal associated with this holiday is going to be at your home, you want to be a good host. That means serving good food in a festive atmosphere. It also means considering your guests’ dietary needs and food preferences.

However, you do not want to exhaust yourself cooking and decorating. The way many people in America approach this holiday is evolving. Here are some of the newer trends in Thanksgiving dining.

The Foods

Local Ingredients Are In

One reason the farm-to-table movement has caught on is that ingredients from your area are tastier and fresher than the ones that are transported across great distances.

Trendy Vegetables

Most people want to eat healthier these days, and every healthy diet includes vegetables. While you can include old favorites for Thanksgiving dinner, maybe you will want to add kalettes to your menu.

This hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts can be consumed whole or sliced lengthwise. Serve it raw, roasted, sautéed or grilled. How about prosciutto-wrapped kalettes as an appetizer or an orange kalettes salad? If you prefer chicken to turkey, try a savory recipe of curried kalettes with chicken.

Squash, a seasonal perennial, is also hot. Pick from butternut squash, spaghetti squash, honey nut squash and more. Consider butternut squash pancakes for Thanksgiving breakfast.

Hasselbeck butternut squash is a classy and beautiful addition to a meal. Hasselback is a term that applies to foods that have been sliced very thinly without cutting them all the way through.

For  Vegetarians and Vegans

For this big holiday meal, you want to include selections for your vegan and vegetarian guests. Countless recipes to satisfy them are available online and in cookbooks.

Vegetarians have the tried-and-true store-bought Tofurky, but if you know they do not care for the mock bird, serve them sweet potato, caramelized onion and Gorgonzola quiche, veggie pot pie or vegetarian pumpkin lentil chili. A scrumptious gluten-free pumpkin pie for vegans is made with coconut milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, cane sugar, cornstarch and spices.

Home Preparation of the Eats

Divvy Up the Workload

If you are going to have a crowd for Thanksgiving dinner, make it easier on yourself by asking each guest or family to prepare an item for the menu at home. Ask them to bring a chair too.

Use a Slow Cooker

A turkey weighing up to 10 pounds can be cooked in a 7-quart oval slow cooker. You can also prepare sides in this cooking vessel.

If only two are eating, prepare everything in one pot. The Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner (For Two ) recipe serves up turkey thighs, candied sweet potatoes, sausage stuffing and Brussels sprouts in this way.

Restaurants Can Do the Cooking

Many people want to eat out or have their meal delivered on Thanksgiving, and restaurants know that. That’s why this year, at least a dozen national chains are feeding, delivering food to or offering pickup service for their customers. Among these restaurants are:

  • Applebee’s
  • Bob Evans
  • Boston Market
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Denny’s
  • Waffle House

Additional establishments are Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Ted’s Montana Grill. Go online or phone the restaurant to see what meal services they offer on Thanksgiving and whether your preferred location will be open. For the delivery or pickup of a meal with all the trimmings, be sure to order at least several days in advance.

Decorating

Make a Centerpiece With Ease

To add festiveness or elegance to your Thanksgiving table, create a centerpiece using common items. Arrange small gourds and pumpkins, votive candles and sprigs in a box similar to a rectangular planter.

Make a pumpkin vase by placing an orange pumpkin on the table, stacking a white one on top of it and using another orange one as the topper. A very simple project calls for hollowing out apples of different colors and putting votive candles in them.

By following some trends in Thanksgiving dining, you can make the meal new, memorable and tasty.

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