Turkey Dinner Alternatives
Although turkey dinner has been the mainstay of Thanksgiving celebrations over time, Tom the Turkey doesn’t always want to be the center of attention – especially at dinner. And many of us are finding that the turkey tradition doesn't always suit us either anymore.
Many people are substituting other dishes as the main dish for the Thanksgiving meal. With families spread over farther distances these days, maybe you are not having a big family get-together this year and everyone is fending for themselves. If that is the case, there is no need to fix a fifteen pound turkey with all the trimmings and dessert for less than a handful of people.
Vegetarian meals are becoming more and more popular for various reasons. For these folks’ Thanksgiving dinner, meat will not be on the menu. This is not what the majority of people consider a traditional holiday, but Thanksgiving doesn’t stop because there is no meat on the table. Traditions are created differently for everyone’s lifestyles and beliefs and vegetarians can celebrate the same holiday everyone else does, just minus the turkey.
Health is also a big concern for many of us. More and more people are cutting back on what they eat in exchange for a healthier, longer life. Thanksgiving is one of, if not the biggest eating holiday of the year. In lessening the amounts and types of food they eat, these health conscious people are making other choices for the meal to reflect their improved well being.
One alternative to turkey is fish. Many fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These substances are good for lowering cholesterol in the body. A main dish of salmon with wild rice and green beans satisfies the palate and does wonders for the body as well. To jazz up that salmon, add a pecan or Parmesan crust.
What about chicken? A roasted chicken is smaller than a turkey for a more intimate gathering. A small whole chicken can be barbecued or fried, or both, depending on your taste buds. There is less cooking time as well which is always a plus if you ask the cook. You can even prepare the chicken earlier in the day and then warm it up for the full fledged dinner.
For some, Thanksgiving just would not be the same without turkey. For one reason or another they don’t need or want a big 20 pound turkey. Instead, choose a roasted turkey breast or turkey cutlets. They bake up quickly and leave less of a mess to clean up after dinner.
There doesn’t have to be meat on the table at all as vegetarians will tell you. Set the table with a variety of casserole dishes. Rice and broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, and other vegetable dishes can fill you up and keep you from missing the turkey. Some vegetarians create a tofu turkey as their centerpiece as well to help set the “mood” for the occasion.
When you think about it, you can have an enjoyable family time of thanks with any meal. There are various ways that you can shake things up and create your own tradition if you would like to without turkey at your Thanksgiving meal. Just start thinking outside of the
box oven, enjoy yourself and be thankful for what you ARE having for dinner.
Have a Shiney Day :0)