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Quick, creative non-turkey November meals

By Stephanie Bernaba

We all know what happens when Thanksgiving rolls around – turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey breakfast
burritos. It’s more turkey than one house can handle. Granted, we love leftovers, but is there anything else to eat?
We know the holiday season is busy, and that we love great food. Here are a few quick and easy (and tasty!) alternatives to get you through the season.

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By Stephanie Bernaba

We all know what happens when Thanksgiving rolls around – turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey breakfast
burritos. It’s more turkey than one house can handle. Granted, we love leftovers, but is there anything else to eat?
We know the holiday season is busy, and that we love great food. Here are a few quick and easy (and tasty!) alternatives to get you through the season. All of these are tested and approved by my own family.

Two-Ingredient Korean Fish
This meal is so simple, it practically cooks itself.

  • Set an oven to 375 degrees.
  • Lay down two pounds of Mahi Mahi (fresh preferred – if frozen, thaw) in a baking pan (13×9)
  • Pour one jar of Kimchi, zesty Korean pickled veggies, over the fish.
  • Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes. Fish is cooked when it is no longer translucent. Plate and enjoy!

“Sloppy Jane” Sandwiches
The above meal is fantastic, but if your house is anything like mine, buzz words like “pork” and “fish” in relation to dinner do not go over very well. In the instance you can’t change the ingredients (or don’t want to), change the perception. Here’s how you make “Sloppy Janes.”

  • Combine pulled pork (any grocery or prepared brand, or cook it up yourself ), dill sandwich slices, and just a
    touch of honey barbecue sauce.
  • Pile on your favorite bread (we like King’s Hawaiian® here because it turns every sandwich into a slider),
    chopped onions, and/or American cheese.
  • Pair with carrot or celery sticks and vinaigrette dressing. Not only will the kids get a kick out of the name, but they’ll also leave the table with plates empty and bellies full.

Eggplant Lasagna
Now, I know what you’re thinking: That’s too hard. I grew up watching my Italian mother lose the battle with eggplant too many times. The draining, the battering, the frying, the pans, and the mess. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

  • Simply buy one eggplant (or two), peel, slice it vertically, and roast on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt at 350 degrees for about an hour (or until golden and tender).
  • Heat a jar of marinara and some pecorino and feta cheese, and combine in a bowl for each diner. No prep,
    no mess, no layering.
  • Pair with beet and green bean salad.

Sausage Primavera

Get ready for congratulatory hugs on this dish.

  • Take one package of Al Fresco Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage® and cut into diagonal slices.
    Slice one yellow onion (the smaller the slice, the better) and one package of baby bella mushrooms, and halve
    about a half can of black olives.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauté pan on medium heat and fry sausage, onions, and mushrooms until the
    sausage caramelizes slightly.
  • Halve and add 10 cherry tomatoes and 2 cups of fresh green beans, washed with the tips removed, along with
    the olives and a few shakes of garlic powder.
  • Stir and let all ingredients steam together in covered sauté pan for about 15 minutes.
  • After the vegetables are steamed but still firm and bright, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the entire pan and let it cook down, uncovered, until it caramelizes. Stir occasionally.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Tortellini with Chicken
Kids love nothing more than a great pasta dish. Kids also love few things more than chicken.

  • Grab a plain rotisserie chicken on your way home from work (or cooked pieces, as long as it’s roasted, not fried), and pull off and chop the meat.
  • Open two jars of your favorite pasta sauce (or, of course, make your own), and heat it in the pan with the chicken and grated cheese.
  • Cook tortellini according to package directions, toss together with the sauce and chicken, and serve.
    Pair with a light cucumber and tomato salad.

You have to plan several big meals – make the other days a little it easier when it comes to dinner prep. Enjoy!

Stephanie Bernaba, of Richmond, is a freelance writer and blogger specializing in parenting, raising families in the digital age, and entertainment. She writes at SheKnows.com, Redbook Magazine, BlogHer, and White Orchid Media. www.whiteorchidmedia.com.

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