Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! How are your preparations coming along? As I’m writing this, the turkey is defrosting nicely, and the planning is done. I am bracing myself for the actual cooking, starting early tomorrow. Yes, I’m going to be super tired at the end of the day, but also excited to celebrate Thanksgiving with my dearest 🙂
Below you have a few recipe and product recommendations for this specific month, Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday in particular, as we gear up for the holiday season. Stay tuned for my holiday gift guide, coming up soon. Happy cooking and shopping! Wishing you all a wonderful time 🙂
- St Pierre Bakery
Stuffings are essential elements of a Thanksgiving spread. While add-ins are a matter of preference, choosing the right bread is crucial. One underrated choice is eggy, rich brioche! Enter St Pierre Bakery, who recently contacted me to share a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe featuring their bread. Being very familiar with the brand and its commitment to high quality ingredients, free from high fructose corn syrup, GMOs and artificial sweeteners, among others, I was super excited to use their brioche in a stuffing.
Thanks to its butter and egg content, St Pierre’s Brioche Loaf provides crisp toastiness while remaining soft and creamy inside, while its lightly sweet flavor adds a decadent quality that can still lean savory.
Since I lacked some of the ingredients, but I did have leftovers to use up, I decided to make some changes to St Pierre Bakery’s original stuffing recipe, developed in collaboration with TV host and lifestyle expert Brandi Milloy. I replaced mushrooms with cream of mushrooms, and in lieu of eggs as binder I used leftover spinach puree. I also added chunky roasted pumpkin (and quite a bit of it, lol)
The end result was superb! I loved how the sweetness of the carrots and the pumpkin blended with the aromatic, vibrant celery, engulfed in creamy spinach, and adorned by perfect texturally pleasing cubed brioche.
This brioche-based stuffing is a must-try! I recommend the recipe – see link above 🙂
- Mike’s Organic Curry Love
If you’re looking to cook a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal and/or to support a small business on Small Business Saturday (November 25), then look no further than to Mike’s Organic Curry Love, who make vegan curry pastes and sauces that are sugar-free, palm oil-free, nut free, fish-free and dairy-free, as well as keto and paleo-friendly.
Chef Michael Buechi grew up on a biodynamic farm in Switzerland, where he learned about and practiced organic farming. He then went to culinary school and moved to the US, where he cooked for Hollywood royalty like Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, and Larry Hagman! He also fell in love with Thai food, and his friends gave him the idea of bottling his creations – which he did, but with a twist! Most Thai products were not available as organic, vegan or “clean,” so he started making curries that met his standards. He founded Mike’s Organic Curry Love with partner Laurie Sebestyen – and the rest was history, as they say!
Mike’s Curry Love products are made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients grown in small batches in Thailand, and their newest canned goods are Demeter-certified biodynamic. They also partner with Women’s Global Education Project, a women-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower women and girls in rural regions of Africa through education, to build better lives and foster more equitable communities.
The curries I tried were scrumptious and perfectly balanced in terms on flavor and spice level, and I thoroughly enjoyed having these options on hand for creating delicious curry dishes in minutes. With their commitment to quality and sustainability, Mike’s Organic Curry Love makes it possible for us to enjoy flavorful, homemade curries while promoting a healthier lifestyle and supporting a better future for our planet – how wonderful is this? 🙂
Another amazing small business to support this season is Paro, who contacted me recently and offered to send me their products to review.
Entrepreneur Umaimah Sharwani founded Paro out of her love for her mom’s cooking and her passion to share beloved Pakistani food with the world: “There’s just something about Pakistani flavors that go perfectly with good company, dinner gossip, and a lot of laughing (…) With Paro, I’ve packaged these personal recipes for classic South Asian dishes so you can cook them at home and share with your friends and family. Because comfort food is meant to be shared.”
Paro’s mission is to bring healthy, quality South Asian comfort foods (classic dinner table dishes that are easy to cook, enjoy, and share) to everyone’s table. They offer two meal kits, for Masoor Daal (red lentils and light, earthy spices) and Kitchari (split mung beans, basmati rice, and spices), as well as jarred Tarka (a spicy and aromatic topping made with ghee).
The Daal and Kitchari are vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, while Tarka is gluten-free but not vegan since it contains milk.
Each order placed on Paro’s website comes with a complimentary container of Paro’s candied fennel seeds, the perfect end to a meal.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Paro products, which I used to make a few of the recipes featured on their website (Tarka marinated tomatoes, mmm…) The comforting warmth of the Daal and the Kitchari was beautifully balanced by the spicy versatility of the Tarka, all vying towards a relaxed and delicious ending of the meal, with the candied fennel seeds. A scumptious meal and a wonderful excursion through South Asian comforting flavors and textures. Not to be missed!
- Arden’s Garden
Looking for a way to feel lighter and to balance the effects of a hearty Thanksgiving meal? I think juicing is what you’re looking for 🙂 I recently attended a Zoom media event hosted by Arden’s Garden, and I had the opportunity to learn more about this small business on a mission to make health a convenient choice for all consumers.
Founded in 1995, Arden’s Garden is a family-owned business that offers a variety of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and other plant-based products. Its CEO Leslie Zinn is on a mission to make healthier living accessible and affordable to all, and is passionate about promoting the benefits of juicing and adopting a plant-based lifestyle.
Arden’s Garden do not use heat, oxygen, or other pasteurization methods because these would damage the nutrients found in their products. This means that you can count on their juices and snacks to be packed with a complete range of nutrients and plant-based goodness.
Today, Arden‘s Garden has 16 retail stores and 2 squeezing facilities, and their cold-pressed juices, smoothies, wellness shots, and plant-based foods are available locally in Atlanta in supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Publix, Kroger, Walmart, and Sprouts. I was excited to learn about their wholesome philosophy and to try out their juices during the media event and after. Balancing out the sweet tooth excesses has never looked healthier or more tempting 🙂
- Earth Echo Foods
If you’re looking for a wholesome cocoa-based drink, I highly recommend you check out Earth Echo Foods.
- BUILT bars
I don’t know about you, but I definitely look forward to going back to the gym after a few days of break over Thanksgiving 🙂 One of the ways to supplement my protein intake for this purpose is through BUILT products. BUILT have recently sent me an assortment of their protein bars and puffs for review.
BUILT bars are good at keeping you full for longer, and as such they are an excellent option not just when going to the gym, but also when out and about, in my opinion. I have been known to pack a couple of bars in my car to munch on during busy days, lol
My favorite bar has been Raspberry, which has 17g protein and 130 calories. Out of all the puffs I have tried, the Banana Cream with 17g protein and 140 calories, has stood out in terms of flavor and texture. Making your own protein bars from scratch is the best option, but if time is in short supply, BUILT bars are a viable alternative.
You can purchase BUILT products as single flavor packs or as variety packs, which I always recommend if you want to check them all out and to discover your favorite.
Which flavor would you try first? Let me know in the comments 🙂