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As I write out our Thanksgiving Meal Plan, I thought I would share it here too, along with some recipe links.

We tend to host a larger gathering, this year will be have 20 guests for dinner, and 26 for dessert. We always try to incorporate lots of local produce, farm fresh turkeys, and delicious flavors.

Every year I take notes about what worked, and what didn’t, for the big Thanksgiving dinner. Having a Thanksgiving meal plan you can refer back to year after year is so helpful. (so much so that I want a digital copy by creating this blog post!)

What size turkey should I buy?

What size turkey should I buy?

This was the top question I get about planning the Thanksgiving Meal Plan.
What size turkey should I get for Thanksgiving dinner?

The general rule of thumb is a pound per person. However, I want to make sure we have leftovers. ⁠
I’m ordering an 18-20 lb turkey, AND I’ll cook a turkey breasts separately in the slow cooker so we have extra, AND it makes a fresh batch of turkey stock for the gravy. ⁠Last year we didn’t need to serve the turkey breast, so now I know I can save it for leftovers over the weekend.

thanksgiving meal plan

Where I buy ingredients for my Thanksgiving

  1. Farmers to You: farm fresh ingredients collected from Vermont farms and delivered to drop locations in Massachusetts.
  2. Thrive Market: all my baking staples were restocked via Thrive Market. Having it delivered makes it so much easier to prep for a big dinner.
  3. Whole Foods, Prime Now delivery: after this post is done, I’m finalizing my shopping plan for Thanksgiving. And yes, I’m a huge fan of delivery.
  4. Scout & Cellar Clean Crafted Wine: again, delivery saves the day. I ordered some pinot noir and sauvignon blanc for the dinner hour, plus I have a special Cabernet Sauvignon that will come out as dinner winds down and desserts are served. Grab your four bottle dinner set now for the next round of holidays. Stock up on clean crafted wine and share no sugar added, natural wines for the holidays. 
  5. Volante Farms: I’m picking up my farm raised turkey from the local store tomorrow, and I’ll grab some flowers and apples for decorations.

cranberry sauce for thanksgiving meal plan

Thanksgiving Meal Plan Recipes

I try to plan a few weeks in advance, especially once I know how many guests are joining us for Thanksgiving. Having lists of what was on our meal plan in year’s past is super helpful. This year I even created a binder just for Thanksgiving. There are so many delicious recipes, why should we save them for only Thanksgiving? I plan to use the binder for weekly meal planning during the cold season ahead.

Thanksgiving Meal Plan Ideas

Here’s our Thanksgiving meal plan:

  • 18-20 lb Turkey and a turkey breast
  • Roach family stuffing…sourdough bread cubes with nitrate free sausage, a little homemade cranberry sauce, eggs, butter, onions, celery, and lots of poultry seasoning.
  • Murphy family stuffing….white bread, onions, celery, egg, and Bays seasoning. (old traditions die hard.)
  • Corn bread pudding…my husband just made this request as it’s one of his family favorites. I’ve doctored up the recipe over the years to include only unprocessed ingredients. This corn pudding from Pamela Salzman is very close to the way I make mine now.
  • Cranberry sauce…at least three! I make it from scratch with just maple syrup, gelatin, and orange zest. Last year we made an amazing version with chopped pears so that’s on deck to be repeated this year. (the recipe is from Pamela Salzman’s Thanksgiving ebook. I bought it last year and there were tons of great ideas in it, including what to do with turkey leftovers! (not an affiliate link…I just loved the ebook!)
  • Butternut Squash…last year my dad made it with squash from his garden. This year, I’m making a roasted holiday veggie dish with squash from OUR GARDEN! It’s one of the new recipes that’s been updated in my own Fall Ebook Bundle. 
  • Green Bean Casserole…I’m still looking for the perfect update to the green bean casserole I loved as a kid. Complete with French’s onions. This year I’m testing out the recipe from Live Simply Mom.
  • Mashed Potatoes…last year we accidentally made it with russet potatoes…use yukon gold instead. This year I’m trying it in the Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe to lighten the load on our stovetop. I don’t like to have leftover mashed potatoes, but I will increase the ingredients in this recipe to make sure we have enough.
  • Gravy…my Nana taught me to make it with Wondra flour. This year I’m testing some out with brown rice flour and arrowroot starch to see if I can make myself a gluten free gravy. Stay tuned!
  • Sweet Potato Casserole…love this with orange sweet potatoes…OR PURPLE potatoes. Using this recipe, but I do skip the apple juice concentrate. I think it’s sweet enough with the maple syrup, and I don’t like buying a random ingredient like this for just dish.
  • Something GREEN! This will be a game time decision for either Brussel sprouts or sautéed green beans. I just find I like the balance of having more greens on the table, but yet I don’t always want a salad. If you do make a salad, dress it up with pomegranate seeds and persimmons! So pretty. And use butter lettuce as it will hold up better than super greens.

purple sweet potato casserole

Okay…I better get off this computer and start cooking.

Oh wait, you didn’t think I would forget dessert?!

Thanksgiving Meal Plan dessert

Thanksgiving Desserts

  • Apple pie (little sister is the pie master!)
  • Pecan pie…also from little sister
  • Pumpkin pie…my task, and my 8 year old just LOVES pumpkin pie.
  • Chocolate and cheese board is from a guest this season, so curious to see it!
  • Tea (no one ever drinks the coffee I make!)

I hope you have some ideas now for your own Thanksgiving Meal Plan! Pin this post to save for years to come as I’ll try to keep updating it with what works! Cheers to a delicious holiday ahead.

thanksgiving meal plan recipes

Who loves pancakes?!! If you’ve been looking for a delicious gluten free pancake recipe for your family, you’re in the right place!

*Fall Recipe Bundle updated in 2019 with 13 new recipes!
Fall Recipe bundle meal planning help

Ever get frustrated with meal planning? It’s a chore that never seems done, but it makes such a different when we plan out some meals in advance. 

Here is your cheat sheet friends. Time to make meal planning easy.

No more scouting Pinterest and getting lost down a rabbit hole, only to find yourself with no dinners to make, but new holiday decorations in mind.

Fall Recipe Bundle saves you Time

Enjoy the flavors of fall with all things pumpkin, maple, and locally grown produce. All recipes are both gluten and dairy free, and developed with nutritious, wholesome ingredients.

Okay, so fall is finally here, chilly winds and darker nights all around.

This is one of the best times to get back into the kitchen and settle in around the table with warm, nourishing food.

Creating good food for your family does more than fill little tummies. It presents an opportunity to gather and slow down.

But let’s be real. We are busy. Our kids are busy. So these recipes are not only healthy, but totally doable. As a busy mama of three little ones, I hear you. You want family-friendly, yummy and healthy fall recipe ideas. I’ve got your back.

Consider this your shortcut to meal planning in the season ahead. More time to be spent enjoying all the beautiful things fall has to offer, like football games, family hikes, and thanksgiving planning. (and don’t forget to check out my Paleo Pumpkin Smoothie too!)

fall recipe bundle gluten and dairy free

FALL RECIPE BUNDLE

All of these delicious recipes are both gluten and dairy free in this fall recipe bundle. Why you might ask? For starters, each of these particular food groups are often the cause for chronic inflammation in the body. When we eliminate these foods and allow our bodies to heal, it can provide you with amazing results.

Eliminating dairy and gluten can lead to relief from many challenges, including the following:

  • Eczema, rosacea, adult acne
  • Headaches
  • Digestive complaints
  • Brain fog
  • Lethargy
  • Poor sleep
  • Weight gain

The number one thing my clients say when they ditch the gluten and the dairy is how much ENERGY they have!

When we remove the foods that can cause low grade inflammation, we fill our plates with more nutrient dense foods which help reduce inflammation. You will see many plant based recipes including in the fall recipe bundle. There is no refined sugar, only natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

What’s included in the Fall Recipe Bundle?

Here’s a full look at the recipes included:

4 Breakfasts

  • Pumpkin Doughnuts
  • Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats
  • Cauliflower Casserole
  • Sweet Potato & Egg Hash

2 Soups

  • Spider Web Pumpkin Soup
  • Carrot White Bean & Tahini Soup

2 Salads

  • Kale & White Bean Caesar Salad
  • Creamy Garlic Kale with Chickpeas & Sweet Potato

4 Mains

  • Bison Pumpkin Chili
  • Slow Cooker Maple Mustard Chicken
  • Sausage & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Peanut Tempeh with Purple Cabbage Slaw

2 Sides

  • Balsamic Roasted Veggies
  • Brussel Sprouts, Bacon & Brazil Nuts

7 Snacks

  • No Bake Pumpkin Protein Bars
  • Butternut Squash Hummus
  • Pumpkin Spice Fruit Salad
  • Pumpkin Tahini Energy Balls
  • Maple Pumpkin Popcorn
  • Figs & Prosciutto
  • Apple Nachos

1 Beverage

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 Dessert

  • Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies

 

Ready to grab a copy for yourself? With the Fall Recipe Bundle, you get all of these gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, a shopping list, and a huge time savings. All for $10. Try them out and you will feel a boost of energy from all the vegetables, healthy ingredients, and nutrient density.

Let me know if you have any questions about your Fall Recipe Bundle, xo Emily

A few people have asked about what we pack in our Yumbox lunches. These are our favorite lunch boxes, both for ease of use and how cute they are. They come in a variety of colors and inserts so you can customize it to the age of your child.

Yumbox bento box lunch for kids

When packing the boxes, it’s best to break it down into categories. The Yumbox makes it easy for you by reminding you of the categories in their inserts. Protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits and grains. So simple, right?

We own both the panino (sandwich friendly) insert and also the original bento box version. I use them both so frequently I can’t say I love one over the other. We have the blue and the pink box.

Here are some ideas of what to pack for each category.

PROTEIN
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cold cuts rolled up
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Beans (chick peas are kid friendly)/Legumes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sunflower seeds/sunbutter
  • Sulfite free pepperoni sticks
DAIRY
  • Cheese stick
  • Cheese cubed
  • Yogurt- plain or greek flavored with honey is better than the presweetened variety
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta with honey
FRUIT
  • Grapes-check for seedless variety
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges/Clementines
  • Raisins/Craisins
VEGETABLES
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber- English is better for packing
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Salad
WHOLE GRAINS
  • Pita bread
  • Crackers/rice crackers
  • Popcorn- (homemade)
  • Whole wheat bread/bagels
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Homemade mini muffins/breads

 

Pin the image to save for those mornings when you just can’t think of what to pack!

Healthy kid lunch ideas using the Yumbox lunch box container bento

 

What else do you like to pack in your kid’s lunch box?

Note: I’ve bought all my Yumboxes myself. Love them. The links in here are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase one the site receives a small commission. Thanks!

 

Pineapple Delight dessert for summer

Pineapple Delight is the recipe that always make me think of summer and my Grammy. Summer is often a nostalgic time. People have strong memories of vacations, family gatherings and lazy summer evenings. They want to repeat this pattern year after year. Food often plays an important role in recreating these memories. Both of my parents grew up in large families so I remember going to family parties all the time. Each family had their own favorites and today I’m sharing on of my favorite summer desserts my Grammy would make, Pineapple Delight.

Grammy had eight children. Yes, eight. So you can imagine that our families were always loud and crowded. Grammy didn’t have a lot of free time to spend in the kitchen, but she had a few tricks up her sleeve. This Pineapple Delight is a perfect summer recipe since it’s no-bake, and can be made ahead. I can totally see myself making it this summer at our little red cottage in the morning and having it ready to go for a cookout in evening.

Pineapple Delight Dessert Recipe

It’s funny how some things never change. Even what my Grammy and I use in our kitchen is mostly the same. We both use our Pyrex®, a World Kitchen brand, measuring cup to put together most of the recipes we make. Pyrex is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year. It’s pretty cool to see certain kitchen tools have withstood the test of time.

See the giveaway link below and share your favorite recipe of all time. Win a set of Pyrex 100 classic kitchenware!

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I think it’s amusing to see old recipes and how they are written. I had to Google what a #2 can means in today’s world. I updated the recipe to reflect our standard measurements.

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Best way to crush wafers or other crumb toppings? Toss them in a zip top bag and grab your rolling pin. This rolling pin I found in an antique store in Essex. I also love these neat-os bags instead of plastic ones. I’ve been reusing this gallon storage bag for well over a year.
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This recipe is a no-bake recipe. Super easy, but it also contains eggs. Choose wisely.

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I grease my pans with coconut oil. You can also use butter, coconut oil spray, or ghee.

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I just love pineapple. Maybe this is why this recipe has stuck in my mind for so many years.

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Whipped cream really is easy, if you have the time. Plan on letting it whip for no less than 5 minutes to get it stiff.

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I went for pecans in this recipe. You could also make it with walnuts.

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Please arm your kitchen with an offset spatula. It makes spreading or frosting anything so much easier!

Serve this in small glass mason jars to complete the vintage effect. I also love to reuse the Bonne Maman glass jars, they are the perfect size for dessert in jars.

Pineapple Delight

A delicious no-bake summer dessert, perfect to make ahead and bring to a party or BBQ.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Emily Roach

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package vanilla wafers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 20 oz cans crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Grease a 9x11 pan with coconut oil.
  • Crush wafers. Put 1/2 wafers in the bottom of the pan and reserve the other 1/2.
  • Cream butter, eggs and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  • Pour mixture on top of wafers.
  • Drain pineapple and put on top of egg mixture.
  • Whip cream until stiff. Mix with nuts and put on top of pineapple.
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top.
  • Refrigerate approximately 8 hours.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Pyrex 100

This is a compensated post in partnership with DOLE and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions shared are my own. 

Go Green Spinach Smoothie

Spring has finally sprung! After leaving town for a couple of days, I was amazed to come home and see flowers everywhere. The trees are pink and the tulips are all standing at attention. It’s days like this that I love being a stay at home mom and get to relax and watch the kids play in the backyard for hours.

My other favorite thing that happens in spring is snack time takes place outside. Two less rounds of crumbs to clean up in the house! It’s the little things that make me happy in the spring.

The kids were excited when we tested out a new smoothie recipe shared with us from DOLE Pineapple Juice. I usually don’t add juice to our smoothies, but I was happy to learn that Dole’s juice is 100% juice and GMO-free. Two great things in my nutrition playbook. Plus with the “pollen tsunami” taking place, increasing our Vitamin C intake can be a helpful remedy for allergy symptoms.

Silly smoothie facesThe Go Green smoothie won over our neighbor’s daughter who isn’t always a green smoothie fan. The silly green mustaches everyone was wearing at the end of snack time was a sign of success!

One note, since we try to avoid GMO’s I swapped out the soy milk for almond milk. It can be tricky to find organic GMO-free soy milk so almond or coconut milk are alternate suggestions.

How to make a green smoothie

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

Go Green Smoothie

An energizing green smoothie to kick start your day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Smoothie
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Emily

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup DOLE pineapple juice chilled
  • 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk or almond milk
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks partially thawed
  • 1 banana peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole ground flaxseed meal

Instructions

  • If you have a high speed blender, add all ingredients to blender starting with the Pineapple Juice.
  • If you have a traditional blender, add juice thru spinach and blend before adding the balance of ingredients.
  • Blend and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

 

You can make your own Go Green smoothie and get coupon here for your next sunny day smoothie snack break!

  • $1.00 off #coupon for any 46oz or 6oz 6-pack of DOLE Canned Pineapple Juice.

Learn more about what you can make with healthy pineapple juice on DOLE’s Pinterest boards, Twitter channel or facebook page. I’ll be checking out some fun summer cocktail recipes here so I can use up my leftover pineapple juice. You can also buy the small cans and have them in the pantry for when inspiration strikes.

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe

What’s your favorite activity to do in the sunshine?

Share the love of sunshine! Click to Tweet: Try this Go Green Pineapple Smoothie! @DolePackaged #ad #dolepineapplejuice #ayearofsunshine #smoothie http://bit.ly/1EqW2RE

How many of you eat pizza at home at least once a week? Do you tend to make it yourself or buy it? If you are a regular reader here, you know we have pizza every Friday night on our weekly meal plan. For a long time, we made our pizzas at home using the dough from Trader Joe’s. It’s cheap and fairly easy to roll out ourselves. When I got my bread machine this year, I decided to come up with a pizza dough recipe that will make two pizzas. It’s a great way to save some money and the kids like to help out with this easy project.

Pizza Dough Bread Machine Recipe

Homemade Pizza Dough With A Bread Machine

Easy pizza dough recipe using a bread machine.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 -8
Author: Emily

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 3/4 bread flour I also sub in some white whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a bread machine in the order listed above.
  • Set machine to pizza dough. (Mine takes about 50 minutes.)
  • Dough will be ready to use when the machine cycle is complete.
  • Makes two pizza pies.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Do you have a pizza night in your family?

I’m sharing this over at The 36th Avenue.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

We are big peanut butter fans in our house. We go through tons of it on sandwiches, on bananas, in smoothies or on apples. I’m also a big fan of chocolate so I decided to combine the two and create a Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt recipe.  I was given some greek yogurt samples from Stonyfield and peanut butter samples from Peanut Butter & Co. Both are yummy on their own, but even better together.

Frozen Yogurt Ingredients

I had my little helper’s with me to make our first frozen yogurt, ever. The ice cream maker had been put away for the winter but now it’s going to stay handy for the warm summer months. The Cuisinart ice cream maker we use is actually 43% off from Amazon right now.

How to Make Frozen Yogurt

When you add the cocoa powder, stir it in gently so it doesn’t blow up in your face.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

Course: Dessert
Keyword: Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Stonyfield Greek Yogurt Plain
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips optional

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a large bowl using a hand mixer.
  • Add to ice cream maker machine. Churn for 25 minutes.
  • Add chocolate chips and churn for 2 additional minutes or until well blended.
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy Peanut Butter?

Disclosure: I am a Stonyfield Clean Plate Club Ambassador and was offered yogurt and peanut butter to help facilitate this project. All opinions shared here are my own. I’m sharing this post with Melt in Your Mouth Monday.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

If you are stuck inside during a blizzard, you must make cookies. Not only is it a fun activity to keep the kids busy, but it makes the whole house smell delicious. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I made these red and white Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies. They are easy to make, delicious, and a nice departure from your everyday chocolate chip cookie.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

CRANBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Course: Dessert
Keyword: Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together in a mix until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time until combined. Add vanilla and milk.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture on a low speed setting. Mix until just combined.
  • Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  • Drop large spoonfuls of cookie dough onto parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets.
  • Bake 13-15 minutes. Let rest two minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling racks.
  • (I bake two racks at a time and use my convection oven setting. Halfway through I switch the trays so they bake evenly.)
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

Adapted from Table for Two.

Shared with Melt in Your Mouth Monday.

It may be winter, but a delicious smoothie still is a perfect snack. My kids are loving them and I am happy to use up some leftovers produce from the refrigerator. Our new favorite recipe is the spiced pumpkin smoothie recipe. It offers a healthy dose of vitamins A and C, which helps support a healthy immune system. Perfect for this time of year!

SPICED PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

Course: Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt Stonyfield French Vanilla blends was great
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 bananas quartered and frozen
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  • Add ingredients to the blender in the order listed.
  • Select "Smoothie" setting on a Blendtec, or a comparable setting.
Tried this recipe?Mention @emilyroachwellness or tag #erwellness!

 

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe