This morning I was featured on the local ABC7 to discuss alternatives to turkey for the holidays – my third DC area television appearance! Check it out:
Many thanks to the ABC7 team for making me feel so welcome and comfortable – they are as genuinely nice off the air as they are on it!
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A bout of avian flu in the midwest killed about 3% of the nation’s turkeys this year – though not before most of the frozen turkeys sold this November were already raised and frozen, according to the National Turkey Federation. So prices may be higher ($0.59-1.99/lb for frozen birds in our area) but the supply is still robust.
To order a (DC-area) locally raised turkey from a small farm, try:
- Glen’s Garden Market
- Weber’s Farm
- Maple Lawn Farms
- MOM’s Organic Market
- The Organic Butcher
- Ayrshire Farm
But, since it’s unlikely that turkey as we know it was even present at the first Thanksgiving, why not buck the trend and offer something different? Below are four ideas + recipes – each with their own claim to the place of honor as entree for the big day!
The other white meat: for meat-lovers who want something stuffed
A pork tenderloin is an impressive dish to serve, and could easily be stuffed with the same elements as a turkey – nuts, cranberries – and this recipe even include butternut squash! The tenderloin has about the same amount of protein as turkey, and pairs nicely with similar ingredients. Try this recipe by Gina (shes uses turkey tenderloin, but I used pork) – and don’t forget to visit your local farmer’s market to get higher quality, better-raised meats.
The turkey shaped option: for visual effect
Cornish game hens are a breed or crossbreed of chicken; they’re very small, so these would make a nice individual-sized serving, or if on the larger side perhaps served by the half. This recipe features some amazing fall flavors – lemon and sage – and Elizabeth shares my outlook on meat sourcing and portions to boot.
The vegetarian/vegan option: for the meat-free
What would a holiday post be without something from Martha Stewart? Her stuffed acorn squash includes beans, quinoa, and nuts for protein that the squash lacks with a beautiful outcome that any guest would be delighted to have. It would probably go well with a bechamel sauce, too!
The seafood version: a nod to our shellfish-eating forefathers
It’s likely that the early Thanksgivings included fish or shellfish, so serving a pescatarian option is very apropos! Rosemary is one of my favorite cold-weather flavors, and oranges are in season now – added bonus, this dish takes under half an hour from start to finish: a big time savings so you can focus on side dishes.