Easy thanksgiving turkey dinner for me has been anything but easy for decades. This year because we can’t travel and see each other, I decided to do an actually easy Thanksgiving turkey, with a side of Zoom. On Zoom, family members and friends across the country can share their table, show their foods, and raise their non alcoholic drinks to better times 2021. Recipes to follow.

But first, what was your Thanksgiving like pre Covid 19? For me, like many Americans, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The tradition of getting together with family members from near and far and a few neighbors or friends who needed a place to go was a special joy.

Easy Thanksgiving turkey dinner has other perks we can all celebrate

My family Thanksgiving was never about gift giving, so I didn’t have to worry about the Christmas chore of gifting those gaslighters in the family who are never happy with anything you give them. I’m sure you know or have some of those in your life. And I didn’t have to worry about religion or politics. In my family of origin there are both Christians and Jews. And probably, like yours, there are both Republicans and Democrats. Thanksgiving was the one event that we could all appreciate and enjoy without any conflicting beliefs or opinions or turmoil.

Sober Thanksgiving began when my children went into recovery

My parents were not drinkers, so alcohol had not been part of our Thanksgiving family tradition. I, however, was a fond martini drinker until my children went into recovery. Then, to drink or not to drink at family occasions, became a question I had to explore. Alcohol and holiday parties is challenging for those in recovery. It took me a while to give up alcohol to support loved ones in recovery. But 12 years ago, I took the plunge myself, first joining al-anon to learn the language of recovery, and then Alcoholics Anonymous because I wanted to support the 23 million Americans who gave up the thing they loved the most: their drug of choice whatever it was.

Recovery is a miracle for all of us who keep at it no matter how difficult. I do love my own sobriety for many reasons, and I have started collecting zero proof drink recipes to pair with different dinners. This ways I and my sober friends and family never need to feel left out.

Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner For Two

This is a one-roasting-pan dinner. Easy as it gets. We put applesauce or cranberry sauce, or both, on the table, and make a simple gravy. Stuffing is Stovetop with prunes and Hillshire Farm Turkey sausage added. We can’t help but love Stovetop. There’s a family tradition.

For the Roasting Pan

1 whole breast of turkey or 2 thighs

2 sweet or russet potatoes

1 Acorn Squash cut in half and seeded

Brussels sprouts or vegetable of your choice, like carrots, or beets, or turnips

Turkey Instructions

Mix flavoring Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon salt-free garlic and herb seasoning blend
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place turkey breast with skin side up into a roasting pan. Loosen skin with your fingers; brush half the butter mixture over the turkey breast and underneath the skin. Reserve remaining butter mixture. Tent turkey breast loosely with aluminum foil. You can remove the foil in the last half hour.

Roast in a 375 preheated oven for 30 minutes then add the potatoes and vegetables to the roasting pan

Potatoes

If using russet potatoes cut in quarters and add to the pan. You’ll want chunks to brown and crisp.

Add the sweet potatoes whole to the roasting pan. You’ll mash and add marshmallows later

Acorn Squash

Cut in half and add 1 tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Cover with tin foil and add to the roasting pan.

Brussels Sprouts Or Root Vegetables

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic (fresh or powder)
  • 3 TBLS Olive oil

Instructions

Wash and peel vegetables and cut into quarters or spears toss with seasonings and olive oil and add to roasting pan with potatoes, squash, and Turkey

Baste turkey breast with remaining butter mixture before returning the pan to the oven.

Roast for 1 hour

Roast the turkey and vegetables until the vegetables are soft and the juices run clear in the turkey. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, not touching bone, will read 165 degrees F (65 degrees C).

Baste the turkey once or twice and toss the vegetables to crisp.

While the dinner is roasting, make your stovetop dressing, open a jar of applesauce or make your own, make my classic gravy, and bake some biscuits or scones, if you don’t mind the extra carbs. If you want it really easy, purchase the biscuits and heat.

Leslie’s Classic Gravy

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 TBL butter
  • 2 TBL Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pan drippings
  • Salt free Turkey or Italian seasoning
  • 1 TBL Soy sauce (optional)

Instructions

Saute the butter and flour in a saucepan until it bubbles up. Then slowly add 1 1/2 cup of warm milk stirring constantly to remove all lumps. Now you have unseasoned white gravy. Add the pan drippings from the turkey roasting pan and seasonings to taste. If you want your gravy brown, add a little soy sauce.

Remove the turkey and veg from the oven and cover to rest for 10 minutes

If using sweet potatoes, cut them in half, mash with a little butter, add mini marshmallows and broil for a minute or two just before serving. You don’t need the marshmallows, but heck, why not? Uncover the acorn squash.

Now your Easy Thanksgiving Turkey is ready to serve

Create a fun platter with the potatoes of your choice, roasted vegetables, sliced turkey, and stuffing. If you have neighbors in need, share your bounty. Turn on the Zoom and see what the rest of the family is having. Oh and don’t forget your non alcoholic drinks. Here are the non alcoholic drinks recipes that we use every day.


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation. Leslie is a proud member of Rotary International.

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