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Old 11-03-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default Thanksgiving for two

Hi- just wondering if anyone out there has done thanksgiving for just two people. I'm at a loss how to begin or what to make.

I'd ideally want to have traditional food- but just a little lighter and for just two people. Even when I cook for everyone - there are still too many leftovers - I do not want to be eating this stuff for two weeks!

Also- it's feeling like a bit of a bummer to just be us two. He'll be working (from home) until 8pm that day. I will be on my own to cook and wander around the apartment - any suggestions for keeping spirits up for a family-less holiday? Trying to be thankful afterall. I get to do the same for Christmas this year too.

Thanks in advance chicks!

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Maybe cook some turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey, you can make stuffing in whatever portion size you want and just bake it a dish in the oven instead of inside the turkey. A lot of things can be made by portion size... mashed potatoes and veggies. As far as dessert, pumpkin pie can be made with Splenda and fat free condensed milk which makes it a lot healthier. I find it a little less rich but that's okay with me. I also like my pumpkin pie without crust (and it saves up to 100 calories or more per serving).

As for keeping up your spirits... do you like to do any crafting type stuff? If you were to have the whole day to keep an eye on the oven what about making some homemade Christmas cards or ornaments or that type of thing?
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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Well, I always made a whole turkey just for DH and I and will likely do so again this year. We usually freeze some of the turkey meat and then I use the bones and carcass to make stock that I freeze and use throughout the year for soups and other bases.

This year here's likely what we'll make:
1 smallish whole turkey (10-12 lbs is the smallest organic turkey we can get from our Whole Foods)
mashed potatoes (1/2 potato and 1/2 cauliflower)
stuffing (1/2 batch)
steamed broccoli
steamed asparagus
homemade cranberry compote

The asparagus and broccoli we'll eat on the day and I'll have potatoes, but not stuffing. DH will have both.

Then he'll make sandwiches with whatever stuffing, compote, and turkey is left the rest of the weekend.

The only thing we'll really have leftovers of is the turkey, and like I said, we'll freeze that and I'll make soup/stock.

Now, if you didn't want to do a whole turkey, you could get just a turkey breast from the grocery store or butcher and just cook a 3-4 lb turkey breast and have far fewer leftovers.

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Old 11-04-2008, 06:26 AM   #4
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turkey breasts, green beans, dinner salad, crustless pumpkin pie

watch Christmas specials and decorate. Work on Christmas cards.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
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Red face

I like to do a turkey breast in the crockpot (I put it on a vegetable steamer and put them both in my crockpot).
Besides that for
DH corn, candied yams, mashed potatoes, banana pudding or pumpkin pie

Me green beans, sweet potato w/just cinnamon, 1 inch slice of pumpkin pie or a banana

This will give us both our big holiday meal without too much fuss, and without blowing myself up like too much of a balloon. Our desert is usually after we walk off some of the meal, lol.

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Every step I take makes me more healthy and more happy!

Last edited by Sea; 11-04-2008 at 09:01 AM. Reason: didn't support columns
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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I've made this recipe a few times instead of a whole turkey and it's very good and fast. roast up sme veggies and potatoes, get one of those tiny pies from the store and you are good to go


As far as being home alone, have you thought about finding a place to volunteer that day? Nothing lifts your spirits quite like helping people in need. Check out http://www.volunteermatch.org/ for opportunities.
"What are you REALLY hungry for?"

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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We usually have 4 Thanksgivings. One with my extended family, my immediate family, his immediate family (sometimes extended, too, just depends), then the two of us. I love left overs! Mmmm... turkey sandwiches...
Neither of us care for dark meat, so I get a whole turkey but just the breast. Bake like a normal turkey. Alton Brown's recipe with the brine is the best I've had yet!
Last year we did mashed potatoes, too. This year will be a bit healthier. I'll use half yukon gold's and half cauliflour.
Last year we did stuffing, but he didn't like it. Might try something new.
MAYBE a dessert. MAYBE. Have to think of something healthier...
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:17 AM   #8
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One year it was just my husband and I for dinner and it was that day that I decided to start a low carb diet lol We had turkey cutlets, green beans sauteed with butter and garlic and he had mashed potatoes. I made a pumpkin pie for dessert which he proceeded to devour over the course of 3 days.
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Old 11-04-2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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We may be doing a Thanksgiving with just the three of us this year, so I feel your pain. Someone else mentioned volunteering...I would highly recommend it. Even when we have family Thanksgivings we serve lunch at the local soup kitchen - they really appreciate it and it gives more meaning to that day than just food.

If I do a smaller Thanksgiving, it will probably be either a whole smallish turkey (like PC said, freeze leftovers!) or game hens. All side dishes can be cut in half to accommodate the size you need.

I actually love having leftovers from Thanksgiving...we eat what we can for a few days and then freeze what we don't eat.

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Old 11-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #10
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This year for Canadian Thanks-giving my family and I went to the golf course for dinner. No cooking, no clean up it's awesome! However, there no left overs and I love leftovers. When I was at school, and there were only 2 or 3 of us around for thanks-giving I usually did game hens, with suffing, mashed potatos and veggies.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:01 PM   #11
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Hey Lizzie,

I agree w/ some of the good suggestions already made. I'm not sure if BF and I will be going somewhere, eating with friends, or by ourselves. If I'm cooking for us I'll be doing something like this - You can buy turkey breasts and just cook those instead of a whole turkey. I would talk w/ your SO about what your Turkey day favorites are, and make small batches and lighter versions of those, not everything (e.g. do you really need stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and bread, etc? pick 1 or 2 starches, 1 or 2 vegs), etc. Real cranberries instead of canned relish stuff. I subscribe to "Clean Eating" magazine and their fall issue has some great Turkey day ideas, if you have access to it or could peruse it in a store. Make a crustless pumpkin pie, as already suggested, or here are some alternate pumpkin recipes that are actually pretty healthy. Here is a recipe I've gotten from Meg on this website (hope she doesn't mind me re-posting them!). I'm not sure where I go the second recipe.

Baked Pumpkin Custard (Meg’s recipe)

1 large can pure pumpkin (29 oz)
1 1/2 cups low or nonfat cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups Splenda
1 1/2 cups Eggbeaters
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Process all in the food processor until well-mixed and smooth. Spray six custard cups with PAM. Divide mixture equally in cups. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Nutrition Info per serving

110 calories
1 g fat
12 g carbs
13 g protein

Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding
Makes 12 servings

4 cups 1 percent milk (I have always used skim milk)
1 (15-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar (I use real sugar, but reduce the amount slightly)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toasted pumpkin seeds, optional garnish (haven't used these, but they sound awesome)
Whipped cream, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine milk, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir about 2 cups of pumpkin mixture into the eggs; whisk well, then return all to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rice and vanilla.

Pour into a 9- by 13-inch pan that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable coating. Bake, uncovered, 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Per serving (without optional garnishes): 162 calories (12 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 34 milligrams cholesterol, 31 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 97 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Mmm. I might make some pumpkin custard this week.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:29 PM   #12
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my boyfriend and I just had a turkey (long time leftovers), mashed potatoes, a vegetable, and wine. It was still very nice.

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:05 PM   #13
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While there's nothing better than leftover turkey, I did notice something the other day. Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? They had a turkey breast rolled with an apple stuffing rolled up inside. It looked really good! I imagine it's more for 4-6 people, but there's nothing wrong with leftovers. You could combine it with green beans and sweet potatoes and you're meal would be complete.

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Old 11-05-2008, 03:51 AM   #14
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Go out for dinner! My SO and I are often alone for Thanksgiving--my family is 2000 miles away, his family consists solely of his completely nuts mom and we do our best to avoid spending time with her because she is so unpleasant, and our friends all have their own families. We always go out for a nice Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, even if we do get forced to spend the holiday with his mom, we still go out to dinner (she has all sorts of crazy food issues, so there's no point in trying to cook for her).

Most restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving serve a traditional turkey dinner. We get turkey (cooked better than I could do myself) and all the trimmings, I don't have to cook, I don't have a ton of leftovers that I have to find a way to use up, and getting to eat out in a nice restaurant makes the meal romantic and special instead of lonely. I consider it a treat meal; I eat what I want, including dessert and wine, and don't worry about it. Since there aren't any leftovers (or at most, only one meal's worth of leftovers), it doesn't become a "treat week" or worse. Check your local paper for listings of restaurants in your area that will be open on Thanksgiving (or do a google search).
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:00 AM   #15
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Cornish hens are nice. Sugar free orange marmalade glaze is yummy too!!
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