Holiday Meal Planning
By Mary McDougall
A Reprint from the McDougall Newsletter - October 2005
first shared this planning schedule with you in 2004 and I
heard from quite a few people who used this schedule and
shopping list for a successful Thanksgiving last year. Since I plan to use this same schedule, and mostly the same
menu, myself again this year I am including it in this 2009
usually have a large crowd of friends and family with us
every year to celebrate, and my menu doesn’t vary much from
year to year. Many of the recipes that are a tradition in
our home I have shared with you over the past several years,
either in one of the cookbooks or in a newsletter. The
following recipes will be part of our holiday meal again
this year. The starred (*) items are ones I suggest for a
basic meal plan, and then add as many more dishes as you
feel your Thanksgiving dinner needs to fit your celebration.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
(newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: Prepare
this up to two days ahead without the soy milk and
refrigerate. Reheat in microwave or on stovetop. Add the soy milk after the soup is heated through.
Tossed Green Salad with
Prepare dressings three to four days in advance and
refrigerate. Or buy your favorite non-fat salad
dressings. Buy organic baby greens in bags and
toss in a bowl just before serving.
* Holiday Stuffed
Pumpkin (newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: Buy
pumpkin in October or early November for the best
selection. Keep in a cool place. Buy extra
pumpkins for use at other times during the winter
months. Choose one of the many varieties available
at this time of the year. One of my favorites is
the “ghost” pumpkin with its white skin and orange
flesh. The traditional pumpkin for carving a
jack-o-lantern is not the tastiest choice for use as
a stuffed pumpkin, although I have used them when
nothing else was available. Clean the pumpkin the
day before use and refrigerate, but do not stuff
until just before baking. If you do not have enough
room to refrigerate the cleaned pumpkin then clean
it just before stuffing. Cube the bread the night
before and allow it to sit out overnight so the
bread dries out slightly. This step helps to make
the stuffing mixture nicely moist, but not mushy.
* Mashed Potatoes
(newsletter July 2004 & October 2004)
Success Tip: Peel
potatoes in the morning and store in water to cover
until cooking time. Drain off all cooking water.
Use a handheld electric mixer and add warmed soymilk
while beating. Place mashed potatoes into a warmed
bowl before serving. For garlic mashed potatoes,
add some of the Elephant Garlic Spread to the
potatoes while mashing.
Maple Mashed Sweet
Potatoes (newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: These may
be made two days ahead of time and refrigerated in a
covered casserole dish. Reheat in microwave just
* Golden Gravy
(newsletter October 2003)
Success Tip: This may
be made a day ahead of time and reheated slowly on
the stovetop, stirring frequently.
Rich Brown Gravy
(newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: Brown the
onions and flour a day or two ahead of time, then
cover and refrigerate. Finish the recipe as
directed, realizing that it will take a bit more
time for the liquid to heat through.
Whole Wheat & Sourdough
Rolls with Elephant Garlic Spread (newsletter
Success Tip: Order your
rolls from Whole Foods or a bakery about one week
early, then pick them up the day before the
holiday. Make the garlic spread one or two days
ahead of time and refrigerate until serving.
* Cranberry Sauce
(newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: Make two
to three days ahead of time and refrigerate until
just before serving.
* Green Beans
Success Tip: Trim beans
the day before and store in the refrigerator. Wash
just before steaming. I usually serve these plain
with a bit of salt and pepper.
Brussels Sprouts with
Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing (newsletter July 2003)
Success Tip: Trim these
a day or two before cooking and store in the
refrigerator. Wash before cooking. Most people
like these best with some type of a sauce, although
Heather and I like them plain with only a bit of
salt. Make the dressing one to two days ahead and
store in the refrigerator. Pour a small amount of
the dressing over the cooked Brussels sprouts and
toss just before serving.
* Pumpkin Pie with
Vanilla Cream Sauce (newsletter October 2003)
Success Tip: Make the
pie and the sauce one day ahead and refrigerate
until just before serving. We like this pie best
chilled. If you like warm pumpkin pie, you will
need to make this just before serving. The crust
can be prepared one day early and refrigerated. Mix
the filling ingredients together, cover and
refrigerate overnight, then pour into the crust and
bake. The vanilla sauce should be served chilled
over the pie.
Wicked Chocolate Pie
(newsletter October 2004)
Success Tip: Make this
one day early and refrigerate. The toppings may be
made two days ahead, if desired. This needs to be
Shop for the
non-perishable items about a week ahead of time. These are
the canned and packaged products, such as vegetable broth,
canned pumpkin, flour, silken tofu and any dried herbs and
spices that you may need. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and
garlic can be purchased ahead of time as long as you have a
cool place to store them (not the refrigerator). Choose the
menu items that you want to include for your Thanksgiving
feast, then look through the recipes. Check over this
shopping list as you go through the recipes, and make sure
you also have the pantry items available. Shop for your
perishable items no more than 2 days before the holiday, if
following shopping lists are for the complete menu above. You will have to adjust the items needed depending on what
you plan to prepare.
These may be
purchased ahead of time and stored in your pantry or
(32 oz.) vegetable broth
2 cans (15-16 oz.) pumpkin
1 jar (12 oz.) applesauce
3 containers (32 oz.) soy or rice milk
1 jar (8 oz.) pure maple syrup
5 packages (12.3 oz.) Lite Silken Tofu-Extra Firm
2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
1 bag (16 oz.) Sucanat
1 jar (16 oz.) Wonderslim Fat Replacer
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen raspberries
1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
1 cup sliced almonds
1 container (32 oz.) orange juice
1 jar (4 oz.) capers
nine ingredients may be purchased ahead of time. Buy the
fresh vegetables and bread products the day before, if
1 bunch celery
1 head garlic
2 heads elephant garlic
5 pounds potatoes
3 pounds yams or sweet potatoes
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 small pumpkin (to serve the soup in-optional)
1 medium-large pumpkin
Bagged organic baby greens
2 pounds green beans
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 large loaf whole wheat bread
6-8 whole wheat or sourdough rolls
used in several of the recipes and are things that you
probably already have in your pantry. Check over this list
and purchase anything that you don’t have.
Soy sauce (at least 1 cup)
Whole wheat flour
Unbleached white flour
Golden brown sugar
Pumpkin pie spice
Soy Parmesan cheese
for non-perishable items and some of the perishable
foods listed above.
Order rolls from bakery.
Make cranberry sauce.
for vegetables and whole wheat bread.
Make Creamy Pumpkin Soup.
Bake sweet potatoes or yams and prepare Maple Mashed
Make Elephant Garlic Spread.
Make Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing.
Make the raspberry sauce and the almond topping for
the chocolate pie.
up the pre-ordered rolls.
Make the pumpkin pie and vanilla sauce.
Make the chocolate pie.
Trim the green beans and Brussels sprouts.
Make the Golden Gravy.
Partially make the brown gravy.
Cube the bread and allow to sit out overnight
potatoes and place in cold water to cover.
Clean out pumpkins.
Make stuffing mixture and stuff pumpkin.
sweet potatoes and soup out of refrigerator.
Place pumpkin in oven and bake as directed.
Cook potatoes and mash.
Wash vegetables and cook.
Finish brown gravy and slowly reheat Golden Gravy.
Reheat mashed sweet potatoes.
Finish soup and heat.
Place baby greens in bowl. Serve with dressings.
Heat rolls and garlic spread.
Don’t forget the cranberry sauce.