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Thanksgiving Slaw

Our family’s classic Thanksgiving and Christmas menu is rich. There are tons of carbs, and I’m afraid to tell you how much butter it takes to get the meal on the table. This tangy cabbage slaw is not only quick to put together and sturdy enough to sit for up to 2 hours without wilting, its acidity and hint of mustard help cut through the other dishes on the plate.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings Total time: 25 minutes

Leesa’s Favorite Side Salad

Delicious salads must be made with the freshest ingredients that are chopped into bite-sized pieces (especially the greens!). This is my favorite side salad to serve at a dinner party, and contains green and red romaine, sugar snap peas, apples, avocado, slivered almonds, and a high-quality prepared dressing.

Total time: 15 minutes

Romesco Bowls with Farro & Chicken

Top chewy farro, perfectly cooked chicken, and sautéed bell peppers with romesco, a gorgeous orange sauce made of tomatoes, pimentos, parsley, and almonds.

This recipe has a lot of elements, but they can be made in advance to simplify dinner prep.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Guy’s Chicken Roulades

Guy has made these chicken roulades, stuffed with chorizo, Manchego cheese, parsley, and almonds, for our yearly Wild Game Dinners as well as Winner Dinner, a yearly fantasy football bet I routinely lost to our friend Jarred.

They are moist and delicious, and worthy of a special occasion.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Red Lentil Soup

This wholesome and satisfying soup is made of onions, shallots, lentils, brown rice, and vegetable stock, and topped with Feta cheese and slivered almonds.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 40 minutes

Erin’s Red Broccoli Salad

Our friends Erin and Matt have a lovely home in the country, surrounded by pastures and horses, and on the occasional holiday, a fireworks display on each horizon. We love gathering with friends there, especially when dishes like this are on the table.

Red onions, grapes, and bacon lend the red color to the otherwise green salad of broccoli, celery, and green onions.

Yield: 8 servings

Almond & Italian Parsley Pesto

This is a great alternative to traditional pesto, if pine nuts are too expensive, or if you have extra Italian parsley to use up.

Yield: 2 cups Total time: 15 minutes

Curried Chicken Salad

Chop chicken (grab a rotisserie chicken at the market), grapes, apples, and pineapple. Add shredded carrots, curry powder, and toasted almonds for a truly special chicken salad. Serve on wheat bread, with crackers, or in pita pockets.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes

Indian Chicken in Creamy Almond Sauce

Simmer chicken in a broth flavored with toasted cinnamon, bay leaves, onion and garlic, curry powder, turmeric and cardamom. Add sour cream and ground almonds to the broth and thicken for a delicious sauce.

Yield: 6 servings Total time: 1 hour

Thanksgiving Rice

Mom first made this rice for Christmas one year in Colorado, when I was very little. It now defines our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. We could do without the turkey, but we can’t do without this rice, seasoned with allspice and nutmeg, chopped onions, and slivered almonds. In fact, we always make her do a double batch, so there are plenty of leftovers.

Yield: 8 servings Total time: 45 minutes