Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What to Eat the Day After Thanksgiving

My pumpkin pies are in the fridge.  The bread is staling on the counter for the dressing.  The turkey is brining.  I love Thanksgiving. 

But I'm still going to give you a recommendation for what to eat the day after, when you're done with rich, heavy food.   This is a wonderful light meal, full of crisp, clean flavors.  Better than a celery or green grape cleanse, I bet.

Warm French Lentil Salad (adapted from Simple Suppers by the Moosewood Collective)

Cook 1.5 cups lentils with 1/2 tsp. salt until tender, but not mushy - using about 3 c. water (they recommend du Puy/French lentils - I just use my regular old green ones) .  Set aside.

Saute until the fennel bulb is just softened:
1 fennel bulb, chopped (or several stalks celery)
3-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground fennel seeds (I have whole ones and I just grind them around in my mortar & pestle a little bit)
1 and 1/2 tsp. thyme

Mix the sauteed stuff with the lentils.

Have ready:
chopped salad greens, especially escarole or endive or something hearty and bitter like that
lemon wedges or some vinegar
toasted walnuts
feta or chevre

To serve:
Make a bed of greens, pile some warm lentils on top, then some walnuts and feta with generous sprinklings of the fresh lemon.  Eat with crusty bread (for example) dipped in olive oil and salt.

My children think all the dipping and sprinkling and garnishing is fantastic. 


  1. Happy Thanksgiving from the Appalachians!

    The salad looks so healthful and balanced.

    And the hot chocolate: oh my!! Can't wait to try it your way.

  2. Two questions:
    1. What do you do with the fennel mixture? Or do you just eat that by the spoonful while you prep the other ingredients? :)
    2. How in HECK do you get your kids to eat the things they do? Mine would touch not a thing on that plate. Sigh.

  3. Janelle, sharp eye. I fixed the recipe - mix the fennel mixture with the lentils.

    As to the kids. . .We banished the concept of "kid food" from our house. So the kids eat what D and I eat and we don't offer substitutes. G is old enough now to act picky sometimes, but we just ignore it and figure she'll eat if she's hungry enough and we don't give snacks to make up for a meal where she didn't eat a lot. Our main rule is that they have to eat some of everything at a meal, but we don't set number of bites or give other food (i.e., dessert) if they eat something else - we try to talk about it as little as possible, basically.
    An example of how this works: sometimes I make eggs for breakfast along with vegetables - spinach or mushrooms or tomato. And for a few weeks now, G has barely touched that. We encouraged her to eat a few bites, but often her eggs were mostly untouched. This morning, D made eggs with spinach, cheese and olives and she ate every bit with no comment from her or us. I do NOT understand what goes on in her mind, but I do know that we try really hard not to have power struggles over food (over other things, um, yes).

    And she definitely talks about how much she loves french fries, chicken nuggets, and pizza :) Sometimes we talk about our favorite foods and yesterday I told her the broccoli soup we were eating for lunch was not my favorite food - that if I was at a restaurant, I wouldn't choose it. I also try not to get my kids to eat food by saying it's healthy - I think all food is fine, some of it in lesser amounts. G knows that we only eat a little bit of candy and there are never seconds on dessert.

    ok. Maybe your question was rhetorical, and I just went to town on it. But really, kids and food is An Issue for so many of us!


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