Before you're even finished sifting through the entire haul of your kids' Halloween candy (P.S. we have thoughts on what to do with it), November is here, and it's time to start planning the Thanksgiving menu. But I’d like to take a moment to address the fact that we can’t eat turkey, dressing, and sweet potato casserole every day for the entire month of November.
This is a month to take advantage of the season and scarf down all things comforting and hearty, as we promise ourselves we’ll cut back on the calories and be the type of person who drinks green juice for lunch in the new year. So before you start preparing your menu for this year's Thanksgiving feast, and holidays beyond, don’t miss the opportunity to eat other delicious cold weather classics--even during the most hectic time of the year. Our staff has picked out some of the dishes they look forward to most during the month of November to help you get started.
Be thankful for these six must-make dishes that have (practically) nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but everything to do with eating and planning simple, comforting dishes for the other 29 days in November:
"I get really excited about drinks, like apple cider and hot chocolate. I also love quick and easy chili or soups, where I can just dump ingredients into my slow cooker in the morning and be done when I get home."
- Kathleen Varner, Freelance Photo Assistant Editor, Cooking Light
- Ashley Kappel, Digital Content Manager, CookingLight.com and MyRecipes.com
"I don't even eat turkey at Thanksgiving. In fact, I eat almost no meat. You could not make a turkey on Thanksgiving, and I actually couldn't care less. I just eat the sides. And I'm praying to get to Thanksgiving just so that I can eat my Papaw's potato casserole."
- Kimberly Holland, Editor, CookingLight.com
"For breakfast, overnight oats (you can prep overnight to save time in the morning, and it’s much healthier than the breakfast casseroles I know I’ll be eating a bunch for Thanksgiving and Christmas when guests are in town). For lunch and dinner, I’m looking forward to trying out new soups and stews so that I can have more in my arsenal (right now it’s basically chili, corn chowder, and chicken noodle soup). My mom used to make shepherd’s pie a lot during the fall and winter, and I’ve never made my own so I plan to try it out this month as well as chicken and dumplings (same—never made my own)."
- Emma Crist, Assistant Editor, MyRecipes.com
"Even though the apple hype hits in September, I think it’s never cold enough by then to truly enjoy hot apple cider. By November, it’s the perfect drink to snuggle up to--always topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. Salads with butternut squash and pomegranate seeds scream cold weather and winter to me. I know pie is an obvious Thanksgiving food, but there’s something about a pumpkin pie or apple pie that is so delicious for November. I cannot eat chili if it is even remotely warm out, so I’m starting to get exciting about stirring up a big pot of thick, hearty chili."
- Sara Tane, Digital Fellow, CookingLight.com
"There's no doubt, I could easily subsist off of various soups and brothy, nourishing noodle bowls for the majority of my fall and winter meals... but the dish I look forward to digging into most this time of year, hands down, is a rich chicken pot pie. Be it wrapped in flakey pastry or topped with buttery biscuits, pot pie is one of those comfort foods I'll go back for second (and third) helpings on without a second thought."
- Darcy Lenz, Editor, MyRecipes.com