My 2012 Thanksgiving Recipes {GIVEAWAY}

by Lauren on November 24, 2012

Every year, my family collaborates on a collection of recipes to bring to the Thanksgiving table.  We of course have the classics; mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and the bird, but I’m always the one to bring some edgy side dish that goes against the usual contenders.  I believe when we were discussing who would bring what, the conversation went something like this….

Mom- “Let’s discuss the menu assignments for Thanksgiving.  Your dad and I have the turkey and the mashed potatoes covered, your sister is on desserts, your grandmother is bringing the sweet potatoes and filling…”

Me- “Okay, and what does this mean for me?”

Mom- “We need you to bring the decor to add a little color on the buffet line.  Make something green, you’re good at that.”

Me- “Figures.”

Naturally, I would be asked to provide the vegetables.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me but when it comes to all of the decadent dishes that make their appearance once a year, my measly salad usually doesn’t stand a chance.

So I have my work cut out for me each year to try to impress the masses with an appealing green that won’t be pushed aside in order to make room for a second helping of mashed potatoes.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta balance out the carb-induced options.  That, or at least provide a nice centerpiece.


Roasted Maple Brussels Sprouts with Vanilla Spiced Pecans

Makes 4 cups (about 8 servings)


2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tsp Shiloh Farms Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup Shiloh Farms pecan halves

1 tsp vanilla extract



In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.. Sprinkle with sea salt.  Lay on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the pecans with the reserved melted butter and vanilla.  Season with salt.

Remove the sprouts from the oven and place them in the bowl with the pecans.  Add the maple syrup and toss to combine.

Lay the sprouts and pecans back on the baking sheet.  Roast for an additional 5 minutes.


Fall Panzanella Salad with Pomegranates and Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons

Serves 6-8


5 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup pomegranate arils

2 cups cooked butternut squash

1 loaf of pumpkin cornbread (see recipe below), cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup pistachios (optional)

For the Dressing:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pomegranate juice

2 teaspoons agave

salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:

Roast the butternut squash in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until tender.  Set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine spinach, squash, pomegranate arils and prepared cornbread croton. (see below)

In a separate small dish, whisk  the vinegar, pomegranate juice together.  Add the agave and mix to combine.

Pour the dressing over the greens and toss until thoroughly combine.  Top with pistachios.

Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons


1 box all natural corn bread mix

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup milk (non-dairy will work too)


Prepare cornbread by placing the mix in a large bowl.  Add milk and stir to incorporate.  Fold in the pumpkin and bake as directed.

Cool completely and cut into 1 inch cubes.  It’s best to let the bread sit for a few days before turning them into croutons.

On a large baking sheet coated with non-stick spray, lay out the bread cubes and spray with cooking spray.  Place the sheet in the oven (450 degrees) and toast for 20 minutes.


And just to prove that I’m not only about the veggies, I threw together this  Pumpkin Carmel Biscoff Cheesecake as a stable backup.


Pumpkin Carmel Biscoff Cheesecake

Serves 8

Slighty adapted from this recipe


For the Crust

    • 1 package of Biscoff cookies (about 30 cookies)
    • 2 Tablespoons melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 24 oz (3 packages) 1/3 less fat cream cheese – room temp
  • 15 oz (approx 2 c) pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1  c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping


Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly spray a 9 in’ pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.

For the crust, pulse the cookies in a food processor until the crumbs are uniform.  Remove from the processor and place in a large bowl.  Add the melted butter and combine thoroughly with a fork.   When the mixture is evenly moist, crumbly, and holds together when you squeeze a handful, it’s ready. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of your pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the pumpkin puree and combine.  Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one.  Beat in the Greek yogurt.  Then add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and flour.  Beat just until combined, then beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the filling into the cooled crust and spread evenly.  Take half of your caramel topping and place a few spoonfuls into the cheesecake filling.  With a butter knife, gently swirl the topping throughout the filling.

Bake until the top of the cheesecake is a deep golden color and the center is set, about 1 hour. It’s ok if there is a slight jiggle to the filling.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a thin-bladed knife between the crust and the pan sides, to prevent the  cake from cracking as it cools.  Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack.  Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight before serving.  Top with remaining caramel topping.


All in all, we had a pretty tasty Thanksgiving, vegetables and all!  Even though my dishes were not the talk of the night, I noticed a bit more green on people’s plates than they would ever admit.



A few months ago, I ran into Sarah from Manitoba Harvest at the Natural Food Expo in Baltimore.  She was handing out samples of their popular product, raw hemp seeds, to passer-bys and I happened to get her attention.  I love hemp seeds and use them almost daily and here’s why:

“Hemp is a high protein, easily digestible seed containing all nine of the essential amino acids (like flax). It also has high amounts of fatty acids and fiber as well as containing vitamin E and trace minerals. It has a balanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats at around a three to one ratio.” – source 

Hemp contains:

* All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
* A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
* Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
* Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
* A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid – for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
* A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
* A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
* The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.

Hemp seeds are a great alternative to flax or chia if you are looking for additional protein and amino acid in your diet.   Plus, I love the fact that hemp does not seem to upset my stomach the way flax does so I often find myself sprinkling these nutty seeds on salads, cereal and waffles.

Sarah has graciously offered to give away one 16oz bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to one lucky SWYNTS reader.

Simply leave a comment on this post with one way that you would use hemp in your diet if you won. 

For an extra entry:

(separate comment for each entry) 

Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, November 27th.  One winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday’s post.

75 thoughts on “My 2012 Thanksgiving Recipes {GIVEAWAY}”

  1. Love the recipes! Happy belated Thanksgiving 🙂

    I would use the hemp mixed into greek yogurt or in a batch of blondies.

  2. Those recipes look SO good!!

    Also I’ve been wanting to try those hemp hearts. I’ve been loving chia seeds in my oatmeal and I really want to try hemp on my oatmeal as well. 🙂

  3. Kristen says:

    I would try hemp to increase my fiber intake. I have yet to try it!

  4. Ashley says:

    I put hemp hearts on my salads, greek yogurt, or in smoothies. I need to start incorporating them into more meals though, I usually just don’t think to add them.

  5. Laura says:

    Yum! Your recipes look delicious. I love brussel sprouts. I need to try that recipe. I love putting hemp seeds on my salads at lunch. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

  6. Lauren says:

    I’m always looking for more ways to add protein 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try baking them!

  7. tempesst says:

    I would put them on my oatmeal!

  8. Jeanne says:

    I would sprinkle them on my cereal. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. EricA says:

    I want to bake it into muffins! And make a topping too!! Um your side dishes look amazing! I would pass everything else up for them

  10. Pam says:

    I would have to look up recipes using hemp. I am unfamiliar with it, but I am eager to give it a try.

  11. Billie Jean says:

    I’ve never had them before! I’d toss them on some oat bran or cereal, maybe a salad? Sounds like a great way to get my protein being vegan and a runner!

  12. Billie Jean says:

    Following Manitoba Harvest on Facebook!

  13. Billie Jean says:

    Following them on Twitter, too.

  14. Billie Jean says:

    And Pinterest!

  15. carly says:

    I would add it to cereal, yogurt and smoothies for more protein!

  16. Anne says:

    I would love to try hemp seeds as an alternative to chia seeds in my greek yogurt!!

  17. tiffany says:

    i’d put hemp seeds in my yogurt and oatmeal!

  18. Steph! says:

    Great looking recipes! I would put hemp seeds on my salads 🙂

  19. Steph! says:

    Following on Pinterest 🙂

  20. Steph! says:

    And twitter!

  21. Tiffany says:

    Hemp seeds would be great sprinkled over scrambled ggs..yum yum!

  22. sarah says:

    Hemp seeds would help me transition to a more vegetarian diet, maybe sprinkled in oatmeal, or possibly sneak them into cookies!

  23. Emily says:

    I’d use them to top off a yogurt parfait!

  24. Jordan D says:

    I prefer non-fat greek yogurt so I can add healthier sources of fat to it. I bet the hemp hearts would taste great mixed with plain greek yogurt, stevia, cinnamon, and cereal!

  25. Jordan D says:

    I like them on facebook!

  26. Jordan D says:

    I follow on twitter, too

  27. Amy says:

    I would eat hemp with oatmeal! Perfect timing, as I am running out of chia seeds!

  28. Hannah says:

    I think I’d use them in some kind of greek yogurt parfait, or maybe on a salad!

  29. Megan says:

    I’d love to sprinkle it on smoothies!

  30. Ok, so I’m not a huge fan of brussels sprouts BUT I’m thinking about preparing them the way you did, just in a smaller serving!

    I’d probably sprinkle the hemp seeds into my yogurt, oatmeal, or as a topping on waffles like you did!

  31. Mo says:

    I would put them on cereal, oatmeal, or salads. It was actually recommended to me to include hemp in my diet because I’m breastfeeding. 🙂

  32. Megan says:

    Recipes look delish! I would use hemp hearts on my daily pumpkin yogurt bowls (instead of or in addition to my usual chia seeds)!

  33. Missy says:

    Yogurt bowls and cereal.

  34. Michelle says:

    I would use it in my yogurt or on top of my waffles and PB

  35. Rebecca P. says:

    I would use them with my breakfast, eaither in cereal or over greek yogert to easily get in extra healthy fats and nutrients!

  36. Rebecca P. says:

    I followed Manitoba Harvest on Pintrest

  37. Rebecca P. says:

    I liked Manitoba Harvest on Facebook

  38. Love the looks of all your Thanksgiving recipes! That cheesecake sounds SO good!

    I would use the hemp seed in my cereal, yogurt, and oatmeal!

  39. Elizabeth says:

    I would find a recipe for a baked good using the hemp!

  40. Nicole F. says:

    Absolutely making that salad this week! And I usually include chia seeds in my oatmeal so I’d be interested in adding the hemp seeds as an alternative or in salads for a protein boost/crunch!

  41. Oh wow that cheesecake…amazing! I used to use hemp hearts in everything – sprinkled over oatmeal, mixed into buckwheat bakes and pancake batter. I need to get back into the habit again!

  42. i love hemp hearts and usually buy them out of the bulk bin! i eat a high fat diet and this is a great way for me to get some plant based fat in–it’s difficult to eat a ton of animal fat! i use them in smoothies, over salads and on my eggs too!

  43. bonnie says:

    Great giveaway! I’d add them to smoothies.

  44. Marilyn says:

    This would be great in my breakfast smoothie.

  45. Ashley P says:

    I love hemp seeds! I usually put them in yogurt or oatmeal, but sometimes I add them to smoothies and soups.

  46. Ashley P says:

    I’m following them on Twitter!

  47. Kaitlin says:

    Oh, I have been wanting to try hemp seeds! I would add them to a smoothie or oatmeal!

  48. Kaitlin says:

    I’m now following them on Facebook!

  49. Alison says:

    I would add them to cereal!

  50. Ttrockwood says:

    Liked manitoba on fb! (Teri)

  51. Ttrockwood says:

    I would add the hemp seeds ontop of salads and in soup!

  52. Wehaf says:

    I would add them to yogurt with some berries and have a delicious breakfast.

  53. Elise says:

    I would sprinkle the hemp seeds on salads!

  54. Floey says:

    Id use them in a smoothie 🙂

  55. Amye says:

    I would mix hemp either in my greek yogurt or oatmeal!

  56. Alissa says:

    I would use the hemp seeds in oatmeal, yogurt, on salads, or in cottage cheese! Endless possibilities, really.

    Great post as well! The brussels look BEE-utiful!

  57. Alissa says:

    I liked Manitoba Harvest on Facebook!

  58. Alissa says:

    I’m now following them (and you!) on Twitter!

  59. Rachel Cara says:

    I’d use them in my Vitamix for soups, such as today’s sweet potato bisque.

  60. Elle says:

    I am just about out of these.. would love to win!

    I use them in my protein sludge mixes and also in my healthy breakfast bowls.

  61. Elle says:

    Yep. I already like them on FB.

  62. Elle says:

    I follow them on Twitter

  63. Elle says:

    I follow them on Pinterest now too.

  64. Kristin says:

    I would love to win this! I am working on getting more protein into my diet per my doctor and this would be another great way to do that!

  65. Amy says:

    ooh-great giveaway! I would totally add it to my greek yogurt!

  66. I have never tried hemp seed before but I would sprinkle it on my oatmeal or yogurt.

  67. Laura says:

    I would love to try them with oatmeal!

  68. courtney says:

    i’d be all about using those in my oatmeal!

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