Thanksgiving Menu for Somewhat Picky Eater

Updated on November 09, 2011
A.H. asks from Arlington, TX
12 answers

I'm ready to branch out this year and add to my turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. I am such a picky eater I won't even eat the dressing I have been making for the last 20 years (I hear it's good).
What can I do to fancy it up a little bit? So far all I have dreamed up is some green beans with some onion in them.
Which reminds me I have to make pearl onions in a sauce for my brother, but the Beschmel sauces I have used are bland (so I have heard, I don't eat them either).
Pick on me all you want, I just don't think fruit belongs in things like stuffing or salads.
It seems like all the Holiday Recipes on the recipe sites are just too fancy.
So give me your best Holiday side dish to go with my always Moist Stupendous Turkey :)
Thanks gurlies!!!!
P.S. Oh, please no sweet potato/yam recipes, I won't touch them (surprised?)

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answers from Portland on

I have just found that I love roasted veggies and I am a very picky eater. I cut up broccili, cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, zucchini, and anything else that looks good and put them on a cookie sheet. drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, sea salt, and/or any other seasoning that looks good. Cook at 350 for 25min. It is so good, I usually stand at the stove when it is done and eat some of it before I put it in the serving bowl.

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answers from Hartford on

Honestly? I think you're going to have better luck if you make a list of ingredients that you'll not only cook with, but will eat yourself. If that means that you veer a bit away from what some people think of as traditional dishes, then so be it. Start your own traditional dishes and make something flavorful and something that you and everyone can enjoy even if it's not 100% conventional.

Make what you like, and if you have a couple of special requests then make them only if it's convenient for you. Like, if your stuffing is such a smash hit that everyone couldn't bear to be without it, then make it in a casserole dish but stuff your turkey with a stuffing that YOU like best. Make a gravy for mashed potatoes and turkey that YOU like and is simple but flavorful made from the juice of the turkey or a can of broth. Don't like chives or lumps of potatoes in your mashed potatoes? Leave out the chives and whip the potatoes smooth, but add butter and cream cheese and a packet of Ranch dressing!

Why rely on what other people say about your cooking if you have no idea how something actually tastes? That's no way to enjoy a holiday meal even if you're reaping a lot of compliments. :-(

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answers from Saginaw on

we have cheesy potato casserole and marshmallow salad as well on Thanksgiving.

the potato casserole can either be made with fresh or frozen potato cubes, cream of potato soup, sour cream, cheese and butter. can get you a real recipe if you'd like.

our Marshmallow salad has a block of cream cheese, the juice from a can of fruit cocktail, blended until creamy, then add the fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, Marciano cherries and mini marshmallows.

I love caprese too! sliced mozzarella, sliced tomato, fresh basil, olive oil and salt and pepper.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We have butternut squash soup (there are tons of great recipes)
Green beans in brown butter (you pretty much steam the green beans and toss in brown butter)
Cranberry sauce (the one on the package of cranberries - cranberries, sugar, water, cook until they pop)
Chestnut giblet stuffing (we have done cornbread and sausage stuffing).

How are you getting your kids to be adventurous eaters?

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answers from New York on

My mother makes ambrosia each year. Literally take a can of mandarin oranges, canned fruit cocktail and 1/2 bag of marshmallows. Completely drain them so there is NO liquid. Stir in a thing of Cool whip and you're all set!

You could also try potatoes au gratin. Delicious! We had them last night. Betty Crocker is just so good at making it, there's no reason to make your own. Cheesy potatoes... mmmm.

I'm not a fan of green bean casserole, but I do like to add toasted almonds and lots of butter and salt to my holiday greens!

My MIL makes a delicious French Onion Soup that she serves as a starter for Thanksgiving. I've made it before and it's pretty darn easy and you can do it in your slow cooker. She has also done a warm spinach salad with a ham that is killer!

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answers from Jacksonville on

I like fresh green beans sauteed in butter with strips of red bell pepper. You can toss in some slivered almonds if you like. We don't do a lot of casserole type things at my house---neither my kids nor my husband are fans.

You could also do a mean macaroni and cheese and do crushed seasoned breadcrumbs on top. Plain, and yet not.

p.s. If you do go with an "ambrosia"... my mom's is the way I would do it. She doesn't use anything canned and no whipped cream, fluff stuff or marshmallows. She just cuts up fresh fruit--- peeled/deveined oranges, red grapefruits, apples, a banana, some shredded coconut and maybe some pears(?). She stirs it all up and lets it sort of marinate in its own juices. She MIGHT toss in some pecans, but I can't remember exactly.

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answers from Dallas on

You have to taste as you cook. Even if it's not your favorite food, taste for salt content etc.

Add a dash of cayenne or cajun seasoning to your Beschamel. Wakes it right up.

If you went to a Thanksgiving Buffet, what would you load onto your plate? Try to find simple recipies for those foods. If you like brocoli cheese rice casserole, google simple recipies brocoli cheese rice casserole.

My favorite part of dinner is the super pillowy, buttery, soft parkerhouse rolls. So, I make a ton of those. Buy them frozen, Set them out to raise, covered in a clean dishtowel, brush them with butter and bake. Makes an excellent leftover turkey sandwhich!

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answers from Houston on

I'm a picky eater as well.. I have narrowed it down to sensory issues though and once I figured that out, I am more willing to try new things. I also found I have to force myself to eat some things as well. For me, I can only eat dressing if the texture is right... so no soggy stuffed in the bird stuffing for me!

I agree with the fruit, fruit in dressings sound so yucky. But in like pasta salads, they can be very good! Most fancy recipes can be altered by the way, if it calls for dried cranberries, you can totally omit those.

For your sauce, I have never had that kind of sauce, but a little bit of garlic, salt and pepper, maybe some fresh basil can go a long way!

I do mashed potatoes, or even roasted potatoes. Roast some potatoes with carrots, celery, onion, zucchini in a little olive oil, garlic, rosemary and basil... soo good! I also never touched candied yams until about a year ago and I loved them!...

As for the green bean casserole, yep, I make that too.

I guess I only know the boring, traditional side dishes :)

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answers from Portland on

I make a jello salad, using orange flavored jello and add Mandarin oranges. The kids eat it up so there is never any left. This adds color and variety in temperature and texture to the menu.

You can add spices or herbs to the Beschmel sauce. Look up sauces on the Internet for ideas.

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answers from Dallas on

Broccoli-rice casserole? Bobby Flay made roasted brussel sprouts on his Thanksgiving throwdown last year that looked really good. I'm fairly picky and will eat both of those (with some adjustments on the brussel sprouts sauce he used). I assume you don't like green bean casserole? Hmmm.... I've done creamed corn with cream cheese and green chilies before... really good.

I'd search for Thanksgiving recipes, and find something that sounds good, then tweak it a little so you can enjoy it too.



answers from Dallas on

Do you like baked potatoes? I bake a lot of potatoes, cut them in half, keep the skin, get all the filling out, put in a bowl, add milk, butter, salt/pepper, cheese, and anything else you like on a baked potato. Then take that mixture and put back into the potato shells. Put in oven and melt Velveeta on top and everyone loves it. Totally not fat free no matter how you try - but a big hit and a tradition in my family. Also, in your green beans, saute some onions and bacon and pour on green beans. Adds a great flavor.

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