5 Healthy Cookbooks for Unique Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Create delicious, healthy, sustainable, and seasonal masterpieces this Thanksgiving.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
October 28, 2020

Thanksgiving may be a little different this year, but it's still an opportunity to recognize the positive in your life, express appreciation for family and friends, and of course cook up a meal that will live on in memory for years to come!

Not everyone subscribes to the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole menu. And why should they when there are never-ending delicious options like vegan, seafood, a different type of poultry, stews...the list goes on.

Whether you're cooking for yourself, your immediate family, or a small group (following  Covid safety guidelines of course) you'll find something special and memorable in these healthy cookbooks.

Scraps, Peels, and Stems

by Jill Lightner

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This cookbook is perfect for those of you that want to decrease food waste while learning some delicious new healthy recipes at the same time. This bestselling cookbook covers more than just recipes - it gives tips and plans for meal planning, shopping, storing, how to save money, gardening, ways to use up leftovers, and more!

Scraps, Peels, & Stems also includes a helpful "Smarter Thanksgiving Turkey Buying Chart" and ways to reduce food waste this Thanksgiving.

2018 Gold Nautilus Book Award Winner in Green Living & Sustainability.

Sample Menu 

  • Lettuces with Peas & Mint
  • Salmon Collar Chowder
  • Pot Au Feu (Pot Roast with Vegetables)
  • Muhaddara (Rice & Lentil Salad)
  • Fruit & Jam Trifle

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Dirty Gourmet

by Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nelson, and Mai-Yan Kwan

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Hosting Thanksgiving from a campsite or park this year? This cookbook is for you! The recipes can be made while camping but are also easy to make at home (helps if you have a grill). Dirty Gourmet covers meal planning, campfire cooking, how to pack for a day trip, and of course a variety of delicious recipes. It emphasizes healthy eating with fresh ingredients, efficient techniques, and global flavors.

Sample Menu

  • Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
  • Grilled Green Bean Salad
  • Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie
  • Olive Oil Orange Cakes

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Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable, & Seasonal Kitchen

by Amy Pennington

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 This cookbook is perfect for anyone cooking for vegans or vegetarians but wants some meat options, too. More than sixty creative recipes blend both gourmet and classic flavors while keeping economy in mind. Urban Pantry also includes tips on small-batch preserving, creating a pantry garden, kitchen economy, and more. 

Sample Menu

  • Onion-Thyme Tart
  • Carrot-Coconut Milk Soup
  • Barley & Sweet Potato Salad
  • Walnut & Garlic Chicken
  • Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

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Fresh Pantry: Eat Seasonally, Cook Smart & Learn to Love Your Vegetables

by Amy Pennington

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The follow up to Urban Pantry, this healthy cookbook has a strong focus on vegetables and a variety of recipes that feature interesting and unique combinations. Fresh Pantry features 120 creative yet healthy and doable recipes by season centered on 12 choice seasonal vegetables and fruits; accessible and clever advice on growing, storing, and using seasonal ingredients.

Sample Menu

  • Miami Rolls
  • Sweet Potato & White Bean Soup
  • Beet & Tomato Salad with Pickled Watermelon
  • Snap Peas & Baby Potatoes with Chive Blossoms
  • Charred Broccoli Rabe with Herbed Quinoa
  • Blueberry-Oregano Turkey Meatballs
  • Healthy Carrot Cake

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Chefs on the Farm: Recipes and Inspiration from the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts

by Karen Jurgensen, Shannon Borg, and Lora Lea Misterly

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Similar to Fresh Pantry, this cookbook features recipes by season but with a farm-to-table twist. In addition to a variety of delicious and surprising recipes, Chefs on the Farm describes the seasonal workings of Quillisascut Goat Cheese Farm, a small, family-run business in northeastern Washington state. 

Sample Menu

  • Five Lilies Soup
  • Ozette Fingerling and Lazy Housewife Bean Salad
  • Roast Quail with Elderflower Sauce
  • Tarragon-Spiked Carrots
  • Walnut-Italian Plum Cake

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