This year, a lot of students have decided not to travel home for Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, they still may be craving that taste of home during this holiday season. However, making a large Thanksgiving dinner is not only impractical in a typical apartment, but it is also harsh on one’s budget. Here’s how to downscale some of your favorite flavors to either share with your housemates or hoard all to yourself!
Pan-Fried Turkey Cutlets
Roasting a whole turkey is a big hassle, especially when only 1-4 people are eating. Even individual turkey breasts can be expensive, which is why you should get turkey breast cutlets. They’re easy to find, cheaper and much simpler to cook. They’re usually found in packages of about 1 pound, holding individual cutlets that you can prep beforehand and then fry off individually.
- 1 package or about 1 pound of turkey breast cutlets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- Any fresh herbs that you have or 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- Toss 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a bowl with the cutlets, salt, pepper, garlic and herbs or Italian seasoning. Rub the marinade over the cutlets until evenly coated, and place it in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
- When ready, put the final tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Lay the cutlets in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. Add in batches if needed.
- Pan fry for about 3-4 minutes per side or until each side becomes golden brown
Stuffing is much easier to handle when it is not actually inside the turkey. Making it separate helps to keep the portion sizes down, and it is easily paired with turkey on the fork.
- 3 cups of bread cubes (day old is best)
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add the apple, celery and onion. Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until things start to become soft. Then add the dried cranberries and sauté for about another 2 minutes.
- Add the sautéed mixture to the bread cubes along with the chicken or vegetable stock. Toss to make sure that everything is moist and that the vegetables and fruit are distributed. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Load the mixture into an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish, and put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes until heated through and toasted on top. Let cool, and serve!
Optional: Spoon mixture into a muffin pan, and cook at 350 F for around 15-20 minutes or until toasted for easy serving and portioning!
Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a great way to add a flavorful side that you can portion out exactly to your needs. Lots of grocery stores (including our very own Isla Vista Food Co-op) have produce stations where you can pick out exactly how many veggies you need. This recipe serves 3-4 people, but feel free to adjust it as you see fit! Likewise, feel free to substitute with any of your favorite vegetables.
- ½ pound fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- ¼ pound Brussels sprouts, sliced in quarters
- ¼ pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
- ½ head of purple cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Olive oil
- Garlic salt
- Italian seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once at a boil, add the fingerling potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes, put them back into the pot and toss with oil, garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until crispy.
- While the potatoes are boiling, toss the rest of the veggies with oil, garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and spread on a foil-lined baking sheet; place another layer of foil on top. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until tender, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes to allow the veggies to get crispy.
While this Thanksgiving might be a bit unorthodox, you can still get a taste of the season by using what you have. These are delicious, easy options that are guaranteed to deliver a great meal!