OK, so Thanksgiving is not traditionally celebrated in the UK. But for those who feel like dipping their toe into new traditions, or for any international students missing home, here are some easy recipes to bring a touch of Thanksgiving to your student kitchen.
A whole turkey might seem extravagant on a student budget, but with some savvy shopping you can find an ethically reared bird (or even just a crown) for under £10. If you're having a few people over, why not ask them all to contribute a couple of quid towards the meal?
1 free-range turkey
2 onions, peeled and halved
1 lemon, halved
1 bulb of garlic
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with onions, lemon, garlic and two bay leaves. Place the bird in a large roasting tray breast side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season.
Roast the turkey for 10 minutes. Then take it out of the oven and baste with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast. Lower the temperature to 180°C and cook for 30 minutes per kilogram.
Test by running a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until cooked and then rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Vegan lentil pie with potato and parsnip mash
For vegetarians and vegans, this is a great alternative to a meat dish for Thanksgiving.
4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
6 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
250ml non-dairy milk (almond, soya, etc. any will do)
4 tablespoons olive oil,
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced evenly
2 celery sticks, diced evenly
150g button mushrooms, sliced
200g dry brown or green lentils
250ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Sea salt and black pepper
Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot and cover with cold salty water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Drain, return the vegetables to the pot, and add the milk, 2 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash well with a potato masher. Set the mashed potatoes and parsnips aside.
Cover the lentils with water and bring to boil. Reduce and simmer until lentils have absorbed all liquid, about 30 minutes. Set lentils aside. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook till both vegetables are tender (another 8 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the lentils, the rosemary, the thyme, and vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 180°C. In a large dish, layer the lentil and veggie mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes have browned. Sprinkle with extra rosemary and serve.
Marshmallow and sweet potato pie
This might not be your cup of tea but why not give it a go? It is traditional after all.
3 kg sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sea salt
280g mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and rub each one with oil before wrapping it in foil. Put them on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 1 hour. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle scoop the middle out into a bowl. Add all the other ingredients except for the marshmallows, and mix together to make the mash.
Spoon the sweet potato mash into an ovenproof dish. Smooth the top of the mash and cover with the mini marshmallows. Bake in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes until the marshmallows have browned on top.