A Mock Turkey Dinner for Warm Weather

Forget the Work and the Pounds

You don’t have to be chef to get creative in the kitchen. Though I love to cook, I’m certainly not a chef, and you will find that in this post, as I have no precise recipe to share, just a few ideas and tricks for you.

There are so many cold weather comfort foods that I love, but let’s face it, you don’t exactly want a heavy or steamy meal in the 90 degree Florida weather, so that is where the creativity comes in for recreating one of my favorites, Thanksgiving Dinner.

Let’s start with the main protein, four bones in spilt chicken breast. I feed four adults and three kids with just four because at least one breast is usually huge, so I share with the kids. It’s easy to lose perception of proper portion amounts when the meat comes in cuts like this, but most of the time you can share a breast.

I place the chicken breast in deep glass baking dish and thoroughly cover with Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat Free Cranberry Balsamic Dressing. There are actually chunks of cranberry in this dressing and it is delicious. The only other thing that goes on the chicken is a light sprinkling of sea salt. Then it is off to the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour to an hour and half depending on the size of the breast.

To go along with my mock turkey breast with cranberry I sauté about 15 Yukon gold potatoes, 5 yellow squash, 1 small Vidalia Onion, 1 Tablespoon of red bell pepper, 1 Tablespoon of dried cranberries, 2 Tablespoons of butter, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 3 cups raw mushrooms with sage, thyme, parsley to taste and a dash of salt and pepper.

Yellow Summer Squash

You see, I’m utilizing a great summer veggie along with mushrooms from the local farm with the herbs and spices common to stuffing and thanksgiving to get a much lighter side dish.

As an additional side, when I cooked this tonight I sliced some Kaiser rolls we had left over from the bakery that were on the verge of being overly crusty, topped with a tad of butter, garlic and cheese. Some fresh yeast rolls or whole grain bread hot of the oven would be great too though.

Do you have any favorite cold weather comfort foods that you recreate for the warm weather?