~ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ~
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE. I love the colors on the trees, the crunch of the leaves under your feet, the crisp morning air and chilly nights that are perfect for sitting around a bonfire.
It’s not so cold that it’s actually winter, but you’re finally out of the summer heat. PLUS, we get to eat together with friends and family and take time out to really, truly focus on all the good things in our lives. I think this practice is something we could put to use every single day, but if one day is all some people can do, it’s better than nothing.
Being grateful and thankful for all the blessings we have is one big way to curate happiness and contentment in your life – regardless of the bad things happening. Life is life – good and bad – but focusing on the good makes each day better.
I have always loved Thanksgiving the most out of all the holidays, and I’m not totally sure why. I mean, as a kid, you’d think that Christmas would be at the top just because of the gifts. But Thanksgiving always was #1 for me, and it still is. I love spending the day in and out of the kitchen, prepping and cooking in between watching the parades and football games. Not to mention the cozy naps and great night of sleep after all that turkey.
But one of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the leftovers, right? Those days after where you still have amazing food to snack on or new dishes to whip up to use what’s waiting in the fridge.
Last year, we had these insane green chile turkey and dumplings (holy yum), but this year, I found a new way to use up some of that leftover turkey.
I think most people just keep eating the turkey as-is (which is still good) or throw it into soup or a casserole, but if you’re looking for a new way to put a spin on your leftovers, this wild rice salad is the perfect fall dish AND makes for a great treat to take to another get together! It’s got a little bit of everything – chew from the rice, sweet from the potatoes, a little tart from the currant and balsamic, and a fresh punch from the parsley and rosemary.
And speaking about giving thanks and being grateful for what we have, can we all – honestly – take a minute to thank all the farmers in our country and around the world that are growing every bite of food that we consume? It is hard work, often thankless, but the most important job. Without the people that love to do this work and put their entire lives into growing food for others, we would all have to grow our own or starve.
And this is one more reason I’m so happy and proud to be working with Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White again this year. They are our local brands but can be found in many states, and all their turkeys are raised on 700 independent family farms, which is pretty amazing. And I’ve seen the farms! Well, not all 700, but I’ve visited a few of them. These families are doing important work to help feed mine and yours – and working to provide not only a healthy option, but also one that is affordable. Check out 700Reasons.com for more info on the farms, the farmers, and the turkeys – you can even thank a farmer online! It’s a great, easy way to show your appreciation for their hard work that ends up on your dinner table.
wild rice salad with turkey, sweet potato, and currants
- 2 cups cooked wild rice
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 2 cups cooked, diced turkey
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- homemade reduced balsamic syrup or a thick balsamic syrup of your choice (I used a black cherry balsamic, perfect with the currants and herbs!)
- Preheat oven to 425. Peel and dice sweet potato, then toss with a little olive oil and salt. Roast the sweet potato at 425 for 25-35 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until tender.
- While the potatoes are roasting, chop the turkey and parsley.
- In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk the rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar together.
- Once the potatoes are cooked through, let them cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the wild rice, brown rice, currants, sweet potatoes, turkey, and parsley to the bowl and toss everything together.
- Serve warm or chilled, with a drizzle of thick balsamic syrup.
I’m excited to be working with Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White as a brand ambassador again this year. As always, all recipes and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support us!