Six Thanksgiving dishes any college student can make

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Megan Rule | Opinion Editor

Traditionally, when thinking of Thanksgiving, we imagine meals as seen in commercials: tons of friends and family members sitting around a long table filled with gorgeous foods. Everyone is dressed to the nines and smiles are plastered on faces like they’re stuck with a glue stick.

However, that’s not the case for everyone, especially college students who don’t get to go home. If you’re staying on campus for the holiday, don’t fret. You can still have the luxury of a home-cooked, healthy Thanksgiving meal with these six easy recipes to celebrate the holiday.

1. Fall Salad

Ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • spinach
  • cranberries
  • feta
  • butternut squash
  • almond slivers
  • balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Time: 10 minutes

Directions: In a large bowl, combine two handfuls of arugula and spinach. Add in cranberries, feta, butternut squash chunks and almond silvers. I usually buy these already cooked from the grocery store, or I have made them ahead of time and refrigerated them. Either way, the salad tastes better when the ingredients are cold. The amount of each ingredient is based on personal preference. Top with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

2. Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Time: 40 minutes

Directions: Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash Brussel sprouts with water, then cut them all in half. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the chopped Brussel sprouts over the sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top, then add salt and pepper for taste. Mix with hands to make sure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes or until roasted to your liking. I like the Brussel sprouts extra crispy, so I tend to cook them until they turn a very dark brown.

3. Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • cinnamon

Time: 40 minutes

Directions: Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the sweet potatoes with water, then cut them all in either chunks or wedges. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the sweet potatoes over the sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top, then cinnamon to taste. Mix with hands to make sure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Put in the oven for about 30 minutes or until roasted to your liking. I like them extra crunchy, so I tend to cook them until the cinnamon on top turns a very dark brown.

4. Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

  • Yellow onion
  • olive oil
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • parsnips
  • sea salt
  • green beans

Time: 1 hour

Directions: Chop the yellow onion, then set the stove top to medium heat. In a pan, add a little olive oil and the chopped onions. Sauté until they turn a golden color, then set aside for later. In a pot, boil the parsnips (about one cup) until they become soft. Using the same pan from earlier, sauté the mushrooms with olive oil (chopped, about 2 cups) until they are a darker brown. Set half the mushrooms aside with the onions. Take the other half of the mushrooms and the steamed parsnips and put them in a blender along with a cup of water and salt to taste. Blend until the ingredients are creamy. In the pot from earlier, steam the green beans until they are cooked to your liking. In a baking dish, add the green beans, mushrooms, onions, and cream blend. Bake in the oven for about half an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Thanksgiving Stuffing Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of extra-lean ground turkey olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • sea salt
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • pepper
  • ground sage

Time: 45 minutes

Directions: Finely chop the onion, celery, zucchini and carrots so that you have about a quarter cup of each ingredient. In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and the chopped vegetables. Sauté until they are soft. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey and spices (all to taste) until fully mixed. Slowly add in the sautéd vegetables. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then roll the meat into meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

  • Almond flour
  • baking soda
  • sea salt
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • can of pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • pecans
  • coconut oil (melted)

Time: 45 minutes

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix about a cup and a half of almond flour, a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of sea salt. Slowly mix in the eggs and pumpkin puree. Then add three tablespoons of the melted coconut oil, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and about a quarter cup of maple syrup. Mix until fully combines (the texture will be thick and sticky). Line muffin tins with wrappers, then fill each muffin hole about two-thirds full of the mixture. Top with chopped pecans and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice over them. Bake for about 25 minutes or until fully cooked through.

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