Whole Foods Holiday Dishes

Boy, did we have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Some close family friends invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner, and we feasted on roast Turkey and all the traditional sides, as well as my friend's special 3-bean salad and her husband's cheesy broccoli casserole. Dessert was the only non-traditional course; instead of the classic pumpkin pie, I brought a delicious cranberry-apple crumble from Whole Foods, which we served with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

The only problem with going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving is that you don't get any leftovers to enjoy the next day. Luckily for us, Whole Foods has extended our Thanksgiving dining experience by giving us a whole ready-to-eat Classic Thanksgiving Dinner to try! I picked it up the day before Thanksgiving, and it came all nicely packed in a big cardboard box. Inside the box was:

* Mashed potatoes
* Stuffing
* Gravy
* Cranberry sauce
* Dinner rolls
* Cranberry Apple Crumble (the Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner actually included Pumpkin Pie, but I asked if I could substitute the Cranberry Apple Crumble because no-one in our family likes Pumpkin Pie, and they said it was fine).
* A pre-roasted turkey (which actually didn't fit in the box, so we had to carry it separately, but don't worry, it comes all vacuum-sealed) and a foil roasting pan
* Instructions for reheating and serving
* A recipe for turkey soup

So we actually had turkey with all the trimmings the day before Thanksgiving! Everything was absolutely divine, so we had no problem at all eating the same meal two days in a row. Their turkey is nice and juicy, and the cranberry sauce is not too sickly-sweet, with a nice tangy tartness. We all love the dinner rolls, which warm up crusty on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. And the Cranberry Apple Crumble (which we brought to share on Thanksgiving day) was a hit!

The dinner is supposed to serve four, but even with the five of us wolfing the food down, we still have leftovers. Tonight I boiled the turkey bones to make broth, and used some of the leftover turkey to make the Hearty Turkey Noodle Soup recipe that was included with the meal. It's really yummy, and a nice healthy way to use up leftovers. I've never ordered a Whole Foods prepared meal before because other places have cheaper options, but I have to say, you get what you pay for; probably the only thing I would add to the whole package is information on how long we should keep the leftovers.

If you didn't get to order a holiday dish from Whole Foods for your Thanksgiving meal, don't worry; you'll get another chance for your Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanza feast! They don't just offer turkey dinners; you can also order hams, roast beef, seafood and vegetarian main courses, as well as a slew of side dishes. Whole Foods also sent me a gift card last week so I could try more of their holiday items; I used it to try their Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, their Broccoli Cheddar Gratin and their Caramel Apples. Holy cow, everything was so delicious! The Pea adores the soup, which is amazing since she used to detest squash. Thank you, Whole Foods, for making my daughter like squash! The Broccoli Cheddar Gratin is also delicious, with a nice hint of cream; it's substantial enough to have as a main course (which we did) along with some steamed veggies on the side. As for the caramel apple, well, let's just say we had a hard time sharing:

This year is going to be the first year in over a decade that we're not spending Christmas and New Year with either Alfie's family or mine. His parents couldn't make it from England this year, my parents already made holiday plans in the Philippines, and a trip to either country is not on our budget -- so this year it's just going to be the five of us. But that doesn't mean we can't make it special; we're definitely decorating the house and putting up the stockings, and I still plan to put on a nice dinner on Christmas Day. After our great experience with Whole Foods this Thanksgiving, I'm definitely ordering some holiday dishes from Whole Foods to go on our Christmas table!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary ready-to-eat Classic Thanksgiving Meal for 4 courtesy of Whole Foods, and a Whole Foods gift card so I could try some of their other holiday menu items. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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