The time has finally arrived to start planning for the biggest eating festivity of the year: Thanksgiving. For those of us with hosting duties, why not consider mixing things up a bit this year, and wowing your guests with the ultimate pescetarian Thanksgiving feast.
Pescetarian lifestyles are more popular than ever these days, with many people realizing that fish is a healthier alternative to meat that also yields positively delicious dishes. While the announcement of a pescetarian Thanksgiving might evoke a minor outcry from meat-obsessed relatives, there’s no reason you can’t dazzle them with fantastic food at every corner. A memorable pescetarian Thanksgiving meal requires no more time or elbow grease to pull off than a traditional Thanksgiving spread, and with the right planning, we guarantee your guests won’t even miss the turkey. Really!
Serve a Selection of Seafoods
Italy’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, Feast of the Seven Fishes, involves whipping up seven exquisitely cooked fish dishes. Now, we’re not saying you have to be this extreme with your selection, but by offering up a variety of dishes, you have a much better chance of satisfying even the pickiest of guests.
Depending on how many guests you’re expecting, consider serving three or four seafood-centric main courses. This should include at least one fish dish, such as our stuffing-crusted baked Tilapia, as well as two or three dishes featuring other types of seafood, like shrimp, crab or oysters (oyster casserole is already a traditional Thanksgiving staple in many Southern homes, so it’s a safe bet that this one will be well received).
Don’t Skimp on the Sides
The key to putting on a fabulous pescetarian Thanksgiving banquet is to maintain the traditional elements. Sure, the turkey may be gone, but the normal trimmings needn’t disappear. For many, the Thanksgiving holiday feast is nearly as renowned for its side dishes as it is for its main entrees, so keep the masses happy by going all out with traditional, well-rounded side dishes. We’re talking sweet potato casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts, creamy mashed potatoes, vegetarian stuffing and, of course, as many pumpkin dishes as you can think to make.
Up the Ante on Appetizers
As any good host knows, appetizers are an absolute must for any event. The last thing you want at a big family affair is a hoard of hungry relatives waiting around for you to put the finishing touches on dinner. It might seem easiest to just open up a few bags of chips and dip and call it a day, but there’s so much more you can do to impress your guests. Consider preparing bite sized Tilapia fish cakes, deviled eggs, garlic prawns, hot crab dip and mini volovants stuffed with an array of different fillings. To make things as easy as possible for yourself, ensure all or most of your appetizers can be prepared the night before to save yourself time when the party is in full swing.
Plan Like a Pro
Careful preparation is your number one ally when hosting a pescetarian Thanksgiving. List out all of your planned dishes, ingredients required for each, where you can purchase these ingredients (consider asking your local fishmonger these questions to ensure you’re getting the best products) and when you should start prepping each dish. While planning to this degree might seem excessive, anyone who’s previously hosted a Thanksgiving meal knows that the last thing you’ll want to do the night prior is run around town searching for the necessities in nearly-empty grocery stores.
If you’re less experienced cooking with seafood, you might also want to consider taking the few weeks before Thanksgiving to test out a couple of pescetarian recipes. You’ll confidently tackle prepping for a pescetarian Thanksgiving feast once you’ve nailed the exact recipes and cooking methods that work for you.
Impress every guest this Thanksgiving with a pescetarian take on this beloved holiday. Turkey might be the tradition, but there are just so many exciting things you can do with seafood that cooking a turkey just seems boring to us. Who knows, you might even prompt a new Thanksgiving tradition!
With all this good eating, even the best of us can succumb to those pesky holiday pounds over the festive season. To try to minimize the impact of the season on our waistlines, try these healthy holiday-inspired meals that still taste great.