Thanksgiving is Chef Glenn Babcock’s favorite holiday for two reasons: food and quality time spent with family. Read on for his tips on how to host a sustainable and healthy feast for the holiday.

“I’d recommend keeping it simple—simple ingredients done well. Our principle is applying locally sourced, fresh and healthy food.”

Crispy kale with balsamic and brown sugar

Here's what you need:  Feeds 8-12
2 bunches lacinado kale.  Cleaned, stems and ribs removed, chopped in 1-2" strips
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c balsamic
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 strips of thick cut bacon (optional), julienned
1t. kosher salt Procedure:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Render bacon (optional) in EVOO until almost brown, add shallot. Add kale (should sizzle and pop), sautee for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add balsamic and sprinkle salt and stir until evenly coated. Throw the pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Kale will be crispy on the edges. Serve warm or room temperature.

“Stay away from beef to reduce your carbon footprint. Finding local turkeys is hard, but if you have a small family you can go with chicken.”

Turkey and stuffing

Here's what you need:  Feeds 8-12

16 oz turkey



Preheat oven to x degrees.

“Having a variety of vegetables is just as important as your protein. Include three to four vegetable options: a salad; roasted carrots and brussels sprouts; one starchy vegetable and a green vegetable.”

Green bean casserole

Here's what you need:  Serves 6-8

1.5 lbs green beans, washed, trimmed, french cut
8oz fresh oyster mushrooms
1 large shallot, minced
3T butter
2T AP flour
1/2 cup sherry wine
1c milk (preferably whole)
1 egg yolk
1t thyme, washed, stemmed, minced

For cripsy shallots:
1/2c cup AP flour
1/4t salt
1/4t black pepper
1/2t paprika
6 large shallots, thinly sliced
pan spray

Procedure for shallots:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Add shallots to evenly coat the shallots. Let rest for 5 minutes to help absorb some flour mixture. Spray cookie sheet liberally. Remove shallots from flour and add to cookie sheet. Lightly spray shallots with pan spray and "oven fry" for 4 minutes. Shallots should be golden brown.

Procedure for casserole:
Drop oven to 300 degrees.
Blanch and shock green beans. Sauté shallots in butter on stove. Add mushrooms and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze. Add 2T flour, coat evenly. Deglaze with sherry, let the flour absorb and add milk. Should thicken without lumps. Remove from heat. Add green beans and 1 egg yolk. Mix evenly and throw into greased 8"x8" square casserole. Top with crispy shallots. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm.

“Thanksgiving is a little bit about indulgence, but you can get proteins through grains and legumes and not be too carb-intensive. You can shine outside mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.”

Fresh cranberry relish

("Serve next to canned cranberry sauce for holiday purists.")

Here's what you need:  Serves 6-8

4c fresh cranberries
1 large fennel, washed, core removed, small dice
1.5c sugar
2 oranges, zest and juice
.5t cinnamon
.5t salt
1t. thai basil, chiffonade

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Lightly pulse 1/3 mixture in food processor, reserve.  Blend remaining mixture to fine pulp.  Combine chunky with less chunky.  Refrigerate (can be made a day in advance) and serve cold.  Garnish with fresh oranges or fennel fronds.

Bon Appetit general manager Letina Matheny recommends looking for local produce at your grocery store. She says that the more you buy locally, the more often stores will get these foods in and at a lower price point.

Before 11/16: Stop by Main Café from 11 a.m. – 1:3 p.m. on November 16 for the Big Table Thanksgiving feast for additional inspiration for your Thanksgiving dinner.

11/17: Bon Appetit invites you to dine with them and enjoy a variety of locally sourced cuisine. For meal plans, menus, hours and more visit our dining services.