Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Panzanella
We now have a three- and a one-year-old in the house as of a week ago. Two toddlers…OMG, save me. It’s loud, and crazy, and some nights cereal or smoothies for dinner feels like a major culinary accomplishment.
But, oh, do I adore my little monsters and this crazy family.
Lately, these are some of the questions I ask when I attempt to cook:
Can I cut out an ingredient (or four) while still enjoying the dish? Is this step absolutely necessary to the overall dish? Why is there so much screaming going on? If I do something the night before, will it save time the next day? Adriana, can you please stop tackling your brother like a football!? Lol.
And probably one of the questions I ask the most: Why is there no OSG delivery service yet, damnit!?
I’m learning more often than not that the answer to my “can I save time” question is a resounding YES. I’m learning tricks along the way. I’m cutting corners. And you know what? Almost always, the food still tastes great. (And if it doesn’t, Arlo will eat anything.)
If you follow me on Insta Stories, you may have seen how excited I was to dig into Laura’s beautiful plant-based cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook, this past spring. I’ve been following Laura for years (#TFMfangurrrrrl); she’s a seriously talented writer, photographer, and cook. I’m constantly amazed by the beauty she captures in her food, and the warmth and passion with which she shares it. Laura is one of those cooks who seems to truly adore the process of cooking. I personally don’t always enjoy the process (real talk: sometimes I loathe cooking), and often don’t slow down enough to find it uber-relaxing, but Laura has a way of inspiring a certain intention and gratitude for the process. I love that. Her plant-based recipes and photographs are truly works of art, and I’m so glad she shares them with us all. Her cookbook would be a delicious addition to your collection if you don’t have it already!
Months ago, I made a mental note to make the Thanksgiving Panzanella, and I couldn’t wait to make it once the cooler temperatures had set in. Because the recipe has quite a few steps, I started it the day before, and ended up creating a fun, make-ahead version. As you can tell, I’m all about make-ahead situations these days! By doing most of the prep work in advance, it became a practical option for our Thanksgiving meal. The prep work the day before is a half hour (and it’s a bit kitchen-destroying, tbh), but the next day, the effortless prep will only set you back a mere 10 minutes. Pretty sweet, huh?!
Oh, and it’s a looker. And tasty…duh. As my hilarious recipe tester, Nicole, wrote, “Yield: 6 side servings or one big serving for me ha ha ha!” LOL! Love her.
Below is a photo of what the prep looks like the day before! On day 2, all you do is roast the squash and bread, and then mix it all together. *slow clap*
On the cusp of our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, THANK YOU for your amazing love and support, even when this blog is a virtual ghost town. I’ve been chipping away at some big behind-the-scenes blog changes and can’t wait to share more. Also, Eric recently started a new career venture, which has been wild. I’m thrilled for him, and grateful to be able to return the support and encouragement that he’s given me all these years. But, holy hell have we been struggling to stay afloat. The juggle of parenthood and “careerhood” is no easy feat. I’ve been trying to make it work with a lot more on my plate. Some days I feel like I’m doing a crappy job at everything, and other days, I feel like I’m killing it. We’ll get into a groove…it just takes some trial and error. Just know that I love and appreciate your support more than you know.
I hope my fellow Canadians have a relaxing and delicious Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones, and if you try out this recipe, I hope you enjoy it—and my make-ahead tricks—as much as we do. I’ve also added this recipe to The Oh She Glows Recipe App, so keep your eyes peeled for it on there.
Last but not least, I’d like to pass along Arlo’s nursery tour over on HGTV! It was so much fun (and such an honour) to be featured. (Just know that the nursery never looks this put together in real life….it actually looks like a tornado blew through it most days.) A special thanks to the lovely Brittany Devenyi for the feature!