A Bountiful Thanksgiving

By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

November brings thoughts of fall colors, warm hearty foods, and cozy nights by the fire. It also reminds us that a bountiful Thanksgiving awaits us! The holidays don’t have to mean over-indulgence or the end of your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle.


Try including some of the following delicious foods in your holiday cooking.

  • Add Nutrition to Stuffing and Side dishes: Mix in celery, onions, mushrooms, carrots, beans and even raisins and apples to boost fiber and flavor. See Recipe below!
  • Shadybrook® Farms Turkey: Skinless turkey breast is one of the leanest meats available with one of the highest amounts of protein.
  • Cranberry Sauce – Go natural! Fresh Cranberry sauce is a cinch to prepare, has a much fresher and delicious flavor.
  • Lighten-up! Use lower fat versions of sour cream, substitute plain yogurt in creamy dips and mashed potatoes. Try olive or canola oil instead of butter for a heart healthier fat option.
  • Vegetarian delights – with more than seven million vegetarians nationwide, it’s likely you’ll have a vegetarian guest. Combine grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet and barley with bell peppers, apples, dried apricots and nuts for a dish all of your guests will want to try.


Caramelized Spiced Citrus Turkey

whole citrus turkey on a platter sitting on the dinner table

This is a full on Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe. Cooking time will vary based on the actual weight of your turkey.  

Prep: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 8 to 12 pound Turkey – 2 3/4 to 3 hours or 12 to 14 pounds – 3 to 3 3/4 hours



  • 1 Shady Brook Farms® Fresh or Frozen Whole Turkey
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 apple, cut into slices
  • 1 orange, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 1 onion, cut into slices
  • 6 fresh sage sprigs
  • 3-4 figs, halved or quartered
  • Caramelized Apples & Oranges
  • 3 large firm, baking apples, cored but not peeled and cut into slices
  • 3 large oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces



  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Cooking time will vary by size of bird, so check roasting times here. Remove the turkey from the bag. Remove giblet package underneath the neck skin area as well as the neck from the body cavity.
  2. Place turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Pat the outside and inside of the turkey dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Season the inside of the turkey with about 1/3 of the salt mixture. Fold wing tips under the bird.
  4. Place the apple, orange and lemon slices, onion, and 2 sprigs of each sage in the main turkey cavity (for aromatics and garnish only). Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey.
  5. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until the edges begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Brush outside of the turkey completely with the melted butter. Season with remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture and place in oven for the recommended roasting time.
  6. If the turkey becomes golden brown before it is fully cooked, cover with a loose tent of aluminum foil to prevent over browning. Cut a hole in the foil to view the pop-up timer.
  7. For an optimal eating experience, turkey is done when the pop-up timer has popped and a meat thermometer registers at 170°F, in the deepest part of the breast and thickest part of the inner-thigh.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Garnish serving dish with caramelized apples & oranges, sage sprigs and fig slices.


Caramelized Apples & Oranges

  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, oranges, orange juice, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar. Mound the apple mixture in baking pan or casserole and scatter the butter over the top.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, then take out and toss with a large spoon to coat and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  4. After taking it out of the oven, carefully stir and let dish rest roughly 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Garnish your turkey serving dish with this appetizing side or serve in a separate dish.

Recipe: Shady Brook Farms®