An Eco-Soul Thanksgiving

Anxious about your Turkey Day menu? No worries. Bryant Terry is back with healthy, eco-friendly recipes and a soundtrack to get you cooking.

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What better way to think of an eco-friendly Thanksgiving menu than to recycle one from last year? Bryant Terry is The Root's resident eco-soul chef, and his Thanksgiving feast is sure to satisfy any appetite. The original article is reprinted below.

You might have noticed that harvest celebration née Thanksgiving is this week. If you have not started planning and shopping for your gathering, look on the bright side. You still have plenty of time! I hope that this menu will help guide your sustainable celebration. I offer a recipe for a Spicy Citrus-Herb Harvest Turkey that will blow your guests away. (Trust me.) I also recommend several sides to complement the bird to ensure that vegetarians aren't stuck with rolls and salad.

On the menu:

Mac 4 Cheese (with Leeks)
Fresh Apple-Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Yam Purée with Coconut Milk
Citrus Collards with Raisins
Brussels Sprouts with White Wine and Thyme
Quinoa-Quinoa Cornbread
Agave-Sweetened Double-Orange Pekoe Tea
Chocolate Pecan Pudding Pie

All of these recipes use fresh, whole, best-quality, health-supportive ingredients and cooking techniques with an eye on local, seasonal, sustainably grown food. Feel free to add, omit or substitute suggested ingredients for those that make more sense for you. For example, if you want to source your meal locally, use chard from your backyard garden instead of collards or use sweet potatoes from your winter CSA instead of yams. As Chef Daniel Boulud reminds us, a recipe is never entirely proprietary, but ripe for re-interpretation by any creative chef. So be creative and make these recipes your own.

Spicy Citrus-Herb Harvest Turkey

Prep Time: 1 hour
Inactive Prep Time: at least 4 hours or overnight
Cooking Time: 4 hours
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Soundtrack: "The Parasite (For Buffy)" by Eugene McDaniels from Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse

The key to this off-the-hook turkey is brining and basting. Brining, soaking poultry in salty water for several hours, is the first step to ensuring that your turkey has a rich flavor. Basting, pouring juices over the turkey while it is cooking, will keep it moist. I promise you, your effort put into these two procedures will pay off nicely when you take the first bite of this bird. Visit Local Harvest to learn more about sourcing organic, pastured and heritage turkeys raised by U.S. family farms.

1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey
24 sprigs thyme
12 sprigs oregano
12 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs sage
Fine sea salt
1 3/4 cup raw organic cane sugar
16 large oranges, zest removed
4 lemons, zest removed
1 cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths