Thanksgiving is almost here and that means football, family and tons of delicious food. Ahead of the impending food coma, we reached out to some popular local food startups around D.C. for recipe ideas. Check out their selections below and let us know your favorite Thanksgiving Day dishes!

Plum Relish

Created as an antidote to boring paper bag lunches, Plum Relish caters especially to groups or companies. Founder Sarah Van Dell passed along this recipe for “super simple and delicious” turkey brine from chefs Rebecca Hassell and Mike Phillips.

Turkey Brine


Water (1 quart)

Granny Smith Apple (halved)

Lemon (halved)

Onion (halved)

Jalapeńo (halved)

Garlic (5 cloves)

Parsley and sage stems


Black peppercorns (15)

Bay leaf


Red chili flake


Salt (1/8 cup)

Sugar (1/8 cup)


Grab a large pot and bring the below ingredients to a boil. Then, cool at room temperature for 45 minutes. Finally, place the brine in the refrigerator until cooled fully in the fridge. Once your brine has been through the full treatment, submerge your turkey! Make sure to give yourself a cushion of one to two days with the turkey in the brine before roasting.


Galley offers a varied, seasonal menu for lunch cooked every day and usually scheduled ahead of time, with a recently expanded map and menu options. Galley’s Nick Heyd passed along this recipe for Brussels sprouts with pumpkin seeds.

Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin Seeds


1 3/8 pounds Brussels sprouts with olive oil

1/4 Tbsp kosher salt

0.17 Tbsp black pepper

0.17 cups pumpkin seeds with olive oil

Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette

1/8 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted

1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup canola oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (convection). Toss Brussels Sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan every 5 minutes to brown the sprouts evenly. Heat olive oil in skillet and toast pumpkin seeds. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin and cilantro in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oils until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Do not use a blender to make this vinaigrette. Toss cooled Brussels Sprouts in vinaigrette.


Last, but not least we have two items courtesy of the relatively new local startup Hungry, which works to connect chefs with foodies for curated meals. First, a dessert recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins from Hungry’s Chef Stacy. Finally, an elaborate, recipe from Chef Evan for Israeli Couscous Harvest Salad with Chipotle Tofu and Avocado Poblano Dressing, with guides for each aspect.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:

˝ cup Coconut Flour

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

˝ teaspoon Baking Powder

˝ teaspoon Baking Soda

Ľ teaspoon Salt

4 Large Eggs

1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree

? cup Maple Syrup

3 Tablespoons Melted Coconut Oil (measure in melted state)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
? cup Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs (or carob chips)

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil.
2.    In a small bowl, whisk to combine Coconut Flour, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt.
3.    In another large mixing bowl, whisk Eggs. Add in Pumpkin, Maple Syrup, Melted Coconut Oil, and Vanilla Extract, and whisk very well until combined. A few small lumps may remain, and this is ok.
4.    Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir well until combined. Stir in dark chocolate chips.
5.    Divide batter between 12 muffin cups, which will be almost completely full of batter, and this is ok—batter will not overflow. Smooth out the top of each muffin with a knife.
6.    Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
7.    Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes, before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.


Cubed Chipotle Tofu

2 Roasted Acorn Squash

10 Brussel Sprouts, Whole

3 cups cooked & chilled, Israeli Couscous

3 cups Baby Kale

1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice

1 Large Honey Crisp Apple, Core removed and sliced thin

2 Tbsp. Pumpkin seeds

3 Tbsp. Fresh Pomegranate, seeded

1 Tbsp. EVOO

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper

Chipotle Tofu:

1 lb. Firm Tofu, cubed

2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Power

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper

2 tsp. EVOO

Roasted Acorn Squash Rings:

2 Whole Acorn Squash

2 Tbsp. Organic Blue Agave

Pinch of Salt

2 Tbsp. EVOO

Avocado Poblano Dressing:

1 Avocado, Remove seed and Skin

1 Poblano chiles

1 scallions, coarsely chopped

1 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Blue Agave

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Pepper


1. Oven Roasted Squash- Turn the oven to 400 degrees. Cut Acorn squash into half inch rings, clean out the seeds. Drizzle EVOO, agave and a pinch of salt over the squash. Place on a sheet pan, and cook for about one hour or until tender and caramelized. Remove from oven and cool before serving.

2. Pan Fried Tofu- Press tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into cubes. Heat a sauté pan on medium high, add tofu, seasonings, and EVOO. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Brussel Sprouts- Steam Brussel sprouts for about 4-5 Minutes until tender. Cool in ice bath, cut in halve and set aside.

4. Dressing- Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, process until smooth, add 1 or 2 Tbsp. of water to reach preferred consistency.

5. Assemble salad by tossing together couscous, baby kale, fresh lemon juice, EVOO, and seasonings. Transfer salad to large family style platter or individual plates. Arrange Tofu, Squash, Brussel sprouts, and sliced apples to the salad. Garnish with fresh pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle a small amount of dressing to the salad for color.