bird for one 1

It’s quite impossible to miss that the holidays are upon us. There are many, and not far between, and I am loving every minute of it. A reason to celebrate, decorate, throw a party, cook a feast, enjoy lovely company, what a joy.

This Thanksgiving I’m skipping the big bird, opting for mini birds instead. It’s perfect for last minute shopping, saving hours of thawing and cooking. Between all the sweet dishes associated with the holidays, Thanksgiving is ideal for planning a high protein, low carb dinner. This meal is very low carb and gluten, grain and starch free.


bird for one 1A


½ cup diced onion
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup fresh, chopped mushrooms (I used black trumpet)
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz bacon, chopped and fried
3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried cranberries


Mix all ingredients and set aside until the birds are ready to be stuffed.

cornish game hens

bird for one 2

cornish game hens

4 cornish game hens
¼-½ cup oil
stuffing (recipe above)
4 fresh rosemary sprigs + 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 lbs pearl onions, peeled (I used half red, half white
1 cup fresh mushrooms (I used black trumpet)
¼ cup fresh cranberries
salt & pepper


Rinse cornish game hens under cold water and tap dry with paper towels.

Rub the birds with olive oil and place them in an ovenproof dish.

Divide the stuffing between the four birds and tie the legs together with a cotton kitchen string. Finish with a fresh rosemary sprig in each bird, leaving some of it visible, but most of it inside the stuffing.

Place onions, mushrooms and cranberries around the birds and sprinkle with oil.

Sprinkle birds and vegetables with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary.

Roast in the oven at 400F/200C for about an hour until the internal temperature reaches 160-165F/70-75C.

bird for one 3

cauliflower mash

1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
salt & pepper


Clean the cauliflower, remove the core and cut into florets.

Steam or boil until tender.

Drain cauliflower in a colander until very dry.

Puree with hazelnut oil in a food processer until smooth and creamy.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

brussel sprout leaf salad

1 ½ lbs brussel sprouts
6 oz bacon
1 cup mushrooms  (I used black trumpet)
½ cup roughly chopped raw pecans


Remove the core from the brussel sprouts and separate the outer leaves.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the brussel sprout leaves and boil for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then to a colander. Shake out as much water as possible and set aside.

Chop and fry the bacon, set aside.

Quickly fry the mushrooms, add bacon, brussel sprout leaves and pecans and toss until warm.

Serve immediately.

The recipes serve 4-6 but can be duplicated for bigger dinner parties. Cornish game hens vary in size and some are big enough to serve two.

bird for one 4

White Dinner Plate by Casa Bianca from Bliss Home & Design. Flatware by David Mellor from Heath; Fork Minimal, Knife London. Linen Napkins in fog from Restoration Hardware. Large Flame Roaster from Emile Henry. Ceramic Bowl (stuffing) by Ben Fiess from LEIF.

Photography by Philip Blankenship.