Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, as it’s a time to gather with friends and feast around the table with gratitude. This year, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my go-to veggie-based recipes. While we don’t do the whole turkey and gravy thing, we do still manage to walk away from our feast feeling completely full and satisfied. Most people are often surprised that holiday food doesn’t have to be loaded with heavy cream, butter and gluten. But it’s far easier than you think to have a rich, nourishing meal without feeling terrible by the end of it. The following recipes are all gluten-free, dairy-free and completely plant-based. Here’s what’s on the menu this year….
Orange Cranberry Ginger Compote
Garlic & Ginger Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprout & Sweet Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette
Red Quinoa, Kale & Cranberry Stuffing in Mini Pumpkins
Spiced Pumpkin & Gingersnap Cookie Cake
ORANGE CRANBERRY GINGER COMPOTE
8oz fresh cranberries
2 tbsp raw honey
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp orange zest
1 orange, peeled and chopped
1 orange, juiced
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 tbsp purified water
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, until the cranberries have softened and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Serve right away or transfer to a glass jar with a sealed lid to store in refrigerator.
GARLIC & GINGER ROASTED GREEN BEANS
2 lbs green beans, trimmed & washed
2 tbsp ginger, grated
4 cloves garlic, grated
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim and wash the green beans, then place in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with grated ginger and garlic, drizzle with olive oil and toss with a big pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with foil and place in the oven to roast for 25-30 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, BRUSSELS SPROUT & SWEET POTATO SALAD
WITH HORSERADISH VINAIGRETTE
10 brussels sprouts, quartered
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 large sweet potato, chopped 1-inch cubes
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the brussels, cauliflower, and sweet potato in a large baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour ¼ inch of water into the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until tender but not overcooked. Remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes before tossing into the salad.
1/3 cup olive oil (or grape seed oil)
2 tbsp fresh horseradish, grated
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients and taste for desired salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
2 cup spinach, chopped
2 cup arugula, chopped
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
To assemble, combine the greens and roasted veggies in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over top and toss gently until well coated. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped hazelnuts.
RED QUINOA, KALE & CRANBERRY STUFFING
5 tbsp ghee
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped
1 tbsp sage, minced
1 tbsp savory, minced
1 tbsp thyme, minced
1/2 c dried cranberries
4 cups cooked red quinoa
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp ghee
salt & pepper, TT
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, choppped
In a small saucepan or rice cooker, bring 3 cups of water to a boil then add 1 ½ cups dry quinoa. Cook until light and fluffy. Add more water if needed.
In a large saucepan, heat the ghee and sautée the onions until translucent. Add the celery and continue to simmer on medium-low heat. Stir in the kale, herbs and cranberries until well combined. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the hot cooked quinoa, lemon juice, lemon zest, ghee, and salt and pepper. Pour the onion, celery, and kale mixture over the quinoa. Stir until well combined. Top with chopped hazelnuts to serve.
Stuffing can be served as a side dish, or can be stuffed into small pre-baked pumpkins and reheated. If baking the pumpkins, or any small squash (acorn and kabocha work well), cut the top off and scrape the seeds out. Pour a small amount of water inside the empty squash and in the baking dish, cover with foil and allow the heat and water to steam the squash until tender. Remove and stuff with the quinoa and kale mixture. Place back into the oven to heat for 10-15 minutes at 250 degrees. Serve when ready with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts on top.
Note: Ghee can be substituted for the soy-free Earth Balance Buttery Spread if you are avoiding dairy completely.
SPICED PUMPKIN & GINGERSNAP COOKIE CAKE
Gingersnap Cookie Crust
2 cups of gluten-free oat flour (or almond flour)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup dates, pitted
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp unsulphered molasses
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled & chopped
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
Process all ingredients through your food processor until it begins to clump together in large ball of dough. Prepare your spring-form pan with a lining of parchment. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place in the freezer and allow to set while making the filling.
Spiced Pumpkin Filling
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
1 cup young thai coconut meat
½ cup coconut butter
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups almond milk
¼ cup fresh carrot juice
¾ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp unsulphered molasses
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp vanilla bean powder (1 vanilla bean, scraped)
1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp clove
¼ tsp allspice
1 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tsp maca powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
To make the pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the seeds and quarter a small sugar pie pumpkin. Place in a baking sheet with 1-2 inches of water, cover with foil and place in oven to allow to steam for 45 minutes or until very tender. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly before removing the skin. Using a fork, mash the pumpkin together well in a bowl. Set aside or store until ready to use.
To make the filling, first combine the coconut meat, oil and butter with the almond milk in a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy. The add the pumpkin puree, carrot juice, maple syrup, vanilla, spices and superfoods. Blend again until smooth and well combined. Pour the mixture into your spring-form on top of the formed crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Place in your freezer to set for 4-5 hours. When ready to serve, dust with cinnamon and a handful of pumpkin seeds.