This is officially going to be my first time cooking the entire Thanksgiving meal. Instead of being extremely terrified and overwhelmed, I couldn’t be more excited. And why you may ask? Because all of my fellow friend bloggers have made it so easy for me. Each one of them have posted some of the most amazing, creative, and delicious Thanksgiving recipes that completely fit the bill. Did I mention they are healthy too? I know… the trifecta. Therefore, I am going to be able to put together a feast that not only satisfies my need for a nutrient-dense meal, but without scaring off those who are sitting at my table. Welcome to my list of healthy plant-based thanksgiving recipes.
While we are all tempted to use the box and pre-made versions, I urge you to reconsider. Not only will your Thanksgiving guests greatly appreciate it, your body will too. This is because lurking in boxed and pre-made food items are some of the most health-detrimental ingredients – high fructose corn syrup, trans fats (polyunsaturated fats), artificial colors, and toxic preservatives – all of which lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalance and of course, obesity, let alone weight gain. I know you are thinking it is the holidays, but honestly, we know too much at this point to still be eating these items and the alternatives are not much more effort to make either!
Without further ado, the Thanksgiving Menu!
Maple and Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Love & Lemons
I have been going through a major obsession with Brussels sprouts, one that most certainly had to continue into Thanksgiving. Lucky for me I found this recipe by Love and Lemons. Complete with dried cranberries, broccolini and arugula to offset the sweetness of the maple syrup, I will just have to make extra to have for leftovers!
Cranberry Jam by 101 Cookbooks
If you have not met Heidi Swanson yet, then this is your chance. She is one of my favorite chef’s that has become my guru for putting together healthy, yet simply made, plant-based recipes. She has two beautiful cookbooks, and the website 101 Cookbooks, that should be bookmarked by everyone looking to move into healthy cooking. While this recipe for cranberry jam contains white sugar, I think the simplicity of ingredients beats its canned counterpart. I plan on substituting the white sugar for coconut sugar and adding a bit of orange zest as well.
Sweet Potato, Chipotle and Chard Cornbread Stuffing by The First Mess
I cannot explain my excitement when I came across this recipe. First off, cornbread stuffing is genius, whoever came up with that first deserves a medal. Secondly, the addition of chipotle is completely intriguing. I have never really thought of incorporating an element of heat when cooking Thanksgiving food, but I think it will be most welcome. Finally, chard. Chard is one of those vegetables that is never really thought of, but is such a great addition to nutrify the meal. Love chard and Love The First Mess. If you have not been to her site yet, you are about to fall in love. Block off the next hour or so for swooning.
Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe by 101 Cookbooks
I am happy to ditch the casserole dish and prepare this super clean green bean recipe instead. As I mentioned before, Heidi does these types of dishes all kinds of right, and with the addition of leeks, there is no way that this wont be the perfect juxtaposition to the heavier side dishes. Plus, this dish is really easy to prepare, which no doubt will be a Godsend amidst the craziness that is preparing your very own first Thanksgiving meal.
Salt and Vinegar Kale Mashed Potatoes by Edible Perspective
Kale mashed potatoes!? Obviously this has to be part of my Thanksgiving table. These mashed potatoes have been beautifully made with the addition of apple cider vinegar and almond milk, turning the holiday classic into something memorable. Need to make these now.
Holiday Stuffed Pumpkin by Green Kitchen Stories
If there were awards for the most creative, the most amazing, the most fantastic take on a Thanksgiving meal, then this would have to be it. Not only have Green Kitchen Stories done it again with an out of the box food concept, they have taken it to the next level by adding to it a delightful video. You have to see for yourself how they have glorified the pumpkin with their little video short. If all we made was this pumpkin, we would most certainly be the talk of the town for years to come!
Raw Pumpkin Pie by This Rawsome Vegan Life
And for the grand finale!! This raw pumpkin pie is by my favorite raw chef blogger This Rawsome Vegan Life. Every Thanksgiving meal needs a pumpkin pie and what a better way to do it than with a raw version. I have never made a raw pie before but I am going for it! This pie has all the best ingredients – cashews, almonds, dates, maple syrup and of course, pumpkin. A sugar pumpkin to be exact. As for my willing guests? They are not going to know it is raw. No need to tell them something they don’t have to know right? Besides I am sure it will taste better to them if they think its a generic cooked version.