Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Go-To Recipes for Your Healthy Vegan Thanksgiving



I hope everyone had a great National Split Pea Soup Week last week! Not only did I polish off the last of my Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup well before the weekend, but I printed out another split pea soup recipe to try. This one's from Maria at Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle. Her slow-cooker soup incorporates leeks and apples (yum!), as well as an herb called lovage, which I'm curious to try. (Has anyone used it before? Anything I should know?)

Speaking of last week, it was more than a little crazy for me. From collecting data for a research project, to going to my first food and nutrition (FAN) club meeting at U. Maryland, to attending an open house for all the dietetic internship programs in the DC area, I made new friends and contacts practically daily. I had a lot of fun doing it, and met some phenomenal people!

However, since I naturally lean a little more towards introvert than extrovert, when I got home each night, I was pretty much wiped out. So instead of doing productive things like recipe development, I recharged by watching a ridiculous number of episodes of Hart of Dixie on Netflix. (For those of you who've seen it, would you agree that within the first few episodes, the show morphs from being so-so to completely addictive? As in, watch-three-episodes back-to-back when you should be sleeping kind of addictive?)

Thankfully I managed to break my Hart of Dixie habit long enough to study for a midterm over the weekend, but alas, cooking ended up on the back burner (heh). Luckily, Jeff made good on his rain check for National Men Make Dinner Day, whipping up some gorgeous gobi bhurji with peas. (Missed National Men Make Dinner Day? Click here to stay posted on upcoming food holidays.)


This week, though? Papers and projects aside, I plan to cook! Specifically, I'm hoping to make my vegan Thanksgiving favorites, since Thanksgiving won't be at my house this year. Not only are these recipes delicious, but your guests will actually leave your house healthier than when they came. (As opposed to primed for a heart attack.)

Without further ado, here they are:

Apple-licious appetizer



Apple slices and pumpkin pie dip are a definite crowd-pleaser, and make a nice alternative to a cheese plate for a plant-based Thanksgiving spread. If you dip the apple slices in pineapple or orange juice before serving, they'll stay fresh as a daisy throughout dinner.

Plant-powered sides


Tasty low-fat "creamed" spinach with a dash of nutmeg is quick and easy comfort food:



And of course, my mom's easy, outside-the-box mashed sweet potatoes with oranges and pineapple are a favorite of mine, and can be made in advance.


Since I'm plant-powered, there's no turkey on the menu, but there are delicious mini kidney bean and quinoa loaves glazed with a delicious clove-spiced sauce. (Yes, the recipe is adapted from Mitt Romney's favorite meat loaf recipe, but if you're a democrat, don't despair! I also vegan-ized the Obama family chili recipe for the election last year. I like to keep things bipartisan, what can I say?)


Divine dessert


For dessert, I highly recommend Susan's Impossible Vegan Pumpkin Pie on FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Susan's pie is just about as good as it gets: rich and custard-y, but minus the fat and cholesterol of "regular" pumpkin pie. Plus it makes its own crust; gotta love that! She does use refined sugar, but hey, this is Thanksgiving. (That said, I'm working on a date-sweetened pumpkin pie of my own; hopefully that recipe will be up before Christmas!)

We'll see if I get around to making all these recipes this week, but in the meantime, I want to hear from you: 

What are you making this Thanksgiving? Is there a dish you simply can't live without? (Please share the recipe link if you have one!)

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4 comments:

  1. Great looking Thanksgiving dishes, Lee. That pumpkin pie dip is almost too pretty to eat!

    I grow lovage in my garden. It tastes similar to celery but has a stronger flavor. My favorite thing about it is that the stems are stiff and hollow so you can use them as drinking straws for vegetable juice. :) If you can't find it locally, I'm thinking you could try using a combination of dried thyme and celery seed. Now that I've checked out Maria's soup recipe I'm kicking myself for not freezing some for winter use. Oh well, next year!

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    1. Hi Jackie, I couldn't resist using a mini-pumpkin to serve the pumpkin pie dip--occasionally I have a Martha Stewart moment! ;-)

      Will lovage grow in part shade? When is it in season? Because I love the idea of celery-flavored drinking straws for veggie juice, and I bet lovage tastes divine in soup and veggie stock! In the meantime, I'll give thyme and celery seed a go. Thanks for the tip!

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  2. Mmmm this is a great recipe round up for the holidays =)
    I tend to make this for the holidays:
    http://ohsheglows.com/2011/02/22/sweet-potato-oatmeal-breakfast-casserole/
    But, I was thinking of switching it up and maybe making this:
    http://moderngirlnutrition.com/2013/11/06/sweet-potatoes-with-honey-coconut-and-pecans/

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Ohhh snap those sweet potato recipes look amazing! I didn't have the chance to cook for myself over Thanksgiving (I traveled to Texas for my husband's extended family get-together), but I'll have to try one (or both!) of those recipes over Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

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