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Thanksgiving Inspiration Recipe Round-up

Time flies…when one is swamped! Between work, weddings, & professional conferences, etc., I’ve had little time to even think about Thanksgiving, let alone get planning! My Mom & I had the ambitious idea of testing recipes, but that didn’t happen, & now we are days away from the holiday. Ack, we need to “get crackin!” So we are meeting tonight for Twilight (yes, I’ll admit I am one of those nutty fans!) & menu finalization.

Where to begin? Well…I went straight to The New York Times "Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2011" interactive feature & clicked away! This has got to be one of the most amazingly awesome resources - ever! So much good stuff!

First thing first - the MAIN DISH! Still trying to decide on a meatless main, but I think I may have found it! One of my most favorite things in the world is the "Vegan Neatloaf" from Jyoti Bihanga. We’ve always taked about doing a “veggie loaf” for Thanksgiving, & I’ve tried to get my hands on their recipe, but they won’t give it up. I stumbled across this recipe (a sneak peek from Chef Chloe’s new cookbook) & it looks like a winner. 

Chef Chloe’s Country “Meatloaf” with Golden Gravy

These stuffed portobellos are a contender as well! These ‘shroomies are filled with savory lentil cashew stuffing, which can be made up to 3 days in advance. Stuff & bake for 30 minutes on Thanksgiving day & dinner is served! 

Harvest Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from Chef Chloe

***Check out more from Chef Chloe here:  ”Hearty Holiday Main Courses for Vegans” on the NYT Well Blog & on her website

Now, let’s talk sides!

In my opinion, Thanksgiving sides are the best part & there are so many options! Traditional sides tend to follow this typical pattern: mashed potatoes-stuffing-salad-candied yams-brussels sprouts-green bean casserole. To gather some inspiration, I did little searching for healthier, veganish alternatives in each of these categories. Here are some of my picks from around the interwebs for modern healthy takes on those “traditional” Thanksgiving sides: 

One can never go wrong with Heidi Swanson’s recipes & this looks lovely & easy to veganize. I love the addition of kale adding color, texture, & a healthful twist to the rich & creamy mash. 

Kale & Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes from 101 Cookbooks

Speaking of Heidi…I also really love her take on classic stuffing. I like a simple stuffing, but the addition of dried figs, cranberries & sugared walnuts makes this very festive. Keep it simple by grabbing some pre-made candied walnuts (I like the ones from Trader Joe’s). 


       Sage, Walnut & Dried Fig Stuffing from 101 Cookbooks

***See more of Heidi’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes here.

I love a holiday inspired salad! With all the protein, carbs & grains, it’s nice to add a bit of ruffage into the mix. This salad from Angela at Oh She Glows encompasses exactly what I enjoy in a holiday salad - delicate greens, crisp fruit & a zesty dressing! 

Holiday Salad with Apple, Pear, Cranberry & Walnut from Oh She Glows

***Check out Angela’s Vegan Holiday Dinner Ideas too. 

Is it a yam? Is it a sweet potato? Oh I don’t really know! Whatever! The "marshmallow topped sweet potato mash" has been a traditional expectation dating back to my Mom’s Aunt Artie. Last year we veganized it with Dandies, which turned out great, but this year maybe we can try something lighter? I love the look of these simple sweet potatoes & recipes from Vegan Yum Yum are the bomb.

Vegan Yum-Yum’s Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes

I adore Kris Carr & admire her story. I was so excited to see some Thanksgiving recipes from her on the NYT Well Blog. Brussels tend to have a bad reputation, but they can be awesome & proper preparation can help set the record straight! I love her use of crunchy pistachios & heat from the pinch of red pepper!

Kris Carr’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios & Cippollini Onions

***Check out more of Kris Carr’s recipes from "Crazy Sexy Thanksgiving" on the NYT Well Blog. 

Green bean casserole - one of the quintessential Thanksgiving staple sides. I’ve never been a fan of the classic "canned-green-bean-mushroom-soup version" (ick!), so thank goodness it rarely makes an appearance on our holiday spread. I do love green beans though, more specifically haricots verts! That is why I would not protest if something like this appeared! Fresh green beans, with a creamy mushroom tahini sauce & a crunchy topping. 

Healthy Green Bean Casserole from What Would Cathy Eat?

Let’s not forget about dessert!

We all know that pumpkin pie is the classic thanksgiving dessert, but it’s never been my favorite. There are always numerous requests for my Mom’s famous (non-vegan) cheesecake, but my brother would protest if pumpkin pie wasn’t served, so why not please everyone with a pumpkin-cheesecake fusion? This recipe comes from Isa & Terry’s latest collaboration, so you know it’s going to be stellar. Lucky for us they put the recipe up on The PPK

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Crunch Topping

Want to keep it in the pumpkin theme, but break the rules a bit? This “Pumpkin Tiramisu” from Chef Chloe’s Kitchen (featured here on the NYT Well Blog) has my mouth watering! If you know me well, then you know that tiramisu is my absolute favorite! 

Pumpkin Tiramisu from Chef Chloe

So there you have it! I am off to finalize the menu. My Mom has her picks too, so we’ll see which of these makes the cut. Stay tuned!

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