So Much More Than Salads: Happy (Plant-based) Thanksgiving

By Sarah Wilson, RHN on November 20, 2014 , categorized in In the Kitchen

Healthy doesn’t mean boring bland salads, or mind-numbing workouts you hate. Health is about finding something that gets you super pumped and excited about your overall wellness. I’m a holistic nutritionist that loves taking the ordinary, and making it kick a$$!  It’s time to get creative, step outside the box, and discover your own way to thrive. My mission is to help you find that path.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all our good fortune, and also a great time for food, friends and family. Sometimes people can feel awkward when trying to cook for your dietary preferences, aka “the only friend who doesn’t eat turkey and gravy.” To be polite when we’re invited for dinner maybe we’ll offer to bring some plant-based side dish for everyone to share, or we’ll eat a snack before we come over to prevent us from getting hangry. Well, it’s time to put your grown-up pants on, and take this Thanksgiving dinner by the reins. You’re going to throw your friends and family a thanksgiving dinner they’ll remember.

Don’t stress about trying to plan out the perfect meal to please everyone, I’ve got you covered with my favorite plant-based thanksgiving dinner ideas and recipes.

The main event

If this is your first plant-based dinner and you’re wondering…”what the heck is going to replace the turkey?!” rest assured, there are plenty of plant-based options for your piece de resistance. Go get yourself a Tofurkey and season it with classic poultry seasonings to give you that comforting smell and taste. Or get creative and make up your own glaze with maple and cranberries.

Get stuffed

Stuffing can be an all-time Thanksgiving dinner fave! The name of this recipe doesn’t really shout out stuffing, but just wait until you try this. The moistness of the lentils with the cranberry topping will definitely make you think of that traditional favorite side dish, I highly recommend this Cranberry and Maple Glazed Lentil Loaf.  If you want to stick to a more classic version of stuffing, try using your favorite gluten-free bread, and butter alternative tossed with your favorite spices, or try out this Stuffed Squash for a fancy side.

Step to the side please!

One of the most important parts of Thanksgiving dinner is the sides!  This is where you’ll really wow your guests and get them adding these recipes to their next dinner party.

You’re going to need some greens on that table, so what better way than to add a salad…a Roasted Grape salad to be exact. This salad will be sure to earn you some rave reviews. This next recipe is a great seasonal dish, that takes a hot minute to cook, but is something you can get started on nice and early and let cook while you’re working on everything else. This Butternut Squash Risotto makes for the perfect cozy fall dish, and will leave your guests asking for seconds.

Smash it outta the park!

Want to please everyone with some nice mashed potatoes? Throw them for a loop and try swapping out those starchy potatoes for a lighter version of this classic Thanksgiving staple, that won’t leave you in a food coma. Try making Creamy Vegan Mashed Cauliflower, I can guarantee you; they may not even notice you’ve made the swap!

Don’t get pie eyed

Ok, so you’ve come this far, you might as well go out with a bang and give your guests a truly memorable experience. Ditch the pumpkin pie and tempt them with this Pumpkin Pudding Parfait. This dessert is super tasty and makes for a great gluten-free version of one of our favorite desserts.

What are you having for Thanksgiving?

Sarah Wilson, RHN

Sarah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and works at Vega as a Product Specialist. Sarah educates from experience! Drawing on her retail leadership in the natural health industry, her own nutrition consulting, and a personal passion, she equips audiences with tools and inspiration to feel their absolute best from the inside, out. Specializing in sports and fitness recommendations, Sarah is active as a runner, playing soccer or enjoying the Rocky Mountains on her snowboard.

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