Pecan pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert! It was always one of my favorites, and I only got to enjoy it on Thanksgiving every year as a child. I make my own version as an adult, but when I am serving it to people, I sometimes like to make little individual ones so there is no cutting required when it comes to enjoying it. You just set it out and it is all set to go! Not only that, the mini pie portions are perfect for Thanksgiving when you are already pretty full from the rest of your meal. Bonus, these pies are vegan and gluten free! But you would never know because they are so delicious.
Bread stuffing is traditional for Thanksgiving, but I like to switch it up and use grain for stuffing. Wild rice is delicious, but if you have never tried barley stuffing, it is just as wonderful! Pearled barley cooks up faster than wild rice, so you spend less time cooking. I pair the barley with apples, crunchy walnuts and cranberries in this recipe and it goes perfect with any type of protein for a hearty side dish, or stuffed into something like squash. Also, it is much healthier than traditional stuffing with much less fat, no animal products and more fiber. So if you are looking to change up your stuffing game, give this a try!
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, it can be tough sometimes trying to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving. You can eat lots of side dishes if they don’t contain animal products but it is nice to have a main dish as well to replace the turkey. The recipe I am sharing with you today for faux chicken filets is perfect for that! They are made out of chickpeas, but you would never know because they are delicious and mimic poultry well. They are also packed with protein and fiber, so you can feel good and satisfied after eating them. I serve them with a mushroom gravy, because who doesn’t love gravy on Thanksgiving!
Brussels sprouts are a Thanksgiving table staple! I did not really care for them growing up though, because the only way I had had them prepared was steamed and overcooked with butter. Since then, I have learned how to prepare them in such a way that they are delicious and I am going back for seconds. Roasting them. Roast any vegetable pretty much and it will be delicious. You could just serve them then roasted with sea salt and they would be good, but there are other things you can add to them to to make them more festive. This recipe for brussels sprouts that I am sharing with you has a tangy vinaigrette and sweet cranberries and crunchy pecans to accompany them. It would be perfect for serving with your Thanksgiving meal!
I have always loved chocolate bark. Not only it is delicious it is easy to make if you have dark chocolate on hand. I thought I would make a festive pumpkin spice variation since it is that time of the year! For the pumpkin swirl I used a coconut base sweetened with maple syrup and made aromatic with pumpkin spices and it is perfect with the rich dark chocolate! There is actually no dairy or refined sugar in this, so it is healthier than traditional candy. If you are not into commercial Halloween candy, this is for you! Plus, it is something that is good to make for Thanksgiving as well, if you need an easy dessert.
Hummus is a healthy snack year round, but this time of year I like to give it a seasonal twist and add pumpkin! I often times have canned pumpkin left over from another recipe I have made and this is the perfect way to use it. Not only that, it adds nutrients as well! This hummus doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie though, it is savory. I add warming spices, cumin, coriander and chipotle powder to give this an exotic twist. I like to make this at the beginning of the week, so I have something to snack on when I want something quick and healthy. It is perfect with seeded crackers or veggies, or even spread on sandwiches!
Making your own Halloween candy for your family is fun and easy! Not only that, if you make your own, you can use quality healthier ingredients and avoid refined sugars. I like to make my own vegan Milky Way bars every year, and I thought you might like to as well, so I am sharing the recipe. These are super delicious. The caramel is made with dates but you would never know because it tastes just like caramel. For the nougat part of the bar, I use a mixture of cashew butter and coconut butter sweetened with maple syrup and it is delicious! Once it is all formed into bars and dipped in dark chocolate it tastes like Milky Way bars, but of course you feel much better after eating them than you would the original ones.
Lentils are a great source of vegan protein. Although they are great year round, because they can be eaten cold in salads, or hot in curries or soups, my favorite time of the year to eat them is right now when there is a chill in the air. They are hearty, pack fiber and protein and lend themselves to a variety of flavors. The recipe I am sharing with you today is a simple curried soup that is easy to make and keeps you feeling good. The sweet potatoes give you a good dose of vitamin A, and I add in greens at the end for extra nutrients. It is super delicious and I make it often. I like to make a batch, then eat it the next few days for dinner so I can relax after work instead of cooking, and in fact it is even better the next day!
Whole grains are healthy when you buy organic and non-GMO like the ones sold in the bulk section at Fresh and Natural Foods. If you are looking for a hearty Fall and Winter comfort food dish that is healthy, delicious and provides a serving of whole grains as well, try this barley risotto recipe! Traditional risotto is made with rice, but barley is a nice change. In this recipe I am pairing it with squash and arugula, and it gets super creamy and delicious without having to add any dairy thanks to the coconut milk I add and the nature of the barley itself. Give this a try next time you are in the mood for comfort food!
I don’t know about you, but I am craving all things pumpkin. I love pumpkin desserts, but savory pumpkin dishes are amazing as well! The soup I am sharing with you today is perfect for when you have extra cans of pumpkin you want to use up, or you just want a quick and healthy meal. I combine the pumpkin with apple, coconut milk and warming curry spices and it is delicious and easy! Not only that, these spices have anti-inflammatory properties so it is a win all around. The next time you are craving a warming soup, give this a try!