Fall Feast – Easy Recipes for Plant-based Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and the holiday season is right around the corner! It feels overwhelming for those who normally eat a healthy diet, this time of year. It’s hard to socialize with friends and family, and know how to prepare a feast while trying to please everyone and stay on track with your healthy eating. 

The good news is that traditional holiday meals can include the healthiest food – classic dishes like mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, acorn squash and pumpkin pie. Sharing with you, a beautiful holiday feast full of starches and vegetables you love!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Couscous, Cumin and Tofu

This is one of my favorite recipes for a fancy vegan Thanksgiving meal: Couscous-Stuffed Acorn Squash with smoked tofu bits and mushrooms. Serve it with a homemade Cranberry Sauce and dig in! The Roasted acorn squash is perfect to make ahead for any festive fall meal. Stuff it with quinoa or couscous and mushrooms any other vegetables you love then top it with cranberry sauce. The cranberries add a nice sweetness to the whole stuffed acorn. So Yummy, Healthy and Delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup mushrooms , cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup smoked tofu , small cubed
  • 1 shallot , finely slice
  • 1 garlic clove , mince
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint and parsley , chopped


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half, spoon out the seeds.
  3. Put the acorn squash halves with the inside down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until soft, then flip them and bake for another 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the filling: Boil the water for the couscous, add cumin and curry powder and a pinch of salt, then take the pot off the cooktop, add in the couscous, put the lid on top and let it absorb.
  6. In a skillet, cook the mushroom slices (add a bit of salt) until brown then put them in a bowl and set them aside. Pan-fry the smoked tofu cubes add some chili powder and cumin for extra spiciness.
  7. Caramelize the shallots and garlic. Once all the mix-ins for the filling are ready, pour them all back in the pan, mix in the couscous, fresh parsley and mint and give it a good mix. Add salt to taste.
  8. Spoon the filling into the roasted acorn squash and serve with homemade Cranberry Sauce! Enjoy!

Creamy Cashew Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

While there are many mashed potatoes recipes online, this is one of my favorites. Super simple and easy to make. I’m including my recipe below for the creamiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes ever!

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds russet potatoes
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon blackpepper
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups of cashew milk

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes in the boiling water, and boil for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. OR you can place the potatoes in the microwave to boil, either method works well.
  2. Remove potatoes and cool, then remove the skins.
  3. Add potatoes in a large wide bowl and use a potato masher.
  4. Add the cashew milk, garlic, pepper, rosemary and the salt. Mix everything together for about 5 minutes for smooth creamy potatoes.

Tangy Apples Dates Cilantro Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large red or green apple peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion diced finely
  • 8 medjool dates, pit removed chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and cool, uncovered add more cilantro for garnish.

Cauliflower Carving Station

Loved serving my signature dish roasted whole cauliflower with caramel sweet potato fries in a large round wooden tray.  It looks gorgeous on the table and it’s so Instagram-worthy!

DECADENT DESSERTS 

Now, on to the sweet, sweet and healthy desserts!

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with Salted Maple Caramel
Pumpkin Banana Bake with Almond Butter Drizzle
Fresh Mango Icecream

Cranberry Coconut Fig Baked Apple Strudel

  • 3 slices whole grain Dave’s or Ezekiel bread
  • 1 cup non-dairy almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh or canned cranberries puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
  • 3 apples, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam or chopped fresh fig
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  3. Place in loaf pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top.
  4. Serve drizzled with more figs, chopped apples, cranberries mixed together.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

The most important part of Thanksgiving is to enjoy yourself—the gathering shouldn’t be stressful!  My equation for Thanksgiving is to remove the things that stress you out and add things that bring you joy.

It’s a perfect time to have a meal filled with gratitude and abundance with good family, don’t you think?

Sharing with you a peek into last year’s Friendsgiving Party, food, recipes and decor.  Feel free to use our recipes and tips at your Thanksgiving Events.  Please share any hosting tips and plans you have for your event.