Three Vegan Options for Your Thanksgiving Table

Over the past couple of years I found Thanksgiving to be a difficult holiday to enjoy. As I began changing my lifestyle and taking meat and dairy out of my diet, I realized going out to celebrate outside of my home was next to impossible because almost all Thanksgiving dishes included meat or dairy. From the turkey to the green bean casserole, I couldn’t find anything on the table that was vegan-friendly. So this year I decided to “veganize” a few traditional Thanksgiving dishes before the big meal. So without further ado, I present to you my Vegan Thanksgiving Menu!

Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash

While traditional stuffing is high in carbs, this dish is much lighter and more colorful!

Ingredients

  • One yellow squash
  • One zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut zucchini and yellow squash in half, length-wise and slice into thin arches.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on saucepan on high heat.
  3. Toss squash and zucchini into sauce pan, sprinkle desired spices to taste and cook over medium heat until squash is soft—about 6–10 minutes.
Sautéed Zucchini and Yellow Squash with spices.
Sautéed zucchini and yellow squash with spices instead of traditional stuffing cuts down on your calorie intake.

Baked Sweet Potato

I am always the first to grab a spoonful (or two) of mashed potatoes. However, traditional mashed potatoes are made with loads of butter and cream—not exactly vegan-friendly. And while it would be easy enough to substitute vegan butter and almond milk, I found that baked sweet potatoes are not only healthier, but more flavorful.

Ingredients

  • Two medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 3–4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cut sweet potatoes into medium-sized chunks (smaller = crispier)
  • Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spices.
  • Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and in the oven for 20–25 minutes. Option: Turn over halfway through.
IMG_20191123_140942-01
Bake sweet potatoes with spices for a more flavorful potato side dish this Thanksgiving.

Roasted Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Swap out the high-calorie green bean casserole with some roasted green beans. Not only is this dish easier to make, it isn’t heavy on the cream and cholesterol.

Ingredients

  • green beans (two or three handfuls)
  • lemon juice (1/2 or whole depending on taste)
  • 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the ends of the green beans, wash.
  3. Drizzle olive oil onto baking sheet.
  4. Mix green beans, minced garlic, and lemon juice in a glass baking sheet.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes. Option: At the ten-minute mark, take out and mix together for a more even roasting.
Roasted green beans, carrots and asparagus, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, dairy-free mac and cheese, and baked sweet potatoes.
Roasted green beans, carrots and asparagus, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, dairy-free mac and cheese, and baked sweet potatoes.

In addition to these three recipes, consider a vegan mac and cheese option and additional roasted veggies (carrots and asparagus are my personal favorites). Another easy vegan side dish is hummus and bread rather than a cheese-based or artichoke dip.

Hummus and bread
Hummus and bread—a crowd pleaser any day.

Incorporating one or more of theses dishes will not only bring the calorie count of your meal down but also spice up your plate. So consider making one or more of these vegan-friendly dishes for your Thanksgiving table this year!

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

2 thoughts on “Three Vegan Options for Your Thanksgiving Table

  1. That’s one superbly looking Vegan Thanksgiving Menu! Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland, finding vegan-friendly dishes at Christmas, Easter or Birthdays can always be challenging, and that’s why we usually stay at home and cook all the possible veggie meals possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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