A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again; the time that turkeys all over America dread! Well, thankfully you readers have me to supply you with some delicious and healthy alternative Thanksgiving recipes whether or not you choose to include turkey or not (and it’s okay if you do, just throwing in some vegan Jewish guilt…). 😉

This year, I am lucky enough to be able to partake in not one, but two Thanksgiving celebrations! I plan to represent healthy vegans everywhere by contributing some amazing dishes where people won’t even notice that they are vegan because they will be too busy scraping the pans or licking their fingers! Will they all be “traditional” Thanksgiving dishes? No.  But will they all be delicious? YOU BET!

To me, Thanksgiving symbolizes giving, family, health and abundance. Thanksgiving does not have to be a day of gorging on foods that don’t serve you, but rather a day of deliciousness, of treats (this is the time of year where you should LET GO and relax a bit), and of connection with family and friends. There are so many wonderful things to be grateful for, aren’t there? It truly is a time to reflect on those people or things that are closest to your heart, but it’s also a very important time to be able to give to yourself. You are your truest love and you deserve to give yourself what you need most, in order to be able to serve others more effectively and with more love. I love being able to give and share my healthy foods with others because it makes me feel good, so please allow me to share my  Thanksgiving menu with you:


  1. Easy Butternut Squash

Main Dishes:

  1. Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds

  2. Mac ‘n’ Cheese


  1. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

  2. Cheesy Brussels Sprouts


  1. Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares

Easy Butternut Squash Soup (topped with sauteed garlic, spinach and slivered almond – serves 8)

  1. 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

  2. 3/4 yellow onion, chopped

  3. 1 clove garlic (or more if desired), minced

  4. 1 64 oz. container of unsweetened almond or rice milk

  5. Cinnamon to taste

  6. Sea salt to taste

  7. Black pepper to taste

  8. Dash nutmeg

  9. Soy-free Earth Balance Butter Substitute

  10. 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger


  1. 1-2 cups fresh spinach

  2. 1 garlic clove, minced

  3. 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds

  4. Olive oil

Heat butter in a large stock pot and add onions and butternut squash. Coat well and cook down for about 10 minutes. Add in almond milk and spices. Cook on low-medium for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat and cook garlic for 1 minute. Add in spinach and then toss in almonds. Cook for about 5 min until spinach is a bit wilted. Set aside.

When squash is nice and tender, blend soup with an emulsion blender or put into Vitamix in or other high-powered blender in batches to make smooth and creamy. Ladle soup into bowls and top with sauteed spinach mix. Serve warm.

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Seeds (serve warm or also makes a great cold dish-yields about 8-10 servings)

  1. 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer

  2. 3 cups water or veggie broth

  3. 3/4 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks

  4. 1-2 shallots

  5. 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

  6. 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds

  7. 1 bunch fresh parsley

  8. Olive oil

  9. Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to instructions with either water or veggie broth (I use a rice cooker). Heat olive oil on medium-low in a large skillet. Add shallots and cook down for about 5 min. Next, add butternut squash. Once quinoa is cooked through, place into a large bowl. Add in butternut squash and mix gently. Last, add in pomegranate seeds, parsley, and almonds. Season with salt, pepper and you can add a bit more olive oil it ends up being a bit too dry. This can be served immediately or you can chill and serve it cold.Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese (This is most certainly a crowd pleaser! I have made this over and over for non-vegans and cheese loving folk and they always rave about it! Make it and taste for yourself just how delicious it truly is!) 1 box will serve 3-4 people

  1. 1 box quinoa pasta (elbow shape)

  2. ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

  3. ½ cup Daiya cheddar cheese

  4. 1/4-1/2 cup soy-free Earth Balance butter substitute

  5. 1/4 cup  nutritional yeast

  6. Sea salt to taste

  7. Red pepper flakes (optional)

Begin to boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain. Add Earth Balance into pot, then follow with pasta, almond milk, Daiya cheese, nutritional yeast and salt. Mix well, coating all the noodles thoroughly and serve warm. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

  1. 1 small or medium head of cauliflower, rinsed, trimmed and chopped

  2. 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt

  3. 1 small clove garlic, minced

  4. 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

  5. 2 tbsp soy-free Earth Balance butter substitute

  6. Black pepper to taste

  7. 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a bit of salt. When the water boils, you can either boil or steam the cauliflower till it’s tender. Drain it, and transfer it to a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is broken down in the processor. Add the garlic, salt, earth balance, and with the motor now running, add your 2 tablespoons of almond milk. Add a touch more almond milk if the mixture is sticking. Finally, add in pepper and thyme and pulse until thoroughly incorporated. Serve hot!

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts 

  1. 20-30 Brussels sprouts

  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  3. 1 clove garlic

  4. 2 tbsp olive oil

  5. Sea salt to taste

  6. 2-4 tbsp. water

Wash Brussels sprouts and cut into halves. Set aside. Heat up oil and garlic on medium heat in a large pan. Add in Brussels sprouts and saute for about 10 min until golden. Add nutritional yeast to coat and water to make a “cheesy looking” sauce. You can add less water if you want a “crustier” cheese coating, or you can thin it out. Cook down for about another 10 min until they are warm, cooked thoroughly and look CHEESY!

Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares (OMG, I am so excited to make these!!! This recipe was inspired and borrowed from Sweetly Raw)


  1. 2/3 cup raw pecans

  2. 1/3 cup raw almonds

  3. 1/3 cup pitted, packed Medjool dates

  4. 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut

  5. Pinch of salt

  6. 1-2 teaspoons water or vanilla

Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor. Add the pecans, coconut, and salt, Pulse a few times to chop the pecans. Add the dates and 1 teaspoon water. Process into a dough. Do NOT over process or the oils will release from the pecans.

Make sure the dough will hold together when pressed in your hand. If still slightly crumbly add another 1/2-1 teaspoon water and pulse briefly.

Press into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan. Set aside.

Filling (if you want a firmer/ more cheesecakey filling, add more coconut oil and a touch more sweetener to compensate)

  1. 1/2 cup pitted packed dates

  2. 1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk or almond milk

  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla

  4. 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  5. 1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin puree

  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

  7. 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  8. 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Make sure all ingredients are room temp to avoid ceasing the coconut oil. Puree/chop the dates in a food processor. Add the milk, vanilla and maple syrup and process until fairly smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times and keep pureeing. Add the pumpkin and spices. Puree to get it as smooth as possible. Add the coconut oil and blend again.

Spread evenly over the crust using a mini offset spatula. Chill in the fridge for 12 hours (or overnight). Note: Since the filling is on the softer side, simply freeze the bars for about an hour before slicing (after putting the whipped cream on top).

Whipped Cream

  1. 1 cup full fat coconut milk

  2. 3/4 cup cashews

  3. 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla

  6. Pinch of salt

  7. 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and a high speed blender (important for the cashews to be completely broken down for proper thickening). Add the oil and blend to incorporate. Pour into a large shallow pan and chill in the fridge for 12 hours (if you want to speed up the firming, freeze for 1 hour and then put back into the fridge). Spread or pipe over the chilled pumpkin filling.

I want to wish everyone of you a beautiful Thanksgiving! I am certainly grateful for all of YOU! If you are looking for help to shed holidays pounds, I am always available for personalized, one-one-one, affordable and results oriented Nutrition Coaching!

Many blessings to you and yours!

Peace, love and light~Dori

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