Plant-Based Thanksgiving

Is Thanksgiving really all about the side dishes? If you or some of your family members and guests follow a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, they most certainly will be grateful for an alternative to the main dish (gobble, gobble) as well as some tasty sides.

Plant-based diets are trending so there’s a good chance vegan options will be much appreciated, if not even expected, at your table this year. As an added bonus, vegan recipes are dairy-free so they will appeal to your lactose-intolerant friends as well.

First up is an entrée that is as delicious as it is Instagram-worthy in presentation. Guaranteed to have the turkey lovers at your dinner table drooling!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash
with Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

Serves 4

Preparation Time
Cornbread, 30 minutes
Roast Squash, 30-40 minutes
Cornbread Dressing, 30 minutes

Dairy-free, vegan, plant-based

Delicata Squash is the queen of gourds and can be found in a variety of sizes and colors ranging from greens to orange. Buttery and thin-skinned, they roast quickly and offer up a uniquely smooth and nutty flavor. They are easy to prepare, and this recipe includes a savory cornbread dressing that is studded with cranberries for a festive touch.
Your Thanksgiving guests will be delighted when you present this gorgeous dish. Make your holiday stress-free by prepping some of the components in advance. Bake the cornbread a day or two in advance and brown the veggie sausage ahead of time as well.

Cornbread

(You can make this the day before)

As tempting as it may be to nibble on the cornbread while it is warm from the oven, resist! You will need the entire recipe for the dressing. Solution- double the recipe and have yet another delectable side dish. You can even bake the second batch as muffins and serve in a breadbasket lined with a holiday-themed cloth napkin.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup organic cane sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 ¼ cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil plus 2 teaspoons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a round cake pan or square baking dish with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl whisk together the soy milk and oil, then add to cornmeal mixture. Stir just until combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until edges are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Roasted Delicata Squash

4 large or 6 medium Delicata squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing, see recipe below

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Rinse squash well. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

Mix the olive oil and maple syrup in a small bowl, brush onto cut sides of squash. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and pepper. Place squash cut side facing down on lined baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until fork-tender and golden around the edges. Remove from oven.

Fill squash with the cornbread dressing, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and return to oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

1 recipe cornbread, crumbled

1 -2 tablespoons olive oil

½ medium to large red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup king oyster mushrooms, chopped

8 ounces vegan or plant-based sausage, crumbled and cooked until well browned

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1 to 2 cups vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

While the squash is roasting, prepare the dressing. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until slightly transparent. Add minced garlic and cook another minute or two, then add the chopped mushrooms and seasonings. Continue to sauté until mushrooms begin to brown. Add the cooked sausage, poultry seasoning, cranberries, and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Remove from heat and add cornbread pieces. Stir until well combined, adding more broth if needed to form a moist but not liquid consistency. If desired add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill roasted squash halves with dressing, drizzle with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and bake for another 5- 10 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Serve 4-6
Preparation Time 30-40 minutes
Plant-based, Vegan, Dairy-free