Monday, November 23, 2015


by Katie G.

I always look forward to Thanksgiving; it's one of my absolute favorite holidays of the year. Not only is it a time to gather with family and friends, but it's the ideal moment to reflect on what it is we're truly grateful for. It's also the holiday that's most intrinsically linked to food. Our forefathers celebrated a successful harvest with a feast, inviting both Pilgrims and Native Americans to break bread together. It's actually a beautiful sentiment when you think about it. Today, we mark the holiday with a feast of our own – whether it's Friendsgiving or an all-out family meal.

With a feast, comes indulgence. I'm sure our forefathers were happy with a little corn and fowl. But these days, in a time of abundance, just think of that buttered-up turkey or those biscuits with gravy, or, if you're like me, my mom's "gut-buster" stuffing. And don't get me started on the pecan and pumpkin pies. This holiday is pretty much defined by butter, oil, and sugar. 

However, this year, I'm determined to do things a little differently. I've discovered (and taste-tested) three super-delicious recipes that are savory, easy to make – oh, and did I mention, vegan? Go ahead, give them a try.  They won't disappoint.

As an Afternoon Snack: 

Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
Depending on when you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, it's always wise to have a little snack so you aren't ravenous by the time the food comes out. A great idea for a pre-dinner nosh is crudites and dip. In this case, we've taken the traditional hummus and given it a delicious harvest twist.
  • 1 Cup Chopped Butternut Squash
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Skin On
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic (about 4 Cloves)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 15-Ounce can of Chickpeas, drained
  • 1/3-cup tahini
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Optional: 1/4 Tsp Paprika
Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Add the butternut squash and four unpeeled garlic cloves to a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine all.

Bake for 15-20 minutes (squash must be tender and garlic golden).

Let cool for about 5 minutes; peel the roasted garlic.

In a food processor add the following: roasted garlic, squash, minced garlic, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, chickpeas, tahini, oliva oil, salt, pepper, parsley, cinnamon, cumin and/or paprika.

Puree until creamy and smooth. Add more olive oil or a water if it is too thick.

Serve immediately with baby carrots and/or tortilla chips

Note: You can store leftovers up to 5 days

As a Dee-Lish Side Dish

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Date Puree 
I have to be honest. This dish knocked it out of the park for me. It's both savory and sweet with a hearty texture.
  • 8 Pitted Dates
  • 2 Cups fresh Brussels Sprouts, Sliced in Half
  • 2 Cups Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 Cup sliced Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Miso Paste
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Pepper to Taste
In a food processor, blend dates and 1/3-cup of water until it's creamy. Set it aside.

In a pan, saute brussels sprouts (cut side down), onions, and mushrooms over medium-high heat. Saute them in olive oil and gradually add vegetable broth.

When cooked for about 10 minutes, add miso paste and about 1 cup of almonds. Stir often, making sure that the brussels sprouts are turned over to caramelize on both sizes.

Once the sprouts have lightly caramelized (no burning please), take off the heat and stir in date paste and pepper.

Serve and garnish with remaining almonds.

In Lieu of a Buttery Mash

Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Oh em gee. These are delicious. So delicious. The secret ingredient is coconut milk, which gives the sweet potatoes an unexpected flavor.
  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1Tbsp of Earth Balance Olive Oil "Butter"
  • Salt, to Taste
Preheat the Oven to 400º F

Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and placed on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.

Peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes. It should easily come off with your fingertips (sometimes it fights for dear life to stay on, what can I say)

In a food processor, blend the sweet potato pulp, coconut milk, Nature Balance, and cinnamon, until it's creamy.

Sprinkle with coconut flakes, if desired.

Enjoy! And as always, find us on Facebook or tag #projectCLEANFOOD on Instagram to let us know how your recipes turned out.

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