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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Beyond Tofurkey: 5 Vegetarian Alternatives to the Traditional Thanksgiving Bird

Oct 31, 2014 11:05PM ● By Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Your dinner guests won’t even miss the meat with these stand-out veggie entrees, ideal for the autumn season and festive holiday gatherings. Fresh, fall produce takes center stage in the following nutritious and unbelievably delicious dishes.

So, step outside convention this Thanksgiving and pleasantly surprise your family and friends with a healthy meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Classic comfort food has never tasted so good – and been good for you, too!

 

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip & Potato Mash (yields 6-8 servings)

Recipe adapted from Food52.com

 

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk*
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 6 parsnips (peeled & chopped)
  • 4 russet potatoes (peeled & quartered)
  • 6 oz. pkg. baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
  •  1 ½ c. lentils (uncooked)
  • 1 tsp. rosemary (dried)
  • ¼ tsp. thyme (dried

* My personal non-dairy milk recommendation is almond milk.

 

  • Preparation:
  • Fill a large pot with water and season with salt, then add the potatoes and parsnips, place the pot on a stove-top burner and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then allow the potatoes and parsnips to cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender.
  • Drain the water from this pot and add salt, pepper, 2/3 milk and 2 tbsp. olive oil.
  • Mash this potato and parsnip mixture thoroughly, adding more milk as needed, and set aside temporarily.
  • In another pot, pour in the lentils and 3 c. water, then place the pot on a stove-top burner and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then allow the lentils to cook for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until they have absorbed the water.
  • Preheat a pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and sauté on a medium stove-stop setting for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the carrots, celery and mushrooms, then continue cooking this mixture for approximately 12 minutes.
  • Add the lentils, thyme and rosemary and ½ c. vegetable broth, then stir thoroughly, while pouring in more broth as needed.
  • Preheat your oven to 350˚ and grease a large oven-safe casserole dish.
  • Layer the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish, then spread the potato and parsnip mash evenly over the vegetables.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown, then allow the pie to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

 

Meatless Cashew & Walnut Loaf (yields 8-10 servings)

Recipe adapted from ACoupleCooks.com

 

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ c. brown rice
  • 1 ½ c. walnuts
  • ½ c. cashews
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ c. Swiss cheese (grated)
  • 1 tsp. sage (dried)
  • 1 tsp. thyme (dried)
  • 1 tsp. marjoram (dried)*
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 oz. pkg. baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 oz. pkg. shitake mushrooms (sliced)

* You can substitute dried oregano for dried marjoram.

 

  • Preparation:
  • Cook the brown rice on a stove-top burner, according to its package instructions.
  • Preheat your oven to 375˚, then lay the walnuts and cashews on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Once the nuts have cooled, roughly chop them and set aside temporarily.
  • Preheat a pan with olive oil, then add the onion and garlic and sauté on a medium stove-top setting for approximately 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the mushrooms, marjoram (or oregano), sage and thyme, then continue cooking for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Transfer these ingredients into a mixing bowl and set aside temporarily.
  • In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs and pour them into the mushroom mixture.
  • Add the brown rice, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, walnuts, cashews, parsley, salt and pepper, then stir these ingredients together thoroughly.
  • Grease a 9-inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease it again.
  • Pour the mixture into this loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until golden-brown.
  • Allow the loaf to cool for approximately 20 minutes before serving.

 

Savory Autumn Vegetable Galette (yields 6 servings)

Recipe adapted from RaisingJane.org

 

  • Ingredients:
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin seed oil*
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 c. kale (chopped)
  • 12 Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 3 carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 beet (peeled & sliced)
  • 1 parsnip (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled & chopped)
  • 4 oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tsp. thyme (dried)
  • ½ c. baking mix (whole wheat)
  • 1 egg (separated)
  • 8 tbsp. butter (chilled)

* You can substitute sesame seed oil for pumpkin seed oil.

 

  • Preparation:
  • Preheat your oven to 400˚, then combine the Brussels sprouts, onion, beet, carrots, sweet potato and parsnip in a 9”x13” baking dish.
  • Season the vegetables with salt and pumpkin (or sesame) seed oil, then cover this mixture with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, thyme, kale and cream cheese and set aside temporarily.
  • In another mixing bowl, add the baking mix and cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or two butter knives).
  • In yet another mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 1/3 c. cold water, then pour into the baking mix.
  • Stir thoroughly until a dough consistency forms, then roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is approximately 18” in diameter. 
  • Place the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and spread the cream cheese onto the dough, leaving some space around the edges.
  • Pour the vegetables onto the center of the dough, then fold its edges toward the center, forming an overlapping pattern as you fold.
  • Beat the egg whites until frothy and brush them on the crust, then bake for 23-30 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  • Allow the galette to cool for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

 

Twice-Baked Squash with Quinoa & Gorgonzola (yields 4 servings)

Recipe adapted from NaturallyElla.com

 

  • Ingredients:
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 1 butternut squash (seeded & halved)
  • ½ c. quinoa (uncooked)
  • ½ c. gorgonzola (plus extra for topping)

 

  • Preparation:
  • Preheat your oven to 400˚, then place both butternut squash halves face down in a 9”x13” baking dish and pour ½” water in the bottom.
  • Bake them in the oven for 50 minutes, or until tender, and set aside temporarily.
  • Preheat a pan with olive oil, then add the shallots and sauté on a medium-low stove-top setting for approximately 3 minutes.
  • Rinse the quinoa and pour it into the shallot mixture, along with 1 c. water, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Allow this mixture to cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
  • Scoop most of the butternut squash flesh out of its shell, leaving approximately ½” on both the sides and bottom.
  • Drain the water from the pan and turn the squash halves over so they are now facing up.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the squash’s flesh thoroughly, then stir in the gorgonzola cheese.
  • Once the quinoa is finished simmering, add this mixture to the squash and gorgonzola.
  • Scoop this filling into the butternut squash halves and sprinkle with the remaining gorgonzola, then bake for 12 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  • Allow the butternut squash to cool for approximately 5 minutes, then cut each half in half again before serving.

 

Vegetable Potpies with Sweet Potato Biscuits (yields 8 servings)

Recipe adapted from FoodAndWine.com

 

  • Ingredients:
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. whipping cream*
  • 2 ½ c. milk*
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. butter (unsalted)
  • ¼ c. flour (whole wheat)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 pkg. sweet potato biscuits (unbaked)
  • ¼ c. onion (chopped)
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • 1 lb. parsnips (chopped)
  • ½ lb. pearl onions (peeled & halved)
  • 1 celery root (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 head cauliflower (sliced into florets)
  • 20 sage leaves (plus 1 tsp. dried)
  • 6 thyme sprigs (plus 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2 ½ tsp. parsley (dried)

* You can substitute non-dairy products for the milk and heavy cream. My personal heavy cream substitute recommendation is coconut milk.

 

  • Preparation:
  • Preheat your oven to 425˚, then toss the pearl onions, celery root, parsnips, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts together in an oven-safe dish.
  • Combine these vegetables with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, 4 thyme sprigs and 6 sage leaves.
  • Roast this mixture for 30 minutes, while stirring occasionally, then discard the sage and thyme and reduce the oven temperature to 375˚.
  • Preheat a pan on a low stove-top setting and add the onion, parsley, 2 thyme sprigs, 6 sage leaves and milk, then bring the heat to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and set it off the heat for approximately 15 minutes, then strain the milk.
  • In another pan, melt the butter on a medium stove-top setting, then add the flour and whisk for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Pour the strained milk into this pan and reduce the heat to low, then continue cooking, while whisking, for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Once this mixture has thickened, stir in the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried sage.
  • Pour the cream sauce over the roasted vegetables and toss them together to combine.
  • Spoon this mixture into 8 4-inch ramekins, then top each with an unbaked sweet potato biscuit and brush the beaten egg on the dough.
  • Press 8 sage leaves into the center of each biscuit and bake these potpies in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  • Allow the potpies to cool for approximately 5-10 minutes before serving.
Natural Awakenings of Sarasota August 2020 Digital Edition

 

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