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Vegan Thanksgiving recipes that will make you forget all about the meat

Brandi is natural born food lover of anything from gourmet cheeses and wine down to plain baked breads. When not in the kitchen cooking, she loves to be outdoors, especially near the ocean. She puts her focus mainly on healthy organic ea...

How to have a vegan Thanksgiving without feeling deprived, even a little bit

If you're a carnivore, don't pity us. Turkey may be the main event on Thanksgiving, but with the recent explosion of the clean eating food blogosphere, the vegan (and vegetarian) community isn't hurting for delicious holiday recipes that have nothing to do with meat.

More: About that 'healthy' breakfast smoothie we're supposed to be drinking...

Veganism is an ever-growing lifestyle that many people are following for health benefits, environmental reasons and also to help eliminate animal cruelty. In fact, vegans may now make up as much as 2.5 percent of the population. (For those who are curious about what we're eating, this infographic explains the whole deal.) If you've ever dabbled with the idea of a vegan lifestyle or have gone full vegan yourself, these helpful, easy and healthy recipes are sure to inspire.

Tarragon and maple roasted red potatoes recipe

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds new or red potatoes, washed and sliced in 1/4-inch thick wedges (you may also use sweet potatoes or yams)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, melted
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large casserole dish arrange the potato slices in overlapping rows.
  2. In a bowl add the Earth Balance, maple syrup, orange juice, pepper and salt mixing well. Pour over the potatoes, making sure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle the tarragon over the tops of the potatoes. Lightly cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and serve.

Holiday roasted acorn squash with quinoa stuffing recipe

Inspired by keepin it kind

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the acorn squash

  • 3 small acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the quinoa stuffing

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, minced
  • 1 whole red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch fresh baby spinach, cleaned and stems removed (you may also use kale)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy feta (a vegan version of feta cheese usually found at health food stores; vegetarians can use regular feta cheese)
  • Freshly chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

For the citrus dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the acorn halves on the baking sheet. In a bowl mix the balsamic vinegar and the pure maple syurp. With a pastry brush lightly coat each of the halves with the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is very tender.
  2. In a bowl prepare the citrus dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In pan over medium heat add the olive oil, the minced onions, red pepper, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are just slightly soft about five minutes and add the veggies to a large mixing bowl. Add in the quinoa, soy feta cheese and half of the citrus dressing tossing very well.
  4. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Begin spooning the stuffing into the center of each squash. Before serving, garnish with extra dressing, fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Vegan parsnip-butternut squash soup recipe

This super-simple vegan soup is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Vegans need a little T-day love too!

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the squash, parsnips, carrots, onion, garlic, kosher salt and pepper to the baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss to coat.
  3. Roast the vegetables until lightly browned and soft, about 45 minutes.
  4. Once the vegetables are roasted, add them to a large blender container. Add in the fresh thyme and cayenne pepper.
  5. Add in 2 cups of vegetable stock and the can of coconut milk. Blend until smooth, adding more stock as needed until the soup reaches the desired consistency.
  6. Your soup should still be hot, but if it's not, then simply pour it into a large pot set over medium heat, and heat until it's hot.

Next Up: Fresh orange cranberry sauce recipe

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