Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Tis the season - for over indulgence! Yep, the holidays are fast approaching. And I get it. Thanksgiving is such a great time to be with friends and family. It becomes pretty easy to have that extra glass of wine, and have seconds of your favorite dish. But it's simple to make some smart decisions on your food that day. So get yourself in the kitchen!

Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving, or attending a feast elsewhere, there are some great dishes you can make to ensure you're eating well and not feeling like you're depriving yourself.

We're providing you with three great recipes to get you started. All courtesy of JL Fields - my wife (and culinary instructor at UNM-Taos and cookbook author.) Want more recipes? Head on over to her site: JL Goes Vegan for tons of ideas.

Nutty quinoa and cherry salad

This is a great way to get a protein rich, flavorful and healthy meal. It can be a side dish, or a main course.

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1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
Dried cherries (I used 1 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pecans, chopped (I used half a cup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vegan caramel sauce

Cook quinoa and cherries with a pinch of salt using your preferred method (pressure cooker, rice cooker or stove top).

Chop pecans.

Mix the quinoa and cherries with chopped pecans, lemon juice and caramel sauce.

YIELD: Serves 8 to 10

Roasted Brussels sprouts

 This recipe will be a favorite of everyone. If you think you don't like Brussels Sprouts, this will change your mind.

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3 cups Brussels sprouts (halved)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons Bee-Free honee
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Course sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 425F

Cut the stem off of the Brussels sprouts and discard any outer leaves that come off naturally. Cut them in half and place in a large mixing bow.

In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil & bee-free honee. Pour over the Brussels sprouts. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Place a piece of foil on a baking sheet. Place the Brussels sprouts flat side down on the sheet. Drizzle a bit more Bee-free honee over them and roast for 45 minutes (stir at the halfway point).

Remove from oven after 45 minutes and sprinkle with the sea salt as they cool.

Warm squash and cranberry salad

Sweet and savory - all at the same time!

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2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon clear agave
1 acorn squash
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon avocado oil

Preheat over to 400F

In a large bowl, mix the cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts, with the lime juice and agave. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a little avocado oil).

Wrap the whole squash in foil (shiny side on the inside) and place on a baking sheet. Put both the cranberries and the squash in the oven at the same time.

Bake cranberries for 15 minutes (they will be soft and some will have burst). Remove from the oven and transfer them to a large bowl and allow to cool on the counter.

Bake the squash for 60 minutes. Remove the squash from the foil and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds, peel, and dice the squash.

Add the diced squash to the bowl with the cranberries and toss. Add the avocado oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm.