Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and with only 2 weeks away, we finally have our plans coordinated with family. Hands-down, it is my favorite holiday, as I have mentioned in the past. Not only is the entire holiday focused on food and eating (you guys know I plan my whole day around my next meal), but there is very little when it comes to expectations of the holiday. With no gift exchange, the day is truly based spending time with your loved ones, whether it is family or friends. And according to our son’s favorite soundtrack, ‘Friends are Family,’ – from the Batman Lego Movie. And of course, we get to spend a lot of time in my favorite room – the kitchen!!! I simply can’t wait. Over the years, we have slowly perfected our vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, comprised of a lot of sides, most very healthy, but always tasty.
Our Vegetarian Thanksgiving
No Thanksgiving is complete without an amazing stuffing. My husband has perfected this recipe, and I will say it was a lot of massaging this recipe when we converted to vegetarianism. Having grown up in the South, he was accustom to using the dark meat of the turkey in his stuffing, which provides a ton of flavor. Over the years, he has tinkered with this recipe and found the best way to achieve a similar flavor – a variety of wild and unique mushrooms. Our Wild Mushroom and Swiss Chard Stuffing is chock full of flavor from porcini, shiitake and cremini mushrooms. And now that we have a Wegmans in the Richmond area, we simply love their vast selection of mushrooms at this time of year. We also use homemade cornbread cakes and sourdough to create a complex flavor. I can’t wait to take a bite of this moist, flavorful and filling dish. With only 142 calories per serving, I don’t have to feel so guilty when I help myself to a second serving. And huge props to Oh My Veggies for their amazing Wild Mushroom Gravy. This has been our go-to recipe for the last few years and there’s never enough! So yummy!
Next up for our vegetarian Thanksgiving is a staple on most tables across the country – macaroni and cheese. Again, a specialty by my husband, but he does take some inspiration from one of our favorites, Alton Brown. His Baked Macaroni & Cheese is a staple recipe in our house. Add it to your repertoire and you won’t be disappointed. Simple, flavorful and satisfying. If you want a more complex option, change up the cheeses that you use. As with many baked pasta dishes, watch your portions because the calories do add up with 463 calories per serving. So yummy though! Enjoy a full serving if you did that Turkey Trot in the morning!
If you’ve been following Focused on Fit for any length of time, you have probably seen our next dish – the Sweet Potato and Kale Gratin. This is usually a staple meal in our home throughout the year for two reasons – it is delicious, and it is so easy to throw together, even on a weeknight. The flavor comes from the garlic, so if you love garlic, don’t be shy on the number of cloves that you use. It marries so beautifully with the kale. Oh my – my mouth is watering. And don’t forget the amazing properties of both main ingredients. Sweet potatoes are like Gods’ candy and are truly a superfood.
And while it isn’t the healthiest, our Thanksgiving table always has fresh bread. One of my favorites are our Buttery Sourdough Buns, courtesy of King Arthur Flour. Any of our baking comes from this amazing site, that offers everything from recipes for cookies, pies and even quick breads. If you can take the time and enjoy baking, you will be the hit of the holiday when these rolls hit the table.
As we head into Thanksgiving, we would love to hear your favorite recipes. What makes it on the table every year? What recipes have been handed down from generation to generation? Wishing you all the happiest of holidays, and hoping you get to celebrate with your best people.