• Brandon Glover

4 unique, healthy recipes that are perfect for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up; the whole family's coming over, but what will you cook? This list of recipes will be sure to satisfy your family's taste-buds. These recipes have something for everyone, from tofu turkey and vegan Shepard's pie to roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin cookies, we've got you covered.

Tofu Turkey


This recipe from Food is a tofu dish marinated for better flavor. The dish is described as "a vegan alternative especially good for Thanksgiving dinner!" Basil and oregano are a good substitute for dill and marjoram.


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of boiling water

1 1/2 teaspoons of dried dill

1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon of dried sage

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1-4 thinly sliced garlic cloves

1 pound of firm tofu


Instructions


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, prepare the marinade by whisking together all the ingredients except the tofu. Set aside.


2. Slice the tofu into desired shapes, about 1/4 inch thick (a pound of tofu will give you about 10 slices)


3. Lay each slice on a cookie sheet or a lasagna pan, cover with marinade, and let sit in the refrigerate for at least an hour -- the longer, the better. Turn the slices over a few times as they marinate.


4. Bake for 1 hour, turning slices over after 30 minutes. To serve, fry cutlets on a nonstick frying pan until both sides are browned.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie


This recipe from One Ingredient Chef is described as "low in fat and high in protein, fiber, and nutrients." Filled with deliciously seasoned lentils and veggies and topped vitamin-packed sweet-potato mash, this recipe is sure to be a hoot.


Ingredients


4 medium sweet potatoes

1/2 cup of diced onions

1/2 cup of diced celery

1/2 cup of diced carrots

4 1/2 cups of prepared lentils

2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of basil

1/2 cup of chopped spinach

2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk

sea salt

Instructions


1. Before anything else, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks. Get them in a pot of water and let them boil for at least 15-20 minutes, depending on size.


2. Meanwhile, chop the carrots, onion, and celery (mirepoix) into small chunks. To make things super easy, I often buy a pre-cut mirepoix at Trader Joe’s. Or you can use a food processor. Add this to a large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of water and allow them to soften.


3. Once the veggies are softened, add the prepared lentils to the pan. You can use any kind of lentils you’d like… dried (cook them yourself), canned (drained), or pre-made lentils in a package (as long as the don’t have any unnatural ingredients). Allow these to cook for several minutes with the mirepoix. Preheat the oven to 350 F


4. Open the cans of diced tomatoes (but do not drain them) and add these along with a tablespoon of chopped (or dried) basil leaves, a handful of chopped spinach, and a splash of soy sauce. Let this filling simmer for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to mingle.


5. When the sweet potatoes are soft all the way through, remove them from the heat and drain the water. Mash with a little salt and a splash of non-dairy milk until the consistency is perfect.


6. Add the lentil filling to a 9 x 13 pan and top with a layer of sweet potatoes. Or, like pictured, you can add to individual oven-safe bowls. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the topping becomes slightly browned. Allow to cool before serving.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon


This recipe from Food Network is nice and simple but packed with flavor. For an extra kick, Food Network recommends adding cayenne pepper to the mix.


Ingredients


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1/4 cup of honey

salt and freshly ground pepper


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.


2. Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


This recipe, also from Food Network, is simple, easy, healthy, and delicious. For extra flavor Food Network recommends to "double the spices as well as the pumpkin."


Ingredients


2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

1 cup of white sugar

1 cup of light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of canned pumpkin puree

3 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

2 cups of chocolate chips


Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.


2. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

No matter what your family likes to eat at this time of year, these recipes are sure to satisfy.

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