I was given the honor of cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family in 2007. It was only three of us so it wasn’t a huge challenge, but still a fun project!
The most extraordinary part about this meal was that it was vegan, organic, sugar-free, all-natural, mostly alkaline, and with nothing refined, processed or artificial.
This meal contains: sautéed swiss chard, steamed asparagus, roasted vegetables, mashed yams, and quinoa. Dessert is berry pie and pumpkin pie.
Let’s look a little more in-depth at each of these dishes.
Sautéed Swiss Chard
Swiss chard and red onion sautéed in garlic and olive oil.
Dark, leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods and should always be a part of a healthy diet. Swiss chard is one of the best choices; it is recognized as an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and fiber. It is a very good source of calcium, B vitamins, and protein.
Roasted zucchini, carrots, onions, red and yellow bell peppers, and sweet potatoes in olive oil with rosemary and sea salt.
You can use almost any vegetables you like here. Cover them with oil, garnish the salt and spices, and bake on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Yams, sage, cinnamon, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
This is probably my favorite dish: Yams are naturally sweet but have a much smaller effect on blood sugar than white potatoes. They are a delicious complex carb that provides vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Simply boil the yams, drain the water, then mash and combine the ingredients. It’s delicious as a cold left over, spread on bread, or eaten alone.
Steamed asparagus in toasted sesame oil.
This is one of the simplest dishes to make but always a favorite. Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A, in addition to supporting heart health and being a natural detoxifier.
Cooked quinoa with olive oil and sea salt.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of the healthiest grains available. It is actually closely related to leafy green vegetables rather than other grains. Its texture is similar to couscous but finer. Quinoa is rich in amino acids, unlike other grains, making it a complete protein. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium, and manganese. Quinoa is a “whole grain,” so it repeats the benefits of whole grains such as heart and cardiovascular health. It is also very easy to cook. Combine one part quinoa to two parts water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes.
Berry Pie and Pumpkin Pie
Raspberry, blueberry, strawberry pie and pumpkin pie, both on spelt crust.
To bake these pies, I used pre-made spelt pie crusts that contained only whole spelt flour and organic non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening.
To make these pies, I looked through many recipes and created my own. The quantities of ingredients are just estimates; I encourage you to try, use your instinct, and experiment! That’s how I went about making these pies, and the results were fantastic. I don’t eat sugar, so I used powdered “SweetLeaf” Stevia, which I highly recommend (read more about this natural sweetener here). I have never made a pie, let alone one that follows many dietary restrictions, but these were delicious and completely natural. There’s not a single harmful ingredient in either!
– 1 pre-made spelt pie crust
– 4 cups blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
– 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
– 3/4 tablespoon SweetLeaf stevia powder
1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of berries with flour, almond milk, stevia, and cinnamon and blend in blender. Add more almond milk if mixture does not seem wet enough.
2. Once it reaches a homogeneous consistency, add mixture to pie crust and use extra 1/2 cup of berries to cover. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (again, just check with a knife that the pie is warm all the way through).
– 1 pre-made spelt pie crust
– 2 cups canned pumpkin (or mashed, steamed carrots work, too!)
– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– all spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger… any spices you like!
– dash of sea salt
– 2 tablespoons SweetLeaf stevia powder
1. Combine all ingredients and blend in blender.
2. Pour mixture in pie crust, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.
So, that was my Thanksgiving dinner. The most gratifying part was to watch my brother and mother, both meat-eaters and not particularly health-conscious, devour the food. They loved everything! I’ll admit they were quite skeptical and a little disappointed to not be having all the Thanksgiving “usuals” (No rolls? No turkey!?). But once they tried everything, they couldn’t have been happier. Don’t be afraid to introduce some of your less health-conscious friends or family members to the wonders of delicious, healthy food. There are so many negative stereotypes that vegetables or healthy food is boring, bland, and leaves you feeling hungry. Let’s show them that’s not the case at all!
Hope your Thanksgiving was happy and healthy,