My Vegan & Gluten-Free Thanksgiving! (Recipes + Preparations)

Posted on by Jessica Remmers in News, Recipes | 2 Comments

This was a very special Thanksgiving…

because it was the first time I’ve cooked an entire vegan + gluten-free meal for the entire family and shared with them just how delicious it can be, even on a Holiday!  Since I wouldn’t be cooking a turkey, I wanted to make sure each dish was nutritious, flavorful and extra special. I scoured the internet looking for what seemed to be the most palatable, tried and true recipes from some awesome websites. Some of the recipes I followed very closely and others I was more flexible. I will detail for you the preparation for each dish with pictures and lead you to the websites where I got the recipes…

I have to say, this dinner was an absolute success…the recipes were simple, no crazy mishaps in the kitchen, and most importantly everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food! There was a lot of gratitude going around that day and I think people felt really good knowing what they were eating was not only tasty, but healthy for them too. We all felt pretty awesome after the food, which is not how I usually feel after Thanksgiving. At the end of the day, it feels really good knowing that no animals where harmed in making this meal! 🙂

Okay! Let’s get to the menu:

  • Edible, Tangy, Crave-Worthy Kale Salad
  • Peas with Fresh Dill
  • Roasted Green Beans
  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls
  • Food Babe’s Cranberry Sauce
  • Vegan, Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread
  • Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Pecan Crust

Snacks:

  • Organic Corn chips and Salsa
  • Olive Oil Potato Chips + Assorted Veggies with Organic Hummus

Side Note: We had about 8 people total for the dinner, it still yielded some left overs and I doubled or adjusted a few of the recipes as noted to accommodate everyone.

 

Vegan, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

The Meal!

Preparation:

  • On Wednesday I hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and picked up all the ingredients I needed for the recipes.
  • When I got home I prepared the Lentil Walnut Mushroom Balls and set aside in the refrigerator to bake on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Next up, I made the pumpkin pies (the recipe recommended leaving them in the fridge the night before).
  • Lastly, I made the cornbread, which may or may not have been a bad idea because I couldn’t stop eating it the night before…shhhh 😉
The Night Before Baking

The Night Before Baking

Thanksgiving Day:

Kale Salad:  

  • Prepared the Kale Salad and set aside in the fridge until we set the table. This is a simple recipe and mainly requires de-steming the kale leaves and then massaging them with half the dressing before tossing the rest of the dressing and ingredients on top. I ended up using my food processor to chop the kale leaves instead of cutting them with a knife, either one works, I just wanted it to be as simple as possible.

Recipe on my blog: > Kale Salad Recipe

healthyhappyjess Kale Salad

Mushroom Gravy:

  • I prepared the mushroom gravy (while preparing the cranberry sauce) and set aside. This is the healthiest gravy you can get! This recipe makes a lot of gravy, it could even stand alone as a soup if you wanted it to. The recipe link below is for mashed potatoes and gravy but I only made the gravy from this recipe, I made my own mashed potatoes which are super easy, and I will post as well.

Recipe from Forks Over Knives: > Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Cranberry Sauce:

  • This cranberry sauce is such a treat! It’s so fruity and delicious it honestly could stand on it’s own as a dessert. I had fun munching on it while I was cooking everything else. I think I may have doubled the recipe so I’m not sure I followed it precisely, but it still turned out beautifully.

Recipe from Food Babe: > Food Babe’s Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

 

Peas with Dill:

  • Made the peas then set them aside. For this recipe I followed it pretty loosely. I got two packs of peas from Trader Joe’s (in the refrigerator section) and I used garlic instead of scallions. This dinner would not have been the same without them, they were so good, especially with that fresh dill!

Recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite: > Peas with Scallions and Dill Recipe

Peas

Roasted Green Beans:

  • I have never baked green beans before, I usually sauté them in the skillet, but I wanted to try it to help simply the preparation. Although, they were tasty I still prefer using the skillet to make green beans. I prepared them on the cookie sheet until right before dinner then baked them.
  • Note: This original recipe was not vegan, but I modified it to make it vegan by skipping the parmesan cheese.
  • Note: I also always add a bit of spice (cayenne or red pepper flakes) and a bit of GF low sodium soy sauce to my green beans as well as garlic.

Recipe from Skinnytaste.com: > Roasted Green Beans Recipe

Before Roasting

Before Roasting

After Roasting

After Roasting

Mashed Potatoes:

  • The very last thing (while simultaneously baking the lentil balls) was to steam the potatoes for mashing. I use the most simple recipe to make mashed potatoes and it is always delicious, low fat and healthy.
  • Recipe: Simply Steam Yukon Gold Potatoes (they are the most buttery and naturally creamy) then drain and set aside. In the same pot you steamed the potatoes add a few cloves of garlic along with a few tablespoons of Earth Balance and sauté for a few mins. Then add the potatoes back into the pot with a splash of unsweetened almond milk and then mash! You can add a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well.

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls:

  • All I had to do was pull out the balls I had prepared the night before from the refrigerator and bake them for about 30 mins. total. I baked them with the green beans while I was making the mashed potatoes. These balls are absolutely amazing! Such a treat, they are the perfect holiday main course and tasted delicious with the cranberry sauce.
  • Note: I did not make the cranberry sauce in the recipe below, I made Food Babe’s Cranberry sauce listed above.
  • Note: I doubled her recipe to make enough for about 8 people.

Recipe from Oh She Glows: > Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls

 

Cornbread

  • Since I made the cornbread the night before, all I had to do was cut it up in little squares and put it in a basket. I absolutely love this cornbread recipe. It had been so long since I had cornbread and this is truly delicious…I will be making it a lot more in the coming weeks!

Recipe from Keepin’ it Kind: > Vegan, Gluten-free Skillet Cornbread

Vegan, Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread

Pumpkin Pie

  • Last but not least we have my favorite part of the meal, the gluten-free, vegan Pumpkin Pie! This was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had and many other people agreed. In particular, everyone loved the crust! I followed this recipe pretty closely and I would recommend it to anyone…As a matter of fact, a few people are waiting on this so here it is! I will definitely be making this again for Christmas! As I mentioned earlier, I made it the day before and pulled it from the refrigerator before serving.
  • Note: I doubled the recipe and made two pies, you will definitely want to do the same 🙂
  • Note: I also made very simple Coconut Cream Whipped Cream to put on top. To make I used whole fat coconut cream that was chilled in the refrigerator the night before and with out any guar gum. Just whip the solid part (set aside water from can) with a little bit of vanilla extract and maple syrup.

Recipe from Oh She Glows: > Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie

 

I want to take a moment to thank my Mom and boyfriend for all their help! I would not have been able to do it without them! Thank you!!

And Thank you all for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or comments on your very own Thanksgiving!

I hope you try some of these recipes for, perhaps Christmas coming up? Or next Thanksgiving. I also hope you feel inspired to try doing your own cruelty-free, healthy, plant based Holiday meal!

Love,

Jess â™¥

Vegan + Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast

Vegan + Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Feast

Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 25: Yukon Gold Potatoes

There are many varieties of potatoes, but one of my very favorites is Yukon Gold.
They are perfect for mashed potatoes because of their buttery, creamy texture.  I also love making baked fries because they come out so flaky and tender they melt in your mouth. I seasoned them here with a vegan curry sauce and didn’t use any extra oil.

 I eat a lot of potatoes…I believe they are one of the healthiest foods to eat and are a perfect staple for the high carb, low fat, plant based lifestyle.

Here are more reasons to eat potatoes:

  1. They will help you lose weight! Healthy carbohydrates are our bodies natural preferred #energy source. They digest very quickly and easily and make you feel more satisfied than eating high fat foods. You will end up eating more and weighing less!
  2. Great source of vitamins (like B6 and C) and minerals like (iron and copper) in fact the vitamin C in a potato will help your body better absorb the iron.
  3. Not only are potatoes a healthy #starch, they have a good amount of #protein!
#27DaysOfThanks for tasty healthy potatoes!
See you tomorrow for letter “Z.” ♥

Day 19: Sushi + Seaweed Salad #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 19: Sushi + Seaweed

Vegan Sushi is the best! There are so many ways to make it I’d say it’s another staple in my diet. It’s actually pretty easy to make, and once you make it, you will be making it all the time!
You can’t tell in this picture but I added a steamed sweet potato to one of the rolls..so good! I picked up this seaweed salad from the farmers market and it’s delicious with the sushi, and healthy too, here’s why:

    1. Everybody needs iodine these days, and it’s packed with it. This will support healthy thyroid function.
    2. Full of essential nutrients and minerals (like calcium & iron) that will benefit your hair, skin and nails. Seaweed is a concentrated superfood and beauty food.

#27DaysOfThanks for sushi + sea vegetables and the variety and nutrients it adds to our diet!

See you tomorrow for letter “T.” ♥

Day 17: Quinoa + Quinoa Porridge #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 17: Quinoa

Were any of you wondering what on earth I’d come up with for “Q?”
(For anyone who is new, I’m doing a #27DaysOfThanks series of healthy, vegan foods from A-Z, ending with a vegan Thanksgiving dinner)…Thank goodness for Quinoa! 🙂
Quinoa is a staple grain for my gluten-free diet and there are so many ways to eat it…
I normally always eat fruit first think in the morning, before any cooked foods, but as the weather cools, and if I need a bit more fuel for the day, I will have a bowl of oats, or in this case, quinoa porridge!

 

  • This is simply quinoa cooked with almond milk, a smashed banana and topped with tons more fruit and peanut butter! Yum…

3 Reasons to love Quinoa

  1. Essential grain for a vegan + gluten-free diet because it’s also a complete protein (including essential amino acids).
  2. Quinoa is loaded with antioxidants and minerals. Particularly high in iron, magnesium and zinc.
  3. Low glycemic index, yet still high in the healthy carbs that we need! It’s full of fiber too, which will help with weight loss and keeping a healthy digestive system.

I love having quinoa in a salad too! What are your favorite ways to eat quinoa?

See you tomorrow for letter “R.” ♥

Day 16: Pumpkins #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 16: Pumpkins

I recently made my first ever YouTube video all about the health benefits of Pumpkins + 3 Easy Pumpkin Recipes!

Would you guys like to see more videos like this? What other subjects would you enjoy?

Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Here is a clip from the video…(full video underneath)

Full Video~

See you tomorrow for letter “Q.” ♥

Day 14: Navel Oranges #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 14: Navel Oranges

Navel Oranges make a great healthy snack, you already know that….let’s see if I can tell you something you may not know…
  1. We are in Navel Orange season right now! It goes from mid-November until spring! yea!
  2. They call them “Navel” because at the bottom it looks like a real navel
  3. Navel Oranges are considered to be the best flavored, sweetest and easiest to peel…
  4. As we head into cold season, they will keep your immunity up and give you vitamin C, but did you know they have protein, calcium and fiber too? (I love how nature grows the foods we need most at the time we need them most)
I’m thinking this Friday afternoon calls for a fresh ginger, carrot, orange juice…


Cheers to Navel Oranges!!!

See you tomorrow for letter “O.”

#27DaysOfThanks ♥

Day 13: Mung Beans #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 13: Mung Beans

I loved Mung Beans! I’ve always found them so delicious and full of nutrients, but after researching them a bit further, I am even more impressed…

Reasons to love Mung Beans:

  1. They are so easy to make! These here are sprouted mung beans so they cook in even less time with even more #health benefits.
  2. They fight all kinds of diseases. Research has shown that they suppress the growth of several different cancer cells. They can also prevent a blood infection called Sepsis.
  3. Mung beans can help you live longer and look younger. Phytoestrogens in mung beans can stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin! This will give you healthier, younger looking skin.
  4. They have a low-glycemic index which is safe for diabetics and great to eat when trying to lose weight. They will help you feel full while giving you fiber, protein and energy.

#27DaysOfThanks for Mung Beans and their many health benefits!

Let’s try to eat them more often, okay?

See you tomorrow for letter “N.” ♥

Day 12: Lentils +Lentil Soup #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 12: Lentils

Lentils are one of my top favorite go-to foods. They are so versatile, I try and throw them in as much as possible because they add so much flavor, protein and nutrients to so many dishes.

Lentils make a great substitute for any dish requiring ground meat because the flavor and texture is very similar. Even more healthy than meat, less fat, great protein and added fiber! You can use them to make things like bolognese sauce, meatballs or shepherds pie.

Yesterday, I threw some black lentils in a slow cooker and made a big pot of delicious lentil soup. It was so easy and tasty I can tell it’s going to be one of those staples for the winter… #27DaysOfThanks for lentils!

 

Easy Vegan Lentil Soup

I made this soup in a slow cooker (or crockpot) but you can make it on the stove top as well, just follow the cooking instructions for the lentils, add veggies and cook until tender…

Ingredients:

One bag of any color lentils (I used black lentils this time but green, brown or red work great too)
Carton of veggie broth
Can of diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1 potato (your choice, I used a gold but sweet would be good)
2 carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
One bag of cut up butternut squash (optional)
2 large garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
spices (I used a dash of cayenne & garlic powder)
Dash of salt/pepper

 Instructions

  • Wash and sort lentils – throw in the pot
  • Wash and chop all veggies – thrown in the pot
  • Add broth, chopped can tomatoes, garlic and spices
  • Put the lid on and you are done!
  • Follow slow cooker instructions or wait a few hours you will know when it’s done…usually 4-5 hours on high, 6-7 on low.

Enjoy a wonderfully nutrient dense delicious hot soup that should last a few days 🙂

Day 10: Reasons to love Jackfruit #27DaysofThanks

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Day 10: Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a sweet tropical fruit that is used in many desserts…but did you know it also makes an amazingly delicious meat substitute? As it cooks it begins to shred and pull apart similar to chicken or pork. When seasoned, it can be used in so many dishes from vegan tuna to tacos.
I’m kind of obsessed with the Jackfruit nachos from Sage Organic Bistro, they are so tasty and would really fool you for being meat…

Here are some reasons to love Jackfruit:

  1. It’s super easy to digest and instantly replenishes, revitalizes and energizes your body.
  2. Super low in calories and a great #lowfat all #natural meat substitute.
  3. Full of vitamins (like B-complex, calcium and folic acid), minerals (like potassium, magnesium and iron) and anti-oxidants (like vitamin A & C).
  4. Full of fiber and helps detoxify the body.
#27DaysofThanks for Jackfruit and the many ways to eat it!
Check back tomorrow for letter “K.”

Day 9: Ice Kreme #27DaysOfThanks

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Day 9: Ice Kreme

Sometimes you need a little ice cream in your life, and by “sometimes” I mean EVERY DAY 🙂

This is a simple to make tasty, vegan treat with only 3 ingredients and it’s healthy enough to eat every day!

Healthy Banana Ice Kreme

  • Frozen Bananas
  • Strawberries (peaches, blueberries, mango or any fruit you prefer)
  • Almond Milk (or Coconut Milk)

Blend together, top with more fruit and coconut!

This treat is great for breakfast because it will give you enough energy to start the day, and it has plenty of protein and minerals too!

Check in tomorrow for letter “J.”

#27DaysOfThanks