The days get shorter and the temperatures drop, but the arrival of winter also heralds Christmas and the holiday season. Before the trees and presents come out, many people gather to celebrate Thanksgiving.
For those who are not familiar with this American tradition, here is some information about this celebration given as a sign of thanks for the harvest and the past year. One finds its origins in the English colonies in the United States where the pilgrims shared a meal with the natives as a symbol of thanks. This tradition continues today, every November and is marked by an abundant meal shared with family and friends; stuffed turkey is often served as the main course of the feast. After the meal, it is customary for guests to take turns sharing something for which they are grateful for.
Whether you’re sharing a Thanksgiving meal or just use the cold weather as an excuse for a warm family meal, here are some ideas to make your seasonal meal healthier and perhaps even vegan!
1. Replace stuffed turkey with stuffed squash
Turkey is often the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving meal, but for those who want to try to reduce their meat consumption, there is an equally delicious and vitamin-rich alternative. Instead of turkey, you can either stuff a butternut squash for a main course or stuff individual pumpkins.
2. Make your stuffing with rice or quinoa
The main ingredients of the traditional stuffing are basically butter, vegetables and bread. But once again, there are options that are just as rich in taste and better from a nutritional point of view. Rice is a perfect alternative because, cooked with herbs, spices and vegetables, it absorbs all these flavors. Quinoa is another variant, just as tasty and even richer in protein.
3. A salad that surprises
Turkey often steals the show from other dishes, but with a few adaptations, a salad can be just as impressive in taste and appearance. To create a salad that surprises, make sure you have an interesting mix of textures, flavours and colors. On a leaf base (spinach, arugula or lamb’s lettuce) here are my favorite additions:
- Maple caramelized pecans (simply coat the pecans with maple syrup and salt and put them in the oven)
- Fresh figs
- Oven-roasted squash
- Walnut oil
4. Add coconut milk to your pumpkin soup
How to make pumpkin soup even creamier, with a touch of originality? Add half a cup of coconut milk!
5. Finish with a simple apple crumble!
And of course, there’s always room for dessert! Replace the sweet cakes with an apple crumble; naturally sweetened with fruit. Make your crumble out of oat flakes, almond meal and coconut oil with a drop of maple syrup, and that’s it!
Enjoy your meal!