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Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year

By November 19, 2020Personal Insurance
lentil loaf

This Thanksgiving may look a little different from the ones we’ve had before. While it’s the season of being with loved ones and traditions, perhaps now is the time to try something different. These healthier Thanksgiving recipes please everyone around the table and are very wallet-friendly. Try these healthier Thanksgiving dishes this year.

 

Lentil Loaf

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dry brown (green) lentils
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion (about 1 heaping cup), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tablespoons tamari
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

MAPLE SWEETENED GLAZE:

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of sea salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare lentils by rinsing them and adding to a pot with water and a bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat down and simmer covered until all the liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and set the lentils aside to cool. This step can be done in advance.
  3. In the meantime toast walnuts by spreading them onto a baking sheet and toasting in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan and cook onions, garlic, carrots and celery until they’ve softened and become fragrant. About 5-10 minutes. Once cooked remove from stovetop to cool.
  5. Add lentils (reserve ½ cup for later), cooked veggies, toasted walnuts, oats, tamari, tomato paste, ground flaxseed, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, thyme, oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, ground pepper and sea salt to the food processor. Pulse until mixture is just combined and the texture is to your liking. You want the mixture to be combined enough to stick together, but you don’t want it to be completely pulverized.
  6. Stir in the reserved lentils and press mixture into parchment lined loaf pan.
  7. In a small bowl stir together glaze ingredients and spread the glaze over top of the loaf.
  8. Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 8 more minutes. Let the loaf rest 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Vegan Tofurkey with Mushroom Stuffing and Gravy

 

INGREDIENTS

For the tofurkey:

    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, plus more for pan
    • 1 French demi baguette (about 4 1/2 ounces), cut into 1/4″cubes (about 3 cups)
    • 1/2 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
    • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 5 sprigs thyme
    • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 1 large celery stalk, sliced crosswise into 1/4″-thick pieces (about 3/4 cup)
    • 1 cup homemade vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 1/3 cup dry white wine
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 3 (14-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu
    • 3 tablespoons white miso paste
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the gravy:

    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
    • 12 ounces crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
    • 2 shallots, quartered
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 5 sprigs thyme
    • 2 fresh bay leaves
    • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

Special Equipment

    • A 1 1/2-quart oval loaf pan or 9×5″ loaf pan

PREPARATION

For the tofurkey:

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease oval pan with oil, then place a 12″ strip of parchment lengthwise down center of pan, leaving a 1″ overhang.
    2. Arrange bread and pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking tray and bake until bread is light golden brown and dry, about 8 minutes.
    3. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook onion, garlic, and thyme, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; remove thyme sprigs. Add bread and pecans, toss to combine, and set aside.
    4. Pour stock and wine into hot skillet and heat over medium-high, scraping up browned bits with a spoon; season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Cook, stirring, until just combined, about 1 minute. Pour over bread mixture, then toss to combine.
    5. Whisk soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, cayenne, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
    6. Break tofu into large chunks. Working in batches, break up tofu with your hands and press down into a towel-lined colander to drain as much water as possible. Bring ends of towel together, gathering tofu into the middle, and squeeze towel into a ball to expel as much water as possible. Transfer tofu to a food processor. Add miso, cornstarch, garlic powder, and remaining 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
    7. Using an oiled spatula, line bottom and interior sides of prepared pan with two-thirds of the tofu mixture, pressing firmly to create compact 3/4″-high walls. Spoon mushroom mixture into the center and press down firmly. Cover with remaining tofu mixture; smooth surface. (If you have leftover stuffing, bake remaining stuffing in a covered dish separately and serve as a side dish.) Using a pastry brush, brush top generously with soy-maple glaze.
    8. Transfer pan to a rimmed baking sheet and bake tofurkey, brushing top with glaze halfway through, until loaf is set and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment and place over oval pan. Quickly but carefully invert pan to turn out tofurkey onto sheet, using parchment to gently remove from pan. Brush loaf all over with remaining glaze.
    9. Heat broiler and broil until a light brown crust forms, 6–7 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with gravy alongside.

For the gravy:

    1. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low until beginning to brown and smells fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cook mushrooms, shallot, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
    2. Strain mushroom mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; wipe out pot. Cook flour and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until browned and thickened, 5–7 minutes.
    3. Add wine, stir to combine, and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in mushroom broth, parsley, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Butternut Squash with Mushroom-Cranberry Stuffing

 

 

INGREDIENTS

    • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    • 1 (8″-long) sweet potato (about 1 pound)
    • 1 (6″-long) parsnip, peeled (about 2 ounces)
    • 1 (9″-long) butternut squash (about 4 1/2 pounds)
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
    • 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped, divided
    • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
    • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
    • 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more
    • 2 shallots, quartered
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cups  low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • Flaky sea salt

Special Equipment

    • Kitchen twine

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until fragrant and slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
    2. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut potato in half lengthwise. Using a medium-size, quick-release ice cream scoop or heavy spoon, scoop out flesh, leaving a small divot down the center. Reserve potato filling.
    3. Place potato halves and parsnip in a large heatproof bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 minutes. Carefully check to see if vegetables are fork tender; if not, re-cover and microwave in 1-minute bursts until tender. (Alternatively, roast potato halves and parsnip on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400°F oven until fork-tender, about 50 minutes for parsnip and 30 minutes for potatoes. Let cool slightly.)
    4. Meanwhile, cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and discard. Scoop out flesh, leaving a divot deep enough to fit potato inside and at least a 1/2″ border on all sides. Reserve squash filling.
    5. Using a fork, pierce insides of squash and potato halves, then pierce parsnip all over.
    6. Pulse garlic and thyme in a food processor, scraping down sides as necessary. Add paprika, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt and continue to pulse until a thick paste forms, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
    7. Working in batches, pulse squash and potato filling in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse 4 oz. mushrooms in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer to same bowl and stir to combine.
    8. Heat 1 Tbsp. garlic-oil mixture in a large nonstick skillet over medium until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add vegetable purée and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is browned and moisture releases, about 12 minutes. Return to bowl and let cool.
    9. Add breadcrumbs, cranberries, 3 Tbsp. parsley, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds to bowl and mix to combine.
    10. Place squash halves, cut side up, on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, coat inside with garlic-oil mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press 1 cup vegetable mixture into each half until interior is fully coated.
    11. Nestle potato halves, cut side up, inside squash halves. Brush with garlic-oil mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press 6 Tbsp. vegetable mixture into each half until interior is fully coated. Discard remaining vegetable mixture.
    12. Trim parsnip to fit inside 1 potato half. Brush parsnip with garlic-oil mixture and place inside.
    13. Cut 3 (18″) lengths of kitchen twine. Slip twine under 1 squash half, then top with second squash half so cut sides face each other, and press down to seal. Tightly tie twine around squash to secure. Brush top with garlic-oil mixture, reserving remaining mixture, and season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Wrap squash tightly in foil and place in center of baking sheet. Using 2 loaf pans or small metal bowls turned upside down, keep squash secure on baking sheet.
    14. Bake vegducken, carefully flipping halfway through, until squash is tender, 1 hour–1 hour, 20 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
    15. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. reserved garlic-oil mixture in a medium pot over medium-low until beginning to brown and smells fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cook shallot, bay leaves, and remaining 12 oz. mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes.
    16. Strain mushroom mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; wipe out pot. Cook flour and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until nutty brown and thickened, about 8 minutes.
    17. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes. Add mushroom broth, 1 Tbsp. parsley, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and return to a simmer. Season to taste.
    18. Place vegducken on a cutting board and cut into 1″ slices with a serrated knife, transferring to serving plates as you go. Spoon gravy over. Top with remaining 1/4 cup pepitas and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Season with sea salt and serve.

 

We hope that you enjoy these healthier recipes for Thanksgiving! For all of your personal and commercial insurance needs, contact the experts at Unisource Insurance Associates.