Giving Thanks For Healthy Eating

by Emma Jenks

Thanksgiving is a time for family and good memories. It’s the one day of the year you can wake up to the smell of mom baking pumpkin bread and the sound of the Thanksgiving parade going. You search through Black Friday magazines with your aunts so you can plan the plunder for the next day. 

In the kitchen, you try to listen to multiple relatives share all the family recipes, so that they can live on for another generation. Thanksgiving is a special time of the year for good times, family, and lots of food.

Eating healthy is very important, although there can be some exceptions on Thanksgiving. The right diet can dramatically improve health.

“Superfoods,” such as buckwheat, quinoa, hemp seeds, purple potatoes and lintels to name just a few, offer a way to eat heartily while helping your body heal. But just because food is healthy does not mean it has to be bland or unappetizing.

There are plenty of ways to make those foods delicious. Check out these recipes to add to your Thanksgiving table and add your own personal health to the things you’re thankful for this season.

Recipe #1: Vegan Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 ponds Purple potatoes or red, your choice
  • 3 cups Vegetable broth
  • One stick Vegan butter
  • If using red potatoes 1 cup  Vegan cheese
  • Salt
  • peper
  1. Leave the skin in the potatoes and chop them into medium sized pieces and boil them thill soft (10-15 min).
  2. Once they are soft drain out the water and place the potatoes back in the pot.
  3. Add vegan butter and vegetable broth until you are satisfied with the consistency
  4. If using red potatoes, add vegan cheese
  5. Add salt and pepper to your liking

Recipe #2: Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 4 ½ cups prepared lentils
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons organic soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon basil and more for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
  • Sea salt
  1. Before anything else, chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks. Leave most of the potato’s skin on there because that is where the nutrients are. 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. You can use a food processor to make this step go by faster. 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 premade lentils in a package (as long as they don’t have any unnatural ingredients). Allow these to cook for several minutes with the mirepoix.
  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 almond 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. This recipe yields about 6 servings and makes excellent leftovers the next evening for a 2-for-1 dinner.

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