Here’s to a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Hello all! Here at Ginger and Spice we look to provide those searching for healthy recipe ideas that are delicious AND healthy! For our first post, we decided to showcase some vegetarian and vegan dishes to star in this year’s Thanksgiving feast! Not to worry carnivores, we will be featuring recipes with meat in future posts! For this post, these recipes were found on other websites and we will be providing links to those recipes. We appreciate everyone who is reading! Just bear with us as we grow and find our way!

For this cooking venture we found some amazing recipes featuring favorite Thanksgiving classics!

photo 2 (9)After all, what would Thanksgiving be without some stuffing and Green Bean Casserole?

This post will feature vegan green bean casserole, french bread stuffing with red chard and caramelized red onions, quinoa stuffed acorn squash rings and fruit pie!

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

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This recipe for green bean casserole packs all of the flavor from the typical recipe using cream of mushroom soup, without the use of any dairy or animal products. Included in this recipe are instructions for making the French fried onions that add the delicious crunch we all love.

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Soymilk is used in place of regular milk. It creates a thick, creamy sauce after simmering with the mushrooms.

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The recipe for this amazing vegan alternative can be found here.

French Bread Stuffing with Caramelized Red Onions and Red Chard

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Here is a little family photo of the ingredients for this dish:

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This stuffing is seriously good and super simple. The caramelizing of the onions takes a while, but they add such an amazing flavor to this dish.

Before:

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This dish took the most time to make due to the onions. It took us about 30 minutes to get them nice and caramelized. Despite the time consumption it is SO worth it.

After:

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The photo above is TWO large red onions cooked down until they’re slightly sweet. They add such a lovely flavor to this dish!

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Using a day old loaf of french bread makes a great texture for the stuffing. You’ll have the flavorful, broth soaked bits as well as slightly crunchy, toasty bits on the top!

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The recipe calls for Swiss chard, but we found a lovely bunch of locally grown organic red chard to use instead.  It adds a healthy punch of green goodness to the stuffing! Just tear the chard into bite size pieces, wash it then throw it in boiling water for 5 minutes to cook and then it’s ready to mix in with all of the other ingredients!

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This is the stuffing before it was placed in the oven. We gave the bread the opportunity to rest and soak up all of the broth for a few minutes after mixing to ensure that all of that flavor bakes into each bite!

The addition of cheese to this stuffing gives it more flavor. We used an Italian blend in our stuffing, but another cheese like cheddar or gouda would work well in this recipe too! The cheese and egg can be omitted to keep it vegan friendly!

Here is the recipe for the stuffing!

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Fresh out of the oven! The first two dishes are looking pretty amazing!

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

Recipe here.

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Tis the season for acorn squash! This vegetarian dish uses fruit to add a hint of sweetness along with some sage and cheese for savory flavor! Again, this recipe can be used without the cheese and egg to keep it vegan, although the mixture may not stick and hold up well in the center of the rings. So if you do omit those items, just be careful when transferring your rings from the pan to the serving dish.

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Aside from these rings being downright delicious, they’re also pretty!

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Here is a ring after being freshly brushed with the olive oil “butter” and maple syrup mixture. Oven ready!

 It was our first time cooking with acorn squash, and a good knife is needed to cut the squash into rings. But please do be careful! If you’re worried about cutting the squash into rings, just peel the squash and cut into cubes! Everything should mix nicely as a casserole if you find that to be easier.

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The quinoa mixture holds up very well in the rings. Transferring them multiple times was simple. Just be sure to use a spatula!

And now for dessert!

Apple Pie with Fruit Crust

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We elected to do this pie for dessert in lieu of a heavy pie. This pie was easy AND  a nice light addition after the consumption of our previous dishes! Using fresh apple, some dried pineapple and banana chips you are ready. In lieu of a crust, we just used sliced apples on the bottom to hold in the filling.  Any crust could be used with this pie.

This recipe came from Dr. Joe Esposito’s book “Eating Right…For The Health Of It!” For more information about Dr. Joe Esposito you can check out his website at drjoeesposito.com. Look to him and his staff at Healthplus Wellness Center to assist you with your chiropractic and nutrition needs!

Apple Pie Filling

5 medium sized golden delicious or red apples

1 1/4 tsp. apple pie spice or allspice

3 Tbsp lemon juice or lime juice

1 cup dried pineapple, raisins or papaya

1/2 cup banana chips (optional)

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This pie would be great for kids who may be picky about their desserts. After processing all of the fruit, you’re essentially left with applesauce! After firming up in the fridge for a couple of hours you have a cool, fresh, and healthy dessert!

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We had so much fun making and sampling these recipes! They are most worthy of an appearance at a Thanksgiving feast! It feels good to include delicious options that are full of flavor. Just give them a try, they’ll fit right in at your table!

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