Creating a Healthy Thanksgiving Meal

Try these healthy, gluten-free, delicious

side dishes. Make them all and you have a delicious vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving meal!

Black Bean Blast

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4 cups black beans, cooked or canned

1 bell pepper, color of your choice

1 onion, diced

1 lime

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

pinch of cayenne


1. Wash and soak 2 cups of dried beans the night before.

2. Rinse off soaking water, place in a pot with 3 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil.

3. Add cinnamon and cumin, cover and cook for 1 hour. If you use canned black beans, empty into pot, mix with spices, keeping about 1 cup of liquid from the can.

4. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

5. Chop onion and peppers, mince garlic.

6. In a pan sauté onions and garlic with oil.

7. Mix beans with sautéed onions, raw peppers, pinch of cayenne and salt.

8. Garnish with cilantro and a wedge of lime. Serve with grains and/or greens.

Brown Basmati Pilaf

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Yields: 4 servings


1 cup brown basmati rice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 cups water

pinch of salt


1. Rinse rice in fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.

2. Boil the water and add rice and salt. Cover and reduce heat.

3. After 15 minutes add cranberries and walnuts on top, do not stir.

4. Cook 15-25 more minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

5. Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork. Cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Jumped Greens

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 bunch kale

1 medium-size yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt


1. Wash kale, cut stems off and chop into small pieces and put aside. Cut or tear leaves into small pieces.

2. Warm oil in pan, add ginger, garlic, and salt to taste. Sauté for one minute.

3. Add onion, sauté for a few more minutes.

4. Add kale, stir well and then add a splash of water. Cover and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Check for desired tenderness and serve.

Carrot and Raisin Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 pound carrots, grated

2/3 cup raisins

1 1/2 cups orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root


1. Soak raisins in orange juice for 1 hour (overnight is fine).

2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.

Kale Chips

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1-2 bunches of kale

olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Remove kale from stalk, leaving the greens in large pieces.

3. Place a little olive oil in a bowl, dip your fingers and rub a very light coat of oil over the kale.

4. Lay kale out on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until it starts to turn a bit brown. Keep an eye

on the kale, it can burn quickly. Turn the kale over and bake with the other side up.

5. Remove and serve.


Try different kinds of kale or collard greens. You can sprinkle with a little salt or spice such as curry or cumin after rubbing on olive oil for a little added flavor.

Winter Squash Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 winter squash, seeded, peeled, chopped (butternut, acorn, pumpkin, delicata)

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

veggie or chicken stock

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin


1. Sauté finely minced onion and minced garlic in a splash of olive oil.

2. Place squash in a pot and fill with stock until just covered, then add spices, garlic and onion.

3. Boil until tender.

4. Mash or blend in blender until smooth and return to the pot to heat through.


You can add chopped, fresh cilantro or parsley, and/or toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Fennel

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 bulb fennel

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice fennel and slice Brussels sprouts in half.

3. Drizzle oil and mix until all ingredients are covered. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.

And Dessert!



4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons instant decaffeinated coffee

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed well

1 very ripe frozen banana, thawed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 extra large eggs

1/3 cup agave nectar (or substitute Stevia)

2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped and divided


. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper. Spray pan and paper with oil.

. Put the chocolate and butter in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes and then stir t0 melt completely. Stir in instant coffee and salt. Mix well. Set aside.

. Make sure that your black beans have been well-rinsed and drained. Fit a food processor with a steel blade, add beans, banana, vanilla extract and one egg. Process until completely smooth, about 2 - 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add chocolate mixture and process again until smooth.

. In a separate bowl, place remaining 3 eggs and beat with electric mixer until light and fluffy, 1 -2 minutes. Add agave and mix for another 1 -2 minutes, until light. Put bean mixture into bowl with eggs and mix on medium thoroughly incorporated. Mix in 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with remaining walnuts.

Bake for 25 - 35 minutes until a toothpick clears the center. Let brownies cool before cutting them. Store in refrigerator.

For tips and coaching on healthy eating, eating for weight management and gastrointestinal issues, contact Nicole Fey,

Contact: or 865-548-8208

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