Eat Your Vegetables: Happy Un-Turkey Day!

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Many vegans will tell you that the side dishes make the meal, and I would have to agree.

If I can fill my plate up with a mixture of casserole servings, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet potatoes in any ways, shape, or form, I can easily forget about the main entree! Here are three easy, healthy, savory sides to any Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ginger and Honey

from allrecipes.com by Christine L.

Ingredients

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup honey

3 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or squeeze tube)

2 tbsp light vegetable oil

1 tsp ground cardamon

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, honey, ginger, vegetable oil, cardamon, and pepper.

Transfer to a large cast iron frying pan.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Stir the potatoes to expose the pieces from the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelized.

Savory Slow Cooker Squash and Apples

From allrecipes.com by Emmadilella

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 white onion, diced (optional)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preparation

Combine the squash, apples, cranberries, onion, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the squash is tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Green Bean Casserole with Onion Ring Topping

from keepinitkind.com

Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients or steps – this dish is easier than you would suspect, and it’s delicious!

Ingredients – The Sauce

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets

1/3 cup raw cashews

1 cup non-dairy milk

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1 tsp dried thyme

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Ingredients – The Casserole

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

1/2 tbsp vegan butter

8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 tsp liquid aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)

Ingredients – Onion Ring Topping

1/2 large sweet onion, very thinly sliced into rings or strings

1 cup non-dairy milk

1 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preparation

Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and cover. Steam until tender, about 7-8 minutes. (Don’t turn the burner off just yet).

While the cauliflower is steaming, lightly spray a 9×13 or slightly smaller dish with Pam spray.

Transfer the cauliflower to a blender and add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Set aside. Transfer the green beans to the steamer and steam for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

While the green beans are steaming, melt the butter in a large shallow sauce pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and liquid aminos and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sauce and heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans and transfer the casserole to the prepared baking dish. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour the milk into one small, shallow bowl, the arrowroot powder into another, and the Panko bread crumbs into another. Add the salt and garlic powder to the bread crumbs and stir to combine.

Take a small “pinch” of onion slices and douse it in the milk, then toss in the arrowroot powder, gather, shake off the excess powder, and dunk it in the milk again. Then transfer them to the bread crumbs and toss to coat (it’s okay if the slices form clumps) before transferring to the prepared baking sheet. It’s best to use one hand for the milk and arrowroot powder dunking and the other hand to toss them in the bread crumbs. Continue until all of the slices are coated. Place the casserole and the sheet of onion rings in the oven, on different racks, and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, spread the onion rings out on top of the casserole and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the onion rings are crisp. Best if served immediately.