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Recipe for Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish

The holiday season is upon us, and I have created a delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish which is stuffed winter squash! I have also created a vegan celebration menu! that can easily be made for one, two or more!

As you are already aware, the holiday season is a time for many of us to eat beyond the feeling of comfort and once the new year comes, many people may be wondering why they did it. So, between now and the new year, I will be sharing some easy, tasty ideas and survival tips to help you enjoy your holidays and your food a little more!

Today, I am sharing a Thanksgiving menu created for a celebration for one or two people. It is simple with just a few items and may not fit your family’s holiday needs for a large dinner. I am finding more people are needing smaller celebration ideas because families are smaller, their members are changing, and many families are spread further apart so celebrations are smaller in size scaled back and have cut back on the number of items fixed.

No matter how intimate the company or the amounts of foods served, the decorations and the delicious food, people and gratitude of the season make Thanksgiving special. It you are planning a bigger celebration; you might want to check out the previous posts that I have shared for Thanksgiving.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

These recipes can be made either vegetarian or vegan.

Low Fodmap and Gluten-free Thanksgiving

Low Fodmap Thanksgiving Menu Ideas and Recipes (

And if you are looking for a Thanksgiving turkey

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us!  Here are a few suggestions that I hope can add to your celebration!

  1. Plan Ahead                                                                                                                                                                                                   Have an idea what you are going to have ahead of time so you get a visual of what your plate will look like whether you prepare the meal, go to a friend’s or family member’s house or go to a restaurant. What does a healthy balance of protein, vegetables, fruit and grains look like?
  2. Budget Ahead                                                                                                                                                                                               By eating a little less a few days before the big event and after, you can work in a bigger meal. You can also help budget by exercising a little more. But don’t overdo it on budgeting or the size of the “big meal”. Be reasonable and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and don’t over exercise.
  3. Know the correct portion sizes for your meals   This can begin by knowing what a healthy portion size looks like for your energy needs. For example, here are some average portion sizes (yours may be different) a serving of meat is 3 ounces, a serving of potatoes or stuffing is 1/2 cup, a serving of gravy is about a 1 tablespoon, a serving of dessert is a sliver.
  4. Load Up the Veggies                                                                                                                                                                                     Filling half the plate as vegetables can help fill you up and save calories depending on what has been added to them like nuts, oils, creams or cheese.
  5. Lighten- Up                                                                                                                                                                                                   Traditional recipes can be modified to make a little lighter without losing the flavor and texture. Take care not to make every change at once. Start slowly with one change at a time and remember some of your favorite baked goods may not be able to be modified from your home recipe but there may be some great versions out there to try.

    Here are a few suggestions: Try low fat milk instead a higher fat option. Cut oil in cakes in half by adding applesauce in it’s place. Use Canadian bacon, turkey or veggie bacon instead of pork version. Cut egg yolks in half and add two whites to one egg white. Try cheese made with 2 % milk. Cut nuts from recipe in half. Try low fat yogurt instead of sour cream. Try light mayonnaise instead of full fat.
  6. Move About the House One of our favorite holiday traditions is taking a walk after our Thanksgiving meal. If you have folks in your family who like to sit and watch the football game, get in there and have them do little things to burn off that energy during the commercials and half time!
  7. Don’t Celebrate Thanksgiving for 6 more weeks! Remember the holidays are just a few days during the season not every day between now and January 1st! In between the special days move more and budget those calories!

Here is my simple menu idea. It uses local food from farmers’ markets for a great celebration!

Thanksgiving Recipes that are Vegan

Colorful Fall Salad with Creamy Dressing

Stuffed Red Kuri Squash with Vegan Sausage Cornbread

Steamed Green Beans

Mini Filo Apple Tarts Mini Apple Filo Tarts (

Thanksgiving Desserts that are Vegan

Here are several beverages that you might enjoy with your vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

Colorful Fall Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Colorful Fall Salad with Creamy Parmesan Salad

This salad offers the best of the season with the purple of the cabbage, the orange of the carrots and the green of the broccoli and the spinach. The toasted pecans and the Creamy Parmesan Dressing are just the icing on top!

Makes 6 servings

2 cups of finely chopped salad

2 cups of finely chopped broccoli

1 cup shredded spinach


Creamy Vegan Parmesan Dressing

Makes one cruet.

1 cup plant milk yogurt

1/3 cup vegan Parmesan Cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 clove fresh minced garlic

2 tablespoon milk plant milk

2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl mix the ingredients and then carefully add to your cruet. (I used a funnel to keep my cruet looking neat).

You may also be interested in trying some of these festive salads with your holiday meals, check them out!

 Holiday Apple Salad

(see blog post below)

Three Scrumptious Fall Salads

Stuffed Squash with Vegetarian Sausage and Thanksgiving dressing
Stuffed Squash with Vegetarian Sausage and Thanksgiving dressing

Stuffed Red Kuri Squash with Vegetarian Sausage Cornbread

My goal for this recipe was to include the pumpkin, the stuffing and the cranberries all into one recipe! Feel free to have it when you don’t have Thanksgiving. I used vegetarian sausage to stuff these to provide plenty of protein. I know that you may not have a large collection of red kuri squash recipes so here is one that I hope that you will bookmark!

Makes 2 servings

1 red kuri squash or other fall squash of your choice

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup packaged cornbread stuffing mix (or use fresh cornbread crumbled)

1 tablespoon tub margarine or olive oil

6 ounce vegetarian sausage

1/2 cup broth

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the red kuri squash down the middle so there will be two pieces where it can be stuffed. Place on cookie sheet face down and back about 30 minutes. Take the squash out and allow to cool and few minutes and then flip over so the inside of the squash is facing you.

Turn down heat to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a small amount of tub margarine or oil to brown and crumble. In a medium sauce pan, Heat margarine or oil in a sauce pan and cook onions and celery until brown. Heat broth in a small cup in the microwave for 30 seconds and add cranberries in cup to allow to plump.

After the veggies have browned add stuffing mix, broth and cranberries and allow to moisten. Add the sausage to the stuffing and add to the hollow of the squash and bake an additional 20-25 minutes.

Steamed Green Beans

Simple, easy and elegant!

Makes 2 servings

2 cups fresh green beans

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon tub margarine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs of your choice

Place everything in a medium saucepan and steam until desired texture. Sprinkle fresh herbs in desired.

Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish

I hope that you love these vegan Thanksgiving recipes! As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I love to make my client’s lives healthier and easier! I enjoyed creating this vegan Thanksgiving main dish of stuffed winter squash along with the entire interment celebration menu. I hope you enjoy these holiday survival tips these next few weeks and if you are new to the Vine Ripe Nutrition blog, welcome! Sign up for the blog and newsletter to not miss a single bit of tasty, goodness! And if you are looking for additional ideas on plant-based eating, you may enjoy this post!

In addition to healthy eating tips, this holiday season, I am so excited to partner with Movement for Life ! This week, their personal trainer, Michelle Kuehn, has some words of wisdom on physical activity this holiday season with some suggestions for stretches that you can do before you take that after Thanksgiving walk!

What goes up must go down Calf Stretch
More on strengthening your calves!

Planning to go walking this holiday season? Find a curb or small step to do this simple exercise to stretch and strengthen your lower legs.

Start with heels lowered and raise heels to end on your toes. Challenge yourself by balancing on your toes for a few seconds. Or to modify, hold onto a friend, family member, or railing for added stability. Repeat single or double leg 10-15 times.

Learn this Calf Stretch Lower Heel
Stand on your tippy toes and wait
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