Monthly Archives: November 2012

No Cream Creamed Spinach



Long before I changed my diet to adhere strictly to a plant based diet, I was a vegetable lover. Dining at steakhouses was always exciting for me because of the extensive offerings of fun side dishes. Even today, ironically, steak houses happen to be great places to eat out as a vegan. Many of the dishes do contain heart clogging quantities of dairy, but a lot of them do not. Of course, some restaurants are more accommodating than others, but I can always get a baked potato and some steamed veggies at a steak house if nothing else.  One of my favorite classic side dishes is creamed spinach.

Crisp Salad with Green Goddess Dressing



Like other well known and popular salad dressings such as Caesar and Ranch, Green Goddess dressing was a hit from its inception. The most well known lore of its origin was that it was created in 1923 by the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in honor of the British actor George Arliss, a guest in the hotel, and his hit play called The Green Goddess. The Green Goddess play was made into a silent movie in the 1920′s, and in 1930 it was remade into one of the first “talkie” movies.

Cranberry Orange Relish


IMG_2400Sauce, Chutney, or Relish. However they are prepared, I love cranberries and the holiday season would not be complete without them. If I were cooking for a large family gathering, I would probably make at least two variations of the tangy little fruits for the table. I find it nice to offer the condiment in both raw and cooked forms as they are different from each other, and I like how cranberries add a zingy balance to an otherwise heavy meal. If I had to make a choice and make only one cranberry dish for Thanksgiving, the nod goes to this recipe for Cranberry Relish. The original version of this recipe made by my mother had a whopping 3 cups of sugar and 2 cups of orange marmalade. I have lightened it up over the years and it is just as delicious.

Sweet Potato Gratin



This recipe for Sweet Potato Gratin will be a perfect dish to make and share for the holidays. Unlike those oozing with heavy cream and cheese, this gratin is rich and creamy without being cloying. As it is made with only plant-based ingredients, it is lower in fat and considerably better for you as well. Being part of the orange fleshed vegetable group, Sweet potatoes are extremely nutritious. They are an excellent source of fiber, and the anti-oxidant vitamins A and C as well as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts



Introduced to America in 1812 by Thomas Jefferson, Brussels sprouts are among the most traditional components of our Thanksgiving feasts. This vegetable that holds a resemblance to that of a miniature cabbage thrives during the colder months of the year, and are available during the fall and winter months still attached to the stalks (about 20-30 heads per) that they grow on.

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale



I am always putting together fresh ingredients that I have in my kitchen to have for lunch or dinner. Most of the time they are satisfying, but fairly basic and uninteresting. Every now and then I come up with a happy accident that is really great and worthy of sharing. This dish made with quinoa, roasted butternut squash, and kale is a truly delicious seasonal dish that would be a brilliant nutritious addition to any holiday table. 

Roasted Butternut Squash



Roasted butternut squash is great alternative to potatoes for those who are seeking a vegetable that is less starch ridden yet equally satisfying. Aside from the peeling and seeding, the simple preparation is much the same. But the health benefits you get from them should cause you to consider making them more often. Like other orange fleshed vegetables, butternut squash is a potent source of the antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. They are pro vitamin A carotenoids which help the body convert the carotenes into vitamin A.

Roasted Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Walnuts



There is nothing better than a holiday dish that is quick and simple to put together. This is a dish that fits that bill. It is delicious, easy, and beautiful as well as being full of nutrients.