A Compilation of Delectable Thanksgiving Fare!

A Compilation of Delectable Thanksgiving Fare!

It's Turkey Lurkey TIME! No turkey for me, but there is one recipe in this compilation that will help you use your leftovers deliciously! In this post you will find EASY flavorful appetizers, a collection of delectable vegetable focused dishes, a couple of special dessert recipes (including my FAVORITE pumpkin pie in the world), and some hilarious holiday headlines from The Onion!!  

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Blood Orange Kale Salad with Farro and Crispy Rice Clusters

Blood Orange Kale Salad with Farro and Crispy Rice Clusters

One of the highlights of Citrus Season are Blood Oranges!!! They are so beautiful and happen to be one of the most nutrient dense citrus fruits out there! The next best thing about this salad aside from the blood oranges, are the crispy rice clusters. They are SUPER easy to make, delicious, and add a slightly spicy crunch to the salad.  Who knew they would be so DARN good on a salad? They are also really good on their own. I've been eating these clusters by the handful....

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Thanksgiving Vegetarian Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Hazelnuts

Thanksgiving Vegetarian Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Hazelnuts

My least favorite Thanksgiving dishes seem to be the items that no one would ever dream of replacing. Every Thanksgiving, I see the sponge like, wood colored stuffing along side the worm-like green bean casserole. I usually pass up both of those options, and not just to make room for pumpkin pie. Now that I am in charge of Thanksgiving, I look forward to more than just rolls and pumpkin pie! One of the highlights of our holiday meals is definitely my Wild Rice dressing. It has been a mainstay on our table for about five years now, and was one of the first, more creative vegetable dishes I made when we started cutting meat out of our diets.  

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Romaine Dream Boats with Toasted Pepitas

Romaine Dream Boats with Toasted Pepitas

I've been roasting squash and sweet potatoes almost daily trying to perfect recipes for Thanksgiving sides, and after eating squash all day I wanted something opposite of roasted root vegetables.I turned around and looked at the groceries waiting to be put away. A head of romaine, some raw pepitas, and a bag of unsweetened cocoa. Romaine! Romaine is crunchy and crispy! So are pepitas!  And then, Romaine Dream Boats with Toasted Pepitas were born.

This recipe is so easy to make, its not even funny. You don't even need utensils!! With the Holiday season quickly approaching, this is a great quick and healthy option! It is also really easy to make it look fancy... 

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Butternut Squash Spread and Toasted Nuts and Seed Sprinkles on Toast

Butternut Squash Spread and Toasted Nuts and Seed Sprinkles on Toast

The deep reds, oranges, and golden yellows of the leaves signal the start of the Holiday season and summon the urge to be seek coziness and warm comfort foods, while visions of Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas parties dance in our heads.The time has come, and this year I greet the Holiday season with fresh determination to present our loved ones with flavorful, vegetable based dishes. As I've said before, squash is to Fall as tomatoes are to Summer. Which means I try to fit squash into everything we are eating, from stews, soups, chilis, pastas, salads, you name it. 

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Autumn Vegetable Salad

Autumn Vegetable Salad

I love squash. Squash squash squash. Squash is the tomato of Fall. Don't you think??? Squash is also one of the main ingredients in a dish I recently had at Spoon and Stable. The Autumn Vegetable Salad. Which I haven't stopped thinking about since. 

Pictures this: spelt berries, roasted squash, sliced figs, sprinkled with pecans, all on top of a buttermilk ranch drizzle. A pleasant conglomeration of textures and tastes. 

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Spinach and Chickpea Cazuela

Spinach and Chickpea Cazuela

As soon as we got back home from our travels, I hit the kitchen. The first recipe recreation I'd like to share is the Spinach and Chickpea Cazuela we had at Barcelona Wine Bar. With fall just around the corner, this is the PERFECT side to serve as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. It is warm, filling, and the cumin adds a smokey flavor. The roasted garlic and shallot contributes a sweet flavor that definitely plays well with the savory taste of cumin. There are only about nine ingredients involved (not including, water, salt, and pepper!). Most of them are pantry staples, so you probably have them all in your house right now! Except for the cumin seeds, maybe! 

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Blue Corn Cakes Topped with Avocado and Herby Heirloom Tomatoes

Blue Corn Cakes Topped with Avocado and Herby Heirloom Tomatoes

This summer, our favorite thing to eat is Grilled Romaine and Grilled Pizza. Last summer it was Grilled Panzanella, and the summer before that, it was Corncakes with Tomato Salsa. I recently made these, and we remembered how much we L O V E D them, that and it is the perfect 'cold' dish to serve during the heat of the summer! 

Four great things about this dish: 1) it can be served as an appetizer or as a side, 2) it can be served cold, 3) it utilizes delicious heirloom tomatoes, 4) it harks back to traditional southern cuisine, but in a healthy way. 

 

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Heirloom Tomato, Beet, Avocado Cold Summer Salad

Heirloom Tomato, Beet, Avocado Cold Summer Salad

It took me a couple of years to acclimate to Nashville summers. No t-shirts (if you sweat as much as I do...), God help us, NO gray, breathable fabrics only, no pants EVER, you get the idea. One night before dinner time, I asked P to research exactly this: 'cold summer vegetable recipes' and 'cold dinners for hot summer days'. We didn't really find much that could be ready super quick. (Sometimes I wait until I absolutely MUST eat within minutes, and that kind of limits things.) 

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Red, White, & Blue - #3: Grilled Romaine

Red, White, & Blue - #3: Grilled Romaine

In addition to the 4th of July, it is also my 6th 4th of July here in Nashville, and my 4 month anniversary with Grilled Romaine, which I thought would be the perfect third addition to my Red, White, and Blue series. Grilled Romaine is divine. It has a slightly smokey flavor and remains fairly crispy after the grilling process. The olive oil, salt, and black pepper act as a sort of frosting. The granny smith apple matchsticks add an additional crisp, and for those who eat meat, the pancetta is a delightful salty addition. 

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