By Eve Lynn Kessner
So, Thanksgiving is kinda my thing. Even though I don’t eat turkey, the flavors and scents of Thanksgiving food and spices and traditions get to the core of me. Wood burning in the fireplace, chestnuts roasting, pumpkin pie baking, I mean, what could be better? Something about Thanksgiving foods is grounding and nourishing.
Unfortunately, it has turned into a gluttonous holiday for so many of us. We overeat, and indulge in too much sugar and meat, and then feel sick and tired and gross.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanksgiving should be about the thanks! That which we are grateful for, that which we prize and are proud of. And for so many of us, that is our commitment to health and wellness. So let’s keep with that tradition. Let’s fill our plates with veggies, bake pies without refined sugars, and nourish our bodies and minds with whole foods and good dinner conversation.
Here are a few recipes to swap out for the usual suspects that will leave you feeling clean and strong and satisfied: [SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL RECIPES!]
This one of my all-time favorite grain dishes. Brown rice is warm and nutty and totally filling. It satiates from the inside out. Filled with fiber to fill us up, and b-vitamins to calm our nerves.
Simple and salty and delicious, we compare these to French fries in my house. Easy to pop in your mouth, super healthy, and roasty delicious, these are so damn easy to make and always a hit.
A couple years back I made a batch of these on a cold November day when my mother-in-law was coming to visit. It was a good project to do with Avital (my then 3-year-old) and a good way of teaching her about good housekeeping (kidding). We made a huge mess and had lots of fun doing it, and a long story made very short: my mother-in-law loved them so much she demanded the recipe. Today they are a staple in her house through the winter! They are made without any refined sugars or flours, and are totally healthy enough for breakfast — but perfect for after Thanksgiving dinner!
Chestnut Brown Rice
1 cup of dry short grain organic brown rice
2 cups of filtered water
A pinch of sea salt
1 cup of roasted chestnuts
Place the rice in a pot with water to just cover and swish it around to rinse it.
Drain the water.
Do it again.
Cover the drained rice with 2 cups of filtered water.
Add the pinch or two of salt (depending on your taste).
If you have time, let it sit for a few hours in the pot (up to overnight).
Add the chestnuts.
Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and bring down to a simmer.
Cook for 50 minutes.
Turn off flame.
Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spread the Brussels sprouts onto a sheet pan in an even layer.
3. Drizzle olive oil on the Brussels sprouts and roll them around to coat evenly.
4. Sprinkle them with a good amount of sea salt.
5. Roast them for 30-45 minutes until browned, well-mixing them around 2-3 times throughout the cooking.
6. Serve them hot!
Vegan Pumpkin Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp flax meal
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
1 1/3 cups brown rice syrup
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp agave
1 cup canned (organic) pumpkin
1 tbsp vanilla
1 bar of bittersweet chocolate (I used Dagoba Organic) chopped
1 cup walnuts chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, flax, and spices and mix.
In a separate bowl combine the rice syrup, coconut oil, agave, pumpkin, and vanilla.
Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet adding little by little until fully mixed.
Add the chocolate and walnuts and mix.
Drop the cookies onto the baking sheets (should make apx. 32 cookies) and bake for 8 minutes, then turn the pans, and bake for another 8 minutes.
Cool on a rack then serve (they’re good a little warm!)
Eve Lynn Kessner is mom to two little girls, Avital and Bar, ages 5 and 2, a sometimes vegan, a holistic nutritionist, and focused on living a organic, chemical-free, natural life. “Making our home and our diets safe, healthy, and chemical free is no longer a goal, but a necessity. It feels good, clean, and ethical,” she says. Eve studied at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and counsels clients on food and lifestyle choices, helping them make cleaner, more responsible decisions. Eve is also a SoulCycle instructor, and an all-around dreamer and believer.