As we wrote yesterday, tradition should not be used as an excuse for indifference. For the true spirit of any tradition to survive and be embraced by generation after generation without losing its meaning and significance, it has to evolve with the changing times. Let’s not make Thanksgiving about historical myths or the loss of innocent lives. Instead, let’s celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving: the spirit of family, friendship and togetherness, and giving thanks for all that we have. Let’s try to add some creativity to our Thanksgiving meals and form new traditions that will live on and continue to evolve in the years ahead. Here’s a great vegan recipe to add to your thanksgiving menu that can help you get started!
This savory dish can be served as a main, or as a side. This recipe uses one small squash, which feeds 2 people quite well. You can easily double or multiply this recipe as needed to feed all your guests. If you can’t find small squashes, feel free to use a big one.
By using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs or rice, this becomes a very low-carb, high-protein dish. The mushrooms add wonderful density, and the “buttery” pecans add nuttiness and crunch.
If you prepare all your ingredients beforehand, everything will come together very quickly. You can prepare the filling while the squash is initially baking, and you can work on the veggies in the filing while the quinoa is cooking.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup quinoa
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms (half shitake, half button/cremini works really well)
- 2 cups packed spinach, coarse stems removed
- ½ tsp sage
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
- Cut the squash lengthwise to make 2 even halves. Remove the seeds and any dangling strings of flesh.
- Oil a baking tray or dish with 1 tbsp olive oil and place the squash halves on it, flesh facing down. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender.
- Carefully remove the tray or dish from the oven and place it on a heat-proof surface. Gently turn the squash halves over so that the flesh is facing up. Brush it with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, cook the quinoa and ¼ cup vegetable broth on medium heat until the quinoa is ready and has little curls coming out of each grain, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a small frying pan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the pecans and toss them until toasted, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add spinach and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add quinoa to the vegetables, along with the sage, thyme, nutritional yeast and ¼ cup vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill each squash half with some of the mixture and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes, so that everything heats through.
*This original recipe was contributed by Angela Thompson of Vegangela.com.