Celebrating Thanksgiving?

Dear all,

Last week was an extraordinary busy week- I had to prepare for an important job interview, send off my cookbook draft to have a sample book printed, organized our daughter’s 7th birthday party on Saturday and attended her ballet photo shoot all Sunday. But there seems to be no time to relax as the next event, Thanksgiving, is already coming up. This Thanksgiving is going to be a very colorful event as we have invited some Indian friends. It will be their first Thanksgiving and for that special occasion, mum and daughter will put on beautiful saris. And because our daughter loves to try on her friend’s saris at their house, she will be dressed in a sari as well. Can’t wait to see them! In her excitement, our Vivian has already painted the cutest misspelled Thanksgiving sign.


I love to bring people from different cultural backgrounds together to share a special meal. Some of you might be from countries where Thanksgiving is not being celebrated. I have been reminded of this fact when I walked into our local Brisbane Pottery Barn to look for some Thanksgiving decoration. The entire store was beautifully decorated for… Xmas! Not a single autumn decoration (well, here it’s spring anyway!), not one pumpkin. That’s when it dawned on me- Of course, there is no Thanksgiving in Australia! In this case, you might use my recipes for a different celebration like Xmas etc.

Anyway, here is my Thanksgiving menu.

Appetizers: Veggie sticks with dip; Marinated olives; Portobello spinach tartines

Mains: Lentil loaf with cranberry glaze

Side dishes: Cold wild rice butternut squash salad with roasted grapes; Corn with chopped dill; Green beans with fennel seeds and tomatoes; Mixed greens with cranberries and orange tahini dressing

Desserts: Pumpkin pie; Apple pie

It might like a ton of work but you can easily break the whole menu up in smaller pieces and prepare most of it them day before. You can find the links to the recipes at the bottom of the post.

Here’s my reduce the stress/prepare in advance food plan:

Make the day before:

  • Bake pies;
  • cook rice for salad;
  • prepare the vegetables and dressing and store them in containers;
  • make vinaigrette for greens;
  • chop dill;
  • prepare lentil loaf (beware that you have to soak the lentils);
  • make the cream for the tartines;
  • prepare dip for veggies (cut the veggies for the dip freshly the next day, all other veggies can be chopped in advance)

Having this well organized plan will greatly reduce your stress level on the big day and you will have more time to celebrate and enjoy your time with family and friends. Also, you’ll feel like a celebrated chef with all ingredients neatly arranged in jars and containers ready to be thrown together.

A note on the side regarding the pumpkin pies: Last year I used store bought small tart shells and made mini pumpkin pies for the kids. They looked really cute. However, as I am not a big fan of these pre made tart shells, I will make the following dough:

1 1/4 cup rolled oats, grind into four

3/4 cup almond butter

6-7 tbsp filtered water

To make the crust, mash up oat flour and almond butter with a fork. Stir in the water, one tablespoon at a time. Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper. Transfer to the pie plate and bake for 10 minutes on 350F (170C).

Here a re the links to the recipes:

red beet dip: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4449


portobello spinach tartines: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4710


lentil loaf: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=5760


wild rice salad: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=5852


corn with fresh dill: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=2197


green beans with fennel: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=2199


greens with orange tahini dressing: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=820

pumpkin pie: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=2259


apple pie: http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=551


One of the tricky things about writing posts on Holiday foods is that one actually has to prepare the dishes a couple of weeks BEFORE the event in order to post the recipes early enough. because of everything that was going on I still owe you the picture of the wild rice salad, which tastes delicious as well as the new version (as in new dough) of the pumpkin pie. I’ll add the pics as soon as possible, I promise!

Have fun checking out my holiday recipes!



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