Grateful!

This seasonal bowl is filled with squash, pecans, and cranberries.

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Thanksgiving Bowl

‘Tis the season to all the holiday flavors, but the crown jewels have to be roasted squash, toasted pecans, and sweet cranberries. So I’ve combined my favorite seasonal eats into one, healthy vegan bowl that can be enjoyed all year long (although it tastes extra special in November). As always, my secret weapon is a homemade creamy dressing and the pairing of warm grains with fresh greens. But the pecan-crusted kabocha squash takes this fall-inspired bowl over the top. Happy holidays!

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 small Kabocha squash
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt, divided 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup quinoa 
  • 1⅓ cups water 
  • 3 cups chopped, destemmed kale
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries 

For the Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing:

  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice kabocha squash in half, scoop out seeds, and slice into wedges. Into a mixing bowl, place wedges and toss with maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. 
  2. Place squash in a single layer onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each wedge, and sprinkle tops of squash with pecans. Using a spatula, gently press down on pecans to secure onto squash. Place squash back in oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until soft all the way through. 
  3. While squash is roasting, prepare quinoa. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add quinoa, water, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cover, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, or until all water has absorbed. Turn off heat, fluff, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. For the dressing, place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. 
  5. Divide quinoa between two serving bowls. Top with kale, squash, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. Drizzle with dressing. Happy Thanksgiving!

Healthy hints:

  • >> Keep a glass bottle of homemade dressing in the fridge, and you’ll be ready to go for any meal. This Creamy Maple Dijon Dressing is both deliciously sweet and tangy. 
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  • >> I love the combination of warm grains and fresh greens, but you can always sauté or massage your kale before adding to the bowl. 
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  • >> Although harder to find, I suggest dried cranberries without added sugar! They’re much more flavorful and healthier.