Monday, November 21, 2016

My Best Thanksgiving sides ( GF)

I was recently served this delicious vegetarian ( and of course gluten free) casserole at my friend Melissa's house that knocked my socks off! As soon as I saw it, it screamed Thanksgiving. As soon as I tasted it, I was in love and knew it would be part of my vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving Dinner plan for 2016!

Not only was the presentation sensational, but all 8 adults at the dinner party raved about it. Thanksgiving was on my mind because I had been trying to plan my menu.

Maybe it was the scattered toasted sunflower seeds neatly arranged across the top, the creamy texture of the spinach and rice on the inside, or the brown crusty edges stuck to the four corners. Regardless, I know I couldn't help myself from taking a second helping and eventually asking for the recipe!

I was delighted to see how easy it was to make, and I couldn't wait to share it with you on my blog.

Melissa is an amazing cook and a thoughtful gracious host. To accommodate my vegetarian and gluten free eating needs, she made a variety of delicious naturally vegetarian/gluten free sides that perfectly enhanced her main chicken entree ( that everyone else ate)  .

 I'm sharing the eggplant and red pepper "ratatouille that Melissa Made-" It was the absolutely the best I have ever tasted- even my mother in law who used to live in France and has been making ratatouille for most of her adult life commented about how much she enjoyed it!

There was more- a quinoa and mushroom dish that could easily serve as a healthy vegan and gluten free Thanksgiving stuffing

And a delicious delicious thick vegan split pea soup that I only caught the leftovers for a photo!

In addition,  my 2016 Thanksgiving menu will include my vegan and my silky gluten free blender pumpkin pie, simple chocolate covered strawberries, and some easy cranberry apple chutney.
There are links to all the recipes below.

My grandkids made these!

I call it my dream feast because I'll actually be celebrating Thanksgiving at my son and daughter in law's home,  and I will only be bringing the pumpkin pie and another vegan/gluten free dessert- probably my eggnog baked donuts .

My 2016 Thanksgiving Vegetarian/ Gluten Free Menu 
click for the recipe

 Ratatouille  ** amazing recipe

Gluten Free and vegan Pumpkin Pie 

Cranberry Apple Chutney or 

Quick Homemade Cranberry Sauce

The Casserole: Spinach, rice, and toasted sunflower seed casserole ** see recipe below

Spinach, rice, and toasted sunflower seed casserole Recipe

2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 Tablespoon of olive oil for sautéing
2 eggs ( or egg replacer) 
3/4  cup of non dairy milk ( almond or coconut milk)
2  cups of chopped onions
2 cups of chopped fresh spinach
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
a shake of cayenne powder to taste
salt and cracked pepper 
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds to use on top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Spray a large skillet with olive oil or use the 1 T oil. Sautee the onions for 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and chopped spinach and continue to sautee until spinach is wilted. 
Remove from heat and mix with the cooked rice. 
In another large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, add the non dairy milk and the seasoning. Add the rice and vegetable mixture and mix well. 
Pour into a greased rectangular casserole dish and bake 35-40 minutes uncovered. Top with the sunflower seeds.

Wishing everyone a wonderful healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

My Notes: 

1. The Ratatouille- Melissa's Ratatouille was taken from a recipe on Tori Avey's blog. I provided a link for this not to be missed recipe which is actually is Tori's mother in law's Sephardic recipe- Great tutorial- which is very very similar to my Sephardic mother in law's recipe.

2. The casserole
Melissa modified this recipe from the Internet. 
The recipe was originally made popular from a recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook, but has been published and modified by many bloggers. 
 Melissa says she has seen many substitutions for the spinach- including: broccoli slaw mix, collard greens, kale, etc. I posted the version that Melissa made.


  1. Thanks Judee for posting the best vegetarian and GF sides. Recipes look and sound yummy. I like to collect different recipes for holiday food and mix it up from year to year. I'm sure to try many of the recipes you provided at the HHGN Party Blog Hop and have already pinned a few. Wishing you a Joyful Thanksgiving. Nancy Andres

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Every year I try to find some new ideas for Thanksgiving. This year's really made me happy! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving to ..

  2. Very nice thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop

    1. Happy Thanksgiving Swathi- hope you find a recipe that you enjoyed


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