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Wild Rice, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Pilaf for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving wild rice pilaf has butternut squash and cauliflower

We love the harvest season and Thanksgiving every year!  Many people ask us, how do you make a Thanksgiving meal that’s paleo or vegetarian?  It’s actually easy to keep a Thanksgiving feast gluten free or grain free, dairy free and free of refined sugars.

The Vegetarian Main

If you’re planning a vegetarian holiday meal then we recommend making a hearty main dish that contains a good source of vegetarian protein, such as beans, legumes, or even tempeh or tofu.  You can be creative!  There’s no need to replace the traditional turkey with a fake, vegan turkey.  If you love plant based foods, you might as well make a recipe that let’s them shine!

Here are some vegetarian main recipes that we recommend:

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Cashew Cheese
Quinoa Veggie Patties with Carrot and Zucchini

Gluten Free and Grain Free

To keep things gluten free, you can easily sub in gluten free bread when you make something like stuffing.  Cornbread can be made gluten free as well.  If you make a pilaf, use the recipe below that’s packed with lots of vegetables in addition to wild rice.  If you need to keep the menu paleo, then you can still make this recipe but omit the wild rice all together and simply prepare the veggies.

Sugar Free

It’s also easy to keep things sugar free by using whole food based sweeteners such as maple syrup, coconut sugar or even dates.  Here’s our recipe for a sugar-free cranberry sauce.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

And, if you’re looking for a paleo pumpkin pie recipe, we suggest checking out this one from Paleo Running Momma

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Side Recipes

When planning a vegetarian or paleo menu, we love to put the focus on the side dishes.  This way the veggies can really take center stage and fill your table with lots of variety and flavours.  This is our latest side recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving table with some of our favourites: roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, kale and portobello mushrooms.

Wild Rice, Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Pilaf for Thanksgiving

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut in cubes
1 cauliflower, cut in florets
1 large shallot
extra virgin olive oil
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch lacinato kale, chopped

1/2 cup dry wild rice

sea salt

1. Cook the wild rice with 1 cup of water or vegetable broth.  Place in a small pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Peel the squash and remove the seeds.  Cut the squash into cubes and cut the cauliflower into florets.   Spread out on the baking sheet and toss with some avocado oil (or extra virgin olive oil), sea salt and pepper.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until brown on the edges and starting to crisp.

4. Saute the shallot with some extra virgin olive oil in a skillet for a few minutes until turning translucent.  Add the mushrooms and let them sit in the pan for around 5 minutes, for the water to cook off.  Then saute the mushrooms for a few more minutes to cook further. Add the kale and saute for 5 more minutes until the kale is tender.

5. Once the veggies are roasted, toss together with the wild rice, and the portobello mushroom kale mixture.

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