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Meatless Monday Recipe: Thanksgiving Sides

I've always been a big believer that knowledge is meant to be shared. And I extend that to recipes too!

So I asked Tamar from

The Curveball

to guest blog a couple of her favorite plant-based Thanksgiving sides for us, and boy did she come through!

Two Thanksgivings ago Tamar went vegan, cold turkey style. I was so interested in her journey that I asked her to write an essay for my blog. That essay became my inspiration for

The Vegan Decision

, a website comprised of essays from people who decided to stop eating animals and how that choice has affected their lives.

Here is her essay

.

Veganism has more than affected Tamar's life, it's changed it. She has done a 180 in her career and is currently getting her certification in health coaching/nutrition. You can find her website

here. 

Here are the recipes Tamar shared with us. Enjoy!

Photo: A 

Alittlebitcrunchyalittlebitrock

Mark Bittman’s Quinoa w/ Caramelized Onions

(serves 4)

4 medium yellow or red onions (about 1 lb), halved and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 T brown sugar or molasses (I like molasses with this recipe)

¾ cup quinoa (I like to use red quinoa as it has a slightly chewier texture)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1-1/2 c veggie stock, beer or water

2 or three sprigs fresh thyme

Put the onions in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring infrequently until the onions are dry and almost sticking to the pan, about 20 minutes. Add the oil and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions brown, another 10-15 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the quinoa, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir as the grains start popping and toasting, a couple of minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir one last time, add the thyme, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.

Uncover and test the quinoa for doneness. If the kernels are still sort of hard, make sure there’s enough liquid to keep the bottom of the pan moist and cover them to cook for another 5 minutes or so. When ready, taste, adjust the seasoning, and remove the thyme, adding a few extra grinds of pepper.

Variation: Saute about 1 lb of cremini, white button or oyster mushrooms in about ½ Tbsp coconut oil. Saute for a few minutes, until mushrooms release water. Season with salt, pepper, and ½ tsp liquid smoke. Add mushrooms to quinoa mixture.

Photo:

Killer Bunnies, Inc

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Tempeh Bacon and Toasted Pinenuts

(serves 4-6)

1 Tbsp coconut oil, divided

1 package tempeh bacon (I like the Lightlife brand: Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound thinly sliced brussels sprouts

¼ cup pine nuts (or slivered almonds if you don’t like pine nuts)

First, prepare the brussel sprouts by rinsing and draining, then cutting off the tip on the bottom and slicing the sprout in half lengthwise. Slice each half into thin, lengthwise strips. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ tablespoon of the coconut oil to pan. Add the tempeh strips to pan and cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes on each side until brown and crispier. Remove from pan, chop up into small pieces, and set aside.

Add the remaining coconut oil to the pan and the garlic and cook for about a minute. Then add the Brussels sprouts to pan and sauté for about 5-10 minutes, until the leaves look browner and crispier.

While the brussels sprouts are cooking, in a separate small skillet, toast the pine nuts or almonds at medium heat, until you smell them! Take care not to burn the nuts, they can burn easily. It should only take a few minutes over medium heat. You can do this separately if you want. When both nuts and brussels are toasted/browned and crispy, take off heat and toss the nuts, brussels, and tempeh bacon together. Enjoy immediately.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side? I hope you'll share a recipe with us!

Oh, and here's a link to more

Vegan Thanksgiving sides recipes.

Happy Compassionate Thanksgiving!