Author

Nabila

The countdown has begun! Only 21 days until Christmas!!! I am SO excited. This is my absolute favorite time of year – you get to be all cozy and indulge in hot drinks and baked goodies and family and movies and be a cuddle puddle everywhere. While listening to Christmas music of course! My favorite is the Dean Martin holiday station on Pandora; it features my love, Dino, as well as Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and plenty of other classic musicians. This station puts me in a festive mood immediately! 

So this morning, I’m got my station on, a spiced coffee in hand, and I’m trying to think up gifts for my loved ones. Today, I want to talk subscriptions

Oftentimes, if you don’t know what one physical item to get a loved one, friend, or coworker, it can be a challenge to find something meaningful or useful for them. Gag gifts are funny for a split second, but then the receiver is left with the impression that you just didn’t know them well enough to find something meaningful, or that you didn’t take the time to do so. Don’t give a gag gift! They’re the worse!

Subscriptions are the best because:

  1. They allow you to buy an experience or an assortment of products for someone else without worrying about particular items. The specificity of the gift is out of your hands, so you’re buying something general with a theme you know the recipient can enjoy. 
  2. The recipient gets to try new things! A subscription are often curated products, which means you get a surprise of new products or brands you might not have found otherwise. You get to try new things without fully committing to a single brand or product. 
  3. The recipient may not get it for themselves. Oftentimes, because subscriptions have recurring payments, you may not purchase one for yourself if you’ve never tried it before. Receiving it as a gift is a great way to get your feet wet and try something you mightn’t have otherwise!
  4. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! Long after the holidays have past, your loved one will keep receiving wonderful new surprises! A gentle reminder that you are, y’know, awesome.

So, without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite subscriptions for that special gal in your life:

  1. For the reader: Darling Magazine [$16/1 Quarter (1 edition) or $64/1 Year (4 editions)] Darling is a quarterly lifestyle magazine for women, by women. Their mission statement: “Darling is…the art of being a woman. Darling magazine holds the modern mold of woman up to the fire to evoke a discussion on femininity and re-shape an authentic design. Darling is a catalyst for positive change; leading women to discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation. Darling leads women to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modesty, and wisdom, all the while creating beauty and embodying love. Darling says women are not only interesting, but original, not only good enough, but exceptional, not just here, but here for a purpose.”5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEThe make of this magazine is an incredibly elegant matte print with stunning photography on heavyweight paper.  The articles are divided into 8 sections: The Dreamer, The Achiever, The Hostess, The Intellectual, The Stylist, The Confidant, The Beautician, and The Explorer and are written by women in all fields, including celebrities. There are no adds, no photoshopping, and the products and clothing featured are modest and affordable. I think they’re so beautiful, I use them as decor in my bedroom. This is great coffee table book that is a sure conversation-starter. Don’t forget you’ll need your recipient’s home address! Get it here
  2. For the mindful: Headspace [$12.95 for 1 month; $7.99/month for 1 year] Headspace is a meditation app. It has little modules that evolve as you progress to allow you to become more focused, worry less, eat and sleep better, learn faster, and more. It’s basically an exercise app for your mind and it is amazing!5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEY’all know I love Calm.com. This is definitely an upgrade from that, and it is wonderfully developed with clear instructions and impeccable design. You can sign up on someone’s behalf and then gift them with their login info. Get it here
  3. For the vegan: VeganCuts [$59 for 3 months, $215 for 1 year] VeganCuts curates monthly boxes full of incredible cruelty-free products. You can subscribe to a monthly snack or beauty box that is paid-ahead, or buy individual one-time monthly themed boxes for: athletes, fashion, beauty, yoga and more.5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEsnack-box-currentAgain, this is a great way to try new products without committing to an entire brand. I love it because I can also discover new brands I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise, or try newly released flavors from companies I already love. Again, you’ll need the recipient’s address to sign up. Get it here.
  4. For the yogi: YogaTime.Tv [$16.99/month] or YogiSurprise [$34.96/month] I put two here because they have two different goals. The first is an app for yoga where you can take multiple classes, earn badges, build community and more.5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEIt is a low one-time cost but you also need your gift recipient’s e-mail address and other info to sign up for the app. (Alternatively you can purchase an iTunes gift card and write a note for the recipient.) Get it here5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEThe second is a pricier option that mails monthly products related to yoga including accessories, massage oils, incense, vegetarian snacks, and more. I’ve not tried this one, to be honest, but I’ve heard great things! Get it here
  5. For the beauty-obsessed: Petit Vour [$15/box or $45/3 months or $90/6 months] Petit Vour is a cruelty-free beauty box that mails makeup, perfume, skincare, etc in a curated monthly box. Think of it as high-end vegan beauty products – or as they call it, the creme-de-la-cruelty-free.5 Gift Subscriptions for Women | SPIRITPLATEThe products and companies features use all vegan ingredients, and never experiment on animals. And yet, these products are so wonderfully made, you wonder why other brands do use animal by-products! Get it here.

That’s it! Happy subscribing! 

For my holiday tree this year I wanted to move away from loud colors and plastic ornaments and focus on a more muted, yet festive look that would tie in together with my neutral bedroom. I’ve got pale blue-gray walls, dark wood furniture with white accents, so I decided on a woodland theme to sort of bring the outdoors in and remind me of all the beauty the wintertime has to offer! I’m by no means done decorating our room – but I have finished the tree! 

Easy Sustainable DIY Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEIsn’t she a beauty?! 

Easy DIY Sustainable Tree Ornaments | SPIRITPLATETo stick with the woodland, natural theme, I pulled inspiration from seasonal, easily found, and cheap materials – most of which I already had lying around:

  1. Cinnamon Sticks. Easy DIY Sustainable Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEAll you need is a little jute or twine to wrap a few cinnamon sticks into a bundle, et voila! A rustic look with a sweet and festive scent for your tree! As an alternative, you could glue cloves to round pieces of cardboard to make mini clove wreaths! 
  2. Dehydrated Fruit Slices. Sustainable Natural Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEI chose seasonal and cheap fruit – apples and oranges. I sliced them a 1/4 inch thick and set them at 130F in the dehydrator overnight. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can do the same thing in the oven! Set the fruit on wire racks rather than a solid bottom tray and set your oven to 120-130F. Keep the fruit in the oven overnight and check them in the morning. I stuck ornament hooks easily through the fruit slices without damaging them – these are my favorite ornaments on the tree!
  3. Fallen twigs. Easy DIY Sustainable Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEI ran to my backyard and looked for fallen twigs to create my star. I cut each branch to the size I wanted, then using the same jute twine, I tied the ends together to create the star. I secured the backs of these knots with a drop of glue from a glue gun. I then used the twine to attach the star to the top of my tree, and strung some smaller lights around the branches to illuminate it. 
  4. Birdseed Cookies. Easy DIY Sustainable Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEA quick search on Pinterest shows there are tons of recipes for these birdseed ornaments. I used the recipes here and here for reference. I swapped the corn syrup out for honey, and the gelatin or breadcrumbs out for ground flaxseed, because I felt these ingredients were less harmful alternatives for wild birds and easier on their digestion. When the season is up and I take down my tree, I plan on placing these birdseed ornaments on the pecan tree Aly and I planted in our backyard for our wedding, ready for the birds that’ll come back in the springtime!
  5. Recycled Materials. Easy Sustainable DIY Ornaments | SPIRITPLATEOld clear glass ornaments or light bulbs make great translucent decorations. I filled mine with old glitter and beads I had leftover from other crafts and events using a kitchen funnel. For the ribbon I used a woven jute I had leftover from my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. For the tree skirt, I sewed together old plaid fabric I had lying around from college (I was a textiles major). I used the leftover fabric to sew matching pillows that I stuffed and placed on our bed to tie the room together. 

If you’re participating in our GIVEAWAY this month, don’t forget to follow us and like this post on Facebook and Instagram!

Until tomorrow my lovelies! 

Hi y’all! Happy December! This month I’ll be posting every day until Christmas week with healthy recipes, holiday DIYs, articles for health, and more. That’s 20 posts! 

I’m also doing a GIVEAWAY! That’s right, you can enter to win a mystery gift basket full of my favorite health, nutrition, and beauty items worth over $150! 

I want to show you all how much I appreciate the love and support you’ve had for my journey with SPIRITPLATE. To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is like us on Facebook AND like each post we share this month OR follow us on Instagram AND like each post there. This means you can enter up to twice times each day (by liking once on FB and once on IG) and you have until 11:59PM CST on December 20th to like each post. I’ll choose a winner randomly and announce on December 21st. You should receive your gift basket before Christmas!

To that end, I can’t believe that this time last week, we were gearing up for Thanksgiving, and now it’s already December! This entire year has just flown by, and the increasing speed with which life is passing just makes me nervous. Days seems so long when you’re a child, but as you get older the days seem to blur together. 

Healthy Holidays: How to Transition into WinterSomething that helps me mark the time, and slow it down if you will, is to be present with the seasons. I alter my lifestyle and daily rituals as the year transitions from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, and winter to spring. This supports my mind, body, and spirit in recognizing and being present with the changes happening around me. 

Here’s how I transition into winter:

  1. I sleep with the sun. The natural rhythm of your body calls for a slowing down during the winter – a sort of mild hibernation mode that requires that we get more rest.  Throughout the year, I try to rise and retire with the sun. This means I get up earlier and stay up later in the summer, and sleep in during the winter. Of course, our modern lifestyle means we do need to continue working late hours, but I bridge the gap by winding down after sunset. I turn off the bright lights in our home, set my phone, computer, and TV brightness to low, or turn them off, and I reduce the volume of these devices as well. Shifting to a darker, quieter, environment with less stimuli after sunset helps your body feel like it’s resting – which is exactly what it needs in the colder months!
  2. I eat seasonally. I try to incorporate produce that is in season, and reduce the produce that isn’t. Eating foods seasonally is not only more cost effective, these foods are built to provide you with the exact nourishment you need for the season. For example, bananas, berries, and cucumbers ripen in the heat of summer, and are rich in potassium and vitamins you need to rehydrate – exactly what we need in the hotter months. Squash, starchy vegetables like cauliflower, and citrus like limes and oranges are more abundant in the winter, providing high doses of vitamin C and minerals like iron and magnesium to keep us from getting sick in the colder, wetter months. 
  3. I eat for warmth. I incorporate more warming foods and spices into my diet, such as garlic, ginger, cinnamon. I add soups a few times a week, which gives me my needed vegetable intake but is also super comforting to warm up with. I also try to reduce or remove processed foods like oils, bread, and sugary baked goods from day-to-day meals, reserving them only for special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas) to prevent those extra holiday pounds, but stick to starchy carbs like rice, potatoes, and beans that provide sustenance and bulk to my meals. 
  4. I hydrate. In the summer, we tend to eat water-rich foods, but in the winter we tend to go for starchier, denser fare. This is our natural; our body thinks it will be cold and starved, and is storing up in preparation. To prevent dry skin and a proneness to the winter colds and flus, keep yourself hydrated. Don’t like water? Add a few lemon or ginger slices. Feel too cold? Drink your water hot. I usually have several cups of hot water a day, often with some kind of spice or flavoring – lemon, rosemary, turmeric, ginger, cayenne, and cinnamon are my favorites. 
  5. I move. The cooling of our bodies in the wintertime means our joints ache a bit more, and breathing is a bit more laborious. We feel more lethargic, and while yes, we need to wind down, it also means that we should work out intermittently. That when we do exercise, we do so carefully, properly warming up and cooling down our joints to avoid injury. Adding yoga to your regimen is a great way to incorporate a slower, quieter activity that still gets your heart pumping and body sweating. Listen to your body and you’ll know if your muscles and joints need more or less work to remain healthy throughout the season.
  6. I get outside. Being outdoors in the cold air, even for a few moments, really helps your body feel “oh, yes, this is winter,” and reasserts your circadian rhythm. Have your lunch on a bench or at an outdoor cafe. Take a walk to go see holiday lights. Build a fire in your backyard. We are not cold-blooded, we do need the warmth and are right in seeking to stay indoors, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remind ourselves of the cold outside.
  7. I take a Vitamin D supplement. You may be getting outside, but the lack of sunshine-filled days means you still may not be getting enough Vitamin D to support a healthy immune system, control your blood sugar, and help you absorb calcium. Foods high in Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, cow’s whole milk and mushrooms of all kinds. Because I choose not to eat fish or dairy for both animal welfare and my personal health (heavy metals and disease in most fish known to cause cancer and birth defects, and the hormones in and acidity of dairy that interferes with my hormones, skin, bone density, and weight) I go for the mushrooms. Because mushrooms only provide 5% of your daily intake per serving, I also take a Vitamin D supplement. 
  8. I declutter. Like spring cleaning, fall cleaning is just as important. Wash your sheets and clear out your closet. Move summer clothing and linens into storage and bring out the heavier, warmer wares. Donate any excess clothing to a charity. Click here to read my post about setting up a minimalist closet. Rotate your pantry items to bring out lesser used grains and beans. Clean the freezer to make space for make ahead soups and stews. Put away the summer tools and clear out your garage to be able to bring your cars and bikes in from the cold. Having a clean garage also helps to keep away small animals and other critters that will seek your home for warmth. There are plenty of cruelty-free methods on the market now to deter these critters from seeking shelter. 
  9. I decorate. Having changed my linens, my clothing and my meals, the only thing that remains is to change my home or workspace decor to reflect the time of the year. In the summer, I love having greens, blues, and yellows around me to recall the summertime, but in the winter I go for the browns, golds and reds. My room is painted a pale blue gray with white and dark brown accents. To this I add greenery in the summer and beiges in the fall. I bring in the outdoors by using leaves, branches, and pinecones or other nuts and seeds to evoke the season. 
  10. I use aromatherapy. As part of my decor, and shift in eating habits, I also employ the use of seasonal scents to help me feel present in the moment. Remember, scents are inextricably connected to memory, so to feel connected to a certain time and place, using aromatherapy is a masterful way to feel grounded and present. In the fall, I use more sweet and spicy scents like vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin, and apples. In the winter, I love the scents of fresh evergreen or pine, burning wood, and amber. I have a few favorite candles and incense sticks I light nearly everyday when I’m working from home during the day, or winding down at night that help me connect to the moment. 

Even if you don’t subscribe to a vegan lifestyle, adding just ONE completely plant-based meal every day can vastly improve your health and the environment. Here I’ve compiled our favorite recipes for an extravagant and wholesome plant-based Thanksgiving. Choose one, or two, or try them all this Thanksgiving!

  1. Hearty Stuffed Acorn SquashHearty Stuffed Acorn Squash | SPIRITPLATE
  2. Butternut Squash RisottoRoasted Butternut Squash Risotto | SPIRITPLATE
  3. Avocado Kale SaladAvocado-Massaged Kale Salad | SPIRITPLATE
  4. Creamy Butternut Squash Soup and Cayenne CroutonsSpiced Butternut Squash Soup | SPIRITPLATE
  5. Sour Cream and Onion Mashed PotatoesVegan Sour Cream & Onion Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Country-Style Gravy | SPIRITPLATE
  6. Country-Style Mushroom Gravy Vegan Sour Cream & Onion Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Country-Style Gravy | SPIRITPLATE
  7. The Best Vegan Green Bean CasseroleThe Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole | SPIRITPLATE
  8. Refreshing Green Bean SaladRefreshing Green Bean Salad | SPIRITPLATE
  9. Maple Balsalmic Glazed CarrotsBalsamic Thyme Glazed Carrots | SPIRITPLATE
  10. Soy-Chili Glazed Brussel SproutsSoy Chili Glazed Brussel Sprouts | SPIRITPLATE
  11. The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie
    The Best Ever Vegan Pumpkin Pie | SPIRITPLATE
  12. Cranberry Orange Zest and Dark Chocolate Orange Zest CookiesCranberry Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze | SPIRITPLATE

 

Alright, after a week of posting two Thanksgiving recipes each day, it’s time for my favorite, FAVORITE desserts of all time. PUMPKIN PIE…and COOKIES.The Best Ever Vegan Pumpkin Pie | SPIRITPLATE
Seriously, guys, you’re in for a treat. This is the best ever vegan pumpkin pie. This was the one dessert I really missed after going vegan, but no more! I’ve tried several variations, from a cornstarch base, to a flour base, to a silken tofu base, but this agar-coconut cream one is by my favorite. It really allows the pumpkin and spices to shine without adding a random other flavor into the mix. The best part? You can leave your oven free for your other Thanksgiving creations [like the incredible cookie recipe that follows!] because this is a no-bake pumpkin pie! How’s that for innovation?

orangecookie7The second offering today is my favorite cookie recipe turned up a notch with orange zest, cranberries and a sweet orange glaze. This is perfect for Thanksgiving OR Christmas. Make a batch to gift your loved ones. Whip up some with your kids, or send a tinful to your kids’ teachers or your work buddies. They look oh-so-fancy, but really they’re quite simple. 

Simply cream your usual sugars with (vegan) butter. Add vanilla and orange zest. Add a Neat Egg. Add some flour and – wait, what? You don’t know what a Neat egg is?! Oh man, well let me tell you!
orangecookie5

Neat Egg is a chia-garbanzo mixture created by Neat Foods. It takes the place of an egg as the chia in it expands when it comes into contact with a liquid. I usually use a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg substitute) for the same purpose. In any case, I highly recommend it. I got mine at our recent Texas Veggie Fair and it is the perfect addition to create insanely delicious, chewy cookies. This will definitely be a new staple in my pantry!

The Neat Egg can be ordered here. Check your local health food store to see if they are a stockist. A quick search in my area showed that they are stocked by my local Target.

Cranberry Orange Cookies with Orange Glaze | SPIRITPLATEAlso, if you’re not a fan of cranberries, try some chopped dark chocolate and sea salt with the orange: Dark Chocolate Orange Zest Cookies | SPIRITPLATE

Gosh, now that IS fancy. Happy baking!!

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Serves 10
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
315 calories
50 g
0 g
13 g
2 g
8 g
117 g
178 g
38 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
117g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 8g
39%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 178mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 50g
17%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 38g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
132%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
3%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 9-inch deep pie crust, prebaked and cooled
  2. 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  3. ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  4. ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  6. ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. 1 14-oz can full fat coconut cream
  9. 6 tbsp agar agar flakes or powder
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce-pan, add the pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices. Stirring constantly, cook until dark and fragrant, about 7 minutes. You are essentially caramelizing the sugars in the pumpkin and marrying the pumpkin with the spices and sugar.
  2. Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender. Add coconut cream and blend on high until fully incorporated.
  3. Return to sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add the agar agar flakes and stir vigorously for a few minutes until you can no longer see the flakes, about 5 minutes.
  4. pour mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate, uncovered, 1-2 hours or until set and completely cooled. Serve with a dollop of coconut whip cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Notes
  1. You can get agar agar in strips, flakes, or powder from your local health food or asian food store. If using strips, be sure to grind it into a powder or flakes before adding to the mixture.
beta
calories
315
fat
13g
protein
2g
carbs
50g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/
Orange Cranberry Cookies
Yields 30
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
166 calories
27 g
14 g
6 g
1 g
4 g
45 g
24 g
18 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
45g
Yields
30
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 14mg
5%
Sodium 24mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 18g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
1%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the cookies
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 3/4 cup Earth Balance butter
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  6. orange zest, from one large orange
  7. 1 tbsp Neat Egg*
  8. 2 tbsp almond milk
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 2 tablespoons orange juice
  11. 1 1/2 cup whole cranberries, chopped (fresh) OR
  12. 3.5 oz. dark chocolate chips or bar, chopped (optional) + sprinkle of kosher salt
For the glaze
  1. 1 1/2 tbsp orange juice
  2. 1 1/2 cups powdered/confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl or standing mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or by hand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sugars and orange zest to the butter and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes; the mixture will become light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the neat egg powder, almond milk, vanilla, and orange juice and mix until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients slowly, in increments, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Fold the cranberries or dark chocolate into the dough.** Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using a medium cookie scoop, (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets at least two inches apart.
  9. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. While cookies are baking, whisk together orange juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl until uniformly blended. Add more juice or more sugar to thin or thicken the consistency to your liking. Drizzle or spread glaze over cooled cookies. If making dark chocolate orange cookies, sprinkle the salt on them instead. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Neat Egg can be ordered online (link in post). Substitute with 1 tbsp ground flax seed, or 1 tbsp ground chia seed + 1 tsp chickpea flour.
  2. **I divided the dough in half and added cranberries to one half and dark chocolate to the other. In this instance I divided the listed quantities of cranberries and dark chocolate in half, as I only needed enough for one half of the dough.
beta
calories
166
fat
6g
protein
1g
carbs
27g
more
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

Balsamic Thyme-Glazed Carrots. Soy Chili-Glazed Brussel Sprouts. YES. 

Soy Chili Glazed Brussel Sprouts | SPIRITPLATEEvery year, I experiment with at least one new dish to bring to my Thanksgiving table, while keeping the rest of the traditional dishes, well, traditional. This year I wanted to try a sticky-icky glaze on roast veggies, and I tested two versions. A sweeter, tangier version with carrots and a spicier, salty version using brussel sprouts.
Balsamic Thyme Glazed Carrots | SPIRITPLATEI’m sure you could substitute any veg here: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and even squash comes to mind. I just think it’s a nice departure from the usual bland, roasted and often fatty veggies that usually exist on the periphery of our holiday spread rather than taking center stage with bold flavors.

Balsamic Glazed Carrots & Soy Chili Glazed Brussel Sprouts | SPIRITPLATE

Join us this week as we post TWO recipes each day for your Thanksgiving consideration. Add just ONE completely plant-based side to your Thanksgiving menu this year, saving yourself those extra calories and post-meal lamentations. Tomorrow, we’re talking desserts!  

Balsamic Thyme-Glazed Carrots
Serves 8
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
85 calories
19 g
0 g
1 g
1 g
0 g
135 g
103 g
13 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
135g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 103mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 13g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
379%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
5%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs baby carrots, or thin whole carrots, washed and peeled
  2. 1 tsp olive oil (optional)
  3. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  4. salt, to taste
  5. 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  6. 3 tbsp brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss carrots in olive oil, if using, salt, and thyme. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until carrot skin is wrinkled but the center has a firm bite. Flip carrots once halfway through.
  3. In the meantime, combine brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce down until thickened, like caramel. You should smell the sugar caramelizing and the bubbles should get bigger and slower to pop.
  4. Remove carrots from oven and toss them in the glaze. Plate and serve hot.
beta
calories
85
fat
1g
protein
1g
carbs
19g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/
Soy Chili-Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Serves 8
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
96 calories
20 g
0 g
1 g
5 g
0 g
155 g
930 g
10 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
155g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 96
Calories from Fat 8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 930mg
39%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 10g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
20%
Vitamin C
207%
Calcium
7%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs brussel sprouts
  2. 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  3. 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  4. 4 tbsp brown sugar
  5. 2 red thai chilis, halved OR 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  7. cilantro or green onion, chopped for garnish (optional)
  8. toasted sesame seeds or crushed peanuts for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F and move oven rack to the topmost slot.
  2. Wash, trim, and pat dry brussel sprouts. Half each brussel sprout lengthwise, no matter how small the sprout is.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking tray and place in oven on the topmost rack.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until crispy, flipping once every 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, chilies, and brown sugar. Reduce down until caramelized and thick, careful not to let it burn. You should smell the chili and caramelized sugar and the bubbles should become larger and slower.
  6. Remove brussel sprouts from oven and toss in the glaze to evenly coat.
  7. Serve immediately with cilantro, crushed peanuts, green onion, or sesame seed garnish.
Notes
  1. The brussel sprouts will get soggy sitting in the glaze, so add the glaze immediately before serving and not before.
beta
calories
96
fat
1g
protein
5g
carbs
20g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/

greencasserole3I’ve never been a fan of green bean casserole. Every year, I messed with it a teensy bit before serving to my family. I kept the key players the same – blanched green beans, a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, and French’s fried onions. How much cayenne or sauteed onion or poultry seasoning would go into each attempt would vary by year, but I never tried making it outside of Thanksgiving as it was just an uninspiring dish. The green beans were weepy, the cream of mushroom soup was bland and starchy. I did like the crunchy onions, (perhaps the best part!) but wasn’t a fan of these processed onions with so many unseen ingredients that were hard to pronounce. 

The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole | SPIRITPLATEThis year, I’ve had enough. I through the whole damn recipe out the window and started from scratch (as all wonderful things are made). This time, I battered and pan-fried my own fresh onions in a little flour, breadcrumbs, salt, and cayenne before adding them atop my par-cooked green beans that I mixed with my Country-Style Mushroom Gravy that I make from scratch. I stuck the casserole in a 400F oven for a few minutes until the edges bubbled and the onions caramelized further. Slice and serve. 

The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole | SPIRITPLATEOne bite, and I knew I had done it right. So this was why people loved green bean casserole! The green beans were still crispy and slightly sweet. The mushroom gravy lent an umami depth that I didn’t find in the Campbell’s soup version. The onions were still my favorite part – crispy, caramelized, with a slight bitterness of the burnt edges and that hint of cayenne. Oooh it was perfect! Aly commented that it didn’t even taste vegan, but quite rich and creamy as though it had a ton of butter in it – which of course it didn’t. 

The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole | SPIRITPLATEBut fear not, green-bean casserole haters. If my vegan remix of this traditional dish doesn’t convince you, I’ve got another green bean dish that just might.

Remember, this week we’re sharing TWO recipes each day for your Thanksgiving pleasure. I hope that you’ll incorporate just one completely plant-based dish in your Thanksgiving menu this year. 

Refreshing Green Bean Salad | SPIRITPLATEIn Dallas, there’s this wonderful place called Mercy Wine Bar. My cousins and I would drop in on Mondays, as they had this incredible Flamenco band play, and we’d munch on their phenomenal food. My sister loves their sundried tomato tortellini, but I fell in love with their Summer Bean Salad (one of their vegan options). Green beans, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and quartered purple potatoes make up this refreshing dish tossed in a mint, parsley, lemon, and EVOO dressing. The result is fresh, light, and oddly hydrating – I promise it’ll be a breath of fresh air on your otherwise heavy Thanksgiving table!

Refreshing Green Bean Salad | SPIRITPLATEIf you’re worried about this somehow being too much of a Spring/Summer dish, rather than a Fall/Winter dish, fear not. The green beans, purple potatoes, and lemon tie wonderfully in with other Fall-inspired dishes. Really this a year-round recipe, and one of our favorites.

Give them both a try and let us know what you think!

The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Serves 10
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
39 calories
7 g
0 g
1 g
1 g
0 g
65 g
186 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
65g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 39
Calories from Fat 7
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
3%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb green beans, washed, ends removed, and halved
  2. 2x recipe Country-Style Mushroom Gravy*
  3. 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  4. 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  5. 1/4 cup almond milk
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne
  8. 3 tbsp breadcrumbs or panko
  9. 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place green beans on a plate in a circle, keeping the center free of beans. Wet a paper towel and lay it over the plate. Microwave beans on high for 1 min. Remove paper towel, place beans in a oven-safe casserole dish and set aside.
  3. Place flour with salt and cayenne in a bowl and mix. Place almond milk in another bowl. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Toss all the onions in the flour mixture until evenly coated, then place in along milk bowl.
  5. Add the panko or breadcrumbs to the remaining flour mixture. Return onions to this bowl tossing to coat in the crumb mixture.
  6. Place coated onions in the skillet, and toss pan a couple times to distribute the oil.**
  7. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are browned with some blackened bits.
  8. Pour mushroom gravy over green beans in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the onions on top, along with any fallen breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through and gravy is bubbling.
  9. Serve hot.
Notes
  1. *For more texture, blend only half the mixture, keeping some mushroom slices whole. See post for recipe link.
  2. **Avoid using a utensil to mix the onions as this will disturb the breadcrumbs from sticking to the onions. Toss the pan instead, using a backwards flipping motion.
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calories
39
fat
1g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/
Refreshing Green Bean Salad
Serves 10
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
257 calories
52 g
0 g
3 g
9 g
0 g
456 g
295 g
7 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
456g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 257
Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
5%
Saturated Fat 0g
2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 295mg
12%
Total Carbohydrates 52g
17%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 7g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
30%
Vitamin C
77%
Calcium
8%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb green beans or haricot verts, fresh or frozen (ends removed)
  2. 10-12 purple potatoes, boiled and quartered
  3. 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  5. 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  6. 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  7. 1 large lemon, juiced
  8. 1 tbsp quality extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Instructions
  1. If using frozen green beans, follow package instructions to microwave steam them, then place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. If using fresh green beans, either microwave them with a wet paper towel on high 1 min, or blanch in simmering water for 1-2 minutes, then place in an icewater bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, remove from water and place in a large mixing bowl. You are aiming for bright green coloring, with a crisp bite. Do not overcook.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to bowl, toss to coat evenly.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
beta
calories
257
fat
3g
protein
9g
carbs
52g
more
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/