From Institute of HeartMath… 1. Yam and Carrot Delight This is a great twist on the traditional Yam Casserole for Thanksgiving. Carrots make this dish lighter and rich tasting. Serving it in oranges makes it fun and colorful – adding a sparkle to your Thanksgiving meal. You can also serve it without marshmallows and pecans if you prefer. It’s oh so delicious! 8 oranges 3 medium yams 1 ½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 2 cups water 1 cup Earth balance** or butter 1 cup 2 % milk ¼ cup sour cream 3 tablespoons coconut sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ cup pecan halves 1 cup vegan mini marshmallows* Wash yams, cut deep slit in each and bake in pan at 375 degrees until tender (around 1 hour.) Cool slightly and remove skins. Place carrots in saucepan with water, ½ cup of Earth balance, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In food processor, puree cooked yams, carrots with remaining liquid from cooking carrots, ½ cup Earth Balance, milk, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Puree for 5 minutes or until mixture is very creamy. Prepare oranges by cutting tops off oranges. Using a paring knife, cut along edge of the orange flesh where the rind connects and scoop out with spoon, removing as much as possible. (Save inside part of oranges for a fruit salad or snack). Fill oranges with puree. If you like, place marshmallows along edge of orange and a couple of pecan halves in the middle. Place oranges in pan and put in oven for 2-3 minutes or until marshmallows are just browned. Be careful not to burn. Serve extra filling on the side either heated or at room temperature. Serves: 8 Total cooking time: 1.5 hours Notes: *We use Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. Can be found at Whole Foods. Ingredients: Vegan Beet Sugar, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Corn Dextrose, Water, Carrageenan, Soy Protein, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Titanium Dioxide (a natural mineral), Salt. Contains Soy. Gluten Free. 100% Vegan. Certified Kosher. http://www.chicagoveganfoods.com/dandies_vegan_marshmallows/ **Earth Balance is a buttery spread that does not contain any hydrogenated or interesterified oils, preservatives or emulsifiers found in most margarines and other butter alternatives. It is a natural option with 0g of trans fat. It includes different types of oils, including olive and coconut. 2. Kickin’ Cranberry Sauce This is a fabulous twist on standard cranberry sauce. Half an orange added, rind and all, gives it a zesty orange flavor. Cinnamon and ginger adds depth and richness. It’s tart and tasty and super easy to make. 12 oz. fresh cranberries 1 cup coconut sugar 1 cup water ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ginger, peeled and minced ½ navel orange Place cranberries in small pot with water and sugar. Heat on medium low, reducing to low once it comes to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Mince orange finely in food processor or by hand, including rind. Add orange to cranberry mix along with ginger and cinnamon. Allow to cook for 20-25 minutes or until the cranberries break down and sauce thickens as the water cooks off. Make sure to stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Serves: 4-6 Total cooking time: 30 minutes From Eve Fox… 3. Sage and Nut-Stuffed Delicata Squash Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish Ingredients * 2 delicata squashes, halved length-wise and seeded * 2 Tbsps fresh sage,chopped * 1/3 cup lightly toasted pinenuts, chopped * 1/3 cup lightly toasted almonds,chopped * 1/2 cup cooked short-grain brown rice (I usually cook the rice in some vegetable broth for added flavor) * 2 eggs, beaten (use organic, pasture-raised if you can get ‘em) * 1/4 cup cheddar cheese * 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese * 2 medium onions, finely chopped * 4 cloves of garlic, minced * 2 Tbsps olive oil or butter * Salt and pepper to taste Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine the rice, eggs, Parmesan and half of the cheddar cheese. Stir in the nut and onion mixture. Divide the stuffing among the squash halves, sprinkle with the rest of the cheddar cheese, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork and tops are browning, about 45 minutes. 4. Curried Butternut Squash Soup Serves 4 as a main course Ingredients * about 2 lbs butternut squash (or substitute with acorn squash, delicata squash, pumpkin, etc.) * 1 large onion, chopped * 1 large ripe tomato, chopped * 2 cloves of garlic, minced * 2 cups vegetable stock * 1 can of coconut milk * 3 teaspoons curry powder or garam masala * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or more, to taste) * salt and pepper to taste * 2-3 tablespoons olive oil Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Save for another use or discard. Spread about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil on the bottom of a roasting tray and place the squash halves cut side-down on the tray. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh feels soft when poked and it has shrunken away from the skins a bit. Flip over and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out all the flesh and reserve in a bowl. 2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy-bottomed pot with another tablespoon or so of oil and sautee the onions over medium-low heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry powder, optional cayenne, chopped tomato and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, another 4-5 minutes. 3. Add the roasted squash, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Stir to combine thoroughly and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or so. 4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency (this can also be done by transferring the soup in batches to a food processor or blender.) Taste for seasoning. Add additional stock or coconut milk if it’s too thick to your liking. Once the soup is to preferred taste and consistency, stir in the lemon juice to taste and serve. And from the Healthy Living Editors… Find more recipes for sides for your Thanksgiving dinner here. Find more recipes for desserts for your Thanksgiving dinner here.