Whip up this tasty cauliflower dish on the big day.
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Wondering what to whip up for Thanksgiving? Whether you’re hosting your very own feast or want to bring a healthy, no-meat option on the big day, here are three tasty, plant-based side dishes all of your friends and family will be grateful for.
- 20 to 30 Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt and ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For candied pecans:
- ½ cup raw pecans, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Dash of salt
- Preheat large saucepan on stovetop over medium heat.
- Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Rinse with cold water.
- Cut bottom stems off and discard. Slice Brussels sprouts in half, vertically.
- In small bowl, combine olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place sliced Brussels sprouts back in a large bowl and add olive oil dressing, coating evenly.
- Add Brussels sprouts into heated saucepan, face down. Pour any leftover dressing over the Brussels sprouts and let cook until tender, roughly 4-5 minutes. When they begin turning brown on the face-down side, drizzle a tablespoon or so of water over the top to steam.
- While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, create the candied pecan mixture by placing pecans in a small bowl, mixing in maple syrup, coconut sugar, and salt.
- Once Brussels sprouts are crispy, use a fork to flip.
- Place the candied pecans on top of the Brussels sprouts and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes, until tender and crispy.
- Remove from heat. Scoop into a serving dish and enjoy!
- 3 cups uncooked wild rice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Dash of salt and ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Handful of hemp seeds
- Cook wild rice according to the directions on the package.
- In the meantime, warm a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and minced garlic to heated pan and let it cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper, sage, parsley (save a pinch for serving), thyme, and almonds to olive oil and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Once rice is done, add to pan and let cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust, adding more salt or seasoning as needed.
- Top with a pinch of fresh parsley and hemp seeds and enjoy!
- 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon of pink salt, plus more for seasoning
-¼ teaspoon of pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or homemade vegan parmesan
- Coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees.
- Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Set aside.
- Warm a large skillet on medium heat, adding olive oil and minced garlic. Stir for a minute or so until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add rosemary, thyme, nutritional yeast (or homemade parmesan), salt and pepper and stir.
- Mix in the gluten-free flour and continue to stir through, letting simmer for about 1 minute while continually mixing. Pour in almond milk.
- Whisk slowly until ingredients become a thick broth consistency. Add 2 tablespoons of water and continue mixing.
- Transfer mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil. Evenly line the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Pour the blended mixture over the potatoes until fully coated. Top with paprika.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes on the middle rack until the potatoes are tender and the top is crispy.
- Serve and enjoy!
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last few weeks is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves.
Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
During times of high stress, our bodies experience a physiological strain, where essentially everything from our heart, muscles, blood, and energy have to work harder than needed in order to keep functioning at a minimum. Our body’s natural processes, like breathing, can get compromised, lessening the healing functions of the nervous system, and overworking our adrenal system. Stress management is almost non-existent. This overtaxing of the body disrupts the natural flow of energy and resources, and puts us in something known as the “fight or flight” mode. In this mode, we are constantly deciding if there is some kind of real danger and how to survive it. We feel these signals when our heart rate and blood pressure rise, our stress responses like sweating and either constricted or super fast breathing occur, and our feel-good hormones become compromised.
As we process anxiety, not only do we mentally and emotionally feel the repercussions, we also physically confuse our systems that are doing their best to naturally heal us. Staying in a state of continued anxiety with an overactive sympathetic nervous system can be incredibly damaging to your health, even if it is a small amount of stress that collects over time. Stress suppresses our immunity, digestion, deep breathing, disrupts sleep, and eating patterns, impacts mood, energy levels, and much more.
Studies show that over 50% of adults are essentially holding their breaths. They do a shallow type of breathing known as thoracic breathing, where you breathe lightly into your chest instead of into your diaphragm. For example, notice how you’re breathing right now. You’re likely holding your breath to some extent and you’re probably not breathing much at all. If you’re asked to partake in a deep breathing exercise now, you’ll puff up your chest and shoulders, and empty out your stomach. Guilty?
If you’ve ever seen a baby breathe or the breathing technique of someone in deep sleep, you’ll notice that their bellies rise and fall; the oxygen goes directly into a natural deep belly breath. Adults, however, have become acclimated to holding our breaths without meaning to. When we can slow down and practice deep breathing, we send physical and neurological signals through our entire body that asks us to rest.
The great news is that there are easy breathing exercises we can do at home that do not take a lot of time or effort. An incredible tool that anyone can use in times of high stress is remembering to inhale and exhale. Yes, breathing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended breathwork not simply as an immunity building tool, but as a way to balance emotional and mental wellbeing. Deep breathing and other breathwork improves the body’s overall functions; improves the respiratory system, builds protective mucus in the nose, oxygenates and blood and brain, improves digestion, alkalizes the full body, and much more. Each style of breathwork sends special physiological signals—some ask us our bodies to slow down and chill, to get out of fight mode, and bring us back to equilibrium where our body’s natural healing systems can be activated; some styles of breathwork ask to pump up and energize.
It’s common to find yourself rushing through breathing practices or feel like you need to set aside special time for it. But that’s the point. We get to slow down, and we get to implement these practices even if there are distractions, business, and no perfect zen meditation corners in our homes. We can do these anytime, anywhere.
If you’ve been feeling any small symptoms of anxiousness or stress, now is the perfect time to incorporate some incredibly easy and effective breathwork techniques into your day-to-day.
This breathing technique can be done at any time of the day, for as long as you want. It’s recommended to practice this for at least 30 seconds to start and several times throughout the day. It’s a breath technique to practice before going to sleep as well. As you’re doing this breath, imagine your stomach like a big pump. As you breathe in, you’re expanding; as you breathe out, you’re emptying out.
1. Put your hands on your belly/abdomen area.
2. Take a big breath through the nose and PUSH your hands away from the belly as you breathe in. Expand your stomach as much as possible and try not to puff up your chest.
3. Slowly exhale through the mouth and constrict your belly inwards. Feel free to make a sound with the mouth when you do this.
4. Repeat for a minimum of 30 seconds.
The 6-7-8 breath can be done at any time of the day to calm anxiousness and stress, especially before doing to sleep. It’s a self-soothing technique that helps relax and calm the nervous system. You can do this practice sitting up or laying down.
1. Close down your eyes.
2. Relax your mouth.
3. Take a deep breath in through your nose for 6 full seconds. Count in your head and maintain an even pace.
4. Hold this breath for 7 seconds.
5. Pucker your mouth and exhale out through the mouth with a “whoooooossh” sound for 8 seconds.
6. Repeat this 6-7-8 breath for at least 5 rounds, or as long as you wish.
You can adjust the 6-7-8 counts to accommodate your pace. You can try a 4-5-6 sequence, or an 8-9-10 sequence. Play around with the length of time that feels good for your body. Some people love to sit by an analog clock for the ticking sound to help keep pace; some love to incorporate music.
This is another easy technique that can be done at any time of the day.
1. Breathe in for 4 seconds through the nose.
2. Hold for 4 seconds.
3. Exhale for 4 seconds through the nose.
4. Hold for 4 seconds.
5. Repeat at least 5 times.
You can play around with the timing for 6 seconds, 8 seconds, and so on to see what works best for your body.
These are the top three breathwork techniques to manage anxiety and stress. Plenty of other techniques work on sleep, inner healing, subconscious programming, altered states of consciousness, and more. Play with the three techniques above and see what feels great for you. It’s common to find a sense of calm almost immediately, some gentle tingling, and relaxation! As we’re adjusting to the new normal, let’s all contribute to creating peace both inside and out.