Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you need to limit yourself to picking at the side dishes this Thanksgiving. For inspiration, we turned to vegan Ironman triathlete and Canadian Ultra-Marathon Champion Brendan Brazier, the author of Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. Brazier has never seen the need to substitute a meat entrée with an equal hunk of plant-based protein. What’s most important, he says, is getting the most bang for your caloric buck by eating foods whose nutrients haven’t been eliminated through processing. “It’s more about finding a variety of foods that have immediate protein—like brown rice and squash—and letting the rest sort itself out,” Brazier says.
WILD RICE WITH KABOCHA SQUASH AND SAGE BUTTER
1. Cut a 1-pound kabocha squash in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds.
2. Brush the cut areas of the squash with coconut oil, and place the cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s soft when pierced with a fork, then cut into 1-inch chunks.
3. In a saucepan, cook 1/2 cup each of brown rice and wild rice together.
4. Meanwhile, blend 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh sage, one tablespoon of minced shallots, and a half-teaspoon of salt until smooth.
5. In a large pan, place the sage butter mixture over medium-low heat, and toss in the rice. Cook for 1 minute longer while stirring, then remove from heat and fold in the squash.