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C’mon! You know you’re still thinking about adding some things to your menu or deciding on just the right mac n’ cheese recipe to use for Thursday. I got you! These are my 20 best recipes to share with your friends and family this year. I’ve included reader reviews on my most favorite recipes to help convince you. ;)

Greek Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese

“This recipe is so perfect. Such an indulgent treat for half the calories… Not to mention the greek yogurt makes it so rich and creamy.” -reader Katie

Creamy and delicious macaroni and cheese made with greek yogurt!

Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad

“Thanks Lauren… what a great recipe! The addition of dried fruit and cheese (I used goat)… you are brilliant! I love brussels sprouts and this recipe just takes them to another level…” -reader Tena

Southern Candied Yams

“I just made the candied sweet potatoes, girl these things are to die for. I steamed them put the sauce over them (with molasses) and you know I just had to taste a bit…and a bit more…” -reader Helen

Southern Candied Yam recipe

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

“Just made these this morning for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. They’re SO good!!! Probably the best mashed potato dish I’ve ever eaten. And that’s saying something because I’m really not a huge fan of mashed potatoes. Thanks for the recipe!!” -reader Miranda from Biting Life

Simple and delicious buttermilk mashed potatoes

Mom’s Sweet Potato Pie

“I did try the pie! I made it in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow! But I also made two mini pies on the side so I can taste it – it was soo good! I can already foresee myself wanting to have another slice!” -reader Nala

Easy Apple Turnovers

“Made these last night – they were soooo good!! its so funny bc back when i was a kid, my family went through a similar pepperidge farm turnover phase-your post and these turnovers brought me right back to that time!! :) thank you for sharing!!” -reader Amanda

Simple and delicious apple turnover recipe

Awesome new recipes:

Cheesy Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole

This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!

Cranberry Roasted Winter Vegetables

A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

Loaded Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes loaded with melty cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes, and chives!

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

Sweet and tender glazed carrots topped with crunchy roasted pecans

Healthy Candied Yams (no refined sugar!)

A healthy version of traditional candied yams--no refined sugar!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping

Warm, rich sweet potato filling topped with sweet, buttery streusel topping. Made with only real food ingredients!

Healthy Maple Oat Pecan Bars

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

If you’re looking for even MORE ideas (everything from crescent rolls to collard greens), check out my Thanksgiving recipe roundups from last year, the year before, and the year before that!

I wish all of you a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Have safe travels to those of you going out of town. And to those of you hosting the feast this year, happy cooking!

-Lauren

 

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Warm, rich sweet potato filling topped with sweet, buttery streusel topping. Made with only real food ingredients!

I’ve got one last perfect Thanksgiving recipe for you! I know it’s pretty close to the holiday, but if you’re anything like me you’re still browsing the internet for delicious ideas. With this recipe I wanted to capture all the delicious flavors of a sweet potato casserole but without so many unhealthy ingredients. I ended up with a casserole that I would gladly eat instead of the marshmallow-covered one any day!

Warm, rich sweet potato filling topped with sweet, buttery streusel topping. Made with only real food ingredients!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
Filling
  • 6 roasted and peeled sweet potatoes
  • ½ c. milk (nondairy or dairy, either works)
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. nutmeg
  • ½ t. salt
Topping
  • 1½ c. oats
  • ¼ c. flour
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. pecans or walnuts
  • 4 T. vegan butter substitute (that’s what I prefer but you can use butter)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment on, beat together all the filling ingredients until very smooth and well incorporated. You probably need to scrape down the bowl a few times to get the potatoes totally mashed.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor (or with a pastry cutter, chop the nuts and add them at the end if using a pastry cutter), combine the topping ingredients until large crumbs begin to form.
  4. Spread the sweet potato filling evenly into a casserole dish (I used a 3 quart pyrex). Sprinkle the topping over the filling evenly.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping turns golden brown.

Warm, rich sweet potato filling topped with sweet, buttery streusel topping. Made with only real food ingredients!

I shared this with my little sister Ashley this afternoon and she kept stealing pieces of my streusel topping. It’s that yummy! I also took a pan of it to a Tone It Up Friendsgiving yesterday and the girls really liked it too! In other words its been tested and approved, so put it on your menu!

Warm, rich sweet potato filling topped with sweet, buttery streusel topping. Made with only real food ingredients!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these Thanksgiving recipes and that some of you will enjoy them with your families this year!

-Lauren

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A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

I was so excited when I got contacted about a new book from Southern Living, Christmas All Through the South. Growing up here in Georgia the holidays just feel that much more special when I spend them here. Southerners are famous for doing it up (maybe even overdoing it a little bit, bless our hearts) and making things extravagant for holidays. This book is filled with gorgeous pictures of holiday homes, scenery and beautiful recipes for our holiday tables.

CATTS_jacketFINAL_0616.inddThis roasted vegetable recipe caught my eye because of the use of fresh cranberries, and I wanted to post it today because this recipe would be just as perfect for Thanksgiving as it is for Christmas. Cranberries can be so much more than that jelly that comes out of a can! In this dish they provide a delicious tart and sweet contrast to the earthy roasted vegetables. I love that the recipe includes molasses because it really sends the flavor over the top and adds a gorgeous color!

A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

I actually had a big bowl of these veggies for lunch today with some rice pilaf and WOW. So delicious!

A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

Cranberry Roasted Winter Vegetables
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 large carrots (about 1½ lb.), halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 large turnips (about 2 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved (quartered, if large)
  • 1 T. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ¾ t. table salt
  • ¼ t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 4 t. molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 2 large jelly-roll pans;place carrots and turnips in 1 pan and Brussels sprouts in second pan. Divide rosemary and next 3 ingredients between carrot mixture and Brussels sprouts; toss each to coat.
  2. Bake both pans at 400 degrees at the same time. Bake carrot mixture 30 minutes, stirring once; add cranberries, and bake 5 minutes or until carrots and turnips are tender and browned and cranberries begin to soften. Bake Brussels sprouts 15 to 20 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring once.
  3. Remove vegetables from oven, and combine in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with molasses, and toss to coat.
Notes
from Southern Living’s Christmas All Through The South

I really enjoyed this book (so did my parents, I let them borrow it for a while!) and think it’s great for new holiday recipe ideas. I really liked that there were a lot of meatless recipes like this dish to choose from.

A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

Try this recipe this year, you won’t be disappointed! Plus guests will be surprised because I bet they’ve never had a dish quite like it.

A beautiful holiday vegetable dish from Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South.

I have one more Thanksgiving recipe coming your way this weekend!

-Lauren

*Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this book to review but was not compensated in any way for writing this post. All opinions are my own. The link to the book is an affiliate link. 

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Healthy Maple Oat Pecan Bars

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

I figured it was about time for a Thanksgiving dessert recipe! There are plenty of traditional pies and other sweets on the internet (including several on A Dash of Soul) but this year I wanted to make something guilt-free with clean ingredients. Pecan pie is my favorite (tied with sweet potato) so I thought it would be fun to make a healthy version of pecan bars. And they came out even better than I was expecting!

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

This is a great option if you’re trying to balance out some indulgent items on your table, and the ingredients are so healthy that these make a great breakfast bar too (each one has 375 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 14 grams of natural sugar)!

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

Healthy Maple Oat Pecan Bars
 
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Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
Crust (adapted from Oh She Glows)
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c. water
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • ½ t. salt
Filling
  • ¼ c. coconut oil
  • ½ c. maple syrup
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1½ c. pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grind the oats in a food processor for a couple minutes until they become a flour-like consistency.
  3. Empty the oat flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the remaining crust ingredients until everything is combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a parchment lined square baking sheet and spread it out evenly in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  5. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together until it starts to bubble.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with about 2 T. of water then stir that slurry into the maple syrup mixture.
  7. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  8. Add the pecan halves and continue to stir and simmer for another minute.
  9. Pour all the contents of the pan over the crust in the pan. Spread it out evenly over the crust.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then let cool for another 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

I’m not one of those people who will tell you a smoothie “tastes JUST like a banana cream pie!” if it really doesn’t. I HATE being tricked like that! So no, these don’t taste just like your traditional pecan pie. The pecan filling is very similar to the traditional, but the base of these have more of a baked oatmeal flavor. I love how much texture there is in these bars with the crunchy pecans, the gooey filling, and the chewy oat base. And while pecan pie is usually cloyingly sweet, these have just the right amount of sweetness using the maple syrup.

These scrumptious bars have no dairy or refined sugar and make a great treat for dessert OR breakfast!

See you soon with a festive vegetable dish that you are going to LOVE!

-Lauren

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This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!

I don’t know about you, but in my house Thanksgiving is basically synonymous with lots of amazing casseroles. And broccoli rice casserole (also called broccoli rice soufflé depending on what part of the south you’re in) ranks up there with macaroni and cheese in terms of dishes I LOVED when I was a kid. There was a restaurant called Black Eyed Pea (sadly all the Georgia locations closed down years ago) where we used to go after church on Sundays, and I could not inhale their broccoli rice casserole fast enough. I would eat the whole bowl before even touching my chicken or other vegetables. Something about this flavor combo just makes the most perfect comfort food.

This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!

You know what time it is. Health swap time. So of course I ditched the condensed soup and “cheese product” and made my sauce from scratch with sharp cheddar cheese. I also used brown rice instead of white (you can hardly tell in a recipe like this because of all the other stuff going on in the dish) for more nutrition. And of course lots of broccoli!

This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!

I just ate a big bowl of this for lunch and it is the boooommmb.

Cheesy Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 4 c. broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 5 c. cooked brown rice
  • 3 T. butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Microwave the broccoli florets in a bowl with ¼ c. of water for 3 minutes, or until the florets are cooked through. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter is bubbling.
  4. Add in the flour and whisk quickly for about a minute to make a roux (the paste should start to turn golden brown).
  5. Slowly add in the first cup of milk, whisking constantly, until everything is incorporated (there will still be some lumps because of the garlic) and starts to thicken.
  6. Pour in the rest of the milk and the eggs. Whisk quickly to thoroughly incorporate.
  7. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened.
  8. Add 1½ c. of the cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the broccoli florets, rice, and cheese sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  10. Pour mixture into a large casserole dish and top with the remaining ½ c. of cheese.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.
  12. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!You’re gonna want this on your Thanksgiving table! Especially if you’re going to be serving kids, this will be a hit. The ingredients are also really affordable which makes it a triple win!

This creamy, dreamy, cheesy broccoli rice casserole definitely belongs on your holiday table!I’ve still got a couple more Thanksgiving recipes to share, so come back soon! You already follow me on Facebook so you can get updated when I post new content, right? If for some crazy reason you’re not, go click that button! :)

-Lauren

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Get #SoyInspired this fall with this scrumptious vegan dessert that's perfect for company!

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the “#SoyInspired for Thanksgiving” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. 

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I am SO excited for the best food holiday of the year! We have a lot of visitors coming for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait for the epic feast. A lot of times after I’ve finished eating my dinner I’m so insanely stuffed that a heavy dessert just seems impossible! I played around in the kitchen and came up with this really simple, fun, and light dessert that would be perfect for the post-Thanksgiving moment.

Get #SoyInspired this fall with this scrumptious vegan dessert that's perfect for company!As many of my fellow healthy foodies know, silken tofu makes the perfect base for vegan mousse or pudding. The most popular version of this is chocolate, but I decided to take the same idea and put a fall spin on it instead. And since you KNOW I have to add a little southern touch to everything, I made this addictive pecan praline topping (also vegan!) to go on top of the mousse. Heavenly!

Get #SoyInspired this fall with this scrumptious vegan dessert that's perfect for company!

Pumpkin Spice Mousse with Pecan Praline Topping
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Mousse
  • 1 container silken tofu
  • ½ can (about 8 oz.) of pumpkin puree
  • ¾ c. powdered sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1½ t. pumpkin pie spice
Topping
  • whipped coconut cream (or whipped cream if you prefer)
  • 2 T. vegan butter
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. soy milk
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Blend all the mousse ingredients together in a blender or food processor until the mixture is completely smooth.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for 3 hours, or until it has firmed up.
  3. While the mixture is cooling, heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Melt the butter, brown sugar, and milk together and bring to a low boil.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add in the nuts, stir to combine, and simmer for another minute.
  7. Remove the contents of the pan onto a cookie sheet to cool. Set aside.
  8. When the mousse has chilled, spoon it into individual serving dishes. Top each serving with whipped cream and a little of the praline topping. Serve right away or return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you like pumpkin pie, I can pretty much promise that you will love this dessert. You can’t even detect that there’s tofu in here! Tofu is very mild in flavor so it takes on whatever flavor you add to it, which is awesome. All you taste is pumpkin and delicious fall spices! What could be better?

Get #SoyInspired this fall with this scrumptious vegan dessert that's perfect for company!

Before I go, I’ve got a great giveaway to share!

The Soyfoods Council is celebrating a #SoyInspired Thanksgiving  with a giveaway certain to make holiday entertaining easier: a $200 Williams Sonoma gift card! Enter here:  https://www.facebook.com/thesoyfoodscouncil/app_228910107186452

Go enter now! Who doest love Williams Sonoma?! :)

Get ready, this is just the beginning of my Thanksgiving recipe extravaganza!

-Lauren

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Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

Sweet and tender glazed carrots topped with crunchy roasted pecans

I recently discovered the beauty that is rainbow carrots, and I’m totally obsessed. They make for such a pretty dish! Pretty enough for a Thanksgiving table if you ask me. You didn’t ask me, but I’m offering my opinion anyway. :)

Sweet and tender glazed carrots topped with crunchy roasted pecans

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¼ c. water
  • 1 16 oz. bag of baby carrots
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 t. coconut oil
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. roasted pecans, chopped
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the carrots, cover, and let the carrots steam until they are tender.
  3. Remove the cover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the honey, lemon juice, and coconut oil and toss to coat.
  5. Once everything is incorporated, remove the carrots with their sauce to a serving platter.
  6. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and the roasted pecans and serve.

I have always loved this simple preparation of carrots that brings out their natural sweetness. And the roasted nuts make a great contrast in texture to spice things up a little bit. Delish!

Sweet and tender glazed carrots topped with crunchy roasted pecans

See you next Soul Food Sunday (or before then if I’m lucky)!

-Lauren

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Garlic Quinoa Grits

A flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food breakfast.

Just when you thought I had shown you every possible variation of this Southern breakfast staple…here I am again! The garlic flavor in these grits is so perfect, and the quinoa adds a really nice texture along with a lot of nutrition. I can’t wait to make this recipe for my friends!

A flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food breakfast.

Garlic Quinoa Grits
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 T. quinoa
  • 3 T. grits
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper
  • ½ T. butter or vegan butter substitute
  • 1 T. parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring the water and milk to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Add the whole garlic clove and the quinoa, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the little quinoa grains uncoil.
  3. Add in the grits, salt, and pepper and let simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
  4. Remove the whole garlic clove from the mixture and discard.
  5. Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese, if using.
  6. Serve hot!

A flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food breakfast.

The parmesan cheese adds a nice flavor (cheddar would be soooo good in this too), but you can certainly leave it out for a vegan breakfast dish. This is the kind of thing that is perfect for a chilly fall or winter morning.

A flavorful, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food breakfast.

We’re off to have Sunday supper at my parent’s house! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

-Lauren

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Farewell, October!

I can’t believe Halloween has already come and gone! I spent a glorious evening carving a pumpkin, trick-or-treating with Ashley, and eating delicious Chinese takeout.

halloween Collage

(Excuse the iPhone photos…)

My October involved taking a professional development course for new attorneys, starting a new fellowship/interning/volunteer thingy, and embarking on my first pro bono project. That’s why I haven’t been around as much lately! BUT I also brought back Soul Food Sundays and I shared a few awesome recipes:

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

These are permanently going into my brunch arsenal. They are SO sinfully delicious.

The PERFECT brunch biscuit! Pillowy soft and filled with cheddar cheese and garlic flavor.

 

Glazed Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

True fact: I made these twice more after posting the recipe. Once just for us and once for Jason to take to work and share!

These Glazed Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect indulgence for fall!

 

Tropical Bliss Açai Bowl

I love how creative you can get with adorning these bowls! This makes a truly awesome breakfast.

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

It’s THANKSGIVING month now!!!!!! AAAAHHHH!!!!!

-Lauren

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Tropical Bliss Açai Bowl

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

Yeah, I admit it. This became trendy and I immediately wanted on the boat. I don’t do that very often! I’ve avoided goji berries and cauliflower pizza crusts and many other things simply because I find it annoying that there’s such a craze around them. But when I saw how popular açai bowls were becoming I couldn’t help it! They just look too enticing, so I had to try it myself.

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

For those who might be wondering what the deal is with açai, it’s a fruit that is full of antioxidants and omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. It’s similar in nutritional profile to other popular berries, but has recently caught on like wildfire in the US (and I’m guessing other places in the West). It’s also delicious and a beautiful color!

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

So here’s how you make it!

Tropical Bliss Acai Bowl
 
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Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
Acai Bowl
  • 1 c. pineapple juice
  • 1 pack of acai berry juice (you can find it in the frozen section of Whole Foods)
  • 1 c. frozen strawberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ¼ c. frozen blueberries
Toppings
  • ¼ c. granola
  • ½ c. sliced or diced fruit of your choice (I used kiwi, strawberries, and mango for a tropical flavor!)
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  3. Top with granola and fruit as desired.
  4. Enjoy immediately!

Basically this just a fun way to have a smoothie! You can substitute with any types of additional fruits that you want and decorate it as you please!

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

I’m really glad I tried this, the possibilities are endless!

Sweet, vibrant, and full of flavor! This makes an AWESOME breakfast!

Get on the boat, people!

-Lauren

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