Black Rice & Squash Bowl and More Thanksgiving Sides

It’s time to make your final Thanksgiving menu adjustments and get your grocery list set for this weekend! While I have plenty of fall recipes on this blog already, I’m excited to highlight a new one.

While the holidays are a time meant for thanks, peace and bringing family and friends together, and food can be a big part of that, it can also get in the way of it. I hear too much chatter about the judgement placed on family members who have special dietary requirements. It’s important any time of year, but especially this time, to remember there is no one diet for everyone and it isn’t anyone’s place to judge someone elses dietary preferences or needs. What may seem weird to someone, may be treating an inflammatory condition or IBS in another. So whether someone is labeling their diet as “vegan”, “paleo”, or “gluten-free” or has a true allergy to a grain, nuts, or dairy, for example, be compassionate and don’t try to force food on others.
Still, there’s no reason why we can’t come up with dishes that fit everyone’s dietary needs! Chances are, if there is someone in your family who avoids meat, they don’t care about the turkey or want you to buy tofurkey instead. When it comes to the side dishes however, this is where we can get creative with old classics, or just swap simple ingredients to make it all work.
On Good Day I showcased completely vegan dishes that can all also be prepared gluten-free and nut-free if needed. I promise, though, that they aren’t free of flavor and anyone at the table will enjoy them!

Green Bean Casserole 

Healthy Green Bean Casserole (Vegan)
The one shared on air is from Alexis Joseph of the popular blog, Hummusapien, and gets it’s creamy texture and delicious flavor from cashews. Need a nut free version? I may try this Fresh Green Bean Casserole from another dietitian, Alex Caspero, on Thanksgiving since my brother has a nut allergy.

Simple Vegan Lentil Stuffing

While you can apparently order a similar dish already made at Whole Foods this year, you can also make your own with this recipe from Minimalist Baker.
SIMPLE Vegan Stuffing, loaded with fiber and protein and perfect for Thanksgiving and fall meals #vegan #minimalistbaker
Simply roast your favorite fall vegetables at 425 for 30-40 minutes, stirring half way through. At the same time, bake this tofu recipe, but cut the tofu in smaller bite sized cubes, and double the ingredients for the breading. Toss the tofu in with the veggies before serving.

Black Rice Squash Bowl (see recipe below)

Here is an appetizer, soup and two more side dishes I have on the blog:

And if you’re still in need of ideas, check out

One recipe not yet on my blog or able to be linked to is this Black Rice Squash Bowl. Black rice is more rich in protein and fiber than traditional rice, while also being higher in antioxidants. Even better, it adds a really pretty pop of color to the table versus the standard white or brown rice that will blend in with the potatoes and rolls.

Black Rice Acorn Squash Bowl

Vegan, Gluten Free


  • 1 Cup dry black rice
  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 packed cups of cut spinach or kale leaves
  • 1/2 Cup pomegranate arils


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds and pulp. Place face down on oiled baking sheet and place in oven. Let cook for 30-40 minutes, until tender.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup rice in a medium stockpot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-35 minutes, until all water is absorbed.
  • While squash is baking and rice is cooking, mix all dressing ingredients together in a small and whisk until well combined.
  • Once squash is done, peel or cut the skin off, then dice the squash into small cubes.
  • Toss squash with rice and mix I. Spinach or kale as well as pomegranate seeds.
  • Finally stir in the dressing.
  • Serve warm or cold.

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  1. The dates link great, yum……..and squash bowl, all dishes look really great. Beautiful presentation on TV on November 15….loved it!!!

  2. Hi Kelly. Hope you’re feeling great. Can’t wait to try this Black Rice & Squash Bowl. Any idea how many people it will feed as a side?