Liver-Healthy Thanksgiving Feast Ideas

Who says a fantastically delicious Thanksgiving spread can’t be healthy? This year, make your Thanksgiving feast even more special with these liver-healthy options that won’t give you or your family that post-holiday guilt; nor will they keep you stuck in the kitchen for hours on end! Check out these appetizing recipes for a healthy, scrumptious, easy-to-prep (or time-saving) Thanksgiving meal!


Starters:  Beet Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Basil (from Feasting At Home)


  • 3 medium sized beets (tennis ball sized) halved
  • 1 baguette, sliced at a diagonal into ½ inch thick slices
  • olive oil for brushing bruschetta
  • 1½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic
  • 10 basil leaves – cut into ribbons
  • ⅛ cup finely diced red onion or shallot
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. In a medium put, cover halved beets with water and boil until just tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, slice baguette into ½ inch slices at a diagonal. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a sheet pan in a 400 F (204 C) oven for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside.
  4. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl and either warm in a microwave until just soft enough to combine easily with a fork. Mix with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
  5. When beets are fork-tender, drain pot, refill with cold water and slip skins off the cooked beets under running cold water using your hands. Dice into small ⅓ inch cubes and place in medium bowl.
  6. Add finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and balsamic — stir to combine.
  7. Assemble: Spread a little goat cheese mixture on each bruschetta creating a “trough” (to hold beet mixture in place) and top with a Tablespoon of beet mixture. Garnish with a few basil ribbons. Recommendation: serve when the goat cheese is still a touch warm. Serve on a white platter to show it off, or a rustic cutting board.


(Adult) *Starters: Apple Croustades Apple Croustades (from Vegan Times)


1/4 cup Armagnac, cognac, or rum (*or optional non-alcoholic replacement recommended by ADRLF: peach, apricot, or pear juice)

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. vegan margarine, divided

5 large tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (5 cups)

1/2 cup sugar, divided

18 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed (one-half 16-oz. pkg.)


  1. Pour Armagnac (or desired juice) over raisins in bowl. Set aside to plump 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tbs. margarine in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples, and sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add raisins and Armagnac, and cook 2 minutes, or until alcohol has evaporated. Transfer to bowl, and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt remaining 1/2 cup margarine. Brush 12-cup muffin pan (1/2 cup size) with melted margarine.
  4. Unroll phyllo, and keep under damp towel to retain moisture. Place 1 phyllo sheet on work surface. Brush with margarine, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Top with second phyllo sheet, brush with margarine, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sugar. Repeat until you have 6 layers of phyllo sheets, but do not sprinkle top sheet with sugar. Cut phyllo stacks into 4 squares. Press 1 square into 1 muffin mold, letting edges hang over. Fill phyllo “crust” with 1/3 cup of apple mixture. Brush edges with margarine, and fold over apple mixture. Brush top with margarine to “glue” top together. Repeat with remaining squares. Repeat layering and assembly with remaining phyllo sheets, margarine, sugar, and apple mixture.
  5. Bake croustades 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cool 10 minutes in muffin pan, then carefully unmold, and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Dressing: Cranberry Vinaigrette (from Healthy Seasonal Recipes)


1 shallot, peeled, cored and quartered

½ cup fresh cranberries

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup walnut oil or flax seed oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon agave or honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Puree shallot, cranberries, olive oil, vinegar, walnut or flax oil, thyme, agave or honey, salt and pepper in a mini prep, food processor or blender until as smooth as possible.
  2. Store in a jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week.


Side Dish: Vegan Stuffing (from Minimalist Baker)


1 large loaf whole-grain bread or 2 small baguettes, cubed & set out to dry overnight (~9 cups loosely packed)

3/4 cup uncooked green lentils

3 tbsp olive oil or vegan butter

1/2 cup white onions, diced

3/4 cup celery, diced

pinch of salt and pepper (if desired)

3 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (more for cooking lentils)

1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal and 2 1/2 tbsp water)

3/4 tsp dried sage, or 1 1/4 tsp fresh sage, chopped


  1. The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out; you want it to be the texture of day old bread — noticeably dry but not rock hard.
  2. The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing 3/4 cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a 9×13 pan (or comparable sized dish) with foil or spray with nonstick spray. Also prepare flax egg and set aside.
  5. Sauté onion and celery in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent — about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  6. To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked veggies, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread.
  7. Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh.



Meat Entrée: Thai Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs (from


1 lb ground turkey

1 lb ground turkey sausage

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp ground basil

¼ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp garlic powder

¾ cup almond flour

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger

3 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 14 oz can + ¾ cup full fat coconut milk

⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

1 tsp salt + more to taste


  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375.
  2. Mix together the ground turkey and sausage in a medium sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together curry powder, basil, ginger, garlic powder, and almond flour. Add to the turkey and incorporate well. Finally, add the egg. Form the meatballs into 1 -1.5 inch diameter balls, and place on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. While meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat, add coconut oil. Add the chopped veggies: onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent. Add curry paste, then all of the coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the curry paste is completely mixed into the sauce. Add salt, and more to taste if needed.
  4. Add meatballs to the sauce, and cook for another 5 minutes. Finish off with fresh basil.
  5. Serve hot over spaghetti squash, noodles, zoodles, rice, or cauliflower rice.


Vegan Entrée: Sweet Potato Meatloaf (from


1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 tbsp honey

1 egg

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1 tbsp salt

2 heaping tbsp Italian seasoning


  1. Roast or steam your sweet potato. It will soften up a lot faster if cut into small cubes. Feel free to leave the skin on, but you can also peel it off if it’s not your thing.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mash sweet potato in a large bowl with a fork, and add turkey, onion, garlic, honey, egg, flaxseed, salt and spices. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Place your mixture in a greased meatloaf pan.
  5. Stick in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes. Cover with tinfoil if necessary to avoid burning the top.
  6. Serve with your favorite vegetables, mash, or sauté.


Dessert: Healthy Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits (from Fit Mitten Kitchen)


 For Pumpkin Mousse:

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons grass-fed gelatin (unflavored)

1 – 15oz. canned pumpkin (about 1 3/4 cups puree)

2 large eggs

3/4 cup coconut sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 – 15oz. cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight

1 TBS pure vanilla extract

 For the Layers:

whipped coconut cream, from the canned coconut milk

gingersnap cookies

*make sure to chill cans of coconut milk at least 4-6 hours, or overnight



  1. Add ¼ cup water to heat-proof bowl, then sprinkle the 2 teaspoons gelatin over water and allow to soften for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sucanat, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place the heat-proof bowl of gelatin-water over simmering pot of water, cook until the gelatin is clear.
  4. While the gelatin is cooking over the pot, make the whipped coconut cream: Scoop out the cream portion of the all 3 cans of coconut milk (save the water for smoothies, shakes, etc) and place cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip the chilled coconut cream and vanilla extract together until thick and fluffy. Set aside.
  5. Once the gelatin has cooked until clear, whisk immediately into large bowl of pumpkin mixture. Then fold in 2 cups of the whipped coconut cream — saving the rest for parfait layering.

Place covered bowl of pumpkin mousse mixture in fridge and allow to chill 4-6 hours, or overnight.

  1. To assemble parfaits: layer crushed gingersnap cookies, pumpkin mousse, and whipped coconut cream, repeat until glass is full. Garnish with gingersnap cookies, and more whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!



canned pumpkin

2 large eggs (or 4 large egg whites)

coconut sugar


vanilla extract

3 cans full-fat coconut milk


  1. Let the gelatin to sit in the water to soften. While that sits you can combine the pumpkin, eggs, sugar and spices.
  2. Heat up the bowl of gelatin-water over a pot of simmering water until the gelatin is clear. While the gelatin is cooking down, whip the chilled coconut cream.
  3. Once the gelatin is clear, quickly whisk it into the pumpkin mixture — the hot gelatin cooks the eggs, so no worries there. Then fold in the whipped coconut cream.
  4. All that’s left is to let the pumpkin mousse chill covered in the fridge for about 4-6 hours (or overnight). When you’re ready to assemble the parfaits, layer in crushed gingersnap cookies, pumpkin mousse, whipped cream, and repeat.

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