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Chef Cindi Avila, Recipes

A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Thanksgiving is a day when people gather with their loved ones to sit and enjoy a meal together. I believe you should always have a meal that tries to suit everyone at your table, and because this special day is all about being together, it should be no exception.

As I’ve mentioned before, the Meatless Monday movement and vegan diets are growing trends – we are seeing more and more people adopting the life style than we ever have before. What does that mean for Thanksgiving this year?? It never hurts to include a few meatless options if you’re planning on having guests! Or if you’re traveling and are the veggie yourself, why not bring your own meatless option to share with your friends and family? Who knows, you may surprise them and spark their interest for the lifestyle.

Maybe you’ve never used Lightlife’s products before, or maybe you’re hesitant to make our meat-free recipes for a crowd. Either way, we want to help you on your journey to creating a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, so this year we are going to send three lucky winners gift bags filled with coupons and two Lightlife products!

Vegetarian Chef Cindi Avila has created a few spectacular recipes that are just right for Thanksgiving this year, and I’m pretty excited to share them with you all! First up are Smart Dogs in a blanket for an appetizer.


Who doesn’t love finger foods to munch on as your scrambling around the kitchen trying to get everything else prepared? These only take about 20 minutes to make from start to finish – the perfect recipe that will please everyone, especially the kids of the family.

The next two are my favorites – Cheddar biscuits with Smart Ground and Smart Sausage Stuffing.



You really can’t go wrong with these two side dishes. The stuffing is a perfect dish to take with you if you’re traveling. Don’t tell anyone it’s not real sausage and I bet you they won’t even notice. 😉 I made the biscuits last night with Daiya cheddar and soy butter and it turned out fantastic – so if you have a vegan in your Thanksgiving party, this one’s for you.

Of course we can’t forget a vegetable – Cindi’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smart Bacon is super easy, full of flavor, and in season too (if you’re in the northeast at least)!


Lastly, but surely not least is our Turk’y Cordon Bleu. If you’re cooking primarily for meat eaters this year, but have one veggie in the group, this recipe is the ideal solution. It serves two, which is actually perfect because who only eats one serving on Thanksgiving, right?


A beautiful main course dish that will make your vegetarian guest feel right at home at your dinner table.

If you win our giveaway, you can test out a few recipes with the products of your choice beforehand, and then use the free coupons on your shopping trip before the big day!

To enter, leave me a comment telling me your meatless Thanksgiving menu. The three people who make me want to come over for dinner the most get the gift bags!

Happy menu planning 🙂

**Giveaway Closed**

And the winners are … Nicole Cummins, Michelle Kerr, and Serena! Thanks to everyone who shared their menu with us, every one of them stuck out for one reason or another which made choosing our winners very difficult. They all looked absolutely delicious and I would be thankful to be sitting at any one of your tables!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂


Lightlife Team Member

About Blogitarian

Lightlife's resident blogger and veggie enthusiast, Rachael, gives you an insight into the vegetarian world as well as a peek at what’s new in Turners Falls.


18 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Giveaway!

  1. Mmmm, Thanksgiving!! Our menu this year includes quinoa & lentil cutlets, mashed root veggies, mushroom gravy, cranberry-applesauce, an autumn salad with walnuts and apples, some kind of fresh-baked bread (haven’t decided which kind to make yet!), and, of course, a delicious fresh (and probably vegan) pumpkin pie! And that’s just the dinner menu… I’ll probably be making other yummy things to munch on throughout the day, and I’ll probably make a batch of pumpkin scones for breakfast!

    Posted by Holly Scudero | November 16, 2011, 1:37 pm
  2. Well I’m being a little lazy and having a Tofurky even though I wanted to make it from scratch. Also making stuffing made with seasoned Lightlife ground crumbles, onoins, celery, green apples, and vegetable broth. The rest of the meal is potluck. My boys love smart dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. I may make those for lunch right now!

    Posted by Rebecca | November 16, 2011, 1:52 pm
  3. We’ll be having stuffed acorn squash, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, asparagus casserole, Southern Cornbread Dressing, fresh green beans, rolls, pecan pie and plenty of sweet tea.

    Posted by gloria kersh | November 16, 2011, 2:16 pm
  4. not a cook but with the help of some great Vegan products my table will be full of love & gratefulness ~ savory stuffed turk’y & traditional multigrain Vegan stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, flax rolls ~ still need to decide on the wine and dessert . . .

    Posted by donna | November 16, 2011, 2:21 pm
  5. At my house, we are going to bake a field roast with soy bourbon glaze, mashed potatoes with chickpea gravy, veggie pumpkin chili, jalapeno cornbread, pumpkin cheesecake pie and a vegan adaptation of those cheddar biscuits with Smart Ground sausage!

    Posted by Nicole Cummins | November 16, 2011, 2:30 pm
  6. Every year, I vow that I’m not going to go overboard yet again – and every year I break that vow. Sigh. Most of this year’s menu comes courtesy of some favorite cookbooks, magazines and blogs. Here goes … vegetarian “turkey”-style loaf roasted with garlic and rosemary, arugula salad with beets, fennel and mandarin oranges, creamy mashed cauliflower, chestnut stuffing (with Lightlife Smart Sausages!), chickpea gravy, glazed maple-dijon carrots, roasted green beans with walnuts and rosemary, cranberry concord grape sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts with orange butter sauce, and … if we can still find some room … sour cream-swirled pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream (vegan). Thank goodness I’m taking the day off on Wednesday!

    Posted by Michelle Brunton Kerr | November 16, 2011, 3:02 pm
  7. This year, Thanksgiving is at my house for the first time. We are vegetarians, but my husband family is not. I am going to make sure they don’t miss the meat, but won’t be serving any! I am making a broccoli salad with the Litelife Veggie Bacon Strips cumbled into it. I am also making vegan pumpkin and walnut muffins, a vegan dressing with bread crumbs, sage, veggie broth, onions and celery baked together (soooo yummy), sweet potatoes and the Tofurkey vegetarian roast with animal-free gravy. We will also have asparagus, and brussel spouts, quinoa stuffed acorn squashes and a vegan pumpkin pie to finish……along with lots of red wine! I am so excited Thanksgiving is my job this year! The meat eaters WON’T miss anything!

    Posted by Kendell Court | November 16, 2011, 6:25 pm
  8. Spinach artichoke dip with raw tomato basil chips, cornbread, corn pudding (spoonbread), Baked squash with creole dirty rice stuffing, green bean casserole, sauteed collards, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie and blueberry peach cobbler.

    Posted by MizzB | November 16, 2011, 7:34 pm
  9. It’s just my hubby and I and a few critters to share with so we don’t make a lot. Roasted sweet potatoes, homemade stuffing with tempeh, I bought some turkey vegan slices just for something different and will be making some homemade veggie gravy. Pilaf also is a standard for thanksgiving esp since I grew up with it being surrounded by my armenian relatives.

    Posted by Jen | November 16, 2011, 7:40 pm
  10. We always love using lightlifes smart sausage for vegan biscuits and sausage gravy!
    We made an amazing, completely vegan, thanksgiving last year and we are out to duplicate it this year.
    For an app we made homemade candied yam soup with minced piquillo peppers for a little kick. For the main course a whole tofurky, topped with homemade rosemary mushroom gravy made from portabella mushroom stock, jalapeno&smart bacon crumbles in cornbread stuffing, garlic & dill 60/40 mashed cauliflower/potatoes and green bean almondine. For desert we will be having an oreo crust pie filled with mori nu silken tofu chocolate pudding and homemade vegan peanut butter whipped cream and homemade spicy blackstrap molasses gingersnaps!
    The kicker is, for leftovers the next few days we took crescent rolls, flattened them into squares, then placed random mixtures of tofurky/mashed/stuffing/cranberry sauce/green beans/daiya cheese and/or gravy inbetween two squares. Bake them off and they make great surprises for lunch or dinner on the go all week long!

    Posted by Leah | November 16, 2011, 9:23 pm
  11. This year we’re experimenting with a Thanksgiving pizza: a whole wheat crust, flavored with veggie broth, topped with vegan gravy (as the sauce), potatoes, carrots, stuffing and cranberry sauce, with a side of garlicky, “buttery” mashed potatoes for dipping. For dessert: an apple pie with homemade vegan whipped cream and vanilla soy ice cream. Yum!

    Posted by Kelly Garbato | November 17, 2011, 10:59 am
  12. I am thankful everyday. I don’t really do a special meal for the holiday’s. A few meals i made using lightlife was a southwest quesadilla using Ezekiel torlillas, sliced avocado, black bean, corn, swiss cheese and fakin bacon,
    However , over the weekend I made a vegan risotto using the following recipe and then sauteed some ground sausage and topped the rice with it. Garnish with a biit of cilnatro and you have dish perfect for a meal o a side. Butternut Squash Risotto


    1 small butternut squash, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 medium onion (red or white), chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
    1/4 cup apple cider
    4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 tbs freshly chopped parsley or basil


    Steam the squash over boiling water until tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Measure out 2 cups of the squash and set aside; reserve any remaining squash for another use.
    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with oil. Add the squash and apple cider and stir gently until the liquid is absorbed.
    Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. continue to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each time until the liquid is absorbed before the next addition, until the risotto is creamy and the rice is just al dente. It should take about 25 minutes total.
    Add in parsley or basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

    Posted by MNS (@MilaXX) | November 17, 2011, 5:13 pm
  13. I’m going to try to make a vegan pumpkin cheesecake. I don’t know how it will turn out, so don’t let that sway your decision.

    The menu so far is planned to be Field Roast, roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and of course cranberry sauce.

    For me, sometimes it’s more like Carbgiving. I may sub out the Field Roast for a roasted acorn squash, because then I can serve the stuffing in it and it will look fancier than it really is. You know how it is.

    Posted by Cara Tillie Messer | November 18, 2011, 9:58 am
  14. This year will be my first real attempt at a veggie Thanksgiving, every year previous, I have just ate sides that didn’t have meat in them. I am going to attempt making my own “turkey” using help from Instructables (http://www.instructables.com/id/Vegetarian-Turkey/) and vegan gravy. I’ll probably have back-up “turkey” deli slices to be on the safe side. To go along with that, I am going to make a stuffing that includes the Smart Sausages Italian Style, apples, sage, rosemary, and Smart Bacon. Then there will be sweet potatoes, which will have Sweet and Sara marshmallows (a perfect combo.) There will be green beans in balsamic vinegar and roasted vegetables (I’m thinking carrots, broccoli, zucchini, squash, etc). Of course it wouldn’t be complete without mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. I’m attempting apple cider this year as well. For dessert, Creamy Strawberry Banana Smoothie (made with silken tofu and soy milk), vegan pumpkin pie, orange creamsicle fudge, and homemade icecream.

    Posted by Serena | November 18, 2011, 10:06 am
  15. I am not making all of this but will be eating the following on Thanksgiving thanks to a joint effort with family: Seitan w/ vegan gravy, Tofurkey, vegan stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, hashbrown casserole, yeast rolls with cinnammon butter. Also an assortment of desserts (I’m not entirely sure what they are, as my sisters are making them). Of course we will be drinking beaujolais and have sparkling grape juice for the kids!

    Posted by Felicity | November 18, 2011, 10:10 am
  16. I make an herbed tofu roast, stuffed with savory stuffing as the main, with golden gravy (I like way too much of this – usually have to make a batch of the gravy just for myself, then another batch for everyone else!). Then, it wouldn’t be right without a huge pot of mashed (red) potatoes, cranberry sauce, black olives, and the dish we wait for year-round – pasta salad. Not just any pasta salad, though – tri-color rotini, shredded carrots (local from the Farmer’s Market), diced green peppers, and a creamy sauce made with sweetened condensed rice milk, Vegenaise, and spices. For dessert, a layered pumpkin cheezecake. For the appetizer, I am also going to make a block of “Vegan Diner”‘s Great Smoky Mountain Cheeze, served with ritz-style crackers. Oh, and tie it all together with a bottle of Cranberry wine from a local winery!

    Posted by Lizzie | November 18, 2011, 11:35 am
  17. I always love having tofurkey on Thanksgiving, but I make my own gravy using vegetable bouillon or concentrate, some homemade roux, and season it with thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, salt, pepper… whatever I’m in the mood for. Then I pour it over the tofurkey in a roasting pan, cover it, and bake it. This year, my room mates and I are having a Thanksgiving dinner before going home for Thanksgiving break, and we’re having mashed potatoes & turnips for the sides, as well as some homemade stuffing one of my roommates is making, some homemade egg nog (HELLO RUM!), and some sort of pie. It’ll be nice to have another vegetarian to share the tofurkey with, especially since she has never had it before.

    Posted by Mel | November 18, 2011, 11:37 am
  18. Fresh cranberry relish, turkey loaf, Gimme Lean Sausage and mushroom gravy, cornbread stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, and pumpkin (not)cheesecake. Now I think I’ll be adding your pigs in a blanket recipe!

    Posted by Felicia Martinez | November 18, 2011, 11:57 am

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