November 19, 2021

Check out these plant-based recipes from the Living Well Center's Friendsgiving spread.

A whole-food, plant-forward diet is a lifestyle that emphasizes the inclusion of minimally-processed, whole plant foods while minimizing the intake of processed and animal derived foods.

Studies have shown that a plant-based diet is more sustainable and offers more long-term health benefits than traditional diets. To offer our patients an evidence-based approach to a healthier lifestyle using food as medicine, we offer plant-based nutritional counseling at the Living Well Center® for weight loss and disease management.

To show how beautifully plant-based living translates to fall menus, and ultimately, your Thanksgiving table, the Living Well Center hosted their own "Friendsgiving" using delicious, colorful, and healthful foods.

Nartana’s Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Roast

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  • 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1-15oz can of low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained (If you have time, I suggest drying the chickpeas on a towel for a couple of hours. Dry chickpeas are the key to getting them crispy)
  • 1 medium butter nut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Arils from a pomegranate
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped  mint

Dressing ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoon white or yellow miso
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Big pinch(or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • Water to thin


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Place cubed butternut squash and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Sprinkle with spices, leave a little for the chickpeas.
  3. On another prepared baking sheet, spread out the chickpeas and sprinkle with the remaining spices.
  4. Bake butternut squash, cauliflower and chickpeas for 40-45 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables are baking, prepare dressing. Mix tahini, miso, lime juice and spices until smooth. Add water to desired consistency
  6. Remove vegetables and chickpeas form the oven and toss with some of the dressing. Add pomegranate arils and herbs and toss again. Add more dressing if desired.

Jenny’s Stuffing

(Adapted from Forks Over Knives, Fire Brigade Stuffing)


  • 15 pieces of bread, cut into small cubes (Jenny used whatever she had on hand)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups finely chopped carrots
  • 16oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 4-6 cups low sodium broth (Jenny used closer to 6 cups)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 red apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 7oz of slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ to 1 cup red wine


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes to dry out. Check frequently to make sure it’s not browning too much. Set aside
  3. In a pan over high heat, sauté the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms in 1/2cup vegetable broth until softened. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread crumbs, cooked vegetables, apples, dried cranberries, almonds, sage, thyme, oregano, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Add broth and wine as needed. Stir until soggy.
  4. Transfer the stuffing to a casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Mollie’s Green Bean Casserole

(Adapted from Minimalist Baker, Green Bean Casserole)


  • 1 pound green beans (rinsed, trimmed and cut in half)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon  veggie broth or water
  • 1 medium shallot (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms (button, baby bella or cremini)
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened dairy free milk
  • 1 1/2 cups crispy fried onions


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt well – it will help season the green beans.
  2. Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and place in an ice water bath to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare sauce. In a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add vegan butter or olive oil and shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add mushrooms and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes more or until lightly browned.
  4. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to stir and coat the veggies. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly add in veggie stock, whisking to incorporate.
  5. Add almond milk next and whisk to stir again. Season with a touch more salt and pepper and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low to thicken. Cook for 5-7 minutes more, or until thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Remove from heat and add 1/3 of the fried onions (1/2 cup as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and all of the cooked green beans. Toss to coat well, and top with remaining fried onions.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbly and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately (handle pan carefully).
  8. Leftovers store well in the fridge for up to a few days.

Andy’s Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

(Adapted from Cheeky Chickpea)


  • 12 oz /340 g bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Zest of a small orange
  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch each of cinnamon and salt


  1. Rinse cranberries and add to a small saucepan with water and sugar over medium-high heat, stir to combine
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue cooking for 5 minutes until most of the cranberries have popped and it takes on a jam-like consistency. I like to leave some berries for texture.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Let cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with holiday dinner once chilled. Can be made days in advance.

Dr. Metzler’s Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes

(Adapted from Minimalist Baker)


  • 6-8 medium yukon gold potatoes (if large, cut in half)*
  • 1 tsp sea salt (divided)
  • Water to cover
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5-6 cloves raw or roasted garlic 
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil (for an oil free version substitute with dairy free milk)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives (for topping)


  1. Halve your potatoes and place in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water by ~1 inch.
  2. Bring to a light boil over high heat and add 1 tsp of sea salt and cook for 25-30 minutes or until very tender. They should effortlessly slide off a knife when pierced with a knife.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, chop up your chives and measure your oil (vegan butter or dairy free milk if substituting).
  4. Once tender, drain your potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 1 minute to evaporate any additional water.
  5. Mash your potatoes using a potato masher until fluffy.
  6. Add in oil (vegan butter or dairy free milk if substituting), garlic, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Lastly top with chives.
  8. Leftovers will keep in the fridge covered for up to a few days. Not freezer friendly.

Dr. Hunt’s Vegan Honey Butter Corn Bread

(Adapted from DariusCooks)

Ingredients, Cornbread:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of melted vegan butter ( for an oil-free version use unsweetened applesauce)
  • About 1 1/2 cups of non-dairy milk (Dr. Hunt used unsweetened almond milk)

Cornbread topping:

  • 2 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, just combine all of the ingredients together until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth, pour it into a cast iron skillet and bake until golden brown and the center is set. This should take about 20-23 minutes.
  3. While the cornbread is baking, combine the cornbread topping ingredients.  Once the cornbread is done baking, pour the maple syrup butter mixture over the cornbread and enjoy.

Sue’s Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • Sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 pear, peeled and cored
  • 1 honey crisp apple, peeled and cored
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Peel off the skin of the butternut squash, cut in half vertically and remove the seeds. Chop into big pieces and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, poke a few holes in the skin of the squash with a fork and place it cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes until tender.
  5. While the squash is roasting, sauté on medium high the celery, garlic, onion, parsnips, carrot and sweet potato. Once the onion is translucent, add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the apple and pear. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Once the spaghetti squash has cooled enough to touch, scrape the flesh with a fork to get strands.  Add the butternut squash and the spaghetti squash strands to the soup. Use an immersion blender until smooth. You can also add the soup to a blender in batches. Be careful of the steam.

Mary’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate

(Adapted from Genevive Ko, Shape Magazine)


  • 2lbs of Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1-2 lemons, zested
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet spread sprouts in a single layer, cut side down. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  3. While the sprouts are cooking, squeeze 3 tablespoons of juice from the lemons into a small bowl. Add the tahini, garlic and 3 tablespoons of cold water and the vegetable broth. Whisk until smoothSpread roasted sprouts in a serving bowl or platter, drizzle with sauce, pomegranate seeds, mint and lemon zest.

Whether you're getting healthy for an upcoming surgery or training for a 5K, the Washington University Living Well Center® can help you meet your health goals through a variety of services, including nutritional counseling. See how the Living Well Center team can help you transform your health and well-being by making positive changes to your lifestyle.  


See all of our plant-based recipes here! 

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