As I was packing and prepping to head home for the week of Thanksgiving, this thought rattled my insides: what if I couldn't spend Thanksgiving with my family this year?
That thought sent ice cold shivers down my spine and froze my heart for a split-second. Thankfully, I am spending the holiday with my family, but I couldn't shake that shiver out for a day or two. Truth is, some people will not enjoy family-time this week. Some can't make it home in time, some are sick and unable to eat/walk/etc., and some simply have no family to enjoy. Now, I don't mean to bring about feelings of guilt or negativity. I just want to share what God's been putting on my heart, especially with the upcoming holiday season creeping around the corner.
As I brainstormed ideas for this recipe (sponsored by Amy's Kitchen), I imagined what Thanksgiving would look like for me if I weren't with my family for some reason. What would I do? Who would I spend my day with? What would I eat for the traditional Thanksgiving feast? Tears drowned my eyes and dripped down my cheeks, but God reminded me that He's simply bringing about a possibility, just placing thoughts on my heart to draw me closer to Him. I wiped my tears and thanked Him for family, for food, for His hand in my life.
God comforted me by promising that a Thanksgiving by myself wouldn't really be by myself, as He'd surely surround me with His presence in ways I can't even begin to picture right now. But that still left the food-related question unanswered... what would I eat for Thanksgiving dinner?
Turkey? Goodness gracious, no. Mashed potatoes? Not really my thing. Green bean casserole? *smh*. Cooking a Thanksgiving meal for one sounded like a challenge, especially the more I tried to shrink portion sizes down to what's fit for a single person. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that, chances are, I'd stick to the basics. I'd make my usual comforting bowl of roasted veggies, crispy tempeh, and creamy tahini dressing.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, probably because I'm not sure what in the world I'd do if this Thanksgiving was just me, alone. If that's you, spending this holiday by yourself, remember the truth God comforts us with. Remember that you are not and will not ever be alone, if you grab hold of His outstretched hand :)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Comment below and tell me what you're thankful for this year.
Makes 4 bowls, with leftovers
1 large butternut squash
10-12 brussel sprouts
1 red onion
2 cups mixed greens
1 10 oz. block tempeh
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
Tahini dressing (ebook recipe)
Nutritional yeast, for garnish (optional)
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Begin slicing the veggies - halve or quarter the brussel sprouts depending on the size, dice the butternut squash and onion, and chop the parsnip into 1/4"-thick cubes. Toss in 2 tbsp. EVOO and salt and pepper and spread evenly onto baking sheets.
- Slice the tempeh into thin slabs, drizzle with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay evenly on the baking sheets, with the veggies, and bake everything for 20 minutes, flip/stir, and bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until tempeh is brown and crisp and veggies are tender with a light char. Remove from oven.
- While veggies and tempeh cool, assemble the bowls - start with mixed greens, then avocado, then veggies and tempeh, followed by pumpkin seeds, tahini dressing, and nutritional yeast.
Little blurb on Amy's Kitchen:
Amy, whoever and wherever you are, YOU ROCK. From her vegetarian baked beans, to her low-sodium split pea soup, to her hearty veggie burgers, Amy's food always ends up in my grocery cart. Yes, every. single. time. I know that most of you reading this are around my age and probably in school, so more than half the time, you're busy, tired, hungry, and all the while looking for something good for you. Something to nourish and refuel your exhausted body so that you can do it all over again. Amy's knows that. She knows it so well I can't help but believe she's been through the worst of it herself.
Anyway, here's to you, Amy :) thanks for understanding my hunger needs, limited by time and cost, and fueled by health and fitness. Keep doing what you're doing!