Quinoa Lentil Pilaf | Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by Sasha


Sasha was gracious enough to share one of her delicious recipes and I think this is a fantastic dish for Thanksgiving. Vegetarians and vegans are often looking for main and side dishes that can go along with a traditional holiday meal, while non-vegetarians are often looking for a new dish that is a little out of the box. I love this dish because many of the side dishes on holidays are vegetarian, but not vegan. This dish is also a great source of fiber and protein!

1 TBSP olive or grapeseed oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled & diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 TBSP parsley (dry) or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2-1 tsp turmeric
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups of lentils cooked, drained
2 cups water
1 TBSP bouillon
2 pkt True Lemon or 2 tsp lemon zest

Sauté onion, celery, carrot in oil. Cook 10 minutes or till tender. Add rinsed quinoa, drained lentils, and the bell pepper. Add all seasoning and stir. Add water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Henry, Jessie, Violet & Benny’s Stew

As a child I became a bookworm very shortly after I learned to read. Books were a way to cozy up during cold weather and let my imagination run wild. My all time favorite children’s novel is The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The book starts out with four hungry orphans, Henry, Jessie, Violet & Benny, of which no one knows who they are and from where they came. Family or no family, they were most importantly hungry and homeless. The story carries on as the four children, so closely knit find a way to survive and take care of one another as they live in an old abandoned boxcar. One scene that is really heart warming, is when the children use their creativity and ingenuity to build their own makeshift kitchen. Then, from  a little meat and small vegetables, they make a delicious stew. As they enjoy their dinner, you can almost taste the slow-cooked goodness as the smell of the warm brown stew wafts off the pages and into the room with you. It was here that my imagination and love for writing married with my curiosity about food. On this chilly cloudy day, it was the perfect time use my own imagination to cook up a delicious and hearty stew that takes me back to my childhood. I hope you enjoy my recipe!


  • 4 stalks of celery minced
  • 3 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups of potatoes in 1 inch cubes
  • 2 to 3 vegetarian or chicken bouillon cubes (Veggie or chicken broth as substitute)
  • Black Pepper
  • Cumin
  • 21 seasoning salute
  • 2 TBSP chopped Parsley fresh or freeze dried
  • 1/4 minced white onion
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup lentils (Can also be made with chicken breast pieces or steak. If meat is used, it will need to be added after step 1 and allowed to cook  a little while longer)
1. Place large dutch oven over medium high heat and brown 1 tbsp garlic, and minced onions in 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil for about 2 minutes.2. You will now add your liquid. Add bouillon cubes to water once it is boiling. Bouillon cubes will come with instructions for how much water to use. Use 5 to 6 cups of water and appropriate cubes, or about 40oz of broth.3. Add celery, carrots and potatoes and stir. Add 1 tsp of all seasonings except parsley, Add 2 tbsp of parsley.

4. Lower heat to simmer.

5. Since lentils only take about 20 minutes to cook add these about halfway through the process.

6. Leave at a slow simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are nice and tender.

7. Top with a few sprigs of parsley or minced chives and serve with french baguette.

I recently participated in a huge vegan soup collaboration, and I made this soup. You can find it here