November doesn't have to be all turkey, all the time. 

By Arielle Weg
October 23, 2017
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

November officially means the start of the holiday food season. Think Thanksgiving and all the dishes that entails: Endless amounts of turkey, casseroles, stuffings, and multiple forms of cranberry sauce. It's all delicious, sure, but the tryptophan and all those heavy foods can really drain you. 

To keep things fresh and your energy high, spend some time making plant-powered mains. Recipes that incorporate both classic comforts and favorite seasonal flavors can be your post-turkey crash saving grace. So grab some sweet potatoes, lentils, and kale for meatless Monday dishes you'll enjoy all November. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

November 6: Vegetable "Meat" Loaf

The perfect combination of roasted bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, and walnuts brings out a surprisingly meaty texture in this all-veggie loaf. It's a classic dish that got a makeover so good vegetarians and carnivores alike will ask for seconds. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

November 13: Fall Vegetable Curry

Sweet potato and cauliflower are sometimes the forgotten produce of the season, but they're definitely worthy of a place on your menu. This steamy curry packs a protein punch with hearty chickpeas and gives your palate a surprise with delicate Madras curry powder. 

Photo: Jennifer Causey

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November 20: Chickpea "Meatballs" With Crunchy Romaine Salad

Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, lighten up with this perfect fall plate. The chickpea meatballs are reminiscent of falafel and make this simple salad stand-out as a go-to dinner year round. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

November 27: Smoky Lentil Stew

At this point, you're tired of turkey and need something with a totally different flavor profile from your leftovers. Enter the smoky lentil stew. This one-pot wonder becomes a thick stew with bright kale and carrots. But the real show-stopper is the poached egg in each individual bowl. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy. 

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Bonus: Eggplant Parmesan

If you're looking for something to serve to a crowd who is tired of turkey—or an additional plant-based meal to sprinkle throughout the month—this is for you. Take a classic meal and make it lighter by baking it in the oven and mixing multiple part-skim cheeses for a crispy, cheesy finish.