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Plant Based Thanksgiving Feast

With Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, we thought of the fun recipes we could share. Wanting to do something different, Chef Vanessa prepares a Plant Based Thanksgiving Feast for the #GLWgang!

Vanessa Percher has been cooking up a storm since 2005. Vanessa and husband Alessandro jointly own and operate Chef Veganessa, a plant based and gluten free catering/meal prep service located in Beaconsfield. She believes that her food should be nutritious; great tasting and visually appealing.  She is a strong advocate that consuming a whole grain plant-based diet helps to prevent chronic illnesses and also improves one’s quality of life. Vanessa remains abreast of the latest food science (graduate of eCornell with a Plant Based Nutrition Certificate) and hasn’t gone unnoticed, she has been featured in the Montreal Gazette, various news platforms, taught international cooking classes, cooked on movie sets, developed recipes  for third parties and showcased local ethical brands .

For more info visit her website www.veganessa.ca

Kale Salad with Candied Pecans, Sweet Dumpling Squash & Pomegranate

Course Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 bunch of Lacinato/Dinosaur kale thinly sliced
  • seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 1 acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash


  • 2 tbsp filtered water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • salt to taste

Candied Pecans:

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Wash the squash, trim off the top and bottom, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the squash lengthwise into 1/2″ thin slices and place the slices on the sheet.Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes until the squash is soft and golden.Remove and let cool.
  • While the squash is roasting, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Candied pecans: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pecans onto the sheet and sprinkle the sea salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup over the pecans. Toss the ingredient and spread it out into an even layer, then bake for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Assemble the Salad:Toss the kale, pomegranate seeds (keep some for garnish), candied pecans (keep some for garnish), and dressing in a large bowl. Garnish with roasted squash, pomegranate seeds and candied pecans.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Coconut Bisque

Course Main Course, Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 medium butternut squash cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 450 ml vegetable broth
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 400 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish *optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil on the squash and place on the sheet face down. Roast for approximately 45 minutes or until tender.
  • In a medium pot, bring to a boil all remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the butternut squash is cooked, remove from the oven, and let cool. Scoop the butternut squash out of the shell and add it to the broth.
  • Puree the contents of the pot with a handheld blender until smooth (or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.)
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds


Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Cream & Pumpkin Seed Parm

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup capers drained
  • Fresh herbs and roasted pumpkin seed parmesan mix for garnish optional

Pumpkin Seed Parmesan:

  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Lemon Cream:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp dry turmeric
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • pinch black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Trim the outer leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the stem just enough so it can sit up straight.
  • In a medium size pot, steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes until "al dente" (this will help speed up the cooking process in the oven).
  • Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a casserole dish and brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Roast the cauliflower until golden and tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Pumpkin seed parmesan: In a high-speed blender, blend ingredients until it becomes a powder. Set aside.
  • Lemon sauce: In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth, and set aside.
  • Once the cauliflower is out of the oven, pour sauce over cauliflower and garnish with capers, fresh herbs and pumpkin seed parmesan.


Pumpkin Spice Mousse Parfait

Servings 4 parfaits



  • 4 short serving glasses
  • 1 container coco whip I used So Delicious for this recipe * reserve 1 cup for the mousse and remaining to assemble parfaits
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola
  • cinnamon stick for garnish optional
  • ground cherries or fruit of your choice for garnish (optional)

Pumpkin Cream Layer:

  • 2 cups of steamed fresh pumpkins cooled (or 2 cups of canned pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup coco whip
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves


  • For the pumpkin cream layer: blend all ingredients until smooth

Assemble the parfait:

  • Divide 1/3 cup of the granola between the 4 glasses
  • Add a layer of pumpkin cream (approximately 1/3 cup) to each glass
  • Add a layer of coco whip (approximately ¼ cup) to the glasses
  • Add another layer of the pumpkin cream
  • Add another layer of the granola
  • Add another layer of coco whip
  • Loosely cover the glasses with plastic wrap (or lids) and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours
  • Once ready to serve remove the parfaits from the refrigerator, and garnish with granola, a cinnamon stick and fresh fruit (I used ground cherries)

All Recipes were created by Chef Vanessa Percher/ Chef Veganessa Chef Veganessa

GLW Contributors - Professionals in their field. Contributing to Girls Living Well their knowledge, experience and advice.

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