A Thankful Thanksgiving

Lauren Silva

The week of Thanksgiving is finally here! We can’t believe how quickly the month of November flew by, but we’re ready for a day to sit back, reflect, and be thankful.

This Thanksgiving, we want to inspire you to remember what truly matters. This season is meant to remind us of everything we have to be thankful for, however, it’s easy to forget that when we prioritize things of much less importance. We definitely don’t want to take this opportunity for granted, so instead of worrying about the table arrangements, the last-minute shopping, or who’s bringing the cranberry sauce, try to remember what we’re celebrating. Ask yourself, “What are you thankful for?”

At DEFINE foods, we remember each Thanksgiving to be grateful to have a table in need of arranging, we’re thankful to have the opportunity to buy and share gifts and goodies with friends and family, and when it comes to the cranberry sauce, we’re always thankful and excited to bring a few staple plant-based dishes to the feast.

This meal-centric holiday is really less about the food and more about having dedicated time to spend with loved ones. And while family and friends are the most precious parts of Thanksgiving, we always remember to be thankful for our health. At DEFINE foods, we emphasize the importance of plant-based foods, nutrient-rich meals, and a diet full of color. We care about good food and wholesome ingredients as they play a vital role in keeping us healthy, able, and strong well into our later life. We want you and your families to feel your best at seasonal gatherings and holiday dinners for years and years to come.

And with that in mind, why not share the gift of good health with those you love by bringing a plant-based dish to your Thanksgiving celebration! Chef Erin’s Spinach + Quinoa Salad is a great side that adds color, veggies, and loads of fall flavor. Easy and delicious, recreate this for a dish the whole family can enjoy.

Spinach + Quinoa Salad with Pears, Chickpeas + Pecans

Serves 6 (as a side)


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 handfuls organic baby spinach, washed and drained
  • 1 large, ripe pear, washed, cored, and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup chickpeas, washed and drained
  • ¼ cup pecans, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Dry toast the quinoa in a saucepan for a few minutes. Add 2 cups fresh water and a pinch of sea salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine the spinach, pear, chickpeas, parsley cranberries and 1/2 of the quinoa in a bowl.  Fluff to combine. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat, adding more quinoa if needed. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Recipe by Chef Erin Stewart ©

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