I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week!!! It feels like it snuck up on me this year, good thing my menu last year was so wonderful. I am going to make exactly the same things this year. It is possible to have an entirely satisfying if not darn right perfect Thanksgiving without a headless bird…sorry, I couldn’t help it. Only one of my guests last year was vegan (my hubby) and I didn’t hear any complaints (at least to my face anyway:) ) I am happy to say that two of my guests from last year now eat vegan diets…though not related to the Thanksgiving meal, still bears mentioning.
I am a mid-west girl at heart and have a hard time deviating from the traditional Thanksgiving flavors, I have simply made old recipes fit my new life. Now, can I attest that the recipes below are my most healthy selections? Nope. I tend to indulge a bit on Holiday’s. Just remember, thoroughly enjoy it, then move on to your next HEALTHY choice:)
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Souffle
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted and Grilled Vegetables with garlic basil aioli
Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream
I can’t claim all of these recipes as my own. Some are just too good to deviate from so I am providing links. Some are easy cheat recipes and one is adapted from a decidedly non-vegan recipe that has been veganized for the occasion.
For the Pastry Pockets: (this recipe will feed 4, I doubled the recipe)
One package of frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled out and cut into quarters..
Store bought or homemade Seitan (gluten-free seitan) sliced ( I buy mine at Whole Foods)
Add slice of seitan to the middle of each pastry quarter
Top with stuffing and mushroom gravy
Add one additional slice of seitan and fold all of the corners up to the top, press together to close the pocket
You can make these ahead of time and refrigerate on a baking sheet for up to 30 minutes
Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, serve with additional mushroom gravy
I based my green bean casserole recipe off this one which is delicious. I made the mushroom gravy exactly as she suggests, but I used frozen green beans and topped with Trader Joes Crispy Fried Onions…I used to buy French’s, until I read this.
My stuffing is a lazy girls version. I simply buy TJ’s Cornbread Stuffing mix, I help the flavor along by using veg broth instead of water and adding sautéed onion and celery to the mixture. I am telling you, you will never guess it is a mix if you make it this way!…once again, I used to buy Stove Top until I read this.
For my mashed potatoes I just boil my organic potatoes in veg broth and add a whole head of elephant garlic that has been roasted in foil for about 40 minutes. I also add Earth Balance Buttery spread, plain almond milk and salt/pepper/paprika to taste.
Sweet Potato Souffle ( I make this the day before and store the topping mixture in a ziplock…just add it before baking)
3 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar (or 1 cup sugar)
2 TBSP Ground Flax Seeds (mix with 4 TBSP water and let it form a gel)
1/2 Cup plain or vanilla sweetened Soy or Almond Milk
4 TBSP Earth Balance Buttery Spread ( I buy the sticks for my Thanksgiving recipes)
1 TBSP Vanilla
Combine above ingredients and pour into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 TBSP Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup chopped pecans
Mix the above ingredients by hand and spread over the sweet potato mixture.
Bake at 350 until the topping is lightly brown about 15-20 minutes
The sweet potato recipe was adapted from a friends family recipe that I could not imagine Thanksgiving without. Her recipe calls for eggs and milk so I just tweaked it a bit to fit my vegan-ness:)
Here is my Grandmother’s /Mom’s recipe for white baked beans. If you wanted to omit the sugar and use agave or maple syrup, I’m sure you could, but I have never made it this way.
White Baked Beans
3 – 4 cans of great northern beans drain 2 and keep the juice in the others but don’t rinse the beans with water
1 small white onion slivered in small thin pieces
dry mustard powder
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbps of Earth Balance
Pour 1 can of beans in casserole dish
Sprinkle with small amount of onion, salt and pepper, mustard and brown sugar
Keep layering until all beans are used
Top with butter
Put in oven 350 for 1 – 2 hours – until they are setting up and thickened – if too thick add a bit of water
Cranberry Relish: (this is also my mom’s recipe…you can sub out the sugar, but I have never tried it)
1 package of fresh cranberries – rinsed
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 large orange – flesh and all
1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar to taste
Chop cranberries in food processor till small bits
Chop orange separately in processor until all parts of the orange are finely chopped
Add together with the pineapple and sugar
This mixture should be sweet, but not too sweet
Refrigerate – tastes great after it sits in fridge.
I par boiled 4 small artichokes for around 20 minutes. Let them cool and then cut them in half, removing the fuzz and spiky leaves from the center. I grilled the artichokes on my grill pan until they had a nice char.
For the brussel sprouts simply spray with some canola oil, season with salt and bake at 400.
I also grilled the zucchini for a few minutes on each side on my grill pan after seasoning with a bit of salt.
Garlic Basil Aioli
1 Cup Veganaise
2 Garlic Cloves chopped
2 Tsp dry basil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Just mix all ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste. This dip does well made in advance, the flavors combine nicely.
Now for the really bad news. I have not had time to make a pumpkin pie this week! I cannot find my recipe and I don’t want to post something that I am not sure about so I will keep you in suspense. I will be making a pie in the next few days and I promise to post a recipe and pics before Thanksgiving!
One more thing, did you know that instead of eating a Turkey this Thanksgiving you can adopt one?
Whether you are new to the vegan lifestyle, have food allergies or guests that made a special request, I hope these recipes will give you some ideas. A turkey somewhere will thank you:)
Thanks for reading!
Your Vegan Friend