Finding recipes for a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving feast is not exactly a challenge. My own Vegan Thanksgiving board on pinterest is quickly filling up with all kinds of delectable dishes that I will probably never make. The reason I won’t make them is that I tend to be very traditional regarding Thanksgiving dinner. I want it to be pretty much the way it was when I was growing up, but with a compassionate makeover.
I might be tempted to make one or two new things some years, but mostly it’s all about the stuffing and the mashed potatoes and gravy for me. And I don’t think I’m alone in this regard. Many people who are reluctant to give up the turkey at their Thanksgiving feast may be more attached to their traditions than anything else.
If you’re making Thanksgiving dinner for non-vegans, it’s important to view it as outreach by making the dinner festive and delicious, and depending on your guests, maybe as traditional as possible. It’s a good time to skip the alfalfa sprouts and green juice toasts.
This year I also want my dinner to be super easy. I’m finishing up the very last tasks for my new book in the next couple of weeks, and then leaving for an overseas trip two days after Thanksgiving. So I want a holiday that is relaxing. And I’m always amazed at how easy it is to pull together a good vegan Thanksgiving meal. And at how few tweaks it takes to turn the dishes of my childhood into the compassionate cuisine that fits my life now. You really don’t need to know anything special about vegan cooking to veganize Thanksgiving.
So here is what is on the menu for this year with my vegan modifications.
For the main course: Either a Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute or a Tofurky Holiday Roast; I haven’t decided. The Field Roast has a little bit more of that wow factor (I’m easily impressed by anything wrapped in a flaky crust), but the Tofurky does feel a little more traditional to me. I’m so grateful for these products that it’s quite possible I’ll make both, especially since they require no effort on my part at all.
Mashed potatoes. I’m making them in the crockpot with soymilk and vegan margarine.
Stuffing. From a commercial mix, prepared with olive oil and veggie broth and with added chopped onions, celery, apples and walnuts
Gravy (I’m making Isa’s recipe for mushroom gravy which I hear is really good.
Roasted fall veggies: Brussels sprouts, golden beets, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbes de Provence and then roasted at 425 for about 45 minutes.
Coleslaw made with Vegenaise
Wild rice with mushrooms. My friend Kate is from Minnesota and this is one of her Thanksgiving traditions that I’ve really come to love
Cranberries (the directions on the Ocean Spray package are vegan—I use organic sugar—but there are also all kinds of nice vegan recipes with added fruits and brandy.
Green bean casserole. I’m on the fence about this one since we’ll already have plenty of mushrooms for dinner, but it’s so much fun to veganize this (just replace the mushroom soup with sauteed mushrooms and a sauce of soymilk and olive oil thickened with flour) and it will make my husband happy. So, if I have time, I’ll whip this up, too.
Maple cheesecake. Here is where we part from tradition just a little bit. My friend Phyllis is an inspired vegan baker and always serves up something interesting. I think this is a raw cheesecake recipe. We’re having sweet potato pie, too.
To drink: red wine, white wine, sparkling cider, coffee with non-dairy creamer.
That’s it! What’s on your menu this year?