Vegan Thanksgiving is Easy and Traditional

Vegan Thanksgiving is Easy and Traditional

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 ... Read More >

A Vegan Thanksgiving Celebrates Good Food, Activism and Hope

A Vegan Thanksgiving Celebrates Good Food, Activism and Hope
Clove, a rescued turkey at animal place

Clove, a rescued turkey at Animal Place

When I sit down with friends to carve the Tofurky on Thursday, it will feel a little bit like lighting a candle in the darkness. People eat meat every day, of course, but somehow a holiday that places such intense focus on the carcass of one particular animal—and is responsible for the slaughter of some 45 million of them—is especially hard for those who care about animals.

Because Thanksgiving feels so heartbreaking to some of us, it can be tempting to refuse to participate. But celebrating Thanksgiving as a vegan is both activism and a statement of hope. In my early days as a vegetarian, I always stuffed a squash, but now I like having the opportunity ... Read More >

Easy Vegan Holiday Party

I had a few neighbors over last night for wine and cocktail party-ish appetizers. These are good, cozy friends—the kind with whom you don’t worry too much if you don’t get around to cleaning the bathroom. They are omnivores, though—and that causes me to fuss just a little bit more than usual. I didn’t have time to cook all day, so I ended up using a few prepared party foods.It’s nice that there are so many great ones available for vegans. In addition, I made one batch of Christmas cookies, a fast cake, some hummus (well, it was a vegan party; you’ve gotta have hummus!), and walnut-broccoli spread.

Here is what was on the menu with some recipes

From the freezer:

Vegetable Bird’s ... Read More >

Vegan Thanksgiving is Easy, Traditional and Delicious

This year, I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper about why we don't have turkey in my home on Thanksgiving. I hope that I was able to capture some of the joy that comes with embracing compassion on this day of all days–one that celebrates family, friendship, abundance and gratitude. (Please take a look at my article on the myth of free-range turkeys, too.)

I look forward to my cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner every year. I’m a traditionalist, and so my Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change a lot from year to year. There is an entrée surrounded by all the “trimmings,” ie, the dishes that were always a part of my family’s Thanksgiving meals when I was a kid. They are tweaked ... Read More >

Update on Vegan Mushroom Strudel: The Whole Wheat Version

I made my yummy mushroom strudel yesterday with a few changes. As noted in the comments on that post, I found a whole wheat phyllo at the local food co-op. For this special occasion recipe, I’m perfectly happy to use the refined flour version, but I thought it would be fun to try something new. And my only dinner guest was my husband who, in addition to his other excellent qualities, will eat pretty much anything. I never really have to worry about recipe disasters.

To counteract the somewhat drier aspect of whole grain flour, I replaced the olive oil in my recipe with a combination of olive oil and melted coconut oil—a healthy saturated fat source. I would have used all coconut oil, ... Read More >

Celebrate Easter and Spring with Vegan Mushroom Strudel

Mushroom Strudel is my favorite company dinner and I’m making it this weekend for Easter. It’s adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, an older collection of recipes that definitely puts the “lacto” in lacto-ovo vegetarian! It was super easy to veganize, though, and I’m really happy with the results.

Traditionally, strudel recipes are made with phyllo (also spelled filo) dough layered with lots of melted butter. But olive oil works very well and, in fact, the instructions on the phyllo package say that it’s fine to use oil. The filling substitutes were easy—I used Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream.

If you’ve never worked with phyllo dough, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how quickly you can ... Read More >

Meat Out! Celebrate Spring By Going Vegetarian

It’s the season of birth and new beginnings in the northern part of the world. We’re starting the time of year when daylight outlasts the night. March 20th is the first day of spring—and it’s also Great American Meatout Day. What a great time to make a few changes and a fresh start.

Going vegetarian is about being kind to animals, responsible to the earth, and eating some of the best food in the world. But it’s not just a good thing to do; it’s fun, too! Do you think of meatless dishes as boring and limited? Look at some of the best-loved dishes from across the globe for ideas about how truly gourmet vegetarian eating can be. Here are just a few of ... Read More >

Vegan Corned “Beef” and Cabbage: Happy St Patty’s Day!

This may not taste exactly like the real thing, but that’s okay. For those who really want to go green this St Patty’s Day—for the earth and the animals—it’s a fun alternative. It’s easy to make, too. Serve it with Beer Bread. Here are both recipes:

Vegan Corned Beef
1 pound seitan (I use Westsoy Vegetarian Stir-fry Strips)
2 tsp pickling spice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 cup water

¼ cup canola oil
½ large onion, cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
1 tsp horseradish
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 carrot, thickly sliced
½ head cabbage, cut into wedges
2 large potatoes cut into big chunks

In a large shallow pan with a lid, stir together the pickling spice, brown sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Add the seitan, cover tightly ... Read More >

Vegan Cocktail Party: Fast and Fun!

I’m having friends over for a little cocktail party (well, really just wine and beer) and am enjoying the challenge of putting together a good menu. My friends are easy-going types, but they aren’t vegan (or even vegetarian) so I want to make sure everything is especially yummy. And I want it all to be finger food. And I don’t have time to do a whole lot of cooking, so it has to be easy with a mix of fast recipes and store-bought items.

Here is what I’ve decided to serve:

Phyllo Cups with Artichoke Filling. In the best of all worlds—in which I’d be a lady of leisure—I would make my own little phyllo cups, but I’m using pre-made ones which I found in ... Read More >

A New Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

I loved my Thanksgiving menu from last year and am not especially eager to make too many changes. But it’s always fun to try something new, so I’m tweaking the menu a little bit. I have some reluctant omnivores coming this year so dinner had better be good!

We’re trying a new sweet potato recipe, made with coconut milk. And there will be three kinds of cranberries on the table (you can never have too many cranberry dishes!) I’m also going to try to create a veggie version of that wonderful green bean casserole with French onions, although I haven’t worked out the details of that yet.

I’m serving White Wave Vegetarian Stir Fry Strips again because they are still the best meat substitute I ... Read More >