By: Caitlin D
So let’s face it, the holiday season is not exactly the healthiest time of year. From the never ending appetizers, to the traditionally heavy holiday dishes, it can be hard to stick to our healthy diet and lifestyle. Thanksgiving can be especially difficult for vegans and vegetarians as the main dish revolves around meat. To-fu and veggie turkeys can be a little intimidating, especially for new vegan cooks (like myself), so I decided to do a test run and find some of the most delicious (and relatively simple) recipes and tricks to creating a delicious vegan-friendly (and turkey friendly) Thanksgiving Dinner!
There’s a million recipes out there for vegan side dishes and desserts, but if you’re like me, and looking for an easy transition from the traditional Thanksgiving dinner to the vegan one, here’s my list of fairly simple recipes for the amateur- vegan cook!
The Lazy Vegan’s Guide to a Delicious Thanksgiving!
The Main Course: The Turkey-Free Turkey.
My suggestion? Go with store bought Veggie Turkeys or a Tofurky. (I found mine at Whole Foods Market in the frozen isle)
Try one of these tricks to make it your own!
-Baste in vegetable broth while baking to add extra flavor
- Try a Cajun rub to kick up the zest
- Try the traditional turkey seasoning: Coat the roast in olive oil and spread on turkey seasoning
PETA’s Recipe for Traditional Turkey Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. poultry-seasoning herbs
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Pinch of salt and pepper
Next Comes The Stuffing…Vegan Style [I used the recipe from Suite101.com, absolutely delicious!]
- 8 – 10 pieces of slightly stale bread, cut into ¾” cubes
- 1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- ¼ cup vegan margarine or similar spread (such as Earth Balance)
- 5 – 7 tbsp. water
- ½ tbsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp thyme (taste better if fresh rather than dried!)
- 1 tsp sage (taste better if fresh rather than dried!)
- 1 tsp rosemary (taste better if fresh rather than dried!)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt margarine in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until onions are soft.
- Put the bread cubes in a large bowl. Mix in the herbs and spices.
- Pour the vegetable mixture into the bowl of bread cubes. Stir well.
- Slowly drizzle the water, one tablespoon at a time, over the dressing while stirring it.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish. Pour the vegan stuffing into the dish, and then cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 degrees F, remove foil from the dish, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the top of the dressing is slightly crisp and browned.
It’s Not Thanksgiving Without Gravy…(Yes there’s more than 3 ingredients but nothing too out of the ordinary!) [Found on Food.com]
- -1/2 cup vegetable oil
- -6 cloves garlic, minced
- -3 slices yellow onions, chopped
- -1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
- -4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- -4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- -2 cups water
- -1/2 teaspoon sage
- -1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- -1/2 teaspoon salt
- -5 -6 white mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- flour (optional) or cornstarch (optional)
- Pour the oil in a saucepan and heat.
- Add garlic and onions and saute 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce, stirring constantly until it makes a think, thick sauce.
- Gradually stir in the water and add spices.
- Keep adding cornstarch or flour until it is the right thickness for you!
- Serve hot!
PETA’s Roasted Rosemary’s Sweet Potatoes
- 6 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into wedges
- 6 Tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (try Earth Balance brand)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced rosemary
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes in a large bowl with the margarine, rosemary, salt, and pepper to coat. Spread onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with any remaining margarine from the bowl.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, until tender, flipping halfway through.
And Now For Dessert- Pumpkin-Raisan Oatmeal Cookies! [I found a few variations of this myself, but I think this is the best version]
- 6 tbsp canned pure pumpkin
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup raw sugar
- ½ whole banana, mashed
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ raisins
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet
- Next, mix pumpkin, maple, banana, sugar and non-dairy milk together in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice together and then transfer it into the wet mixture.
- Stir a few times then add raisins.
- Continue to mix until combined. The mixture will look dry at first but with some arm power it will soften!
- Drop spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Comment or Post Your Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes!