I thought I might feel left out, when at our first Thanksgiving (lots of family means multiple feasts!), there was turkey we would not be sharing. But my partner made a delicious casserole, that everyone tried and said was good, and all was well.
For second Thanksgiving, however, with two vegetarians also in attendance, veganism got to rule the show. Yes, my dad made a few faces, but he had himself a turkey the previous weekend to make himself feel better.
What does one eat for a fully vegan thanksgiving? Well, honestly, we didn’t really know until the day before, when we started looking up recipes (the internet is a glorious thing). But the menu took shape pretty quickly, and I started to get excited.
So excited, that I helped cook. That’s right, I looked past my normal dislike of cooking for this special occasion.
It started with a fake chicken. How many times does a story start like that? Not often, I bet. Anyway. It was made out of bean curd, textured like chicken and shaped like a bird. Fake chicken needed to be cooked, so he was placed reverently on a heaping mound of chopped veggies (with a bit of oil and some spices).
Next up was a replacement for my family’s traditional dish of sweetened mashed yam, topped with marshmallows and baked. If you haven’t had it, try it, it’s delicious. However, it’s also a big, super-sweet sticky mess that is a challenge (to put it mildly) to clean off of the dish. Instead, I found Oh She Glow’s Sweet Potato Casserole–and I knew that was the recipe. But by the time I’d put finished the sweet potato (okay, I confess, I actually used yams instead) part, the topping seemed like way too much. I kept it simple, instead. I sprinkled on some pecans, and some sugar, and left it at that.
Next was the mashed potatoes and gravy aspect. Can’t give up gravy because we’re vegan, that would just be no good. The mashed potatoes were mixed with unsweetened almond milk and some earth balance. That was pretty easy. And it turned out, so was the mushroom gravy.
To round out the meal, we (my husband) made a rice pilaf, also from Oh She Glows. It turned out very tasty, and very purple. Something to do with the particular type of rice we used.
I also concocted some cranberry sauce, with the easiest recipe ever: 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries + 3/4 c water, in a sauce pan. Put on high heat until it boils, then turn the heat down. Try to remember to stir it frequently, instead of letting half the cranberries burn onto the bottom of the pan. When it’s getting pretty thick, add in maple syrup for sweetness, to taste. Why add the sweetener later? Well, it allows it to be really customized for the taster. Like it sweeter? Add more. Like it less sweet? Add just enough that the bitterness goes away but you can still taste the pop of the cranberries. That’s what I did, and it was awesome.
Are you jealous? No? Well, you should be. Especially since we had lots of pie (pumpkin AND apple-raspberry) for dessert.
What’s your favourite Thanksgiving feast dish?