Our Vegan Turkey Day 2019 was a day of celebration. It was the first holiday meal-prep we would pass as vegans. It was the last Thanksgiving of the decade, and the first vegan holiday for us. The up-side of our first vegan turkey day was that we were all together, wildly creating in the kitchen delivering local, organic vegan dishes. It was a start of a new tradition. A walk on the wild side, and a chance we all took together.
1. Cauliflower Steak with Eggplant and Tomato
If you’ve heard the term, “cauliflower steaks”, you’ll get this recipe. If not, well, let’s say it’s the new ‘white meat’ option for us vegans. Trying to find a turkey substitute was a challenge for me. After searching endless hours, I thought this would be a good option. This is the stacked cauliflower steak with eggplant, tomato, and breadcrumbs.
2. Classic Risotto with Vegan Bolognese
As one tends to stick to the past as they lead into the future, this was our bit of “past”. Because for us, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving with out our home-made, deliciously rich risotto. It’s warm, creamy and full of pleasurable flavors. Cooked the old fashion way, it’s a dish that takes time, dedication and a delicious sauce.
3. Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed mushrooms are a simple favorite, designed to compliment any menu, vegan or not. Filled with diced mushrooms, garlic, onions, olive oil and breadcrumbs, then roasted to perfection.
4. Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Though we went a little over-board with our puree feature on the mixer, these mashed potatoes were delicious. They were creamy, soft and were the perfect host for item number 5, the mushroom gravy
5. Vegan Mushroom Gravy
This gravy was the perfect topper for our meal. The base was a mixture of sauteed onions and garlic. Followed with a nice simmering in white wine, these mushrooms embraced the slow cook method and delivered a plate full of flavor.
6. Vegan Mashed Carrots
Carrots are a staple on any holiday table. Healthy, local and seasonal, these carrots were a wonderful accompaniment to the entire menu.
7. Vegan Sauteed Green Beans
What would Thanksgiving be with out the traditional dish of green beans? But not everything needs bacon to taste delicious. Sometimes, keeping vegetables in their purest form is their best form. These green beans not only delivered flavor but a bit of familiarity to our Thanksgiving feast.
8. Vegan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Combining a few varieties of any roasted vegetable is a great way to spunk up the flavor of your dish. Combining garnet, yams, and jewel sweet potatoes turned out to be quite a delicious combination. All deliciously sweet, soft and creamy. Enhanced with a drizzle of olive oil, garlic and some Italian spices, making it a warm and delicious addition to our feast.
9. Vegan Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans
It was as delicious as it looked! Adapted from Michael Chiarello’s infamous recipe with molasses, syrup and tons of butter, it’s a more toned-down, healthier version. I threw some pecans in for appeal and flavor. Glad we did, because it was the hit of the dish!
10. Vegan Cranberry Salad
What would Thanksgiving be with out cranberry salad? Cranberry salad is the perfect balance of yin and yang. Bitter and sweet. However, nothing changed with my classic recipe other than omitting the whole cream.
1. Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Again, a Thanksgiving staple…and we couldn’t be with out it! Vegan from head to toe, only with out the heavy cream, or condensed milk from the past. Cinnamon and clove played an important role in this delicious pie, but the crust was most impressive! This was my first vegan-pie crust attempt, and I loved it.
As our new vegan lifestyle commanded the way to our new Thanksgiving traditions, it brought a few conclusions to the day. Firstly, we were in this meal together as a committed group of plant-based eaters. We all pitched in and cooked the old dishes with a new approach. Secondly, the day was full of a wonderful spirit. No needless animal sacrifices or animal products needed to succeed here! In short, no guilt! Working together to create new traditions is something that brings people together. And, after all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?