November 22, 2010

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving. {Recipes}


“Traditional” Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes with all the Fixins.

Usually the holidays, for me, entail watching my relatives dismember a turkey, while I enjoy a veggie burger and plain mashed potatoes. This year I am excited to be, for the first time ever, cooking my own vegan Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m not vegan, elefriends, so if you aren’t either (or find that the idea of vegan food is…scary…) trust me that all of these recipes are tasty and cruelty-free. A win-win scenario on a day when 48 million turkeys will be carved up for dinner this year alone.

This year we’re falling back on the good old Tofurky. If you’ve never had it, you really should try it, even the meat lovers in my house think it is perfectly tasty. Cook according to package directions, basting with a mixture of veggie broth, soy sauce, and sage.

Cranberry Walnut Stuffing (pictured above)

1/2 cup “Smart Balance”

1 cup each of celery and chopped onion

1 loaf of vegan French bread, cubed and left out overnight to stale (or one box plain stuffing)

1 tsp Thyme

1 tsp. pepper

1 3/4 cups of vegetable broth

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup dried cranberries

1 tbsp mixed dried herbs, like Italian seasoning mix

Saute the onion and celery in the Smart Balance, until tender. Then, in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, tossing to coat the bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

1 cup sweetener of your choice

1 cup orange juice

1 package fresh or frozen whole cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until the cranberries start to pop open, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, it will thicken as it cools.

Mashed Red Potatoes with Vegetarian Gravy

5 lbs of red potatoes, washed

1/4 cup of Smart Balance

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste

1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

Boil potatoes until tender (do not peel them), about 30 minutes. Then mash the potatoes, combining them with the rest of the ingredients as you go.

For the Gravy:

Bring 3 cups of vegetable broth, 1 tsp pepper, and 1/4 cup of soy sauce to a simmer. Combine 1/4 cup cold water and 1 tbsp. corn starch in a small cup, then whisk it into the broth. Return to a simmer and continue to whisk, until the gravy has thickened.

Baked Whole Yams

Whole, washed yams, as many as needed

Olive oil


Vegan brown sugar

Smart Balance

Pierce each yam a few times on each side. Then rub them in olive oil and salt. Bake at 400 degrees until soft, about an hour or so.

Squeeze each yam, to make them pop open and top with Smart Balance and brown sugar.

Garlic Green Beans with Lemon

This recipe comes courtesy of Food Network, for the original, click here. I’ve altered it, just a tiny bit, to fit our needs.

2 lbs fresh green beans, ends trimmed

3 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp lemon zest

Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil green beans until crisp-tender (don’t overcook them! They should still have a “bite” to them). Drain. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, adding in the garlic, green beans, and salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes. Transfer the green beans to the serving dish and sprinkle the lemon zest on top.

Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I was fortunate enough this year to cook up and reserve two pumpkins after Halloween. All that pumpkin goodness will last me many recipes to come! If you don’t have fresh pumpkin puree available, of course you may use canned.

This recipe comes from the New York Times. They have a nifty little vegetarian menu planned over there. Go check it out!

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp, each, of cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

10 cups vegan French bread, cubed and left out overnight to stale.

3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

2 tbsp brown sugar

In a blender, process coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, and spices until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the pumpkin mixture and chocolate chips until each bread cube is coated. Oil a 9 x 13-inch glass pan. Fill the baking dish with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle about 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the top of the bread pudding. The brown sugar will help the pudding to caramelize on the edges. (Steps 1 through 3 can be done up to three days in advance; store covered in the refrigerator.)

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned. If using ramekins: Let the pudding cool a few minutes, then carve around the edges with a knife to loosen and unmold. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. If using a 9-by-13 baking dish: Let the pudding cool a few minutes before serving. Cut into portions, then garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. The pudding can be baked right before serving or earlier that day and then reheated for 8 to 10 more minutes right before serving.

Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

What better to do with all your yummy leftovers than make a shepherd’s pie?

Layer all of your leftovers in a large, greased baking dish (Tofurky, stuffing, cranberry, vegetables, whatever you have left!).

Top with gravy and, lastly, with mashed potatoes or yams. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

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