This article by Jana Free was from issue 6 of the magazine in the “Plant-based Perfection” section. Seeing as tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought it was the perfect article to share today. To some a Vegan Thanksgiving might seem like blasphemy but for those that choose to eat this way… this one is for you 😉 My table will have a Turkey and Vegan dishes as well and I’m definitely adding rum to the egg nog recipe below. Happy Thanksgiving!”
I have a new boyfriend. Old friend, actually, but a new relationship, and we’ve been talking about what we do for Thanksgiving. He recently asked me if I can go to anyone’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. He’s come to see how important my plant-based way of life is to me and he’s yet to realize how this way of eating blends with the typical American Thanksgiving meal.
He knows that I care for animals, the environment, and my health, and he has been so good to try many vegan recipes and restaurants that I suggest. Eating plant-based on Thanksgiving is the norm for my two boys and me, and my extended family knows that I bring my elaborate 10-course meal whenever the three of us go on this special day. I pack the entire spread, cider, snacks, sides, main dish, and dessert, into my cooler bag, and lay the most decadent plates out on the table for us when it comes time to eat. I confess, that I usually buy our vegan “egg” nog, but when I host Thanksgiving at my house I’ll often make the recipe below.
On a few occasions, I’ve prepared some of these recipes in big batches, to offer other guests at our Thanksgiving celebration. This year, I’d like to do the same, as it’s a great way to share our love of plant-based eating with friends and family. I am used to fielding questions about why I am vegan, how I can pass up a traditional meal made with animal products, and what that “thing” is on my plate in place of turkey. I’ve come to feel comfortable bringing my own food, or excitedly volunteering to veganize one of the items for the meal, such as the raw pumpkin cheesecake that I brought one year that was devoured.
For this Thanksgiving, I’m planning on tempting my boyfriend with lots of the plant-based goodies that I wait patiently to make every year. I hope he loves them (I think he will), and I am so pleased that my conviction to my planet, my health, and my happiness is pleasing others too. Who knows, maybe even my awesome “I-probably-dont-want-any-if-you-say-the-word-vegan” dad will ask for seconds of my Spiced Cranberry Sauce or steal another piece of my Sage Skillet Cornbread with Non-Dairy Honey Butter.
Enjoy these plant-based Thanksgiving recipes with wishes for peace and joy this holiday season.
Sage Skillet Cornbread w/ Non-Dairy Honey Butter
Meatless Thanksgiving Loaf w/ Vegan Gravy
Mashed Potatoes w/ Chives & Green Onions
Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/ Sage and Cashew Cheeses Dipping Sauce
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Non-Dairy Herbed Butter
Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Rustic Buckwheat Crust
Vegan “Egg” Nog
- 2 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
- 6 tablespoons filtered water, room temperature
- 1 cup organic corn meal (whole grain and medium grind)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves, chopped (plus 11 whole fresh sage leaves)
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (organic soy, hemp, oat, rice, almond, or coconut)
- ½ cup raw honey
- ½ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil, melted (or olive oil as an alternative)
- Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Heat a medium skillet (preferably, cast iron) for 10 minutes in oven.
- Combine flax seeds and water in a small bowl, and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Whisk corn meal, pastry flour, baking powder, and sea salt together in a large bowl. Stir in teaspoons of chopped sage leaves. In small bowl, whisk milk, honey, and flax mixture together.
- Remove skillet from oven. Add coconut or olive oil (depending on preferred taste). Swirl gently, until oil completely covers the bottom of the skillet. Pour remaining oil into milk mixture, stirring until combined. Add 11 sage leaves to skillet, stirring to coat. Arrange leaves in skillet so that they are spaced evenly apart.
- Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture, and combine just enough to incorporate all ingredients. Take care not to over mix (batter will be slightly runny). Pour batter in skillet, over sage leaves. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown and a knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Cool in skillet for at least 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter and score into 11 slices. You may need to reposition the sage leaves on top of the cornbread.
- ½ cup macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
- 1 tablespoon expeller-pressed olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- ¼ cup filtered water, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth, except for the coconut oil. You may need to add a little of the coconut oil at this point to achieve the smooth consistency. Add all of the coconut oil and process again until smooth. Remove and place in a glass jar. Refrigerate.
- 2 pounds organic russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons expeller-pressed olive oil (plus ½ cup olive oil)
- ½ cup fresh chives, chopped
- ¼ cup green onions, chopped
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (organic soy, almond, rice, hemp, or oat)
- Sea salt to taste
- Non-dairy Herbed Butter (recipe below) for garnish
- Fill a large stock pot with water. Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon sea salt, and slowly bring to a boil. Allow potatoes to simmer, over medium-high heat, for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when a fork is inserted. Drain potatoes.
- In a separate pan, sauté chives and green onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 3 minutes, or until soft. Remove from heat.
- Add chives, onions, milk, olive oil, and sea salt to potatoes, and then mash with a fork or whip with a hand mixture until desired consistency. Add a bit more milk, if desired.
- Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl. Garnish with small scoops of Non-dairy Herbed Butter, to be mixed into potatoes as serving. Or, serve alone and provide Non-dairy Herbed Butter as an accompaniment.
- 1-1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 3 tablespoons flax seed oil
- 3 tablespoons expeller-pressed olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cups filtered water, room temperature
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 cup expeller-pressed coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth, except for the coconut oil and herbs. You may need to add a little of the coconut oil at this point to achieve the smooth consistency. Add all of the coconut oil and process again until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Stir in chopped herbs. Place Non-dairy Herbed Butter in a glass jar. Refrigerate.
- 4 sweet potatoes, rinsed, dried, and cut into long wedges
- 6 tablespoons expeller-pressed coconut oil or olive oil
- 4 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, cut into strips
- Sea salt to taste
- Cashew Cheese Dipping Sauce (optional)
- Preheat Oven to 400 F degrees. Place potato wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, bring oil to medium heat and whisk in honey. Stir in sage strips and toss to coat. Allow sage to get slightly crispy.
- Pour butter and sage mixture over potato wedges, and season slightly with sea salt. Toss wedges to coat. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until tender and starting to get dry and browned. Cool slightly and serve with Cashew Cheese Dipping Sauce.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
- ⅓ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup filtered water
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for 1 minute. At this point, you can taste for texture and flavor, and adjust recipe accordingly. You may need to process for more than 1 minute to get the texture smooth and silky.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup organic maple syrup
- ⅓ cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground
- Juice and zest from ½ an orange
- Wash the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. In a medium sauce pan, combine maple syrup, water, spices, and orange juice over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cranberries and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. The cranberries should burst open at this point, and the sauce will begin to thicken. Remove from heat immediately. Do not cook longer than 15 minutes, to keep the consistency of the sauce. Transfer mixture to a glass jar with a lid, and chill for 5 hours before serving. Bring to room temperature before serving, if desired.
- 2 cups water or organic vegetable broth
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup Portobello mushrooms (or your favorite variety), chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus some whole parsley leaves for garnish)
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pecans, chopped (plus a few whole pecans for garnish)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Place water and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, leave pan covered, and allow quinoa to rest for 20 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, place yellow onion, garlic, and mushrooms in a small saucepan or skillet with olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent and all ingredients begin to get soft. Add onion mixture to cooked quinoa and stir to incorporate ingredients. Stir in parsley, green onion, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and salt and pepper. Top with parsley and pecans for garnish.
- 1 medium organic sweet potato
- 1 medium onion
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 medium organic carrot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 14 ounces extra-firm organic tofu (one 14 to 16-ounce package)
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free organic soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown or whole-grain prepared mustard
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ tablespoon rubbed sage
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaf
- ½ tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
- ¾ cup quinoa flakes or soaked buckwheat groats
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Wash sweet potato and pierce it several times with a fork. Bake for 1 hour, or until you can pierce a fork all the way through. Cook potato enough to handle, and then peel and set aside.
- Mince the onion, celery, and carrot. Heat a large, non-stick skillet and add the minced vegetables, including garlic. Cook, stirring regularly until vegetables become tender (about 6 to 10 minutes). Add water by the teaspoon, if necessary, to keep the vegetables from sticking or becoming dry. Once vegetables are softened, add drained beans and mash them lightly with a slotted spoon or spatula.
- Place the peeled sweet potato into the food processor, along with the tofu, soy sauce, all seasonings, and nutritional yeast. Process until fairly smooth. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. Scrape the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the quinoa flakes and the cooked vegetables. Stir well.
- Increase oven heat to 375 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tofu mixture onto the prepared baking surface, using dampened hands to shape it into an oblong or oval loaf about 2½ inches high. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is evenly browned. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20 more minutes. Check to make sure that the center is firm; if not, give it a little extra time. (You can also remove the foil and cook for 5 more minutes for a crunchier crust.) Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- 2 cups organic vegetable stock
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
- 2 tablespoon expeller-pressed olive oil
- 2 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
- ¼ cup organic soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Pour the vegetable stock into a medium saucepan. Add mushrooms. Bring stock and mushrooms to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove and allow mushrooms to steep for 30 minutes.
- In another medium saucepan, combine olive oil and flour over medium heat, and whisk until mixed. Brown slightly. Pour stock and mushrooms into olive oil/ flour mixture, whisking the entire time. Add soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Taste to see if you need additional salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- 1 non-dairy milk (I prefer organic soy or coconut)
- 1 raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 8 dates, pitted (or 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ¼ cup teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
- Dash of turmeric for color (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. You may need to process for 2 minutes. Serve in small glasses and top with a dash of nutmeg.
- For the crust:
- 2 cups whole-grain buckwheat flour (can substitute almond flour)
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup non-dairy milk (organic soy, almond, hemp, oat, or coconut)
- ½ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil, melted
- For the filling:
- 2-1/4 cup fresh pureed pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie filling)
- ¾ cup coconut palm sugar or 9 dates, pitted
- ¼ cup expeller-pressed coconut oil
- 3 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 2 teaspoon fresh pulp from a vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon ginger, ground
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- Pinch of cloves, ground
- Crust: Preheat oven to 425 F degrees and set aside a 9-inch pie dish. In a large bowl, mix dry crust ingredients with a fork. Pour in milk and melted coconut oil. With an electric mixer, mix just until the dough forms into a few lumps. Do not over mix. The dough should be moist, but not too sticky. If it’s too sticky, add a tiny bit of flour when rolling.
- On a non-stick mat or lightly floured surface, roll out dough until it’s a couple inches wider than the pie dish. Place pie dish on top of dough and trim the edges leaving 1-inch around the edge. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unroll over top of dish or just flip the baking mat over with the dish on top. Tuck the edges of the dough under and then crimp/flute the edge using your fingers. Poke 10 fork holes into base and pre-bake the crust for 7 minutes at 425 F degrees. Roll out remaining dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters, if desired. Cover dough shapes with plastic wrap.
- Filling: In a small bowl, whisk together all filling ingredients.
- Scoop the filling into crust, and spread out evenly. Add dough cutouts on top, if desired. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F degrees. Remove and cover crust edges with aluminum foil or a crust shield. Bake for another 15 minutes. Place pie on cooling rack for 1 hour. Place pie in refrigerator to set for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.