We just celebrated our first vegan Thanksgiving. I spent weeks reading vegan and plantstrong blogs, collecting recipes as I went along. I decided to list my favorites so that if you are just starting on your own vegan journey, or have been plant-based forever, you might find something different or validation for new, reliable holiday standards. Enjoy!
Pumpkin bread pudding with strawberry balsamic sauce. The best holiday combination ever, trust me! If you try one plant-based recipe adventure out of this list, do these two recipes for a special occasion. Shortcut tip: For the bread, I used Ezekiel brand cinnamon raisin bread. That way I didn’t have to buy extra raisins. You should be able to find this bread in your bread section at the store or in the freezer case, maybe with other frozen vegetarian foods — that’s the two sections in stores here where I have found it.
Mushroom gravy. Scroll down to the Shepherd’s Pie recipe and go with the “Mushroom and Gravy” layer as your mushroom gravy to serve over potatoes. Substitution tip: I used apple juice instead of red grape juice, because I didn’t have any. You know how it goes. It tasted fine and it is as thick as any gravy I’ve had. Quick way to have brown rice flour: Take some uncooked brown rice, grind it in a coffee grinder. There’s your flour.
Also, I used the “potato layer” in the above linked recipe as my mashed potatoes this year. It was delicious and full of spice.
Vegan stuffing. This was a quick lookup online and I went with the first recipe I found on Google. It was perfect. After taking out of the oven, I drizzled Bragg’s Liquid Aminos over it for just a bit of a salty kick. I did not use any olive oil, and instead of sautéing onions, garlic and celery (which you could do with vegetable broth) I simply put those ingredients in a bowl with about 2 tablespoons of water and zapped for 2 minutes in microwave to soften. That’s a quick way to cook onions when you are A. short on time and B. tired of cooking.
What I will do with this recipe next time: Add mushrooms and maybe chopped apples for color and another flavor boost. But even with the few ingredients I did use as listed in the recipe, it tasted just like traditional homemade stuffing, which is a testament to the herbs used. The bread I used was Ezekiel brand Sprouted 100% Grain Bread. Typically in the freezer aisle at the store, so it’s nice and hard (translation: easy to cut into pieces) for a recipe like this.
And the best dessert ever:
Chocolate Pie with Date Nut Crust and Vanilla Bean Whip.
This is the best. As good as the pumpkin/strawberry mix was, once I did this, combining three recipes for one pie, I never looked back. And … it’s chocolate. An actual raw, chocolate pie, dairy and refined sugar free.
Here’s how I did it.
I used the chocolate pudding recipe I’ve used since this summer from the “Forks Over Knives” cookbook. I always knew it was a substantial, thick pudding that could work as a pie filling.
For the date nut crust, use a handful of cashews, a handful of almonds and a handful of walnuts (toast the nuts before processing for a more “baked” crust taste) and blend in a food processor with a cup of pitted Medjool dates. You could add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract or allspice for more holiday flavor. Press mixture into a pie plate, then fill with chocolate pudding. The topping is the Vanilla Bean Whip (scroll to bottom of link and you will find it.)
This pie is decadent, filling and perfect for any celebration. No one will know the filling is made of tofu.
Enjoy! Thanks to all the vegan chefs out there who, through their online blogs and recipes, made our holiday very tasty. Who needs turkey?!?!