A Lotus Grows in Brooklyn

No Animals Were Harmed in the Making of This Thanksgiving Dinner
November 29, 2009, 11:59 am
Filed under: Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , ,

I’m shocked at how many people think a vegan Thanksgiving is a hardship, or even an impossibility. Personally, I’ve always found the turkey to be the least interesting part of the meal. Often dry, bland, blah. And now that I’m vegan the very idea of eating the flesh of poultry turns my stomach.

Lucky for me (and for the planet and the animals), there are so very many delicious vegan holiday recipes. I spent the weeks leading up to “Turkey” Day overwhelmed by the wonderful ideas I was seeing around the vegan blogosphere. In the end, I made a small meal on a slim budget that was absolutely delightful.

Green Beans in Lemon-Almond Vinaigrette
(adapted from Bon Appetit magazine)

1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
handful of slivered almonds

Zest lemon. Boil green beans 5-7 minutes until crisp-tender. Mix Dijon mustard in a bowl with lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, and dash of pepper. Combine beans and sauce and sprinkle with almonds.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
I used a recipe from Lauren’s Vegan Journal. It was simple and tasty. I don’t know about  peeling the potatoes after they’re cooked, though.  I nearly singed my fingerprints off handling those guys. Guess I was too impatient. 🙂

Apple ‘Sausage’ Cranberry Stuffing
(adapted from Healthy.Happy.Life) This was probably my favorite part of the meal. I love how many tasty things you can put into stuffing. Some might (and did) say this was too sweet, though, so maybe leave out the cranberries if you’d like it more savory.

6-7 cups diced sourdough bread cubes
3 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
1 cup onion, chopped (white or yellow)
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 medium apple, chopped
1 cup cranberries
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 links vegan Sausage, chopped (I used Tofurky, but Field Roast Grain Meat Co. would be even better.)

Slice bread into small cubes. Set aside.
Prepare the diced vegan sausage by sauteing in a skillet until the bits become browned and a bit crispy on the outside. Set aside.
In a medium pan, melt in the buttery spread. Add the onion, parsley and herbs. Saute until tender.
Add in the black pepper, hazelnuts, apple, and cranberries. Saute until tender.
Add in the veggie broth. Let simmer for a few seconds.
Fold in bread cubes. Try not to mash the bread, but you also want it soaked through. You may need to add more or less bread cubes depending on the dryness of your bread. Too soggy? Add more cubes. Too dense? Add a bit more veggie broth.
Fold in sausage bits.
Transfer stuffing to 13×9 baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Celebration Roast
For the “main course” I bought a Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Celebration Roast, which was pretty good but not spectacular. I think this is the last holiday I’ll tip my hat to the vestiges of my omnivorism. I think it would have helped to have basted it with oil or broth, as the directions say, and perhaps to have had a cranberry sauce. But everything else was so good, the faux meat was incidental!

Onion Dip
Oh, and of course, it’s a tradition in my family to snack all day on onion dip, so I got vegan sour cream (Tofutti) and mixed it with good ol’ Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix. Enjoyed it with Natural Ruffles and could hardly tell it was different from the dip I grew up on.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Recipe I used was from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen. Was mucho delicious!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Now, let’s start planning Christmas dinner!


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That looks delicious. And 1,000,000.04 times more “Thanksgiving” than my non-traditional meal.

Comment by Brian Hurley

The Celebration Roast does indeed taste better when basted or oiled or somesuch. I happened to have had the SAME EXACT thing…and sprayed some vegetable oil/Pam-like substance on it and even sprinkled steak flavoring upon it.

And it was yummy.

As for the Tofutti sour cream, I recently tried that too and found it to be far yummier than real sour cream. Funny enough, it’s less sour.

However, I discovered that using McCormick Onion Gravy Mix is better. Lipton’s has those dried pieces of onion in it. And, as such, you MUST LET LIPTON’S SIT IN THE SOUR CREAM for SEVERAL MINUTES for those dried pieces to soften. And, blechh, who likes those things and who has THAT kind of patience?

B/C McCormick’s is made for gravy, and not soup, it’s just the onion powder, and is at least as yummy if not more so.

That stuffing does sound like it’d be way too sweet.

How was the pie? I had LOTS of delicious vegan pie on my Thanksgiving. The flavor was out of this world. One of them was pumpkin. The other was…not. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was sinful.

Comment by KPlan

Thanks for the comments!

1,000,000.04 times more “Thanksgiving” than my non-traditional meal

I think any Thanksgiving is traditional, and meaningul, that involves being with or even just speaking with those you care about. The meal should be just (vegan) frosting on the (vegan) cake.

…and even sprinkled steak flavoring upon it.

There are some militant vegans who would club you (not an appropriate reaction for people who espouse nonviolence, if you ask me) for trying to make your faux-meat taste even meatier. They would point their self-righteous fingers at you and yell “Omnivore!” like it’s a bad word. But not me. I happen to think steak seasoning is merely a handy way to add salt-pepper-paprika-garlic-and-other-spices in one fell swoop. So bravo for adding spiciness, despite the meaty moniker.

Tofutti sour cream

… is indeed less sour than sour cream; I hadn’t noticed that. But still has a great creamy texture. Yay for cow-less condiments!

Lipton’s has those dried pieces of onion in it. … And, blechh, who likes those things

This is also true. While enjoying the oniony flavor of the dip made with the gravy mix SANS weird little plasticy pieces of almost-onion might take some getting used to (after a lifetime of Lipton’s) I’m open to new paths in cheapo onion dip exploration.

How was the pie?

I can only speak for myself, but I think the pie was a highlight of the day. And of the next day. Next up in holiday desserts, I think, is apple crisp with nut topping. Mmm…

Comment by Carrie M

Are you single?

Comment by KPlan


Comment by KPlan

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