I know it’s the day after, but Happy Thanksgiving! For years, my husband and I have talked about making a 100 percent vegan Thanksgiving spread, and this year we finally got around to doing it. I’ve never made a full spread of food before, and I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off. But I have to say, it turned out really well. In fact, it was downright delicious!
For our first-ever vegan Thanksgiving, I decided to veganize traditional dishes: green bean casserole, maple sweet potatoes, stuffing, and mushroom gravy. We also picked up a Celebration Roast and rolls from Whole Foods, as well as a can of cranberry sauce (I can’t help it—I love the kind that looks like a can).
For the green bean casserole, I used Lauren Ulm’s alfredo sauce recipe for the base, and added sautéed onions and cremini mushrooms. I used frozen haricot vert because they are a little more tender than regular greens beans. Plus, it saved me a little prep time. I also added roasted garlic, lots of pepper, and, of course, fried onions throughout and on top. I baked it in the oven for 50 minutes total, but removed the foil and added fried onions to the top for the last 10 minutes.
For the sweet potatoes, I simply peeled and cut them into small, uniform cubes, and boiled them until tender. After that, I placed them into a casserole dish and tossed them with brown sugar, Earth Balance, maple syrup, and pecans. I topped them with Dandies Vegan Marshmallows and baked them at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
The stuffing, though tasty, was the one dish that I felt could use some more tweaking. I first cubed day-old whole wheat sandwich bread and spread the cubes out onto a baking sheet. I placed them in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes to dry them out a bit. While they were in the oven, I sautéed lots of onion and celery. I also made about 8 cups of vegetable broth using Better Than Bouillon and lots of sage, thyme, and pepper. (I used some of the broth to baste the Celebration Roast to keep it moist while it warmed in the oven.) I mixed the onions and celery with the bread cubes and ladled the broth onto the bread mixture. I baked it alongside the green bean casserole for 50 minutes. The end result was a little too moist for my liking, but I was able to toss in some extra bread cubes to soak up some of the broth. Next year, I’d like to play around with the recipe a bit and add some different ingredients.
The gravy recipe came from Veganomicon and it was fantastic! The only difference was that I splashed in some red wine instead of white because that’s all I had on hand. Also, the recipe made a ton of gravy, so I will probably cut it in half the next time I make it.
And, finally, what Thanksgiving would be complete without a pumpkin pie?
I used the pumpkin pie recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking, which was incredibly easy and ridiculously good. Instead of making my own crust, I went to Whole Foods and found a pre-made spelt flour crust that was all-natural and free of animal products. It worked perfectly. We topped the pumpkin pie with soy whipped cream.
With the help of my husband and some good music on the record player, the whole meal took about 3 1/2 hours to make. I made the pumpkin pie first, then I made the green bean casserole and stuffing and baked them at the same time. While they were baking, I made the sweet potatoes and threw them in the oven, too. I threw the rolls in at the last minute to warm them a bit.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!