Even though my last name rhymes with Pilgrim, Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday. I hate how people focus on the actual turkey, on all the death and suffering masquerading as the central food and important ‘tradition’, rather than making it just about being with people you love. (Or despise.) But I loved being with my family and playing games and laughing a lot. And of course sneaking vegan sides and desserts into the mix! This year, I’m not with my family. I’m not even in America for chrissakes! But we’re still celebrating Thanksgiving. I miss not having lots of people around, but I do get to have my first entirely vegan Thanksgiving dinner! Yay!!
Anyway, I made tons of food over the past few days, mostly things I’ve never made before. Thanksgiving is about tradition and making the same stuff every year? F that! This is your chance to be a vegan chef all-star and show off. Okay you can do that with the same old favorites I guess. I’m sorry, ‘favourites’.
First, the most important thing to decide is what you’ll be having for dessert. Then work up the rest of the meal from there! It’s like how people choose their shoes first and then plan the rest of their outfit. (Does anybody actually do that?) You’ll have to make it to the end of this post to see our treasure treats.
Then, what’s your main?! Will you make the famous chickpea cutlets? (Yes.) Or did you buy a Tofurky roast in America where it costs like $8 and not like here where the high street Whole Foods sells them for THIRTY FREAKING POUNDS?? (That is about $100 dollars.) Even if you gave me the money for that, I could not stomach buying it for that price. Even if Donald Trump himself was like, I’m kind of an ass, but here’s a million dollars; you must spend it on overpriced Tofurky. Okay maybe then I would. Unless the money smelled like cheese.
And then make cranberry sauce. No one eats it, right, but if it’s not there it pisses off Santa or something. Also, making it from scratch makes all your pots and stirrer majiggies a beautiful deep pink through the next few uses.
OH OH and biscuits!! You can make pumpkin biscuits if you want. I guess that would make sense. But this year I veganized Alton Brown’s perfect regular southern biscuit recipe and they are delicious. Recipe below!
So if you followed my instructions? guidelines? stream-of-consciousness blogging style that we all have learned to love/deal with? you now have a killer menu that would impress even the pickiest omnivore on this oh so special American day! This was my menu. I made all of it from scratch!! So proud!
- Perfect Southern biscuits (recipe below!)
- Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Cranberry sauce (recipe below!)
- Punk Rock chickpea gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance
- Isa’s chickpea seitan cutlets
- Traditional green bean casserole (recipe below!)
- Mashed potatoes (recipe below!)
- Pumpkin cheesecake from Vegan Pie In The Sky
- Brownie bottom peanut butter fudge pie (I’ll share a recipe another day if people ask for it)
- 400g green beans (That’s just what it said on the package! I don’t even know what 400g translates to in America talk! I’ve been here too long already! Okay I googled it and it’s like 14 oz. That doesn’t help me at all. Use like a pound.)
- olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound basic white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup white flour
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 very strong bouillon cubes (I used one liquidy pot kind and one organic powdery kind. Diversity!)
- 2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups crispy fried onions (storebought, don’t make these yourself you crazy animal)
- Clean, trim, and chop your green beans.
- Boil them in salted water for 7 minutes. Drain and leave in colander for some minutes.
- In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil for about 6 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook down. Stir to avoid burning.
- Add the flour and butter and cook for another minute.
- Add the bouillon cubes and plain almond milk and stir stir stir!
- Cook, stirring, until thickened.
- Remove from heat and mix in green beans.
- Mix one cup of your fried onions into the whole shebang.
- *NB: If you are making this ahead of time, stop here, cover with tin foil, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Spread the whole mix into a casserole pan at least 1 inch deep.
- Spread the rest of your fried onions over the top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cover lightly with tin foil if you fear your onions will burn.
- Say ta dah!
- 2 pounds small potatoes (not like ‘hey that’s just small potatoes’, but actual small potatoes.)
- 1/3 cup vegan butter (you may say that’s a lot but I’m a dreamer/it’s Thanksgiving!)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- Boil the potatoes in a big pot of salted water. I let them go for about 20 minutes just to be sure.
- Drain but keep the potatoes in the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mash it with a masher until desired consistency. I used a masher for the first time today and it was SO fun. Much better than using an immersion blender.
- Say ta dah!
- 1 pound cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Mix the water and sugar in a big pot.
- Add the cranberries.
- Boil and stir!
- Are the cranberries popping open?
- Keep stirring as it boils!
- Is it getting thick?
- Do this for like 10 minutes then let it sit for 15 or till cool.
PERFECT SOUTHERN BISCUITS
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegan butter (boy I wish they sold Earth Balance here)
- 1 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Add the milk and vinegar in a measuring cup. Put it in the fridge!
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter. I have a pastry cutter and I thought it was the bee’s knees but lately I’ve been using my fingers. Weird.
- Get the curdly milk out from the fridge and pour it in the bowl.
- Mix ever so gently, super gently, to get all the flour mixed in.
- Don’t overwork the dough. The Alton directions say to knead and roll out and cut into circles, but this was the stickiest dough I’ve ever come across, so I made drop biscuits.
- Drop ½ cup size spoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 16 minutes.
- Say ta dah!
Finish it off with at least one pie per person and you are a golden vegan!
Definitely make the Pumpkin Cheesecake. It's so good, especially with a Speculoos cookie crust! Here is the recipe. I never do the pecan topping because who needs it? Also, I like seeing the swirl!