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Thanksgiving: The Vegan Way

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The most daunting time of the year for many vegans is Thanksgiving dinner. When celebrating the holidays as someone else’s guest, vegans find themselves surrounded by turkey and dishes containing dairy and eggs and limited options of side dishes and salads to choose from. But look carefully, side dishes may also be drenched in creamy dressings or sprinkled with cheese and bacon bits. Scrutinizing every morsel isn’t fun and undoubtedly annoying when questioning the cook about every ingredient. And indeed, you don’t want to watch everyone enjoy the holiday while your stomach is growling. It becomes a tiresome conversation when educating people about veganism and why you can’t eat certain foods.

So why not take charge of your Thanksgiving this year. Plan ahead so you don’t suffer a sparse dinner plate but a satisfying and thankful holiday dinner. If you’re celebrating away from home:

  • Tell the host in advance you’re a vegan
  • Offer to bring your own dishes and drinks
  • Or help the host prepare vegan recipes everyone will enjoy

Planning a Vegan Thanksgiving At Home

Whether you’re a newbie or longtime practitioner of veganism, cooking Thanksgiving meals at home can be a fun and delicious experience, especially given numerous online vegan resources. These websites boast an array of ideas for a four-course dinner. Below are eight favorite sites you might consider this Thanksgiving season.

  1. VeganRicha.com – Richa Hingle is the founder and award-winning recipe developer, blogger, and photographer behind VeganRicha.com. The site provides easy to follow step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs of each recipe. Richa’s goal is to show people how easy it is to cook vegan Indian or other cuisines. She’s been featured in Oprah.com, Huffington Post, Glamour, Babble, VegNews.com, and Rediff.com. Her site provides classic Thanksgiving recipes with a vegan twist. This year, try the Vegan Lentil Quinoa Loaf, Vegan Cornbread Stuffing, Spicy Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Pie and much more.
  2. Pickle&Honey.com – Amanda, a Culinary Nutritionist and Aaron, an award-winning Creative Director and Photographer started Pickles & Honey in 2011. The website is an essentialist blog with seasonal recipes made from whole foods. Recipes are simplified with a plant-based twist. Amanda has put together ten easy to prepare vegan recipes for the holiday. Why not start with her Chai Apple Cider, and continue with Amanda’s Freezer-friendly Pumpkin Soup and Citrus Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing. For the main course try the Stuffed Butternut Squash with Tempeh, or Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble. Pile on side dishes of Mocked Mash Potatoes,  Simple Sweet Potato Biscuit, and Vegan Gravy. If you’re not too full for dessert, try the Spiced Apple Cider Spelt Cake with Vegan Caramel Sauce, or the Cardamom Apple Crisp.
  3. OhSheGlows.com – Angela started Oh She Glows, an award-winning recipe blog with over 500 healthy recipes, on October 31, 2008. Angela’s goal is to inspire others to embrace plant-based diets. Her recipes are gluten-free and allergy-friendly. More of her vegan dishes can be found in The Oh She Glows Cookbook, published in 2014. To start your meal, try Angela’s Hunky Heartbeet Cabbage Soup and continue with a tasty Thanksgiving Panzanella. If you’re looking for a casserole, the Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole, and Saweet! Potato Casserole with a Crunchy Nut Crumble, are chocked with flavor. For dessert, try the  Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts with a Sunflower Cookie Crust (Nut-free, Vegan).
  4. MinimalistBaker.com – Minimalist Baker was founded by Dana and her husband John in 2012. The Website is devoted to simple cooking (recipes containing 10 or fewer ingredients) and plant-based and gluten-free recipes. The site has an extensive Thanksgiving plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Start with a Simple Pumpkin Soup and White Bean Kale Salad. When you’re done try several options for the main course. Butternut Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole, Green bean Casserole,  Vegan Shephard Pie, and don’t forget the Simple Vegan Stuffing. If you love apple pie but need a new twist on a classic recipe, try two versions. Deep-Dish Apple Crumble Pie or the Pumpkin-Spiced Apple Pie. When you’re done, relax with a Chili Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy.
  5. VegKitchen.com – VegKitchen.com was created by Nava Atlas, author, and illustrator of numerous vegan and vegetarian cookbooks. Her articles have appeared in Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Cooking Light, and other publications. This website is dedicated to the vegan lifestyle and healthy living. Try Nava’s Cranberry Kale Salad, Butternut Squash with Whole Wheat, Wild Rice, and Onion Stuffing or the Vegan Shephard’s Pie with Lentils and Mushrooms. You can’t have Thanksgiving without stuffing, yams, cornbread, and cranberry sauce. Here are four recipes you will love. Contemporary Candied Yams, Cranberry Chutney, Six Flavor Vegan Stuffing, and Green Chili Cornbread. Top it off with a decadent Vegan Praline Pumpkin Pie.
  6. DeliciouslyElla.com – Ella started her blog in 2012 after she was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. She embarked on a journey to take charge of her own health and thus began her passion for healthy lifestyle and the birth of Deliciously Ella. Deliciously Ella is all about celebrating what you can do with delicious, plant-based ingredients without depriving yourself.  Three filling dishes to add to your menu this season is Ella’s Autumn Stuffed Squash, and Warm Cumin Roasted Carrot, Red Onion and Lentil Salad and Sweet Potato, Lemongrass and Coconut Curry. For dessert try Ella’s Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie. The delicious Pumpkin Pie has a subtle flavor of cinnamon and pecans with a creamy and crunchy consistency. Peruse her site for more Thanksgiving ideas.
  7. TheFullHelping.com – Gena is the creator of The Full Helping. She’s a certified nutritionist, cookbook author, and passionate vegan food educator. Her goal is to help you love your body through the experience of nourishing, plant-based food. Her recipes focus on pleasure and wellness, nutrition, self-care, and mindful living. Try Gena’s hearty Vegan Sweet Potato and Lentil Shephard’s Pie. If you’re looking for something spicy try the Chick’N & Bean Chili with  Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Skillet Cornbread with a dabble of Carrot Miso Butter. And for dessert, Gena’s Raw Brownies with Chocolate Pumpkin Frosting will find you asking for seconds.
  8. MayIHaveThatRecipe.com – Two sisters, Ruth and Vicky, created May I Have That Recipe website. Their mission is to bring “seasonal, healthy, vegetarian and vegan recipes from around the world.” This year they prepared a well-rounded Vegan Thanksgiving menu, starting with a Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Savory Granola. Main dishes include a Vegan Pot Pie with White Wine Gravy and Olive Oil Crust. They offer a tasty alternative and twist on the classic Beef Wellington with a vegan Tempeh Wellington. The menu contains several side dishes: Tahini Mash Potatoes, Warm Green Beans with Chestnuts Pomegranates and Lemony TahiniStuffed Yams, Apple-Chestnut Cornbread Stuffing, and top it off with a scrumptious dessert of Vegan Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie.

If you’re looking for more recipes, you can find many on these sites and on Google.  Happy cooking and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving!

For more vegan meal ideas see the article:

Vegan gluten free chocolate bombs.

 

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An author with a rare mixture of Southern and Northern charm, E. Denise Billups was born in Monroeville Alabama and raised in New York City where she currently resides and works in finance. She has an MBA in Finance and she’s a prospective Ph.D. candidate. A burgeoning author of fiction, she’s published two suspense novels, Chasing Victory, By Chance, and two supernatural short stories, The Playground, and Rebound. An avid reader of mystery and suspense novels, she was greatly influenced by authors of that genre. When she’s not writing or reading, you can generally find her training for road races and marathons. She’s a fitness fanatic who loves physical challenges of all types (running, biking, yoga, dance, and more) a discipline she uses to facilitate the creative writing process.

Currently, she’s working on her third suspense novel: A Blog Affair – Coming Summer 2017

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for this article! It is so difficult to find recipes for vegetarian and vegan eating for the holidays! So grateful!

  2. I’m not vegan but I am a vegetarian. Truthfully, I usually eat before I go anywhere. I leave room to order a salad. Easiest way out of any food stress. And the sometimes endless explaining….:>

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