From turkey to gravy and buttery mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving can be a difficult holiday for vegans and vegetarians. Want to convince your family and friends that animal product-free food can taste just as good as the real thing? Ask them to substitute their usual dishes for these plant-based ones.
Starter: Creamy Ginger Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
1 medium onion, diced
5 cups chopped carrots
1 medium peeled and diced sweet potato
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 quart vegetable broth
2 cups water (or unsweetened coconut milk to make it extra creamy)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic, thyme, and broth. Cover, turn to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Blend with a high-powered blender until smooth. Stir in water and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Side: Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples
1 lb cubed butternut squash
1 lb halved brussels sprouts
1 diced medium apple
2 shallots, sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
10 slices bread of choice (leave bread out for a day to become dry, then cut into cubes)
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
⅓ cup dried cranberries
⅓ cup pecans or walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash, sprouts, apple and shallots in 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and remove. Reduce oven heat to 350.
Heat one tablespoon oil in a large pot. Sauté onion and celery until translucent, add bread cubes and allow them to brown.
Add the roasted veggies, broth, cranberries, pecans and seasonings. Stir the mix until the broth has almost entirely been absorbed by the bread, then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Dessert: Vegan Apple Crisp
5 peeled and diced apples
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
⅓ cup vegan butter or coconut oil
⅓ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add apples to a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine oats, ⅓ cup brown sugar and vegan butter. Use a fork or clean hands to cut in the butter so it creates a crumbly texture.
Add apples to an oven-safe casserole dish, then top with oat mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.