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My Guide to the Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving!

Traditional Thanksgiving recipes…vegan style! Keep reading for my guide to the ultimate vegan Thanksgiving!

Vegan Thanksgiving
Vegan Thanksgiving!

I grew up eating meat, in fact I didn’t become a vegetarian until I was 24 years old. Even though I don’t miss the taste of meat, I still pride myself in making vegan and vegetarian meals that taste like ‘the real thing’. I love feeding things to my meat-eating friends to always hear them say, “I thought you didn’t eat meat!” 🙂

I was used to making vegetarian meals for Thanksgiving but my 1st attempt at a fully vegan Thanksgiving was a couple of years ago when we were invited to my aunts house for the holiday. My entire family (on my dad’s side) eat meat and so I made it a point to make sure that I brought every dish they would have…just vegan. That way no one has to go to any extra trouble for us and so that my family (especially my kids) could happily dish their plates and not feel left out at all!

You may think that a vegan Thanksgiving meal would mean less preparation time but you would be wrong! I started preparing the day before, making desserts, setting up ingredients, and defrosting my frozen vegan turkeys! I bought 2 vegan turkeys from Whole Foods to see which one everyone preferred.

See what vegan turkey was delicious (and which one was disgusting) and check out my traditional-tasting vegan Thanksgiving recipes below!

Vegan Thanksgiving
Vegetarian Plus, Vegan Whole Turkey. So good! Ingredients: Soybean Fiber, Soybean Protein, Vegetable Protein, Raw Cane Sugar, Starch, Soybean Oil, Natural Vegan Flavor, Sea Salt, Cinnamon Powder, Tofu Skin.

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Tofurky Vegetarian Roast. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever tasted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cooking Instructions for the Vegetarian Plus, Vegan Whole Turkey

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DIRECTIONS:

Defrost the Vegan Whole Turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Juniper Brine:
Fill a large pot with 2 quarts water; add 2 cups kosher salt, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 2 tablespoons organic juniper berries, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 3 bay leaves and the zest of 1 lemon (in wide strips). Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Add 6 quarts cold water and let cool. Submerge the turkey in the brine, adding water to cover, if necessary. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Pre heat oven to 350° F. Boil 4 cups of water with 4 table spoons of Olive Oil in a sauce pan until 212∘F.Remove from heat. Add entire pouch of vegan stuffing and stir.
Set for 3 minutes and place into the cavity of the turkey.
Wrap the Vegan Whole Turkey in foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes. Make sure the center is heated all the way through. Remove from oven and remove the wrapping.
Arrange the turkey on a plate and serve with heated gravy.
*Note that the stuffing and gravy are good but go fast. Either buy 2 turkey boxes or make your own in addition to what comes in the box.
Serves 4 to 6 people.

Takes about 30 minutes total for this Recipe.

Costs about $50.00 and feeds 6-8 people.

 

  • Recipe for Vegan Green Bean Casserole

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Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups rice or soy milk
  • 1 (2.5-ounce) cube veggie bouillon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Earth Balance Butter Sub
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 15 oz. of French cut green beans
  • 1-1/2 (24-ounce) canisters vegan French fried onions

DIRECTIONS:

In a saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and veggie bouillon; stir until bouillon cube disintegrates. Just heat the milk, do not boil.

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions, mushrooms, and carrots; saute until the onions are translucent. Add the herbs and spices (basil, garlic, marjoram, oregano, pepper, sage, salt, and thyme – and whatever other hearty herbs make you happy).

Make it thickener by combining cornstarch and cold water; mix well. Pour into the nondairy milk-bouillon mixture. Stir well, because this will coagulate pretty quickly.

Quickly add the can of green beans, the sautéed veggies, and about half of the French fried onions; stir well. Pour that mixture into a casserole dish or pan and top with remaining French fried onions.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the French fried onions begin to brown. Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Takes about 30 minutes total for this Recipe.

 

  • Recipe for Vegan Mashed Potatoes (Family Favorite!)

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Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Organic Russet Potatoes
  • 1-2 Cups of Rice Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Earth Balance Butter Sub
  • 2 tbsp. Garlic Salt
  • 1-2 tsp. Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Fill a large pot 3/4 way full with water. Bring to boil.

In the meantime, thoroughly wash and peel the potatoes. Add to pot of water (even if it isn’t boiling yet).

Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium and continue to cook for 30-45 minutes (until the potatoes are soft and can be mashed).

Then drain the water from the pot and mash your potatoes.

Add all of the ingredients to your pot and mix together. I then like to put my speed mixer through the mix for 30 seconds to 1 minute to make sure there are no lumps, plus it makes it incredible creamy! *If your potatoes seem too dry, add splashes of rice milk until it’s ready for the mixer.

Add more pepper or garlic salt as needed.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Takes about 1 hour and  40 minutes total for this Recipe.

 

  • Recipe for Vegan Cranberry Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag Fresh/Frozen Cranberries (14 oz to 1 lb)
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1 Orange, Zest
  • 1 Splash of Organic Orange Juice
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Add cranberries, water, orange zest, and orange juice to a pot. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, covered so a small amount of steam can escape. You’ll start to hear the berries popping as the skins split. Check on them after about 10 minutes. If they’re softened and mush easily, place them in a fine strainer (to catch seeds as well) over a bowl.

Mash until all the sauce has gone through, leaving you with only skins in the strainer.

Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the strainer. Your cranberry mixture should be smooth.

Return the sauce to the stove and add the sugar.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Chill the sauce in a lightly oiled mold of some sort. You can get creative with this part. You can fill a bunch of cookie cutters on a sheet in the refrigerator. This will cool the sauce into shapes of your choice like, autumn leaves!

Chill it for a few hours.
Serves 6 people. Use within 3 days.

Takes about 3 hours total for this Recipe.

 

  • Recipe for Vegan Candied Yams with Marshmallows!

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Ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash, peel, and cut the yams  into 2-3 inch disks. Boil water on the stove top with salt and evaporated cane juice and add yams. The yams should be boiled for about 30 minutes or until they are soft to the touch .

Drain the yams and place in a baking dish. Take your orange and squeeze out the juice over the yams.
Drop dabs of the softened ‘butter’ stick on the yams and pour brown sugar, vanilla  into the mix. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Add in the marshmallows.
With a spoon spread out the marshmallows and spices throughout the yams. The heat of the sugar and yams should melt the marshmallows!
Serves 4-6 people.

Takes about 1 hour and  10 minutes total for this Recipe.

 

  • Recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Ingredients:

Crust
  • 2 sleeves graham crackers (approx 12-15 sheets)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Filling

  • 2 cups organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar cane syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ Tbs. dark molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice

Topping

  • 1 can regular coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS:

To make Crust:

To make graham cracker crust, start by adding graham crackers to a large Ziploc bag and then pounding with a fist or mallet until crushed into small pieces.

Combine graham cracker crumbles with melted coconut oil (liquid) and brown sugar, and pour into pie pan. Press graham cracker mixture evenly around the sides and bottom of the pan to form a pie shell.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To make Filling:

In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared crust and smooth top. Bake 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

To make Topping:

Put can of coconut milk in the refrigerator until cooled. To make the whipped topping, you want the coconut cream to separate from the coconut water. Make sure top of the can looks like solid coconut cream before using.

Add can to a bowl and scoop coconut cream out into a stand mixer.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix on high with a whisk until the mixture becomes a whipped cream-like consistency.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

*You can let your kids have fun with the pie and decorate it like a turkey! See what my kids did below! 🙂

Serves 8 people.

Takes about 13 hours total for this Recipe.

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My kids used nutter butters and sweet potato & cranberry chips for the feathers and a nutter butter with raisin eyes and some sort of dried fruit for the mouth area. And of course topped it off with the topping (which melted a bit in the hot kitchen).

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

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