A vegan thanksgiving: recipes and tips


A vegan thanksgiving. What?! No Turkey? How is it even Thanksgiving without the Turkey? Well as long as there are mashed potatoes and gravy, it can be thanksgiving anyday. There are other ways to get protein (how else would the vegan world survive??) and these are the best of sides, and desserts, to keep you filled to the brim for your healthy Thanksgiving meal. The great plus about making Thanksgiving vegan is there isn't as much of a food hangover, so more food can fit!

As long as candles are lit, wine and cocktails are flowing with abundance, friends and family are filling the house with laughter and conversation, and the food is healthy and cooked with love, it can be Thanksgiving anytime of the year. No Turkey necessary.

PLANNING! Planning is necessary. when there are so many things to cook and usually one oven to make everything in/on, a plan is essential for timing of the food. Multitasking does not come second nature for a lot of people, so writing out an 'itinerary' of what and when to make things, may come to your benefit. Yes, I said itinerary. Meaning when you are going to start cooking, what you are going to cook first (i.e., what takes the longest in the oven, what needs the most prep, etc) to make your cooking the least stressful. Stress and cooking should not go hand in hand. At this point, you may want to recruit someone to be your dishwasher...enter your BFF or significant other....Grab some booze (you need some for recipes anyways, and only you know if its 10am and you're drinking champagne), put on your favorite playlist, and preheat that oven! Let's get cooking!

Recipes, in no particular order:

Brussel sprout and kale salad

Maple Dijon vinaigrette

Time: 25 minutes Servings: 15

Salad:

3 lbs brussel sprouts

1 bunch kale (or bag of precut, prewashed kale)

2 sweet potatoes

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup finely chopped red onion

Dressing:

3 tbsp pure maple syrup (not that fake kind!)

3 tbsp Dijon mustard (can be course grain)

1 cup EVOO

½ cup apple cider vinegar

pinch salt

pinch pepper

Directions:

1. Boil a pot of water, with a splash of salt. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Boil sweet potatoes until soft. Drain sweet potatoes, rinse with cold water to stop cooking process. Place in fridge until needed.

2. Cut and discard bottoms of brussel sprouts. Using a food processor and slicing blade, slice all the raw brussel sprouts. Add to serving bowl

3. Chop raw kale. Toss with brussel sprouts.

4. Add cranberries, cooked and cold sweet potatoes, and chopped onion to salad.

5. Whisk together all ingredients for dressing in a separate container.

Dressing can be added just before serving, or within a few hours before. Toss salad with dressing. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Blistered green beans

Time: 15 minutes Servings: 10

Ingredients:

3-5 lbs of fresh green beans (ends snipped and rinsed)

5-6 sprigs of green spring onions

¾ - 1 cup raw, unblanched, unsalted almonds, chopped

olive oil (option to substitute for coconut, avocado, or grapeseed oil)

salt

pepper

Directions:

  1. In a deep sauté pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. A cast iron skillet works best for blistering, but also heats differently, so adjust your temperature accordingly.

  2. Drop raw, fresh green beans into oil. Toss to coat. Place a lid on for 4-5 minutes, or until green beans begin to turn a deeper green. The oil will be very hot and will look like it is burning. This IS the process of blistering, don’t turn down the heat!

  3. After a few minutes with the lid on, remove the lid and allow the liquid to burn off while the green beans become browned. Toss every 1-2 minutes as the bottom beans begin to blister.

  4. As most of the beans are blistered, add the green onion and almonds. Toss with tongs. Heat should still be on medium-high. This will also release the almond oil to give depth of flavor.

  5. Remove from heat once almost all beans are blistered brown and onions look cooked. Keep warm until ready to serve! Can put back into a broiler on low heat quickly to warm back up and retain blister texture.