Traditional Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner: Holiday Meal Ideas

Traditional Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner: Holiday Meal Ideas

Well, this post is super late (oops!), but hopefully it will give whoever is reading this some holiday food ideas. I admit that this is not whole foods, nor is it particularly healthy as there is a lot of stuff that I bought from the store.

Now, this is traditional in my house, so it may not be the same for you. Just to let you know I did have a turkey on my table for dinner.

Traditional Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

So what is on the menu for today? We have mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and two types of vegan turkey, one of which I liked a lot better than the other.

So, this year should have been a no brainer on getting this up on time, but it seems that I need a bit more motivation to get it done. My family all went to Colorado Springs to visit my grandparents for the week of Thanksgiving and I got the house all to myself!

It also meant that I had to do all the dishes after I completely trashed the kitchen, which I don’t have pictures of and should have taken a snapshot or two. It was such a mess!

So I did Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which gave me the whole week to eat leftovers, and man was I tired of Thanksgiving dinner by the time the family came back home!

So we will start with the store bought stuff!

I picked up Pepperidge Farms herb stuffing that comes in a bag. It’s one of the only brands I can find that doesn’t contain chicken stock or any other animal by-products. Definitely read the label, but most of these are vegan. I can tell you right now that I haven’t tried making stuffing from scratch, but I can put that on next years to do list as I want to try to make a whole foods Thanksgiving dinner.

I also picked up a can of cranberry sauce as the ones they sell in my area are vegan. My mother has this really yummy cranberry relish recipe, but it has so much sugar in it. I need to come up with an alternative for next year as the family will be home for the holidays.

I also picked up some French’s fried onions, as they are vegan, for my green bean casserole, and some canned no salt added french style green beans so I didn’t have to worry about cooking the green beans on top of everything else.

Now the rest of the ingredients!

Green Bean Casserole

You will be making a basic cashew cream. The link can be found here! So, obviously you will be needing cashews. This is going to become your cream of mushroom soup alternative. That being said you will also be needing mushrooms that you will saute and then add to the green bean mixture for a different texture and depth of flavor. You will also need either water or unsweetened milk.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Potatoes, obviously. I like to use Idahoan potatoes and keep the skin on. Unsweetened milk, salt, pepper, and I used reduce sodium chicken salt, which is very much vegan.

For the gravy I started out trying to do a flour-less gravy made with tapioca starch, but all I got out of that was slime, which didn’t appeal to my texture buds, but did taste pretty good. I have the worst time when it comes to gravy. I either get slime when using no flours, clumpy gravy when I do manage to get the flour to work, or just flour tasting vegetable stock. So I have a light bulb go off and managed to make gravy out of stock and mashed potatoes! It is super yummy and I loved how easy it was to make! You can find it here.

On another note, I picked up some unsalted vegetable stock called Kitchen Basics and I’m telling you right now not to buy this vegetable stock. Not unless you want a weird, herb tasting, sweet water. That’s right, this stock was sweet. I think they might have used sweet basil, but it did not work out with anything that I made with it. I’ll leave a picture of it around here somewhere. I had to work really hard to fix my flour-less gravy because of it, and I will never buy it again as I used it for vegetable soup the week before and had the same reaction of all 5 of the containers that I bought.

Turkey Substitute

As I said earlier I made 2 different types of turkey. One was made of tofu marinated in spices and vegetable stock. The other was a homemade seitan loaf. I preferred the seitan loaf as it was made out of boiled water with a vegetable bullion cube thrown in, an Italian herb blend, sage, and vital wheat gluten. It was tasty and simply required boiling on the stove. I also used the leftover broth to make my potato gravy.

So, the tofu just didn’t work out for me. Even after giving it almost 18 hours of marinade time, it came out tasting bland. It was also very soft, even after giving it extra baking time. So, I wouldn’t recommend it.

All the Ingredients

Cranberry Sauce

Store bought jellied cranberry sauce.

Stuffing

Pepperidge Farm bagged stuffing – I used the Herb Homestyle stuffing, so double check the ingredients

Water/veggie stock

Butter – I think

Green Bean Casserole

1/2 recipe of Basic Cashew Cream 

2 cans French Style Green Beans, no salt added

1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

1 pkg. sliced mushrooms

1 small can French’s Fried Onions

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Potatoes

Unsweetened non-dairy milk – to taste

Salt/pepper – to taste

Reduced Sodium Chicken Salt – to taste

1-2 recipes of Potato Gravy

Seitan “Turkey” Loaf

2 cups vital wheat gluten

5 cups broth of choice

2 Tablespoons sage

2 Tablespoons Italian Herb Mix

2-3 Tablespoons liquid aminos

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2-3 teaspoons onion powder

Directions

Stuffing

Follow instructions on package. Thankfully this isn’t too terrible complicated. Yay!

Green Bean Casserole

Heat oven to 350° F

Lightly saute the mushrooms in some water 5-10 minutes.

Mix cashew cream, milk, mushrooms, and drained green beans together. Don’t overdo it on the cashew cream. Unless that’s your thing. I thought I definitely over sauced mine. If you can’t see the green beans, you’ve definitely overdone it.

Bake 20 minutes, then top with French’s Fried Onions, and pop back in for the last five to get them super crispy.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Dice potatoes and throw into a pot of water to boil. I like leaving the skins on mine, so it’s less work for me to do.

Boil until they are fork tender, which means a fork is easily inserted into the potato. If the potato comes apart when you pierce it, they are definitely done.

Drain almost all of the water. I like a little starch water with my potatoes.

Take an electric mixer or potato masher to the potatoes, adding in milk as you go until you get your desired consistency.

Add in salt and pepper to taste.

You can find the recipe to my Potato Gravy here for instructions.

Seitan “Turkey” Loaf

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl.

Pour in 1 cup liquid of choice and liquid aminos, stirring until a dough forms. Add in more liquid if still a little dry.

Knead dough for 3-5 minutes, or until elastic. You can do this with a spoon if you want, but I like using my hands.

Divide single loaf into 2

Place loaves into large saucepan and cover with remaining liquid. You want this to just cover the loaves.

Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to between medium and medium low and simmer for 30-45 minutes, flipping about halfway through.

Dessert

The only dessert I had was mini vegan apple pies and you can find the recipe to it here.

So, there you have it. A traditional, for me, Thanksgiving dinner made vegan! I am so behind on my posting, but the awesome thing is that there’s a Thanksgiving next year, too.

If you want to learn more about veganism in general the follow this link.

If you want to learn more about my journey to veganism, or more about me in general then follow this link.

Lastly, if you want to learn more about veganism in relation to diet, and the benefits to your health, the environment, and ethically then check out this link.

If this helped you in any way, or if you have any questions please comment and I will be more than happy to elaborate!

Thanks for reading,

Michelle

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