Vegan Thanksgiving Meal Guide

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu Guide

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and I’m not even sure why? I think it’s because I love the fall, the colors are beautiful, the weather feels cozy and the vegetables are so fresh from the last harvest of the year. As I was transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, I always found it difficult to eat vegan around the holidays. All of my favorite desserts and cheesy dishes were around and I often awarded myself with “cheat days” and indulged. Now I’m not saying you should never treat yourself, because you definitely should, but the problem with indulging on food is it can make you sick! After removing dairy and eggs from my diet and eating a big piece of cheesecake, I felt sick for a full day – not worth it and not necessary. Especially when so many delicious meals can be made plant based!

I’ve created recipes for two starter dishes, two side dishes, two entrées and two desserts, so you have plenty to choose from, and they’re all super delicious. I’m actually eating them as leftovers right now as I type this post! I hope you enjoy them!


STARTERS

Acorn Squash Soup

Acorn Squash Soup

yields 5 cups of soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 onion
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 apple
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cans coconut milk (4 cups)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare acorn squash by cutting the top off, scooping the seeds out with a spoon and placing the squash face down on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until inside of the squash is well roasted.

In a large, bottom heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook on medium until slightly golden.

Cut apple into quarters and remove the seeds. I leave the peel on, but you can definitely peel it too if you choose. Add the apple and spices to the pot. Stir consistently to prevent burning.

Remove squash from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled. With a spoon carefully scrape out the inside and add it to the pot.

Stir the ingredients until they’re mixed well and then add the coconut milk. Stir again.

Cook on low for 20 minutes.

With a blender, food processor or immersion blender, blend soup until it becomes a thick puree.

Serve hot and garnish with pumpkin seeds and freshly ground pepper.

Roasted Veggie Tarts

Roasted Veggie Tarts

yields 20 tarts

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground oregano
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • 3 Tbsp organic sugar
  • ½ tsp sage
  • sprinkle of sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat oil in a wok and add onion and garlic. Cook on low so garlic doesn’t burn.

Prepare the butternut squash by cutting it in half, peeling it, removing the seeds and cutting it into small chunks. Add to the wok.

Add chopped zucchini, bell pepper and spices. Cook on medium, continually stirring so vegetables don’t burn.

In a large bowl, combine margarine, sugar, sage and sea salt. Stir in the flour and mix until the ingredients form a dough.

Grease a mini-muffin tray with vegan margarine or olive oil. With your hands, form small balls of dough and work the dough into the muffin tray cavities to form tart shells. I didn’t use muffin liners, but feel free to do so if you choose.

Scoop a small spoonful of vegetables into the tart shells.

Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.

SIDE DISHES

Focaccia Stuffing

Focaccia Stuffing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf rosemary focaccia bread
  • 1 Tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 5 celery stalks, minced
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ½ dried cranberries
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Chop focaccia loaf into ½ an inch by ½ inch cubes. When I made this stuffing, I actually cut them into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes, and I felt that they were too big. So many them a wee bit smaller!

Spread the bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat vegan margarine. Add onion and sauté until slightly golden.

Add celery and spices. Continue to stir to prevent vegetables from burning.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, flax seed and water. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine bread, cranberries, and celery/spice mixture. Toss with your hands to ensure bread is covered well with spices and margarine.

Pour vegetable broth mixture over ingredients and stir.

Transfer everything into a casserole dish and stir. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from heat. Remove the aluminum foil, stir ingredients and bake for another 30 minutes.

Mock-Up Mash

Mock-Up Mash

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano

DIRECTIONS

Chop cauliflower into florets and add to a large pot of water. Boil until florets are soft.

Remove from heat, strain and transfer to a food processor.

Blend cauliflower, garlic, margarine and oregano until light and fluffy.

ENTREES

Samosa Lentil Loaf with Rosemary

Samosa Lentil Loaf with Rosemary

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 can lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp crushed flax seed

Filling

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp coriander seed
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup spinach, shredded

DIRECTIONS

Prepare filling first by heating fennel seed, cumin seed, mustard seed and coriander seed in a frying pan until spices are fragrant. Keep a close eye on this to ensure you don’t burn the spices.

As soon as the smell is strong (and delicious) add olive oil, garlic, onion and ginger. Stir well.

Add potatoes and pees and stir again.

With your hands, tear fresh spinach up so it’s shredded into pieces and add to the mixture. Stir well.

Transfer to a large bowl and mash the potatoes into the mixture to form a thick paste like texture. Set aside.

Add grated carrots, red onion, garlic and olive oil to a frying pan and sauté for two minutes.

Add spices and lentils to the mixture and stir well.

Remove half of the ingredients from the frying pan and transfer them to a food processor or a blender. Blend for a few moments until a thick paste is formed. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the other ingredients from the frying pan into the large bowl and stir. Add the vegetable broth, flax seed and flour and stir well so a dough is formed.

Add half of the dough into a 9″ loaf pan. Pat it down with your hands to ensure it’s firmly into the pan.

Spread in the pea and potato filling evenly across the dough.

Cover the filling with the remaining dough.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is) until top of the loaf is firm and crispy.

Pomegranate Pumpkin Rice Pilaf

Pomegranate Pumpkin Rice Pilaf

yields 6 hearty servings of rice

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • jewels from 1 pomegranate
  • 1/4 pumpkin seeds

DIRECTIONS

In a bottom heavy saucepan, heat coconut oil. Add red onion and cook on medium until onion is slightly translucent.

Add celery stalks and zucchini. I chopped the zucchini into slices and then chopped those slices into quarters. Feel free to prepare it as you wish.

Prepare pomegranate by cutting with a knife into the indented grooves around the fruit. Fill a bowl with water and break the fruit open with your hands. Under the water, carefully remove all the jewel like seeds from the fruit.

Once you’re finished, strain the water and add to the vegetables. Sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the pumpkin puree, cooked rice and pumpkin seeds and stir well.

Serve hot.


RELATED READ: 5 Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays


DESSERTS

Apple Pecan Pie with Coconut Cream

Apple Pecan Pie with Coconut Cream

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp organic sugar
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 10 Tbsp ice water
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, chopped into thin slices
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ pecans

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream margarine, salt, sugar and ice water until smooth.

Stir in whole wheat flour and mix until a thick dough is formed.

Divide the dough in half, and cover a flat surface with flour.

Roll out a circular piece of dough and transfer it to a pie pan.

In a large bowl, mix apples, sugar, cinnamon and pecans until apples are fully coated with sugar.

Spread the apples evenly over the bottom pie layer.

Roll out the remaining pie dough evenly and cover apples with it.

With your fingers, carefully pinch the bottom layer of pie dough and the top layer to singe them together. With a knife, cut off the sides any excess pie dough.

Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is crispy.

Serve with coconut whip cream.


Coconut Whip Cream //

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can coconut milk

DIRECTIONS

Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and put it in the back of the fridge overnight.

The next morning, take it out and open the can. DO NOT tip the can right side up or shake it.

When you open the can, you’ll notice that the coconut milk has separated; the meat is on the top and the liquid, or coconut water, is on the bottom. Spoon out the coconut meat into a bowl. Set the coconut water aside and save it for a smoothie, or add it to this smoothie.

Whisk the coconut meat until it has formed a thick cream.

Cranberry Cheese Cake Mini-Cakes

Cranberry Cheese Cake Mini-Cakes

yields 12 mini-cakes

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup dairy free cream cheese
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl (or a Kitchen Aid mixer) combine cream cheese and sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat flour, baking powder, chia seeds and water until smooth. Stir in coconut oil and cranberries.

Prepare a muffin tray with liners and spoon batter into liners. These muffins are small, so a tablespoon and a half of batter will suffice.

Drop a small spoonful of cream cheese mixture on top of muffin batter.

Bake for 25 minutes until batter has fully baked through.

Enjoy! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Vegan Thanksgiving - Complete Menu

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How are you celebrating Thanksgiving? What are your family’s traditions? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @TheBodyBook. We love to see your recipes in action, so please tag us on Instagram as well #BragYourPlate @TheBodyBook.


ASHLEY WOOD provides guidance, support and empowerment through her blog, Rae of Sunshine Life and the recipes she creates. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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