What did one turkey say to the other turkey? “I’m thankful for vegans!"
With the holidays approaching many of us are starting to plan our menus. Are you struggling to find the balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and satisfying everyone around the table? Don’t stress. It is possible to make a vegan friendly Thanksgiving appealing to all - even the carnivores!
THE MAIN EVENT
You can skip the turkey by serving lentil 'meatloaf’ or cauliflower steaks. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, try a mushroom wellington that will be the showstopper of the meal. No one will miss the bird!
Tofurky can be a great choice. However, the trick is to make it both flavorful and moist. Simply baste your thawed roast with olive oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and fresh herbs. Then, bake with sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions and serve with this secret sauce.
THE SECRET SAUCE
Here’s the secret to making your dishes taste like the holiday. It’s simple. It’s delicious. And, no one will know it's a healthier version unless you want them too!
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 1 tsp chopped sage
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add onion and sauté about 6 minutes until soft
- Stir in mushrooms, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until soft
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute
- Pour in 2 cups of vegetable stock. Whisk to combine
- Bring to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until mixture has thickened slightly (if too thick, gradually add more vegetable stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm
Everyone loves the sides! With a few easy changes you can turn your favorite mac and cheese or mashed potato recipes into healthier alternatives that taste just as delicious as the originals. Simply substitute unsweetened coconut or almond milk and vegan butter and/or cheese for their dairy counterparts.
You can even recreate grandma's green bean casserole with fresh green beans, fresh mushrooms and homemade fried onions. Make your own cream sauce with a roux, vegetable broth and almond milk and you have a healthier (and tastier) update. Keep the nostalgia, but skip the cans!
THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR DESSERT
For many, the Thanksgiving meal is just not complete without pumpkin pie. This easy recipe is a decadent and delicious end to your holiday meal that will have your guests hoping for a slice to go (too bad there won't be any leftovers)! Choose your favorite pie crust and fill with this pumpkin pie filling:
- 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup or agave
- ¾ cup plain almond or coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Blend all ingredients in high speed blender or food processor until creamy and smooth
- Pour pie filling into unbaked pie crust and spread out until smooth
- Bake for 55-60 minutes until top is firm and crust is lightly browned around edges (cover edge with foil if it starts to get too brown)
- Let cool on the counter (refrigerate to cool completely). Then serve topped with whipped coconut cream
You don’t have to give up the family traditions when you are living a healthy lifestyle. With some creativity and simple swaps you can turn the old favorites into new ones that everyone will gobble up!
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