A meatless Thanksgiving? Absurd! Thanksgiving must include a turkey, right? Wrong–historically, Thanksgiving was a harvest festival. And what is harvested? Nuts, seeds, fruit, grains and vegetables–so here are vegan Thanksgiving recipes that include vegetarian, dairy-free and meatless Thanksgiving recipes. Here are tips and recipes for a vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving.
Harvest Thanksgiving vegetarian recipes: Vegetables are staples of the autumn harvest (and the reason thanks was given at the first Thanksgiving). Those on vegetarian and pescetarian diets (pescatarian is vegetarian meatless that includes fish) can feast at Thanksgiving. A good Thanksgiving dinner should include at least five different vegetable dishes (not including white potatoes-those are more starch than vegetable). Root vegetables–pumpkins, squash sweet potatoes–green beans and corn are prominent October harvest vegetables. But legumes–peas and beans, nuts, flax, berries and fruits, are harvested too.
Nuts and seeds in Thanksgiving recipes: When you bake pumpkin pies and candied sweet potatoes and squash casseroles, add a handful of fresh walnuts, hazelnuts or pecan nutmeats. Those are grown locally on the eastern seaboard and would have been at the first Thanksgiving. Add cranberries, almonds, flax seed pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, oats and chia seeds to dishes for good fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber boosts. Add peanut butter and zucchini to cranberry breads. Make apple pumpkin bread with chopped Macintosh apples or homemade applesauce instead of oil. Skip the marshmallows on sweet potato casseroles and use dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries. Or arrange fresh sliced apples atop sweet potato and pumpkin dishes. Dry your own apples and berries–arrange on a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil. Bake on low oven 200 degree until dehydrated. Times vary depending up ripeness and size of fruit.
Make vegan Thanksgiving meatless loaf. Crush and blend walnuts, almonds and other nuts. Mix in flax seed, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. Add Better Than Bouillon vegetable soup broth. Saute in dairy-free yogurt butter, barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, chopped mushrooms, onions, celery, peppers and diced winter squash. Blend with nuts and seeds and add fresh chopped kale or spinach, shredded radishes, beets, summer squash or zucchini. Press in cake pan lined with non-stick cooking spray and bake. Make gravy with sauteed mushrooms, onions, Bragg’s Liquid Amino and milled flax seed.
For vegan baking, omit shortening and eggs and use milled flax seed, avocado or tofu. Go dairy-free swapping cow’s milk for coconut, almond or cashew milk. Make vegan vegetarian Thanksgiving 15 bean soup for your main dish. Use Hambeens 15-bean soup blend (toss out seasoning packet and make your own). Rinse and sort beans. Soak beans over night. Simmer for two hours in a stock pot with several quarts of Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth. This brand is a vegetarian and vegan chef’s best friend. Most varieties are organic, kosher, preservative free and MSG free. Add your pick of harvest vegetables: carrots, potatoes, purple and green cabbage, leeks, onions, mushrooms, celery, sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, rutabaga, turnips, pumpkin. Season with oregano, rosemary, celery seed, bay (laurel) leaf for flavor, marjoram, sage, freshly cracked black pepper and Himalayan pink salt (to taste). Be sure to remove bay leaves before serving.