Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Vegan Thanksgiving

Roasted Vegetables

I'm Canadian and in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. This post might seem a little bit strange as Thanksgiving here is long over, but I'm finally getting around to posting about our Thanksgiving dinner this year! It works out for my American friends, as you'll get a sneak preview of some things you might think of making for your Thanksgiving feast!

Let me start out by saying that I've never had a "traditional" Thanksgiving meal in my life! Since I was raised vegetarian, my family never had the typical turkey dinner. In fact, we rarely made any deal out of Thanksgiving and just made our favorite dishes that day, whatever they might have been at the time. This year, Paul and I decided to make a hearty, warm, rustic Thanksgiving dinner that would out-do any meat-eaters' holiday feast!

On the Thanksgiving menu:

  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • Cinnamon Apple Crisp with Vanilla Soy Ice Cream for dessert
Roasted veggies are nothing new around our house - we make this one all the time! It seemed to fit perfectly into this meal. If you're interested in the recipe, please check out one of my past blog posts. We probably used some different vegetables at the time, but feel free to use whatever ones you like! This time around, we used: sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic, red and orange pepper, asparagus, and parsnips.


Stuffing - can you believe I'd actually never tried stuffing before? Stuffing screams Thanksgiving and I really enjoyed this new dish in my life! Here is the recipe that we used:

  • 10 cups 1/2" bread cubes from whole wheat bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence (or 1 tsp sage and 1 tsp thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 cups vegetable stock
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a large shallow casserole dish.
  2. Toast the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in the oven until golden brown. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Saute the onions, garlic, and celery until soft.
  5. Add the spices and the black pepper and stir.
  6. Add the vegetable stock and stir until it is all absorbed. Start with 2 cups and add more if needed so the mixture is moist and clumping together, but not soggy.
  7. Bake in a covered shallow casserole dish for 25 minutes. 
  8. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to form a crusty top.
Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy - It's difficult to photograph this one. But trust me, it's incredibly delicious. We made the mashed potatoes and poured the mushroom gravy over top of them. Gravy was another thing that I've actually never tried before! The bigger chunks of mushrooms in the gravy made it so, so tasty. Here are the recipes:

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes (or any potato that you choose)
  • 4 tbsp Earth Balance margarine (you can use olive oil instead if you'd like)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dill or chives (we used chives as Paul isn't a fan of dill!)

Bring the water to a rapid boil in a large pot. Add the potatoes and cook until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain. While still hot, mash the potatoes with the other ingredients, and top with the dill or chives.

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup white or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence (or 1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and marjoram)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt the Earth Balance, and then add onion and mushrooms. Saute for a minute or two over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable broth and soy sauce. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps from forming. Reduce heat and let simmer. Add the spices, salt and pepper, and keep stirring. Allow to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly until the gravy thickens.

And then....what would Thanksgiving dinner be without dessert?! We made this delicious Cinnamon Apple Crisp!

Fresh out of the oven!

We made this Cinnamon Apple Crisp from Isa's recipe over at Post Punk Kitchen. It was perfect when served warm from the oven and topped with vanilla soy ice cream! Yum!

Apple Crisp with Vanilla Soy Ice Cream

Filling Ingredients:
  • 4lbs (about 8) apples - peeled, cored, quartered, and cut into 1/4" slices
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Topping Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, squeeze lemon juice over sliced apples. Add the arrowroot and spices making sure all of the apples are coated. Move the apple mixture to a 9x13" glass baking dish and drizzle the maple syrup over it. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping: sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Fold the wet into the dry mixing with a fork until well coated and crumbly.

When apples are done baking, remove from oven and toss, then flatten them evening with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the topping over the apple minute and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until the top feels crispy. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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