Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about prepping this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Since I wasn’t with my brother for last year, my mom made me all of the veggie dishes in the world without a single complaint. She realizes my addiction to veggies while my brother is more of a… how can you say… I’ll eat whatever and pork is the reason for everything. While I’m over here making recipes with oat flour and coconut oil, my brother constantly nags me on my love for chia seeds and how I don’t like beef.
Therefore, making stuffing from Vegetarian Times or a vegan casserole was bringing out the judgment. Yet I always have faith the recipes will turn out well. After all, dairy-free does not always mean lacking flavor or texture.
After a long 6-7 hours in the kitchen baking, cooking, cutting and sautéing with my mom, we finally set up the whole table and everyone ended up reaching for the vegan green bean casserole, rainbow chard salad, and whole grain stuffing. Oh and you can’t forget the maple roasted sweet potatoes that took 5 minutes to prep. Yum.
Starting off with this casserole from the wonderful Hummusapien. When I first noticed this recipe a little over a week ago, I called my mom and told her “Mom! I’m making a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. It’s vegan but I promise you it will be good!” Of course that’s a hard promise to make but I was 99% sure it would be consumed and loved. The soaked cashews and almond milk blended together for a creaminess with sautéed and baked onions smothered over a ton of squishy mushrooms. No butter, no heavy cream, no artificial Campbell’s goopy soup ruining the nutrients of your beans.
This dish found it’s way to my late twice and after a break and a nap, I grabbed another spoonful. Too good. As my brother told me he really liked it, I wanted to say, “Ha! I told ya so!” Goes to show vegan CAN be good and CAN be liked my meat-eaters. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Then this whole-grain stuffing happened. Diced up figs, organic sweetened dried cranberries, soaked in vegetable broth and topped with roasted hazelnuts. Smelled like heaven and despite the sweetened dried fruit rolled in, you could hardly tell it was sweetened. Once baked in the oven, it came out looking like nut brownies. I loved it.
My favorite dish by far was the rainbow chard topped with roasted carrots, beets and pumpkin seeds with a garlic lemon dressing. Usually when I cook carrots and beets, I just roast them without boiling but this recipe called for blanching the carrots and boiling the beets pre-roasting. They had the perfect amount of himalayan sea salt and olive oil that worked perfectly with the turkey, beans and potatoes flooding my plate. Besides, I’m a huge beet and carrot fan to begin with.
Unfortunately, my whole family ended up watching The Holiday and passing out on our couches so no one could get to the pumpkin pie my mom with homemade crust and organic pumpkin puree (bummer) but I did have an after dinner drink… of Suja Juice’s Call Me Pumpkin. I told my mom to try it and she said it tasted like pumpkin pie in drink form. Duh! That’s why I love it.
Added it to some coffee with a bit of added almond milk, heated up… perfect and simple dessert after loading up on the turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes and veggies.
Now I’m looking to all of these leftovers… and what delicious recipes I’ll be whipping up for Christmas.