my very vegan thanksgiving

thanksgiving = thanksliving for the vegan community. cruelty free, no animals were harmed in the making of this meal kinda holiday! my amazing friend kristin decided we should have a vegan thanksgiving celebration at her house… so that we did.

welcome to my very vegan thanksgiving
welcome to my very vegan thanksgiving thanks to kristin for hosting!
thanksgiving dinner - vegan style
thanksgiving dinner – vegan style

vegan chef steph’s
very vegan thanksgiving menu

appetizers
spinach artichoke dip in prairie bread bowl
roasted garlic hummus with crudité

entree
lentil mushroom walnut balls with cranberry-pear sauce

sides
mashed potatoes
mushroom gravy // regular gravy
boston market squash casserole
black quinoa stuffed onions
sausage stuffing
vedge shaved brussel sprouts // roasted brussel sprouts
coleslaw

desserts
pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust
pumpkin brownie with pecan topping
apple-berry pie

this meal took 3 days of cooking & baking to create. everything was made from scratch… and everything was fabulous. the menu above has links to all of the recipes – the items without links are my own recipes which you can find below. i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving & hopefully you can find some inspiration for your next meat free holiday!

S P I N A C H   A R T I C H O K E   D I P
-2 packages frozen spinach, defrosted
-1 tofutti cream cheese
-1 jar artichoke hearts in water, drained
-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
-1 bag daiya mozzarella
-2 tbs olive oil
-3 cloves garlic
-1/2 red bell pepper
-1/2 cup plain almond milk
-salt & pepper to taste

directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees. heat oil in skillet, add peppers and garlic, saute 4 minutes over medium heat. add milk, and heat for 1 minute. next, add artichokes, heat 2 minutes. add cream cheese, and heat through until melted. add nutritional yeast, 1/2 the daiya. let heat until completely melted, and then add spinach. stir and let heat for 3 minutes. season with salt & pepper to taste. pour into bread bowl, top with the rest of the vegan cheese and bake for 10 minutes. ((bread bowl is a loaf of large bread such as prairie bread from whole foods. i cut a circle from the top of the bread and take out some of the middle to make room for the filling — cut up the bread to use for dipping or serve with raw veggies, tortilla chips or pita!))

spinach artichoke dip in prairie bread bowl
spinach artichoke dip in prairie bread bowl

R O A S T E D   G A R L I C   H U M M U S
-2 cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
-1 to 3 bulbs of roasted garlic (depending how many vampires you are trying to ward off)
-extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
-lemon for freshly squeezed lemon juice
– sea salt
-3 tbs tahini

directions: preheat oven to 350°F. cut tops from garlic heads to reveal tips of garlic cloves. place garlic heads on large sheet of foil, and drizzle with 1 tbs. olive oil. wrap garlic heads tightly in foil, and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until garlic heads feel soft through foil. cool in foil. purée chickpeas 1 minute in food processor, or until finely chopped. add lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, tahini, and ½ cup water. blend chickpea mixture 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. squeeze roasted garlic pulp from each clove into chickpea mixture in bowl of food processor. pulse hummus several times to combine. season with salt and pepper i served the hummus with crudites: celery, red pepper, green pepper, baby carrots, snow peas, broccoli & cherry tomatoes!

roasted garlic hummus
roasted garlic hummus

the appetizers were FABULOUS! i ate the spinach dip that didn’t fit into the bread bowl while i was cooking! YUMMMMM!

the appetizer table
the appetizer table

B O S T O N   M A R K E T  S Q U A S H   C A S S E R O L E
-4 1/2 cusp zucchini (diced)
-4 1/2 cups yellow squash (diced)
-1 1/2 cups yellow onion (chopped)
-3/4 cup of earth balance
-cheddar daiya (one package – shredded)
-1 tbs better than bouillon (vegan)
-1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
-1/2 teaspoon thyme

-1 loaf cornbread ((recipe HERE))

directions: make cornbread according to above recipe ((trust me it’s AMAZING)) set aside to cool. place zucchini and yellow squash in a large sauce pan and add just enough water to cover. cook on medium low heat just until tender, remove from heat. drain squash, reserve one cup of water for casserole. on medium low temperature place all of the butter in large sauce pan and saute the onions until the onions turn clear, add salt, pepper, & thyme,. add vegan bouillon and garlic to onions, stir. add drained squash and daiya, stir. crumble corn bread in squash and pour the reserved cup of water and mix well. place squash mixture in a 13″x11″ baking pan that has been sprayed with a non stick spray. cover casserole and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. bake for 50 – 60 minutes. remove cover the last 20 minutes of baking time.

squash casserole in progress
squash casserole in progress
this is my FAVORITE side dish of all times.
this is my FAVORITE side dish of all times.

C O L E S L A W
-2 bags of coleslaw from the produce section (i bought publix brand)
-veganaise (1/4 cup) (i use soy free)
-white vinegar (2 tbs)
-white sugar (3 tbs)
-hungarian paprika (2 tsp)

directions: mix all ingredients ((except paprika – sprinkle that on last)) together well & store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

i try to emulate my parents thanksgiving meal as much as i can because it was my favorite meal growing up. this coleslaw is basically my mom’s recipe but i just substitute the veganaise for regular mayo. easy peasy!

R O A S T E D   B R U S S E L   S P R O U T S
-2lbs brussel sprouts, cleaned & chopped (discard outer layer)
-extra virgin olive oil
-salt & pepper

directions: wash the brussel sprouts well, cut the ends off & discard the outer layer of leaves. then cut in half. toss in 3-4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper to your liking. roast in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. after the first 15 minutes toss the brussel sprouts around so they cook evenly on both sides.

S A U S A G E   S T U F F I N G
-2 loaves bread
-field grain sausage (apple sage variety)
-1 very large onion, chopped
-1 tbs vegetable bouillon // 1/2 cup water mixture
-poultry seasoning & salt & pepper

directions: dice the 2 loaves of bread and set aside. heat some earth balance or extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add onion. cook for about 7 minutes or until golden. add seasonings and 1/2 cup of water mixed with vegetable bouillon (1 tbs). add chopped sausage and bread & mix well. put mixture into an oven safe casserole dish and cook for 30-45 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. i made this stuffing which is similar to my parents stuffing (minus the egg they use and adding sausage). it is so easy to veganize non vegan dishes! love it.

stuffing is my favorite! yum!
stuffing is my favorite! yum!

B L A C K   Q U I N O A   S T U F F E D   O N I O N S
-6 large yellow onions (or however many you need)
-package black or red quinoa
-dried cranberries (1/2 cup)
-pecans (1/2 cup)
-dried apricots (1/2 cup)
-chopped celery (1/2 cup)

directions: cook quinoa according to package directions ((always rinse before cooking the quinoa to eliminate the bitter taste)). cut both ends of all of the onions and take off the outer layer. bring a large pot of water to a boil. once boiling, add the onions for about 10 minutes. carefully remove the onions and set aside to cool. when the quinoa is ready, add the pecans, apricots, celery & cranberries and mix well. set aside. carefully remove the centers of the onions until there is enough room for the filling. place onions in an oven safe dish and spoon quinoa mixture into each onion. bake in a pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes at 410 degrees. check every twenty minutes to ensure they don’t burn. this was not the star of my meal, but it was definitely good. you will likely have quinoa leftover but it makes a great side dish on it’s own without the onion. the onion is just fancy! this was actually two recipes i found on pinterest that i turned into one. there was a rice pilaf that had the apricot, celery, cranberries, etc and then a roasted onion filled with quinoa but had curry in it. i wasn’t feeling the curry flavor for the holidays so i just changed up the ingredients into a new dish. it was fun! here are the two recipes if you are interested (quinoa / rice).

the pie stole the show. SOOOOOOO AMAZING!
the pie stole the show. SOOOOOOO AMAZING!
dessert. nommmmms!
dessert. nommmmms!

just some words of advice if you are hosting a dinner party at someone else’s home / kitchen. i did all of the baking 2 days before. i did most of the cooking the day before. all of the gravy & brussel sprouts were made right before dinner was served. to make things easy i packed little kits — ingredients already mixed and bagged and ready to cook — with sticky note instructions. i honestly didn’t want to drag all of my spices, nutritional yeast, etc when i already had pots, pans, plates and all of the prepared dishes with me. too much. i tried to simplify things as much as possible.

gravy in a bag!
gravy in a bag!

what can i say? i’m organized and a bit OCD! it worked though. being organized is half the battle when it comes to throwing a dinner party. and you better believe every recipe was printed out and in an organized binder. every day leading  up to this event was filled with strategic planning & scheduling of what item to cook / bake next.

i hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. enjoy your holiday season!

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