A Delicious (and guilt free) Thanksgiving Menu
Back in Spring of this year is when I converted from a vegetarian lifestyle to a vegan one. So, Thanksgiving was a bit different this time around. My sister and I were actually very excited to try a vegan Thanksgiving with all our favorite Fall recipes and new Pinterest ones we discovered. So many people are boggled by the fact a vegan meal (especially a big one like Thanksgiving) can be enjoyable and satisfying! So another reason I wanted to share my Thanksgiving meal is so that people can be enlightened by the ample, delicious options.
Gardein Holiday Roast
In year’s past for our vegetarian Thanksgiving’s, we would get some sort of veggie meat like breaded tenders. This year we found Gardein’s Holiday Roast at Sprouts. Sprouts is heaven for a vegan. You won’t believe how many alternative options are available by the way! It was super easy, just put it in a dish, bake for about an hour, top with the included gravy packets, and ta-da! I was really impressed with the taste especially for something that was a frozen dish. We will definitely be including this as a part of our future Thanksgivings!
I’m not normally a huge fan of yams (sweet potatoes), but on Thanksgiving candied yams are my favorite dish! This year I used the same recipe I have used for the past 3 years. However, I used vegan butter and vegan marshmallows. Yes, in case you were unaware, regular marshmallows are not vegan. Marshmallows and other gummy type candies have gelatin. I’ll let you Google what gelatin is made from. Luckily the great company, Dandies, makes vegan marshmallows without gelatin! They even make seasonal flavors like pumpkin and peppermint. Yes, I’ve tried them and they are so good and pretty much identical to regular marshmallows minus the disgusting gelatin. You can order these online, but my local Sprouts has been selling them lately. I am not sure if they will continue once the holidays are over, so I might stock up!
My sister is usually the one who makes cornbread, so this year we found a different recipe on Pinterest from the blogger Texan Erin. It was a little more crumbly than our usual cornbread, but I think that may be because we did a full pan instead of muffins. We were out of muffin liners, so we had to make due with a baking dish! Overall though the corn bread still tasted great especially with some cranberry sauce.
Apple Crisp with Ice Cream
This recipe comes from my dad and I actually already did an #ILoveFall series blog post sharing the recipe. This literally is one of the easiest and most savory dessert dishes. Add a dollop of vegan ice cream or whipped cream (both are from the company SO Delicious).
When it comes to mashed potatoes I usually just wing it because it’s so simple. Really all you have to do to make mashed potatoes vegan is use almond milk (or some other dairy alternative) and vegan butter. It seems as though Earth Balance makes quite a bit of vegan butters
Mac & Cheese
Okay, so you would think mac and cheese would actually have cheese in it right? Well guess what? This recipe from Vegan Yummies didn’t even include vegan cheese as an ingredient. So how do you get that cheesy texture? Nutritional yeast and raw cashews are a big component of making that consistency and flavor.
Another simple side dish. My sister seasoned these with rosemary and then baked them in the oven for a bit.
Cream Cheese Pull Aparts
I think I make these amazing little things for every special occasion. These work great as an appetizer. The recipe comes from Eclectic Everyday and I’m so glad I stumbled across it because it’s one of my favorites! The buttery garlic topping with the marinara sauce is mouth watering. The cream cheese I use comes from Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese and the shredded cheese is from Daiya.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Every Fall it has become a tradition to make these addicting cupcakes. The recipe comes from the beauty YouTuber Blair Fowler. So all we did this year was use vegan alternatives for the dairy products. The recipe also calls for eggs, but we used flax eggs. Basically for each egg you need, you mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax meal with 2 tablespoons of water. Then you stir and let the mixture sit for a few minutes so it creates kind of a gooey consistency. Eggs are usually just used to bind ingredients, so the flax egg works in the same way. We were a bit nervous with how these would turn out, but they turned out to be just as amazing!
The pumpkin pie recipe we used this year came from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken and she’s right about this being easy! The coloration of ours came out a bit darker, but I think that’s because of the coconut milk that I used. Otherwise, it tasted like pumpkin pie! Also, the crust is a graham cracker crust from Kebler. It didn’t have any animal product ingredients, so that made it even easier since I didn’t have to make my own pie crust!
Did I mention any salad? Nope! That’s because the amazing options are really limitless when it becomes to being a vegan. Yea, you may have to spend a little bit more money or look a little harder, but honestly it’s worth it. We got to enjoy a guilt free Thanksgiving in which no creatures were harmed for our selfishness. I think it would help for us all to be a bit more educated on the alternatives and the benefits of veganism. Don’t just take my word for it, give it a try and you’ll see it’s actually a lifestyle with a lot of exciting varieties.
So this year, I am extremely grateful for my conscious decision to go vegan and for all the companies that are forward moving with their alternatives. <3
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!