Vegan Recipes for This Thanksgiving

Jamie Davis, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving has a very specific set of food each year. Most families have ham or turkey with sides like stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and other seasonal classics. As I was looking at Thanksgiving recipes on Google a few weeks ago, I realized that about seventy percent of the recipes involved animal products. So what would vegans or anyone else who didn’t follow certain traditions do?

Vegan means a person does not eat meat, dairy, and poultry products. A big turkey or ham would most likely not be served at a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, so what could fill that place on the table? You could go for a stuffed pumpkin  or even a roasted king mushroom. These options cut more than half of the cooking time off of your Thanksgiving course. Many vegans use mushrooms as a source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Now that the main course has been covered, let’s look at some common Thanksgiving sides. Mashed potatoes are vegan, but the gravy will need to be modified. Mushroom gravy is an easy substitute if you have leftover juice from the main course. Add that into a pan with some of the raw chopped mushrooms until brown along with avocado oil and your favorite seasonings. Lastly, add some additional pinches of flour to create your new mushroom gravy.

Stuffing is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, so let’s make it vegan friendly. Because a classic stuffing recipe uses eggs and turkey stock, you’re going to have to substitute them. For the eggs, you could make or buy a flax egg substitute and veggie broth can replace the turkey broth. A good choice of bread would be a whole wheat or maybe even a homemade bread. Fortunately, other Thanksgiving sides such as salad, green beans, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce are already vegan. 

 For dessert, you might want to leave out the cheesecake and stick to a vegan pie. But if you insist on the cheesecake. You can use Nabisco graham crackers for the crust.  Though the nonvegan cream cheese would be an issue, you can substitute it with a vegan brand and instead of milk, use coconut cream with sugar, cornstarch, pure vanilla extract, and lemon juice for the rest of the filling. Hopefully, these recipes help you keep Thanksgiving classics on the menu.