Planning for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, I know it irritates a lot of people for reasons like animal rights, genocide, football, and the start of the Consumer Christmas shopping season. But for me it is all about having a feast with friends and family, adopting turkeys, being thankful for what I have, and a four day weekend where I get to eat awesome leftovers.

I am still not 100% certain on my menu because I want to make everything. I thought I would blog about my ides to get some clarity. An experimental blog post! Last year for the centerpiece I made a seitan roulade from a recipe by Emilie from the conscious kitchen. It was fabulous. The site is sadly no longer functioning but the video and recipe is still up on another site

If you are interested in making something like this but worried about how it will go she even made a video that described the whole process thoroughly so I think it would be a successful dish for anyone to make. I also made her fabulous fig and wild rice stuffing. Last year Robin Roberton, author of 1,000 vegan recipes, posted a similar roulade but her’s had a sausage and oyster mushroom stuffing. I was thinking about a wild rice and sausage stuffing myself, maybe the cherry sage sausages from Vegan Brunch, but it seemed kind of silly to have seitan stuffed with seitan! Maybe I will use tempeh bacon or just stick with the mushrooms.  Or tempeh sausages like in Vegan Brunch, I haven’t tried them but they are supposed to be pretty good. Healthy Happy Life has a couple stuffing recipes, one of which is pretty similar to what I was thinking. Then there is a recipe for an Oaxacan Stuffing that looked fabulous but then I would have to go Mexican for the rest of the meal and I have already been forbidden to go in that direction.  Bryanna Clark Gorgan also has a famous recipe that most people seem to love for a soy & wheat “turkey”. There is another turkey roast with a video on Everyday Dish that looks really good and turkey like if that is what you are craving and I think that one might be my backup.

I think that instead of doing a big roast this year I am going to instead make seitan dumplings that are stuffed and then baked in the oven. Here is a similar idea from where they have personal portions of seitan wrapped with filo dough except mine is going to be more like a casserole. Vegan Dad made individual Thanksgiving potpies with roasted mushroom gravy that look super awesome too.

There are a lot of alternatives to a roast. Jes the Cupcake Punk has not one, not two, but THREE stuffed squash recipes with tutorials included on her blog and includes gluten free recipes. Also, the Veganomicon has a recipe for a chestnut roast that is really good, but I haven’t seen chestnuts at the store yet and, for me, that is more of a Christmas thing so I can sing about it. Then there is the savory nut loaf/hippie loaf route which Vegan Lunch Box has a whole loaf generator! But that is a lot of nuts! Maybe I should see what everyone else wants.Potatoes are important to thanksgiving as well. Mashed potatoes are traditional but so are sweet potatoes! I like garlic smashed potatoes with the skins on. Spinashed potatoes are a somewhat healthier and more colorful alternative. One thanksgiving Bazu made a mix of both kinds of potatoes and parsnips into a puree and I think I might go that route.  Last year I thought if I just made roasted fingerling potatoes it would be good enough, and they were great but it didn’t lead to a lot of leftovers. Plus you can’t roast everything!

The year before I just made sweet potato casserole with pecans & brown sugar and I think I might make something like that again but we need something to put gravy on! For the last few years I haven’t been doing mashed potatoes because I think they are the easiest thing to overeat but this year they could make a shocking comeback.

And speaking of gravy, that is one of the hardest things to decide on because there are so many great vegan gravies that I love; miso, chickpea, white bean, roasted onion, garlic, mushroom, and jalapeno corn gravy are all great! How will I ever decide. Then, I just found out about apple cider gravy that sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving accompaniment. Normally I made a gravy from the seitan stock, maybe I will do that again but turn it into apple cider gravy. Or I might just go traditional, in my family Thanksgivings I was always responsible for the gravy, my Baba taught me how to do it with a roux and I have made it so many times now that it is a specialty.

Brussels Sprouts are key to my Thanksgiving. My Baba loved Brussel Sprouts & as time goes by I have learned to love them too. Last year I made miso glazed sprouts with pearl onions and pecans and they were super but then I made them again for Christmas and didn’t like them as much. They do look really pretty. Maybe I will try them again but with roasted shalots. Or I could go the casserole route and make this Brussels Sprouts HashI also made the Voluptous Vegan cranberry sauce and I didn’t care for it at all. So I don’t know what to do this year. I loved other ones that I have made but now I have no idea where I got the recipes. That is why keeping a blog is so important.  Maybe I will make Martha Stewert’s Cranberry & Cognac sauce but then I will have to tell everyone I got the recipe from Martha! Or this roasted cranberry sauce with jalapenos looks terrific too, but it doesn’t really go with the menu. I also like the look of this recipe for Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine, Pomegranate Molasses, and Mediterranean Herbs.

I am not much of a dessert person but for a feast you have to do something. I was thinking of making an Apple Strudel, but the Pumpkin Pie we made last year from a recipe in the Voluptuous Vegan was really easy to make (yeah, I bought a crust) and really good. I really wanted to make the recipe for Pumpin Shell Casserole too so maybe I will do that, it looks easy and festive.SO this was helpful in helping me decide.

I am going to try and make seitan dumplings, stuffed with bread, sausage, mushrooms, sage, and apples, failing that, I don’t know…. but there are lots of options!

Root bake puree or mashed potatoes

traditional roux gravy made from roasted vegetable stock & apple cider

roasted brussels sprouts with shalots and a miso glaze

cranberry sauce… undecided which kind

pumpkin pie or casserole because I am not going to have time to make a strudel!


Please leave me any recommendations with links if possible! Or let me know what you are excited about.



13 thoughts on “Planning for Thanksgiving

  1. twoveganboys

    Yum! Your Thanksgiving sounds divine. This is our menu.
    mashed pototoes
    chipotle lime sweet potatoes
    green bean casserole
    pecan pie
    pumpkin pie
    cranberry sauce

    Happy Thanksgiving Smurfette!

  2. Nanette

    i may try those brussel sprouts but i’m still addicted to the recipe i lifted from Whole Foods.
    And can’t live without sweet potatoes somehow, and stuffing some semi traditional (vegan) version….
    i have visions of cooking, but may end up buying
    My mom is making a vegan mega vegetable lasagna from Engine 2 Diet book

  3. Jes

    I’m so Thanksgivinged out it’s not even funny–but I hope someone enjoys my recipes on the big day! I think I’m going to end up with some sauteed brussels, tofu, BBQ sauce, and beer. That’s what I’m thinking about right now. 🙂 And pie. I can never have too much pie, actually. & thanks for the shout-out!

  4. liz

    I don’t know if its inspired by tom petty (although for some reason I don’t think you’re the first person to mention that).
    but maybe more importantly, holy gorgeous blog! makes me wish canadians had another thanksgiving in november so I could try that shell casserole.

  5. Michal

    Your menu sounds so delicious and hearty. So far im making marinated portabello caps, cauliflower mashed potatoes, sweet potato bisque, stuffed pumpkins and a dessert of some kind 🙂

  6. Mo

    I’m excited about the pie. I’ve given up on lemon meringue (sigh), but I had the idea to make Bryanna Clark Grogan’s lemon filling, top it with a thin layer of cheesecake, and top that with shortbread streusel! I can’t wait.

    That Everday Dish roast is so easy and delicious. I am making one right now. This is my second time making it and I stuffed it this time b/c that’s what I plan to do next week. I halved the recipe and steam it first before throwing it in the oven.

  7. Guava

    true… highly contested… but generally yummers… oh genocide what better reason for a feast -_- hehe….

    leprachaun balls!!! (Don’t you love it when I read your posts backwards??)

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