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Thanksgiving Made Easy (Vegan, Plant-Based)

Thanksgiving Made Easy (Vegan, Plant-Based)

All posts, Food, Main meals, Recipes, Side Dishes

I’m often better at giving the advice of Keeping It Simple, than actually following it (just ask my Mom!)! I just can’t resist trying new recipes, CONSTANTLY!

However, I recently succeeded, with terrific results. Here’s what happened…

Last week was a busy one. By the time Friday came along, I didn’t have much of a plan for Friday night Shabbat dinner. I had two factors going on. It was my birthday on Saturday but for various reasons I wasn’t going to be able to go out to dinner for it. In addition, I’m traveling for Thanksgiving and won’t be able to do much of my own cooking. I was already in the mood for Thanksgiving food and treating myself for my birthday.

So I was thinking about what I really like to eat on Thanksgiving. I’ve always been perfectly happy with eating the sides at Thanksgiving and never had a desire to purchase fake vegan turkey. When it comes down to it, I’ve always loved the mix of mashed potatoes, corn and gravy, maybe green beans. That’s what I’m out for – although I’ve only made vegan gravy the last few years. Before that I just missed my fave combo for many many years.

I experimented with a vegan mushroom gravy recipe using tapioca starch, water, and mushrooms. I don’t recommend it. This type of attempt works much better when you start with a roux of vegan butter, vegetable broth and flour. I made this yesterday and it was a huge hit. It hadn’t occurred to me to put mushroom gravy in the blender, but it was delicious. (I also highly recommend that you subscribe to Jenny Goldfarb’s weekly Count Your Colors recipe videos.) I’m using it with my leftover mashed potatoes and enjoying it immensely!

Here is the run down for my last second Thanksgiving-ish feeling dinner. The first two items are the only ones that are remotely complicated (although I do recommend you try the gravy above).

  1. Mashed potatoes: Boil diced, unpeeled, golden potatoes. Mash with 1 bag frozen cauliflower, healthier vegan margarine, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Mushroom gravy: There are several ready-made options in stores right now. However, they aren’t kosher-certified so I’m providing you with an easy, from scratch, recipe above.
  3. Whole sweet potatoes baked in the oven or Frozen organic diced sweet potato, cooked in the microwave.
  4. 1 bag trimmed and washed green beans, cooked in the microwave. Image result for washed and trimmed green beans
  5. 1 can sweet corn, drained and warmed. Image result for can sweet corn
  6. Now, I happened to have something in my freezer I don’t usually buy and I must admit it was the perfect compliment and a lot less of a big deal than finding some Tofurky monstrosity (although they are now kosher-certified so maybe I will try it…) when only I was going to be eating it. What did I have?

chick’n scallopini

Gardein Vegan chicken scallopini. Interestingly, when looking for this image I saw that they do make a Turkey product. The seasoning on the “chickn” was reminiscent enough that I almost felt like I was eating my childhood combination of Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.

As I said, I’m traveling for Thanksgiving. I’ll be with family who are very considerate of my mishegas and make beautiful salads and vegetables. But I’m thrilled to know that regardless of what is going to be served, if I need to, I can be happy  with some very basic foods and very little cooking.

If you’re just overwhelmed by Thanksgiving or have too much going on to plan and shop much, I hope I’ve provided you with some helpful ideas! Let me know on my Facebook Page. Click “like” to be part of my Healthy Mama’s community, supporting one another in health.

 

 

About the author

I make fruits and vegetables come alive for kids and families; You can build a foundation of lifelong healthy habits and attitudes through my Fruit Funshops, Mama's Nights Out, Blog, and Books: The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – Simply and Sanely and its companion cookbook.