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A Mexican Family’s Vegan Thanksgiving

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“¿Que? Ummm….Well….” My dad was pensive as he tried to wrap his brain around the concept of having no turkey for this year’s Thanksgiving. “I’ll ask your brother and sister and let you know.” I really had no desire to be around a dead body this year, but I also had no expectations when I suggested that we have an all vegan Thanksgiving. To my surprise, my family was open to the idea and so this year, my family will have their first vegan Thanksgiving.

Thanks to my friends on the Vegan Freak Forums and VegWebfor these amazing recipes and to my sisters for cooking up a great feast!

The Recap
I am happy to say that everything went REALLy good! My two sisters helped prep and cook the food and my dad helped make the spanish rice.
There was not a complaint to be heard and everyone chowed down and complimented the feast.
In the prep, my grand-nephew came along and asked if he could help. He’s 3 and so I showed him how to peel garlic. I only needed a few, but he wanted to keep going. Who am I to stop him?
“unwrapping” (as he says) garlic

“show me what your doing?”
Then his older brother (7) came along. He likes to cook and so I asked the 3 year old to show his older brother what to do. In the end, they ended up peeling 2 1/2 heads of garlic.
Child slave labor.

Then it was my Dad’s turn to make Spanish Rice.
He’s a genius in the kitchen and his skills transfer well into the veganized versions of our family dishes (I’m so jealous).

Pre-Feasting Event

After the “unwrapping”, my grand-nephews played softball with a plush in the living room…

Roughhoused a bit…
then went into time out by grandma. =(
Here was our Thanksgiving dinner menu:

Glazed Tofurkey
Whole cloves

1/4 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
Insert cloves all over Tofurkey roast. Mix the remaining ingredients, then glaze the Tofurky, close it up in the foil, let it cook up until 30 minutes before it’s supposed to be done. Open oven, foil, glaze again. 15 minutes later, open, glaze again. Done!

Mashed Potatoes

12-14 garlic cloves (to taste), unpeeled

4 lbs. potatoes (preferably yukon golds), peeled, and cut into cubes
2/3 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
salt and white pepper, to taste
2 T. freshly snipped chives
paprika, for garnish

Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pie pan and bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cloves are soft. Remove the pie pan from the oven and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover them with water, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, saving the cooking liquid for use in the mashed potatoes, and the remaining cooking liquid can be used in soups or sauces. Transfer the drained potatoes to a mixer (or return to the large pot if using a hand mixer or potato masher) and set aside for 5 minutes to dry. Using your fingers, squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins, and place them in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the cloves of garlic to form a paste. Add the mashed garlic, soy milk, sprinkle with a little salt and white pepper, and whip the potatoes until smooth. Add a little of the reserved potato cooking liquid, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle with the snipped chives and a little paprika before serving.

Crock Pot Stuffing

My sister added olives and tomato sauce. A good idea!

2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 (12 ounce) pkg sliced mushrooms
12 cups bread crumbs
Salt to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups veggie broth

Sauté onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in a little veggie broth. Pour sautéed veggies over bread crumbs in a very large mixing bowl. Add all seasonings and toss together. Pour in enough broth to moisten. (I added extra broth halfway through for a moister stuffing). Pack stuffing lightly into crock pot, and cover. Set on High for 45 minutes; reduce to Low and cook for 3 – 4 hours.

Green Bean Casserole

(tasted better than it looks)
Green Beans
2 quarts water

1 tablespoon table salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size piecesBring the water to boil in a large pot. While it’s heating, cut up the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes. Drain beans in a colander, and then spray for a minute with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water.
Sauce
10 ounces mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
generous pinch cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Fresh pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3/4 cup soy creamer

Trim and discard the mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms into pieces. Spray a non-stick pan with canola oil and heat it. Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices. Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms along with the sherry. Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.
Topping
1 1/2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine (the best tasting margarine in the world and no trans-fat)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3-ounce can of French fried onions

Put the bread, margarine, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the onions. Stir to combine.
To assemble:
Put the green beans into an oiled casserole dish and top with the onion mixture. Bake at 425 F for about 15 minutes. If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately; bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.

Baked Apples and Yams

6 to 8 yams
5 to 6 pippen or golden delicious apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil yams until barely tender (whole or cut width wise, in big pieces). Peel. Cool. Slice and alternate yams and peeled apple rings in margarined casserole dish. Boil together: 1/2 c. vegan sugar, 1 c. water, 1/4 c. margarine, 1 1/2 T cornstarch and 1/2 t salt, until it begins to thicken. Pour over yams and apples and bake covered at 350 for 1 hr.

Baked Corn

15 oz can whole kernel corn

14 oz can cream style corn
8 oz sour vegan cream (Tofutti or Follow Your Heart)
1/2 cup melted margarine
egg substitute to equal 2 eggs (Ener-G egg replacer)
8 oz. ounces corn muffin mix (El Torito Sweet Corn Cake Mix is vegan)
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients. Mix well and pour into one 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

1/2 cup of sugar
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup of soy milk (plain)
1/2 block silken tofu
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 container of vegan cream cheese
1 tablespoon (or more) of maple syrup
Keebler Graham Cracker Crust

Blend all ingredients (excluding crust, of course) in blender until creamy texture. Pour mixture into crust and place in the oven at about 400 degrees for 45 min – 1 hr 30 min (check in between time to make sure pie is becoming firm) Place in fridge overnight.

Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar (or other granulated sweetener)

Bring the orange juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, rinse the cranberries. Once the juice is simmering, stir in the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, add cranberries. Simmer, covered, until all of the cranberries have burst and mixture becomes thick and syrupy (about 30 minutes). Taste-test to see if you’d like to add any more sweetener. Allow the cranberry sauce to cool for at least 15 minutes. It will thicken more as it cools.
The following are our family recipes that were veganized this year;

Spanish Rice

Using vegetable broth in place of chicken seasoning.
(pictured with Cranberry Sauce, gravy and rolls)
Pancit

Using smoke seitan instead of pork

Fruit Salad: Using Vegenaise, Tofutti Sour Cream, & Silk Soy Creamer instead of Mayo, Sour Cream and Heavy Cream.

Store bought items;
Tofurkey Roast
Good Karma Very Vanilla Rice Cream
Soyatoo! Soy Whip
Sara Lee Apple Pie (yes, the frozen one is vegan)
Tofurkey Mushroom Gravy
Francisco International Sourdough Rolls

The Gran Finale

Dad’s plate gets served first

Loading up!

My nephew (not the dad of the grandnephews). I’m still not use to him being 21!
Getting ready to chow down
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About Ahimsa

Vegan Freak, Dharma Punk, Curious Cat

6 responses »

  1. Congratulations on the vegan family thanksgiving! 🙂 I had no idea about the Sarah Lee apple pie! That makes me a little giddy. 😀

    Reply
  2. What a feast! Looks really yummy. You’re awesome!

    Reply
  3. Looks YUM! Your Grandnephews are adorable!

    Reply
  4. glittergirl

    Phenomenal! Damn! My sister got me the vegan dinner from Whole Foods, but I wish I had been at your house! Wow! In any case, will try out some of these recipes.

    Reply
  5. The Cranberry Sauce looks divine! Thanks for sharing. I love that you included pictures, with recipes. I am new to cooking…and I love getting new ideas from other people. This is perfect!

    Reply
  6. I Wish I Could Have Been There! I Miss All Of You SO Much N I Was So Sad Realizing That I Wasn’t Gonna Be With Fam:( ESPECIALLY On That Monumental Occasion! Congrats On Gettin That To Happen! I Love The Pics N They Put A Huge Smile On My Face:D I Ate Mashed Potatoes N A Few Slices Of Bread In My Car On My Lunch Break 😦 Ha It Was Kinda Funny Tho But I Was Super Sad When I Got Home To A Quiet House… Well I’m Goin Home This Weekend I Hope I See U! Love Nicole :*

    Reply

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