thankful for vegans

Will  you have a vegan joining your table at Thanksgiving to dine among the carnivores?  Or perhaps you just want a few healthier options (lord knows, we could all use a few of those) at the holiday meal? Get ready to thank the bounty of the earth— without hormonal turkeys and butter-loaded mashed potatoes!  Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about the turkey– or for that matter, all about the fat.

Our last plant-based cooking class in Newton, MA focused on making a Thanksgiving meal that was based on plants only. No turkey or butter was used, but the meal was beautiful, hearty and colorful–a really good opening to the wintry season.

Here’s our menu! You can use one or more of these recipes instead of–or alongside– your turkey dinner. Enjoy!

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu:

Roasted Vegetables with Ajoblanco

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 beet, chopped

1/2 fennel bulb, chopped

1 purple onion, chopped

1 small sweet potato, chopped

1/2 head of broccoli,  crowns only, chopped

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. ground

1 garlic clove, chopped

3/4 Tbsp. agave

Set the oven to broil.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

Place all the chopped vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil, agave and salt over them and toss.  Pour vegetables out onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 min until they are golden brown…watch them carefully so they do not burn!

Make the Ajoblanco:

half a loaf of rustic bread

1 3⁄4 cups water

1 cup skinned raw almonds, roughly chopped

2 small garlic cloves

2 1⁄2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp.  plus 1 1⁄2 tsp. vinegar

salt, to taste

Slice the bread into 1-inch cubes–you should have 1 1/2 cups of cubes. In a large bowl, cover the bread cubes with 1⁄2 cup of water and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the bread and squeeze out the extra liquid, then place the bread in a blender. Add the almonds, garlic and 3⁄4 cup of water and purée into a smooth paste, adding enough of the remaining 1⁄2 cup of water to yield a very smooth mixture. Add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream to emulsify the sauce. Pour into an airtight container, stir in the vinegar, season with salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Serve the roasted vegetables on a large platter and drizzle some Ajoblanco over the top. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Tahini-Maple Syrup Marinade

2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and sliced  into thin strips


3 Tbsp. raw tahini

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrupvegan sweet potato sticks

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

kosher salt, to taste

1/2 Tbsp. chili flakes


Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. Mix all the Marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Drop the potato sticks into the bowl and toss gently, making sure they are well-covered with the marinade. Spread potato “sticks” out onto prepared tray and bake for 40 min. at 350 degrees. Serve warm.

Quinoa Salad with Mint and Lemon

1 cup quinoa

3 Tbsp. fresh mint, torn into pieces

1/3 cup parsley, chopped coarsely

2 Persian cucumbers, choppedIMG_1379

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt, to taste

Cook the quinoa:

In a strainer, rinse quinoa well. Drain. Now combine the raw quinoa with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil uncovered. When it starts to boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. NOTE: When found in nature, quinoa has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins. These occur naturally in the quinoa to prevent insects from eating the plant. Most packaged quinoa will be pre-washed; however it is always a good idea to wash the quinoa again just in case.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa with remaining ingredients. Toss all together and serve at room temperature.

Provencal Veggie Stew

4 oz. canned  kidney beans, drained

4 oz. canned cannellini beans, drained

4 oz. canned, black-eyed peas, drained

3 carrots, chopped

3 onions, chopped

Bouquet garni of sprigs of thyme, bay leaf and rosemary

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 oz can of chopped tomatoes

1/2 bunch fresh basil, julienned

1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives

salt, to taste

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. sugar

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add chopped carrots and bell peppers and saute until slightly browned. Add the beans, tomatoes, olives, sugar and the bouquet garni and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the parsley and basil and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove bouquet garni. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.

Pumpkin Pie with Chestnut Cream

Pie Crust:

1 cup gluten-free flour

1 cup almond flourpumpkin pie

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted OR Earth Balance, melted


2 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar

1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)

1 Tbsp. Earth Balance, softened

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (other sweeteners may work, but the flavor will change slightly)

3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp, freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves
Chestnut Cream

1/2 cup chestnuts, peeled

1/4 cup cream of coconut

2 tsp. agave nectar OR maple syrup

Make the crust: Whirr all the dry ingredients together in a food processor. Mix the melted coconut oil and almond milk together and slowly drizzle into the machine while the processor is pulsing. Mix until it just comes together. Remove from food processor and knead by hand lightly. (Don’t knead more than necessary!)  Pat the crust into a glass pie pan and bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients together and pour into the crust. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees or until the filling no longer “jiggles.”

Make the Chestnut Cream: Using a heavy duty blender, whip all the ingredients together until smooth and soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Top the slices of pie with a dollop of Chestnut Cream.


How to Prepare a Great Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner was last modified: by

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