Compassionate family traditions begin with a fun and festive vegan Thanksgiving. The internet is chock full of recipes for delicious vegan Thanksgiving entrées like the ones below. But, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by your cooking chores, a premade vegan roast makes an easy and delicious entrée, too.
Easy Vegan Pre-Made Roasts
Look for these at natural foods markets like Whole Foods, and at many traditional grocery chains.
Tofurky. Long a favorite among vegans, most agree that this product has gotten better and better over the years. The herb-infused stuffing is a blend of bread stuffing, brown rice and wild rice. You can purchase just the roast, or the roast plus gravy, or a Tofurky Feast that includes the roast, gravy, “Jurky Wishstix,” and chocolate cake. For something a little different, give your tofurky some regional flair by deep frying it Cajun-style.
Celebration Roast. From the Field Roast company, these traditional hand-made roasts have a sausage-flavored stuffing with fresh butternut squash, mushrooms, and granny smith apples. Or try the new Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute, featuring flavors of hazelnut, rosemary, and crystallized ginger in a rich vegan puff pastry.
Gardein Stuffed Turk’y. Elegant and delicious, these are individual breaded cutlets with a meaty texture and cranberry-infused stuffing.
Homemade Vegan Thanksgiving Entrées
Many vegan Thanksgiving entrees make no attempt to mimic turkey. Instead, they are in a culinary class of their own.
Blogger Rhea Parsons says that her Onion and Apple Relish Tofu looks, smells and tastes like Autumn.
Or get a little fancy with this lovely Seitan en Croute topped with a Madeira sauce, created by acclaimed cookbook author Robin Robertson.
Chef Tal Ronnen created these Pumpkin Seed Battered Cutlets, which were featured in the New York Times last year.
Creamy vegan Mushroom Strudel is deceptively easy to make and very impressive. This recipe is adapted from one in the Moosewood Cookbook.
Finally, vegan cookbook author Dreena Burton offers up this Festive Chickpea Tart which she says is festive enough for Thanksgiving and easy enough for family meals.
And All the Vegan Trimmings
It doesn’t take much to round out your meal with favorite side dishes that are easily veganized.
Stuffing: Make it according to the package directions, using vegan margarine and vegetable broth or bouillon, and bake in an oven. For a homemade dish, try this Walnut-Apple Stuffing from cookbook author Nava Atlas.
Mashed Potatoes: Make them with vegan margarine and plain soy or almond milk.
Gravy:Use any oil you like for the fat, and give the gravy a little boost of flavor by using chickpea flour to thicken it and vegetable broth for the liquid.
Sweet Potatoes: Top them with vegan marshmallows flavored with pecan and cinnamon, or coconut, or pumpkin spice, from the Sweet and Sara company.
Cranberries: Traditional cranberry sauce is made from fresh berries, water and sugar. Just follow the recipe on the back of the package or in any old-fashioned cookbook, and use your favorite vegan sweetener.
Pumpkin Pie: Use Earth Balance margarine in the crust for apple or mince pies. For pumpkin pie, replace the milk in your favorite recipe with full-fat plain soymilk and use a half cup of pureed tofu instead of eggs. Easy!
Virginia Messina is a dietitian specializing in vegan nutrition. Her new book is Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-based Diet. Learn more about vegan nutrition by reading her blog TheVeganRD, or by following her twitter.