This will be my very first Thanksgiving since I started the vegan adventure, so I decided I’d better figure out what my stand will be on all the T-day food. I still go back and forth on whether I’ll cast aside my current eating habits in favor of tasty pork shoulder and turkey, but I have devised a plan to let myself experience some Thanksgiving staples — vegan-like.
My three MOST favorite dishes are white bread stuffing, green bean casserole, and pecan pie, so I’ve found or fudged vegan versions of all of these. Om nom nom nom.
First, the Pecan Pie. I’ll give the original recipes with vegan substitutions:
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (I made my own so I’d know it was vegan. That means flour, Earth Balance and water — recipe from the savvy vegetarian)
3 eggs (Egg substitute: 3/4 cups unsweetened apple sauce)
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine (Earth Balance for me)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecan pieces and about 20-30 pecan halves (for topping to make it pretty)
Preheat oven to 350 and prepare pie crust. In medium bowl, with hand beater or wire whisk, beat eggs well (of course you don’t need to do this with apple sauce). Beat in next four ingredients until well blended. Put the crushed pecans in the bottom of the crust so that they float through the liquid ingredients when you pour them in. Carefully pour the liquid mixture over them. Arrange the pecan halves in some cute decorative way on the top. Bake one hour or until knife inserted one inch from the edge comes out clean (since I used apple sauce instead of egg, I baked for an hour-and-a-half, and this never happened, but once it cooled, the pie set just fine).
Next, the White Bread Stuffing.
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I actually used coconut oil for this)
2 cups diced celery
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
12 -ish cups lightly packed white bread cubes (I set them out on a cookie sheet and let them dry out for about an hour so that they soak up all the liquid)
1/2 cup vegetable broth (This makes up for the fact that you aren’t actually cooking it inside a turkey, and so won’t have the turkey juices mixing in)
3 eggs, slightly beaten (For this, I used a ground flax and water substitute, courtesy of Care2 green living)
In large sauce pot over medium heat, in hot butter or margarine (coconut oil), cook celery and onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Add parsley, salt, poultry seasoning and pepper; mix well. Stir in bread cubes and eggs (flax mixture); mix well. If you aren’t baking inside the turkey (and of course, I wasn’t), bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.
And last, Brooke’s Vegan Green Bean Casserole.
I snagged this recipe from my friend Brooke’s blog, Plating For One. It’s pretty awesome, but it’s the most labor-intensive of the recipes here. Definitely not as simple as the French’s recipe I used to use.
1.5 lb fresh green beans
8-ish regular white mushrooms (chopped, not sliced)
5 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup full fat, unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp dry Sherry (I had never bought Sherry before. It was an interesting experience)
1.5 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
2 tbsp flour
French friend onions
3/4 – 1 cup bread crumbs (Brooke’s blog said plain bread crumbs, but I just toasted a slice of whole wheat bread and crumbled it up.)
Trim the green beans into bite-sized pieces, and boil covered with a tablespoon of salt for about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. Remove stems from mushrooms and cut into pieces, then saute them in oil with three cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, some cayenne until mushrooms release their juices. The seasoning is to your particular taste. I, like Brooke, really like salt, so I used plenty.
Whisk the flour into the broth, and add that and the sherry to the mushrooms. Simmer on low until thickened. Add soy milk and cook for about 5-10 minutes until it thickens again. Season to taste.
Mix all that with the green beans. Combine the Earth Balance, remaining garlic, bread crumbs, more salt and pepper (again, to your particular taste) in a bowl. Mix that in. Add the french fried onions for topping (I mixed some in and then topped with a few). Bake in a 425 oven for 15 minutes.