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Thanksgiving Ideas, Take Two

November 22, 2009

Last week, Mindy weighed in with her Thanksgiving menu ideas, so now it’s my turn.  I’ll start by saying that my family is awesome when it comes to me being vegan.  Not only have they agreed to a completely vegan Thanksgiving feast for this year and last – but it was actually originally my parents’ idea to eschew the “traditional” turkey and have a totally plant-based feast instead!  Last year, I was trying to think of ways to approach my family about making a vegan Thanksgiving dinner when out of nowhere my parents said, “Why don’t we just skip the turkey & all that animal-based stuff, and just have a vegan feast?”  Ummmm, okay.  Twist my arm?  My brother & his girlfriend (both vegetarians) had no problem with this, either – and were totally supportive & excited.

Believe me – I am fully aware of how lucky I am!  So, that being said, even though my family is on board with a vegan Thanksgiving & I don’t have to convince anyone that the food will be good, I still want to deliver.  I want our cruelty-free celebration to be every bit as delicious as everyone expects the biggest feast of the year to be.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Last year’s menu included:


  • Hot spinach artichoke dip with crackers
  • Vegetable crudités with hummus

Main Course & Sides

  • Cornmeal-crusted seitan
  • Creamed corn
  • Green bean casserole (I omit the carrot & use fresh green beans instead of canned)

    Creamed Corn

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Savory biscuits (I use 2 c. flour, ½ c. nutritional yeast, and vegetable shortening in place of half of the Earth Balance)
  • Stuffing (I am heavy-handed on the spices, add mushrooms, use more broth for moister stuffing, and omit the apples & raisins)
  • Mashed potatoes with Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy (from Vegan with a Vengeance)



Spinach Artichoke Phyllo Puffs

This year’s menu is very similar, but with a few changes:


  • Hot spinach artichoke phyllo puffs
  • Vegetable crudités with Muhammara (roasted red pepper dip; I’m using the recipe in The Vegan Table, but there are recipes available online, as well)

Main Course & Sides

  • Pine nut-crusted seitan
  • Salad with raw Ranch-style dressing (recipe from the amazing Gena of Choosing Raw)
  • Steamed green beans with olive oil & fleur de sel
  • Roasted carrots & Brussels sprouts
  • Cranberry sauce (I am omitting the pineapple & walnuts)
  • Stuffing
  • Corn chowder (recipe based on the one in Vegan with a Vengeance, but I tweak it a little to suit my tastes)
  • Mashed potatoes with Mushroom Sauce (from The Conscious Cook – it’s incredible!  I sub shiitake & crimini mushrooms for the

    Pine Nut-Crusted Seitan with Mushroom Sauce

    lobster mushrooms called for in the recipe)


  • Caramel Apple Pie (with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and orange zest added)
  • Pumpkin or Pecan Pie (I can’t decide!)
  • Vanilla Island ice cream from Coconut Bliss

Clearly, we will want for nothing!  Like all Thanksgiving feasts (vegan or not), the menu takes some planning & a fair amount of work – but hey, that’s what makes the meal worth it, right?  With a little organization & a kitchen helper, everything comes together fairly quickly.  It really makes me so happy that I am able to provide my loved ones with a delicious, beautiful, compassionate, filling, and (mostly…) healthy meal on this holiday.  Plus, all these lovely, colorful dishes look so great on the table.

We’d love to hear about what everyone else is making for Thanksgiving!  What’s on your menu this year?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2009 2:45 pm

    STELLAR feast!

    I’ll be making my “famous” homemade chunky cranberry sauce 🙂

  2. November 24, 2009 9:35 am

    What an amazing assortment of recipes! Thanks for pointing out a bunch that I really hadn’t thought of.

  3. November 24, 2009 1:52 pm

    Oh wow Jessica, everything sounds amazing.. I can almost smell the yumminess 🙂 I am making the vegan stuffing recipe that you gave me, along with green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, peas and pearled onions, carrot casserole and my mom told me that she is making a couple surprise vegetarian dishes which I thought is very sweet of her 🙂

    Have a very happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your feast 🙂

    • Jessica permalink*
      November 24, 2009 2:04 pm

      Aw, that’s so sweet of your mom, Gelareh! Your feast sounds delicious, too!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. November 25, 2009 4:51 am

    Damn girl, you ARE lucky!

  5. Chris permalink
    November 25, 2009 3:15 pm

    Yeah, what Melisser said!


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