Vegan Thanksgiving

On Friday morning a group came over to 1508 to discuss vegan Thanksgiving food.  Since a large part of the meal is the side dishes only a few tweaks to make some dishes vegan is necessary. We chose dishes based on traditional combinations and the best available ingredients.   Also these can all be served with Turkey on the side for any meat eaters.  Dishes were comprised of seasonal ingredients from our home garden, The Farm at Walker Jones and other mostly local sources.

We cooked, we talked and then we sat down to enjoy our work.  This is what we made.

Stuffing: Wild Rice (slightly undercooked and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper), Cannellini Beans (I used fresh beans but dried would work fine), Celery (thinly sliced), Cardoons (sliced, blanched and drained four times), Sage (finely chopped), Apple (grated, the variety I used was Mutsu), Shallots (roasted and peeled), salt and pepper to taste.

Chanterelles and Local Chestnuts:  Season Chanterelles with grapeseed oil salt and pepper in a hot over for 5 minutes add chestnuts and roast for an additional 5 minutes.  To peel chestnuts cut chestnuts in half place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, remove from water and with a dinner knife separate chestnuts from their shells.

Roasted Parsnip: Peel parnips and cut in half lengthwise.  Cut each piece of chestnut in half again lengthwise.  Remove core and then cut into thin strips.  Season with grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.  Roast in a hot oven till deep brown and caramelized but before they burn.

White Sweet Potato Soup:  Cut sweet potatoes in half, season with grapeseed oil and roast cut side down in a hot oven until tender.  Remove from oven and remove skin, puree in blender until very smooth adding water until soup reaches desired consistency.  Add fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Cut a tiny bit off the bottom of each brussel sprout and cut each sprout in half.  Season with grapeseed oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in a hot cast iron skillet until browned on one side, turn sprout over and cook until the second side is browned.  Take care not to overcook!

Raw Cranberry Sauce:  In a food processor process on and off until mixture is still chunky and not totally smooth– organic cranberries, sections of a orange, a bit of orange peel, walnuts, sugar and salt to taste.

Cooked Cranberry Sauce: In a medium saucepan combine organic cranberries, thinly sliced onions, balsamic vinegar, a little water, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over low heat until cranberries are soft an flavors meld, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Kale with Garlic:  Season kale and peeled roasted garlic with grapeseed oil, salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven until kale starts to crisp.  Lightly coat with balsamic vinegar and return to oven for five minutes.


1 cup cornmeal (as good quality as possible) 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cup almond milk ¼ cup finely pureed silken tofu 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 ounces melted earth balance

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl mix all ingredients until just smooth.  Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add additional Earth Balance to coat the bottom of the pan.  Pour in batter and let cook on the stove top until the edges begin to set, about 4 minutes.  Place in oven and cook until done.

Pumpkin Caramelized Ginger

4 cups pumpkin puree

2 cups brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 tablespoons crystallized ginger chopped

1 cup silken tofu pureed

4 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoon bourbon

Puree all ingredients in a food processor and pour into individual ramakins or a pie shell.  Cook at 350 degrees until set.

Cashew Cream: Cashews soaked in water for at least an hour.  Puree in a blender until very smooth, add agave nectar to taste.

Candied Pecans:  Coat pecans with honey and roast in a 350 degree oven until caramelized.

...I burnt the candied pumpkin seeds that can be prepared the same way as the candied pecans.

Caramel Sauce: In a medium sized pot combine 1 cup water and 3 cups vegan sugar and bring to a boil.  While that is heating in a separate pot heat 2 1/2 cups almond milk and set aside 1/2 pound Earth Balance cut into small pieces.  Once sugar mixture begins to boil watch closely and let it cook until it turns a deep caramel color.  Carefully wisk in milk and Earth Balance, the mixture is extremely hot and can burn.  Once the sauce cools if it breaks place in a blender to re-combine.