Vegan Thanksgiving

Since I have vegans and omnivores in my house, I wasn’t about to make two distinct meals. So, my goal was that everything would be delicious and vegan-friendly, except for 1 meat dish (not discussed or pictured here). It was a success and we all stuffed our faces!

Home-made Tooforkey 

Our star dish is always the tooforkey. It’s not that hard to make, but it does take some time. The gluten load doesn’t make some bellies happy, so I only do this dish about 3 times a year.

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 c. soy or chickpea flour
  • 3/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 onion diced  finely (or sub with onion powder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely (or sub with prepared minced garlic)
  • 1 container of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3.5 c. water + 3 t. vegetable or faux chicken broth powder or concentrate 
  • 4 T. soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. liquid smoke
  • 2 cups gravy (either packaged or make your own – see below)

Blend tofu, 1 1/2 cups of broth, 2 T soy sauce, liquid smoke, 1 T of the olive oil until smooth.  Once in a while, I will get a block of tofu that has been frozen at some point and it will not mix smoothly.  This is not preferable, but it’s not a tragedy.  Just do what you can. Add the finely chopped onion and 1/2 of the minced garlic.

Mix the gluten, flour, yeast, and pepper in a separate bowl.

Combine the two.  This will be much much easier if you have a dough hook and a stand mixer, but it can be done by hand.  If it is too wet to form a dough ball, add bits of soy or garbanzo flour until it is (this can happen if the tofu has more water in it due to prior freezing, if your measurements are a bit off, etc.).  Knead for about 10 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a warm towel and let it sit for about an hour.  It will rise some.  Knead again for about 10 more minutes.

Line a baking pan with parchment.  Shape the dough into a loaf, try to make it not too “deep” – 2-3 inches tall is preferable.  Mix the remaining broth, soy sauce, olive oil, and liquid smoke.  Pour this broth over the loaf and place in oven at 325*.  Bake for about 2.5 hours if you are going to reheat the next day or 3 if you aren’t. You may wish to turn it over half way through. I don’t, but I baste it about every 15 minutes.  Most of the broth will be gone when it’s done (if most of the broth has gone when you turn it, mix up and add another cup of broth).  Remove from oven and allow to “settle” for a while before serving.

I recommend cooking this ahead of time so you have your oven free for more of the big day. Plus it’s actually better on day two. When about ready to serve, place the loaf back into a baking pan, mix your vegan gravy (see recipe below), and pour over it and cover with foil.  Put it back in the oven and heat at 325* until warmed through, about 30-45 minutes.

Vegan Gravy

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegan butter (we like Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ diced onion and ½ cup diced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups broth – either vegetable or faux chicken
  • 3 T soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 t liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste

If using mushrooms and onions, place 2 T. olive oil in frying pan and saute mushrooms and onions until the onions begin to carmelize.  Set aside.  Mix soy sauce and liquid smoke into broth and set aside.  In a large pan, add remaining oil and begin to heat.  Add flour and stir, forming a roux.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Begin adding broth mixture slowly, stirring constantly to prevent any lumping.  Once fully mixed, add mushrooms and onions if using.

Continue to stir gently while bringing gravy to a low boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and stir regularly until gravy thickens.  Salt/pepper to taste and serve over tofurkey or potatoes.

Vegan Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

This is a boring mashed potato recipe but vegan.

  • 5 lb potatoes
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • unsweetened soy milk as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into quarters or large slices. Place in the Instant Pot and cover with water. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes and then release. Drain potatoes. Turn pot back on to sauté and continue to cook, stirring often, to allow some of the water to evaporate off (if you don’t have time to stir much, put it on warm and just keep the lid off). Add butter and mash, adding soy milk as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Spinach Dip 

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 lb spinach, chopped (either fresh or use 1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thaw, and squeeze out water)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, diced (optional)
  • 2 t dill*
  • 2 cloves minced garlic*
  • 1/2 t turmeric*
  • * or you can skip the onion and spices and just use a packet of onion soup mix!

Mix and chill overnight. Serve with bread or pita points.

Soft Sourdough Dinner Rolls 

As with many sourdough recipes, this one is a little complicated, so I provided times. The recipe is from The Perfect Loaf – All I did was make it vegan! It assumes you have a sourdough starter.

9:00 a.m. make levin by mixing:

  • 74g all purpose flour
  • 74g water
  • 15g sugar
  • 30g starter

4:00 p.m.  make tangzhong

  • 41g all purpose flour
  • 166g unsweetened soy milk

To medium saucepan, add the flour and soy milk listed above. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and becomes like a paste. Set aside to cool.

4:45 p.m. mix dough

  • tangzhong
  • 328g all purpose flour
  • 148g bread flour
  • 39g sugar
  • 181g water
  • 11g salt
  • 192g levain
  • 95g vegan butter

Mix all but butter in a stand mixer with dough hook on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until incorporated. Then, mix on speed 4 for 5 minutes until dough clumps around the dough hook. Allow the dough to rest 10 minutes.

Then slice in the vegan butter while the mixer is running on low speed. Do this slowly and the butter will incorporate more easily. In 5-8 minutes, all butter should be added and the dough should be soft and kind of shiny..

5:15 – 8:45 Allow covered dough to rise in a warm location, doing 3 stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals and then resting for the remaining time.

8:45-9:10 chill in fridge

9:10 Divide dough into 15-16 pieces (between 70-85g) and use dough scraper to make them into balls. Place in a pan where they touch gently. I used a 10″ diameter pan with 15 rolls and it went well.

9:30 Cover with a plastic bag with air in it so it does touch the dough and refrigerate overnight

The next day 4 hours before meal, remove from fridge and continue proof on counter for 2 hours.

Brush with wash (2 TBSP unsweetened soy milk mixed with 1 TBSP maple syrup). Bake at 425* for 20 minutes.

Brush with wash again, rotate pan 180*, and reduce temp to 350*. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until tops are brown. Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes in the pan, then tip out onto to a wire rack and cool 30 minutes before eating.

Cranberry Bars

This original recipe is from the Betty Crocker site, but I’ve veganized it here and made other slight changes.

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold vegan butter 
  • 2 TBSP soy milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP fresh orange juice 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 9×9-inch pan with vegan butter.

In a large bowl, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, almonds, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter, then use pastry blender or hands to mix in until you get that sandy texture. Mix in the soy milk. Press 2 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. Stir the cinnamon into the remaining crumb mixture and set aside.

In medium bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and spoon evenly over the crust. Spoon the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over filling and press lightly.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely and then refrigerate until chilled.

Cranberry / Blueberry Crisp

This original recipe is from the The Pretty Bee, but I’ve made a few slight changes.

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown coconut sugar
  • 8 TBSP vegan butter cut into slices
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9×9 pan.
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and cinnamon.
  4. Add the vegan butter, and mix together using a pastry cutter or fingers until it resembles sand.
  5. Add oats, sugar, and berries, and gently mix.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until the berries are bubbly and the crumb topping is lightly browned.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is originally from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken and I have made small changes here.

  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk (the kind in a can, shaken well before measuring)
  • ½ cup brown coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 vegan pie crust (make your own or purchase)

Prepare your crust and place it in the pan.

Pre-heat your oven to 350*

Put all the filling ingredients in your blender and mix well.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust. Bake for 60 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, the edges might be slightly cracked and the middle will still look wobbly. Allow it to cool, and then chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight until completely set. It may develop cracks but they won’t hurt the taste!

Vegan Pecan Pie

This recipe is originally from Making Thyme for Health and I have made only 2 small changes here. This should be made at least 1 day in advance.

  • 2 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup coconut brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (shake can well before measuring)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ½ cup brown coconut sugar
  • 2 TBSP water

Preheat the oven to 350°F then blind bake your prepared pie crust for 5 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

Combine the coconut milk and cornstarch then whisk until smooth.

Melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Add the chopped pecans and toast in the pan for about 30 seconds while stirring continuously. Pour in the maple syrup, ½ cup brown coconut sugar, coconut milk mixture, vanilla and salt. Stir in fully.

Remove from heat and cool for a few moments, then pour the mixture in the pie crust. Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes.

While that is baking, add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 TBSP water to a pan over medium heat. Stir and cook a couple of moments until the sugar melts and then add pecan halves. Stir for a few more moments and then set aside to cool a bit.

Remove pie and add the pecan halves in any design you wish. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until filling appears mostly firm when you gently jiggle it. Cool on the counter for 2-3 hours then cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.

Irish Cream 2.0 – The Fast One

A few years ago, I posted an Irish cream recipe that involved making sweetened condensed milk as part of the process. I still love that one, and probably prefer it slightly. But, I also have a faster recipe for times when I’m not going to stand over the stove stirring.

Ingredients

  • 1-1.5 cups Irish Whisky
  • 1 small can (about 11.25 oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 cup soy milk or soy half & half (or other non-dairy milk – the creamier the better)
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 tsp instant coffee or espresso
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract (optional)

Process

Combine and whisk or blend on low speed. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Lentil Stew

Delicious and comforting stew for fall days!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried lentils (your choice of black, brown, or green)
  • ½ lb dried cannellini beans
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp Better than Bouillon vegetarian chicken concentrate (or ~6 TBSP vegan broth powder)
  • ⅔ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional ⅔ cup texturized vegetable protein

Process

Add cannellini beans, onion, celery, to Instant Pot with enough water to cover them by about two inches. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes and then vent to release.

Add lentils, tomatoes, bouillon, spices, along with enough water to again cover cover by about two inches. Cook on high pressure for 9 minutes and then vent to release.

Put the instant pot on sauté. Add tomato paste and stir in. If you would like to add some TVP for the extra chew, add it here. Then allow to cook, stirring often but gently, until the beans and lentils are as soft as you would like. This only took 5 minutes for me today, but that varies with age of the beans and other factors.

Serve with rice or just some nice crusty bread. We had it with pearl couscous, avocado, sour cream, and hot sauce.