Hey John Snow, forget about winter, Thanksgiving is coming. Yup, the time when families unite at a grand dinner table to feast and laugh and warm themselves by the friendly glow of the television and stuff themselves silly in the name of Black Friday and all things cozy.
So for today's post I share everything you need to make your perfect plant-based, vegan Thanksgiving happen. Including a 2015 menu with recipe links and a fun little story about how I interviewed a few turkeys. Yup, I have the exclusive (yes, but ok, fictional) interview. Oh, and a bonus frozen dessert machine giveaway ..
(Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post! Prize: a Yonanas Machine + a Healthy Happy Life tee!)
Thanksgiving cooking is a lot to take on. But in the end, that glowing table, a bounty of deliciousness, all crafted by your own two hands, is a sweet sight to behold. Pat yourself on the back, friend. You totally won Thanksgiving. Stuffing, sweet potatoes, pie, cranberry sauce. Ahhhhh vegan Thanksgiving is magic. And YOU can be the pixie dust sprinkler.
"But Kathy, what do I do for and easy vegan Thanksgiving entree?"
"Aha! I have just the thing for you, dear blog reader!"
I am proud to work with Gardein on this post, because their Holiday Roast is my go-to recommendation I give when people ask me about super easy vegan holiday entree options. Especially for people who want to focus their culinary skills on the side dishes. Gardein has the answer with this crowd-pleasing entree.
The Holiday Roast has a caramel colored, lightly crispy coating. And inside, is a tender and super flavorful, sliceable, plant-based loaf with a vegan stuffing center. The stuffing is perfectly flavored. The Holiday Roast kit even comes with heat and serve gravy.
You literally just pop the roast in the oven and bake until toasty warm. SO easy and delicious.
So stop stressing about "the Thanksgiving centerpiece." And start having fun with sides, snacks, drinks and pie. More time for homemade pumpkin pie is a very good thing.
My menu suggestion this year!..
Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2015
warm spiced cider (simmer some apple cider with mulling spices - add an optional shot of brandy)
Warm Pumpkin-Cauliflower Dip with crostini
Peppercorn-Crusted Lentil Paté
Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
Citrus Cranberry Sauce
Classic Buttery-Mashed Potatoes
whole wheat rolls (from the store) or homemade bread
Gardein Holiday Roast
(includes a vegan stuffing)
Maple Bliss Vegan Pumpkin Pie with coconut whip (or go crustless)
Optional Thanksgiving morning recipes: Hot Pumpkin Mug or Pumpkin Nog + Pumpkin Loaf Or Orange-Spice Waffles
Want more recipe ideas?
You can browse thousands of vegan holiday recipes by your favorite talented food bloggers on FindingVegan.com. Download the FV iPhone App to make holiday easier!
You can find loads of holiday recipes from Gardein's website.
Last year I wrote this blogpost, 25 Reasons to Host a Vegan Thanksgiving. Please share it with your friends and family!..
Meet three turkeys your can adopt from Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-a-Turkey program! Such a wonderful holiday tradition.
And now, get cozy by the fire or just the glow of your screen, for a little silly turkey tale..
My Interview with the Turkeys.
I pulled on some rubber boots and went skipping off to my favorite animal sanctuary to gobble, I mean gossip, with some of my favorite feathered friends. Turkeys! I held my invisible microphone out to their wobbly pink turkey necks and perky pointy beaks and asked them some very serious questions about one of America's most famous holidays. Thanksgiving. Get my on-the-ground, exclusive interview with the turkeys....
"So Mr.Gobble, you and your friends here are pretty much THE symbol of Thanksgiving. How do you feel about that?"
"We are done! No more. We are sick of lending our image to serve as the official ambassadors for a holiday that basically hates us. No more. We are protesting. Until things change, no more turkeys on your Thanksgiving cards, decorative items and worst of all, centerpiece platters." He looks down at his wrinkly turkey feet in sadness. Then back up at me with a glare in his eyes, pecks at my toes and fluffs up his cotton white tail feathers.
"So why do you think this is happening? What are humans missing?"
"You got me! Look, we love the attention. But we think people are missing the point of loving us so much. I mean, if they just met us I think they would see how smart, cute, sweet and fun we are. Look at Harry here." He points to a tall, dark-feathered and quite handsome turkey companion. "He is is a regular Tom Hanks. Tall, kind, charisma oozing out of every ruffled feather. A regular Hanks I tell ya, and everyone loves Tom. I mean, you've seen Forrest Gump, right? Castaway? Big? That piano scene? Classic!" He shimmies his feathers and wobbles away.
I move my invisible microphone to another turkey. "OK, but I want to know about Thanksgiving. If people don't serve turkey, what in the world will they place in the center of their table? That is a BIG blank space aching for a fancy and grand platter. So, what do YOU guys, the official thanksgiving experts recommend??"
"Gobble gobble gobble!" The entire rafter starts roaring with applause and noise. (Fun fact: a "flock" of turkeys is actually called a rafter!)
"Guys, guys, remember, speak human please.." I plead.
"Gardein, Gardein, Gardein!" They cheer. "The Holiday Roast to be exact. All the centerpiece sparkle you crave, without the cruelty. You can even invite us over for the feast and we will happily peck at those gems of cranberries peaking through the stuffing. Let Gardein do the job. And we will happily still serve as Thanksgiving ambassadors."
"Great! OK, so lets make this official. Everyone who wants Thanksgiving turkeys to stay on the table, raise a feather." One turkey raises his feather and all the other turkeys turn to him in horror. One turkey glares at him and nudges him in the side. The embarrassed turkey lowers his feather.
"Whoops! I thought you were asking if we wanted some cranberries!" He shouts with a goofy grin and a little hop, his eyes wide.
"It's ok." I shake my head at him. "OK, again, so who wants everyone in the world to place a toasty warm, golden brown, delicious, easy Gardein holiday roast on their holiday table instead?" I ask excitedly. "Or at the very least, some good old fashioned plants?" I finish.
Every bird raises a wing. A few lift both wings.
I turn away from the rafter and with my invisible microphone, say this, "Well, there you have it folks. The official word straight from the farm to your ears. Turkeys will gladly embrace their "Thanksgiving ambassador" status with one condition, keep them off the table. And their number one pick for a cruelty-free, plant-based, easy and delicious centerpiece? Gardein Holiday Roast." I wave and salute an invisible video camera.
Interview disclosure: No turkeys were actually interviewed for this article. No turkeys were actually polled. And in fact, turkeys cannot talk. But they are in fact very sweet, smart and interesting creatures. And I can pretty much guess that they would absolutely approve of this fictional message. And this product.
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Snag a Gardein Holiday Roast in the freezer section of your fave grocery store! I know Whole Foods will have it.
psst.. And if all else fails, make my Sweet Potato Pockets and call it a day! (Been there!!)