It’s officially my favorite time of year — the air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful colors, and the anticipation (but not quite the stress) of the upcoming holidays is upon us. Many of us are making plans for the Thanksgiving feast, which can become slightly more complicated if you adhere to a plant-based diet.
But let’s be honest — even though it’s Thanksgiving tradition to include it, the turkey is the least exciting menu item. So when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, I’m ALL about the sides!
Today I’m sharing two delicious Thanksgiving recipes that can be served together or separately, depending on the rest of your menu. I recommend making the miso mushroom gravy ahead of time, but the dressing really is best right out of the oven (bread doesn’t reheat very well, unfortunately).
But first, some fall photos to get you into the mood . . .
And finally, one from Halloween.
Speaking of Halloween, many people ask me what I’m going to do about Abby’s trick-or-treating candy stash when she’s a little older and more into Halloween. This year I let her have one piece, then I threw the rest away (okay, I may have eaten a Heath Bar first). I plan on repeating this process, but I’ll probably let her choose a few pieces next year. Being plant-based doesn’t mean you have to be perfect all the time. I know that Abby’s diet is good enough to keep her healthy, so I allow her to eat sugar on rare occasions.
But Halloween was over two weeks ago, so it’s time to focus on Thanksgiving!
Dressing (or stuffing, if that’s what you prefer to call it) is probably the most versatile Thanksgiving recipe because you can choose the bread, herbs, how dry or wet you want your bread cubes, and can include any additional ingredients you like to add more flavor.
I decided to use two different kinds of hearty bread — farm bread and whole grain. I also flavored my dressing with sage, apple, kale, shallots, and Field Roast smoked apple sage vegan sausages. You can use any kind of vegan sausages you like, but I’ve found that Field Roast sausages are my favorite.
- Roughly 1 lb. hearty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lg. shallot, chopped
- 2 Field Roast smoked apple sage sausage links (or vegan sausages of your choice)
- 1 small apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 5-7 fresh sage leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)
- 1 cup vegetable broth (more or less, depending on desired bread moisture)
- 1 bunch kale, chopped, tough ribs removed
- ½ t. salt, plus more to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and spread bread cubes out onto sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cubes are crispy but have some give to them when pressed. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Increase oven heat to 350 degrees.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, cook the shallots in a splash of water or broth for about 3 minutes. Using your fingers, crumble the sausages into the pot and add the apple and sage. Stirring frequently, cook until sausage starts to brown and apples are soft, about 7 mins.
- Add the broth and stir. When the broth begins to simmer, add the kale and reduce heat to low.
- When the kale has wilted, stir in the salt and pepper and pour pot contents over the bread cubes. Stir to distribute the ingredients, then transfer to a greased 9 x 9 casserole dish. Bake until the top bread cubes are golden and crispy, roughly 15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve with miso mushroom gravy.
Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without a thick gravy to tie the flavors on your plate together. Traditional gravies are made with flour, salt, and leftover meat fat (yum!). I’ve found that you can get a similar texture and a meaty, umami flavor by blending mushrooms, vegetables, and white miso paste.
Bonus: None of these ingredients promote heart disease! ♥
I found this recipe in the Thanksgiving issue of Vegetarian Times and altered it to make it slightly more healthful.
It was so delicious, I wanted to drink it!
This would be a great recipe to make ahead of time and put in your freezer until Thanksgiving Day. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did!
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ¾ cup russet potato, diced (1 small potato)
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh sage leaves
- 2 cups mushroom broth
- 3 T. nutritional yeast
- 2 T. white miso paste
- 2 T. reduced sodium tamari sauce
- ½ lb. white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- Heat a splash of water in large saucepan over medium heat. Add red onion and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in celery and carrots, and cook 7-10 more minutes until tender. Add potato and corn and cook roughly 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add garlic, thyme, and sage, and cook one minute.
- Stir in broth, nutritional yeast, miso, and tamari, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat another splash of water in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Combine mushrooms and broth mixture in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
♥ ♥ ♥
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?