Hosting holidays is something I enjoy. While some people find it stressful, I think for me it is laid-back and just plain fun. I try to not make anything too complicated or fussy and generally tend to have a balanced plate, snacks for peckish people, and a crowd-pleasing dessert. In my opinion, it is best to keep it simple and focus on doing just a few things, but doing them well.
Thanksgiving can be an especially difficult holiday for vegetarians and vegans, as many of the traditional offerings are heavy in animal products. The same flavors are definitely still possible without meat, so whether you are making a dish for a vegetarian guest, or plan on hosting a fully cruelty-free Thanksgiving, I’ve included a sample menu to get you started 🙂
I would include a red wine, IPA, and sparkling water for guests to drink (of course more options if you desire, but I try to keep it simple). Mixed salted nuts and dried cherries are a great snack to have out on tables, as well as soft cheese with baguette. For dessert, apple crisp is easy to make vegan by simply using vegan butter and pairing with vegan ice cream (SO Delicious Vanilla Cashewmilk is my personal recommendation for vegan vanilla). Of course most desserts are already vegetarian, so no need to plan too much for that ;p
Mixed Green Cranberry Walnut Salad
Large container spring greens (around 8 cups)
Brianna’s Blush Wine vinaigrette
3/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4-6 oz. goat cheese crumbles (leave out if making vegan)
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together!
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, washed well
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
4 Tablespoons butter (or earth balance)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Slice potatoes lengthwise, then chop into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. In skillet melt butter on med-high heat. Add potatoes.
Add maple syrup, toss to coat, then bring to a boil. Place potatoes in oven, stirring every 5 minutes, until done (they should able to be pierced by a fork). This should take about 20 minutes.
Beyond Beef Pot Pies
I lb. Beyond Beef (or other meatless ground)
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cups frozen peas
3 Tablespoons olive oil (1-2 additional Tablespoons to brown the Beyond Beef)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup AP flour
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup wine (I use a red wine to bring out a richer flavor, but white whine is fine if you prefer)
1 package puff pastry (if you prefer homemade, see my post Vegan Puff Pastry)
Preheat oven to 425º F.
In large skillet or saucepan, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil on med-high. Add onion and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes, until soft.
Add carrots, celery, and peas. Cook a few more minutes.
Add herbs, salt, and flour. Stir to disperse flour and avoid clumps. Add wine and broth slowly, stirring well. Turn heat down to low and let simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In separate pan, use a bit of olive oil to brown the beyond meat (this should only take a few minutes, so be careful not to over cook it).
Add the beyond meat to the rest of the filling and remove from heat. Assemble pot pies by filling in ideal ramekins with about 1 cup of filling each (if you don’t have ramekins, simply use a pie dish or a 9×9 baking dish). Top with puff pastry.
Bake until crust is done (about 20 minutes). Garnish with fresh parsley or rosemary sprigs.