A Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Last year, I was a turkey-eater.  This year, I am not.   But I am still such a sucker for holiday spirit that I had to make a hearty meal.  (Read why I am having Thanksgiving five days early here).  On top of cutting out the bird, I have been avoiding dairy for the past few days.  And I like a challenge.  So while I am not a vegan, my Thanksgiving meal was.

I shared the meal with the Husband and our friend.  This was the first turkey-free Thanksgiving for both of them as well, and I was a wee bit nervous that the Husband may start to miss his turkey.  Also, when my pal’s husband heard that I was going to make an all vegan Thanksgiving supper, he said it sounded awful.  I was going to make my dinner guests forget about the bird and prove my naysayer wrong.  The pressure was on.

I will occasionally serve my meals in courses, but that is not the norm.  I served everything together, aside from dessert, unless you are counting my place settings as appetizers.

Pears are beautiful in the fall.

On to the main course.  The entree was Sweet Potato and Tempeh Shepard’s Pie.  It may not photograph well, but it is a tasty dish.  I’ve got a request for the recipe from the other Jordan, so I’ll be blogging that soon.  Both of the Jordan’s gave this a rave review.  And I must say, I quite enjoyed it myself.

I also prepared some “stuffing.”  This and the rolls are the two things I did not make from scratch.  I had a bag of bread crumbs and seasoning.  I used vegetable stock, Earth Balance, pecans, onions, and celery to bulk it up.  Once again, this seemed to go over pretty well with the crowd.  For my liking, however, it was a bit dry.  Good flavor, just dry.

The brussels sprouts were made to be sweet and sour, and I based my flavor choices off of the suggestions from another blogger.  The cranberry sauce had an orange flavor twist, and was free of added sugars (aside from what was in the orange juices).  I used stevia to soften the tartness.

The meal’s components look a bit more attractive in the buffet line than they do on the plate.  See for yourself.

Buffet line:

(Those aren’t baked potatoes; they are whole wheat rolls–Alexia brand).

On the plate:

Since we were all prepping ourselves for today’s race (which we are currently running as this blog post goes up!), we tee-totaled.  Jordan kindly assisted me by beating a pomegranate, and we had some pomegranate seltzers.

The final test came when we sampled the desserts.  I like pecan pie better; Jordan asked for pumpkin pie.  I knew we didn’t each need a pie to our own.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, until I saw a blog post with mini-pies.  Problem solved.  I used the same recipe as she did for the crusts, but then went on my own for the fillings.  If anyone is interested (or I feel like sharing!), I can post the vegan filling recipes to the blog as well.

The pumpkin pie turned out well, even better than I expected.  But I am still a pecan pie girl.  Delish.  I topped my mini pies with coconut cream.  The guys went with Bunny Tracks ice cream.  To my surprise, Jordan said he liked the pecan pie better, too.

Overall, I call this a Holiday success.  I was excited that all of my sort of recipes worked out at the same time.  Seems like a rarity when I am so often trying new things in the kitchen.

I think I proved the skeptical friend wrong.  If only I could ship some Shepard’s Pie across the sea to him.  🙂

Anyone else trying anything new this Thanksgiving?

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