New Thanksgiving Traditions
Every year we spend Thanksgiving away from home and I always hurry home and make my own Thanksgiving feast so I can eat it all weekend long. A Thanksgiving feast must contain all the following ingredients to remind me of my favorite traditional meal.
-Something with gravy
-Sweet potatoes, mashed with pecans on top
-Green beans and fried onions
-Apple, celery, walnut, and raisin salad
-Dessert with sweet potatoes, apples, or pumpkin
Last year I was very happy with my menu. I only hope that I can recreate it this year! Here are the recipes I used. I hope something appeals to you and you give it a try for yourself or your holiday guests.
Raw Cranberry Relish
This stuff is delicious! Don’t be intimidated by these measurements. You won’t mess it up.
2 bags fresh, organic cranberries
¼ sweet onion
4 dates, pits removed
dash of cinnamon
1 in. piece of fresh ginger, don’t use dried, ick.
agave nectar to taste
Optional: orange juice and/or rind, lime juice and/or rind, nuts
Combine everything in a food processor and blend. Chill and serve.
This recipe is from a cooking class at Good Life Café in Columbia, SC. It makes about three cups of relish.
Thanksgiving Apple Celery Salad
2 large apples, chopped (honey crisp or fuji are my favorite)
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup raisins, golden raisins, or organic dried, sweetened cranberries
Juice of one lemon
½ cup Vegenaise
Stevia to taste
dash of salt
Add apples, celery, nuts, and raisins to a large bowl and toss with dressing. Chill or serve immediately.
Thanksgiving Veggie Loaf
1 cup dry brown/green lentils, washed
1 cup mixed brown rice blend
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 “not chicken”, if using water
2 carrots, grated
1 cup grated broccoli slaw mix
½ large red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon sage
1. In a large saucepan, combine lentils, rice, and vegetable broth or water and Not Chicken. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to minimum until rice and lentils are soft. The mixture should be slightly mushy and not totally dry.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté carrots, broccoli slaw mix, onion, and garlic.
3. Once the rice and lentils are cooked, mix in the sautéed vegetables.
4. Add toasted walnuts and hemp hearts. Stir vigorously to mix well and help the mixture get sticky.
5. Add dried thyme, etc. and season with salt and pepper as needed.
6. Tightly pack into an oiled loaf pan (or mini-loaf pans).
7. Bake 45 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven until top is browned and crunchy.
Note: The hemp hearts are a binder. If you omit them add 2T of ground flax seed or other binder.
Gluten-free Apple Walnut Stuffing
These measurements are approximate so use your best judgment and taste as you go.
1 loaf of vegan, gluten-free, millet and flax bread
2 T olive or coconut oil
½ large sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped (any variety)
1 large fuji apple, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ t sage
½ t rosemary
½ t thyme
4 cups water
3 “Not Chicken” bouillon cubes
1. Cut the loaf of bread into cubes, spread onto a sheet pan and dehydrate on the lowest setting (appx 250 degrees for 1+ hours). May be done days ahead.
2. Sauté the onion, mushrooms and celery in oil until translucent. Add the spices and mix well.
3. Heat the water and add the bouillon to make broth.
4. Add all the ingredients except broth to a large bowl. Toss to mix.
5. Place mixture into an oiled baking dish and pour enough broth over the top to evenly moisten.
6. Bake at 350 degrees until firm, apples are soft and top is crispy. Approximately 45 minutes. Add broth as necessary to moisten.
Green Bean Casserole
I adapted this recipe from it’s original because I like to use frozen green beans. It may take longer to cook.
¼ cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
¼ cup brown rice flour
1 ½ cups vegan "chick'n" broth or or vegetable broth, warmed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 family size package of frozen green beans, thawed
One 2.8 oz can French fried onions
1. Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes until it forms a roux.
3. Add broth, soy sauce, and garlic power; whisk for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbly.
4. Add the oil and nutritional yeast. Whisk again until smooth.
5. Pour the sauce into a small casserole dish, add the green beans and stir to coat.
6. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, then top with the French fried onions and bake for 5 more minutes, until browned and bubbly.
Easy Vegan Gravy
2 cups vegan chik'n broth or veggie broth
2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, but yummy)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Stir flour into oil over medium heat. Stir while browning 1-2 minutes (careful, don’t burn).
2. Add broth and other ingredients.
3. Stir until thickened.
Maple Pecan Glazed Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This is my recipe. Measurements are approximate so taste as you go and adjust accordingly. You won’t mess it up.
6-8 small-medium sweet potatoes
1/3 cup Earth Balance ‘butter’
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans, cold
½ cup Earth Balance ‘butter’, cold
1. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When cool enough to handle, peel and place in a large bowl. Mash well.
2. Add ‘butter’, spices and syrup to the warm potatoes and stir until well incorporated. I use an electric hand mixer to get a creamy texture.
3. Place into an oiled or sprayed baking dish.
4. To make the topping, place the pecans and ‘butter’ into a bowl and stir or cut until they are incorporated.
5. Sprinkle or dollop the pecan/butter mixture onto the top of the potatoes as evenly as possible. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of maple syrup.
6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Sweet Potato Pie Squares
10 Medjool dates, pitted and diced. About 1 cup diced
¾ cup of water
1 ½ cups oats, ground into flour
2 t cinnamon
1 ½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 t vanilla extract
½ cup coconut milk
1. Place the pitted and diced dates into the water and soak for about 15 minutes.
2. Grind the oats into flour using a blender. Place the oats and cinnamon into a large bowl and set aside.
3. Place the dates with their soaking water, vanilla and milk in the blender and puree until smooth.
4. Add date mixture and sweet potatoes to dry ingredients and blend well.
5. Spread into an 8x8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees until cracks form on the surface. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean the squares are done. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Optional: Top with finely ground pecans or macadamia nuts and chill to firm. May also be baked in a coconut-oiled tart pan or dish for pretty pie-shaped wedges.
1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.