“We need to decide on a Thanksgiving menu,” my mom texted me. We’re going to my parent’s house in Sedona, Arizona this year.
Instead of a simple reply, I think, “I should write a whole blog post.” So here you go!
We don’t want to go crazy this year and burn ourselves out cooking, so we’re trying to keep it as simple as possible. I also feel that Thanksgiving should taste at least a little bit indulgent and is a great time for special-occasion ingredients, such as a little oil, white flour, and sugar (although I’m not saying that food can’t taste indulgent without those ingredients). As Michael Greger says, “It’s not about what you eat on your birthday or Christmas (or Thanksgiving), it’s about what you eat every OTHER meal of the year.”
Here’s our menu:
Green salad with poppyseed dressing or green bean casserole
Chocolate chip cookies
I simply boil, mash and add some soy millk and salt and pepper. For fancier potatoes, though, I’d try this recipe from Pass the Plants. I’ve had my eye on it because I’ve heard stirring in blended cashews makes potatoes super creamy.
There is a super simple recipe in my cookbook Plant-Based Cooking for Kids (go grab it if you haven’t already!) we all like. But for a more sophisticated gravy, try this mushroom gravy from Minimalist Baker.
This recipe from Nuts About Greens is how I usually make my Thanksgiving veggies. It adds the green and orange that every plate needs! You can skip the 2 tablespoons of olive oil if you like.
While I often just make the side dishes for Thanksgiving, this year I’m going to try this recipe for a Friendsgiving. It has impressive reviews and I’ve never actually even made anything seiten-like (using vital wheat gluten). In the past I’ve also made tofu marinated in poultry seasoning and soy sauce and air-fried, which was great. It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken has several other main-course ideas if you’re still looking. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
This idea is all over the internet and for good reason. It’s the perfect thing for kids, who love fruit and kabob sticks, and often don’t have a lot of things offered to them on Thanksgiving that they like (besides mashed potatoes and rolls, for some kids).
Green Salad with poppyseed dressing
I love to eat a big green salad as the first part of a big meal. It blunts the blood sugar spike and just tastes and feels good. I don’t have a recipe, but I like to mix crisp spring mix with pomegranates (or dried cranberries), apple, glazed nuts and poppyseed dressing. Make your own homemade with my recipe, or just buy the Brianna’s Organic Poppyseed dressing (it’s vegan) to save you a step.
Green Bean Casserole
I’ve made this recipe from Krissa’s Vegan Kitchen several times and like it. (For a more creamy but more fatty recipe using vegan butter, I can also vouch for this recipe from Minimalist Baker. It’s one that no one would guess is vegan.)
Dreena Burton’s recipe is yummy! It uses a healthy crust, a great custard-like filling. I’m avoiding cashews right now because they seem to make my nursing baby fussy when I eat them. So I will probably use her crust but the filling from Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe. It truly doesn’t feel like Thanskgiving to me without pumpkin pie.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
I know this is an unconventional Thanskgiving dessert, but I always want something chocolate to end the big meal of the year, and cookies are so kid-friendly. I’m planning to go all out and make these unhealthy but vegan cookies from Nora Cooks (might use whole wheat flour though). I like to use Miyokos butter which is at least made with healthier oils and has more whole ingredients than most. My Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies would be perfect, too (they have almost no fat but are so yummy). I realized the other day that I have never once made typical butter-sugar-white flour chocolate chip cookies in my own home. I mostly make chickpea chocolate chip cookies. Good thing I’ll be at my parent’s house when I make these so I can keep my streak, ha!
Thanksgiving is so much less about the food than it is about gratitude. I don’t want to forget that. Enjoy your many blessings!