My First Vegan Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but Thanksgiving day is one of my favorite holidays, filled with so many amazing family traditions. This Thanksgiving is extra special though, as I celebrated my first major holiday as a plant-based eater. My lovely mother and I have done our research and were well-equipped for alternatives to the traditional thanksgiving dishes. Although she isn’t vegan, she is always looking for healthier alternatives, so it works out well.

First tradition on the list: eating a delicious, traditional Thanksgiving breakfast, usually consisting of a specialty recipe of some sort, while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and sipping on some apple cider. This year, my mom and I decided to make Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes, inspired by PreventionRD’s Vanilla Pumpkin Pancakes.

Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes 

This makes a lot of pancake. Just warning you. #leftoverbatterfordays

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Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar (we used the all natural
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs (flax meal & water vegan sub)
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups nonfat or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 walnuts, chopped (my last minute genius deicison!)

We served the pancakes with almond butter & cinnamon, alongside some honeycrisp apples. A fabulous combo.

Of course my mom also whipped up her traditional coffee cake for my brother and dad. The pumpkin pancakes were plenty for me though.

We then continued watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade until noon, aka until Santa came rolling in to kick off the season.

Afterward, we gave Hudson a much needed Thanksgiving bath and blow-dry. He secretly enjoyed it.

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We usually have all of my dad’s side of the family over to our house for the holiday, from all across the East coast, but this year it was just us four, and a few family friends for dessert. Simple.

At around 3 o’clock…

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This girl ate:

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This year, I decided that I love my school’s mascot too much to eat it. 😉 Go Hokies!

Mommy’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 yukon gold potatoes
  • 3 tb fresh garlic, minced (for garlic lovers!)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 stick butter (vegan margarine)
  • pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Peel potatoes.
  2. Boil potatoes in water, adding in garlic as they boil.
  3. When a fork is able to stick into them, whip potatoes with electric mixer, while adding in almond milk, butter (vegan margarine), salt and pepper to your preferred consistency.
  4. Serve.

Mommy’s Garlic Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 4 heads of broccoli
  • Fresh garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Steam broccoli to liking.
  2. Sautee chopped garlic in olive oil.
  3. Once broccoli is steamed, place in serving dish and drizzle the sauteed garlic olive oil over the broccoli evenly.
  4. Serve.

Mashed Cauliflower with Cannellini Beans (New this year!)

Stolen from Beyond Diet’s Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 small onion (red or yellow)
  • 1-2 TBSP raw organic butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)

Instructions:

  1. Steam or boil the cauliflower. Chop the onion and sauté it with either olive oil, butter or coconut oil.
  2. Add the cooked cauliflower to the sautéed onions and sauté together for approximately 8 minutes.
  3. Take the cauliflower and onion sauté and puree in a food processor or blender. Add a tablespoon or more of butter and blend.
  4. Take 2 cloves of garlic and chop them up into small pieces. Add more olive oil, butter or coconut oil to pan and cook the garlic until brown (but try not to burn it).
  5. Pour the garlic into your mashed cauliflower and mix by hand.

Sweet Potato Wedges 

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of paprika

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees and slice sweet potatoes into wedges.
  • Place on baking pan, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle paprika to taste.
  • Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until browned. Serve.

Whole Grain Stuffing (New this year!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 whole grain seeded loaf of bread (1 wk old), bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 red onion
  • Sprinkle of salt & pepper
  • Thyme to taste
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients, but olive oil, in bowl.
  3. Pour boiling water on top of mixture, and then drizzle the olive oil.
  4. Stir mixture.
  5. Pour mixture onto pie plate and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes (depending on crispiness preference).
  6. Serve.

And for dessert, we had quite the variety. I ended up having:

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Pumpkin Coconut Pie with a Raw Vegan Crust

Pumpkin filling snagged from Eat Pray Bake’s Vegan Coconut Pumpkin Pie.

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Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (or coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Filling Instructions:

  1. To make the filling, combine the pumpkin puree, honey, coconut cream, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the corn starch, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Pour the filling onto the crust and smooth out with a spatula.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes. When it is completely cooled, refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing.

Raw Vegan Crust

Taken from FitSugar.

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Raw Vegan Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup dates (about 18), pitted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Raw Vegan Crust Instructions:

  1. Get out a 9-inch pie pan, and set aside.
  2. Place crust ingredients into a food processor, and process until you see a crumbly mixture form, about 1 minute.
  3. Pour the “dough” into the pie pan, and use your fingers to gently press it into the pan firmly, all the way up the sides of the pan. Place it in the fridge.

Mommy’s Apple Pie with a Raw Vegan Crust

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Apple filling ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Create paste mixture.
  • Place apples with mixture into pie crust evenly stacking them.
  • Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until browned. Serve.

Chocolate Pumpkin Nutty Fudge Bars 

Inspired by The Sweet Life’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge.

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This recipe had to be altered, as we didn’t find it as satisfying as we had hoped. So after neatly squirting pumpkin and chocolate into the cupcake pan and letting each layer freeze, we took them out and lined them all up in a rectangular pan, reconstructing the dessert into one big piece, and added chopped almonds and a slight bit of Xyla sugar. When it was time for dessert, we cut them into squares and served. This is what recipe experimenting is all about. Just keepin’ it real for my readers!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin layer=

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Chocolate layer=

  • 1 large banana, very ripe
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp coffee, finely ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions:

  1. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan and set aside.
  2. In a food processor combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin layer other than the coconut oil. Blend until very smooth. With motor running, slowly add coconut oil. Process until combined.
  3. Fill a piping bag or ziplock bag with the pumpkin fudge and pipe it into the mini muffin tins, filling up half way. Place in freezer while mixing the chocolate fudge.
  4. Prepare choocolate layer in the same way you prepared the pumpkin. Note: the coffee in the recipe does not add a coffee flavor, it just makes the chocolate darker and richer. Pipe the chocolate on top of the chilled pumpkin layer, filling to the top. Return to freezer for 1 hour or until hard.
  5. When ready to remove, run a sharp knife around the edge. Using the knife as a lever, pop the fudge out from the bottom. Let thaw 15-20 minutes before eating. Store in refrigerator for 5 days or freezer for up to a month.
  6. Reconstruction: BUT then we redid this and layered a rectangular pan with crushed almonds, Xyla sugar and smushed all of the treats together. Then, covered the entire top with crushed almonds and a slight sprinkle of Xyla sugar.

After all is said and done, I am so thankful for sooooo many things, but most importantly, my family: my mom, my dad, my little brother and my Hudson pup. They are each such a blessing to have in my life. They’ve made me who I am today and I can’t thank them enough for the amazing support system that they are.

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I’m also incredibly thankful for my health, because where would I be without it?

And you guys, my blog readers! You guys keep me blogging and producing long, detailed posts like this one.

I hope you all had an enjoyable, happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I know I did.

Chow! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “My First Vegan Thanksgiving

    1. I’m so blessed to have a family that is so accomodating to my plant-based ways! And definitely do! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go to a regular old crust. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, although I know you’re up in there in Canada! Lol

    1. It was definitely a great alternative to the regular super starchy mashed potatoes staple! I felt so much better afterward. From now on, they’ll be a must 🙂

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