Whether you agree with Thanksgiving’s history or not, we can all agree on one thing: stuffing our face holes with mashed potatoes. I mean, really, on what other day can you ditch your diet and stuff your belly in the name of ‘Merica? Whether you’re a level-99 vegan, or you just want to give a turkey a break this Thanksgiving, here’s a few tips to make sure you have a very vegan Thanksgiving.
1. You don’t have to eat faux turkey.
Although the faux turkey biz has come a long way in taste and options, you don’t need to limit yourself to vegan turkey for Thanksgiving’s main dish. From this savory butternut squash recipe filled with wild rice and onion stuffing, to this filling vegan holiday roast, your options this season are bountiful.
However, if you do want a more familiar dish as a centerpiece, stop by your local grocer for vegan turkey alternatives usually made from soy or wheat protein. Check out Peta2’s post for some of the top turkey alternatives, like Trader Joe’s Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast.
2. Anything omnivores can make, you can make vegan.
Fancy your grandmother’s mashed potato recipe, but not a fan of the heaping spoonfuls of butter and cream? Just use a vegan equivalent.
In place of milk, try cashew, almond, flax, soy, coconut, or hemp milk. Almond and soy milk are the easiest to find in grocery stores. If you’re using vegan milk in cooking, opt for a flavorless kind — vanilla mashed potatoes shouldn’t be a thing.
Need a vegan egg substitute? Use an avocado, banana, or more when baking. This handy little chart might help.
Cheese? While there are tons of vegan cheese alternatives, many shredded, Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella is my all-time favorite. Watch out for “lactose-free” cheeses that aren’t necessarily vegan because they contain animal proteins such as casein, like the brand Almond Cheese and some kinds of Go Veggie.
3. When in doubt, join a vegan potluck or start your own!
If you want all the delicious spoils without slaving over the kitchen all day, join Tampa Bay’s 10th annual ThanksVegan feast from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa for giant vegan potluck celebration. Just pay about $20 at the door, or bring your own vegan dish to share with 8+ people and pay on $7.
If you’re not fortunate enough to be in Tampa for ThanksVegan, look for meetups in your area, or start your own!
4. Rock the side dishes.
Side dishes are the best part of Thanksgiving. (This is not up for debate.)
Here are a few of my favorite classic side-dish recipes perfect for the holidays:
— Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese from Jamie Oliver
— Vegan Mashed Potatoes from Tablespoon
— Simple Vegan Stuffing from The Minimalist Baker
— Vegan Chickpeas Gravy from Skinny Ms.
— 3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce from Post Punk Kitchen
— Hasselback Apples from Oh She Glows
5. Sign this petition.
Turn Thanksgiving on its head by signing this petition that urges Tyson, one of the largest if not the largest poultry producers, to adopt a meaningful animal welfare policy.
6. Make a new notch in your belt.
With so much good vegan food this Thanksgiving, you’re going to need it. Better yet, who needs pants? If the Tampa weather wants to pretend it’s still summer, I’m wearing a dress to the table. Or maybe a Snuggie; are those still a thing?
What’s your favorite veg dish for the holidays?