Tofu is the most go-to of vegan substitutions for your traditional chicken or turkey dish. Tofu is a substitute made from soy milk, by the process of coagulation — changing a liquid into a solid. Tofu looks a bit like diced roast potatoes, but has a consistency similar to chicken. Tofu chicken and tofu turkey are both largely widely available at grocery stores across the country and can make a great substitute for those who don’t eat meat, but like the consistency of it.
Mushroom Wellington is a vegan twist on a traditional British dish known as “Beef Wellington”, it’s a casserole bake, basically. One usually bakes beef in the middle of a pastry wrap, covering the beef with all sorts of spices and sauces and the like before covering the dish in pastry and baking it in the oven. Mushroom Wellington essentially does the same thing, but with mushrooms as opposed to steak, use Portobello mushrooms for best results, layered with spinach and cooked on a bed of caramelized onions, wrapped in pastry.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (made with real shepherds!) Okay, sorry, that joke has been done to death, I know. One other possible centrepiece of your Thanksgiving could be a vegan shepherd’s pie! You could substitute beef and regular potato for chickpeas, sweet potatoes and lots of veggies for the filling! Much more nutritious and far denser than your traditional shepherd’s pie. Though there is a slight irony in naming something shepherd’s pie when creating a vegan dish, I digress…
Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Here’s an appetizer for you that just keeps needing a refill. Spinach and artichoke dip. Super simple, super quick and delicious. What more could one ask for. It’s a substitute for your turkey stuffing or your gravy. Start off by boiling raw cashews for ten minutes and then drain the water out. Blend the cashews together with soy, almond or cashew milk. Next, mix together some chopped artichokes and diced onions in a pan with garlic and saute them. Add this to the cashew blend in the pan and stir. Finally, throw in the spinach and stir it all together and set off the heat to cool. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and serve: voila, spinach and artichoke dip!
Use A Chef
For those who may be unsure of where to start with your vegan Thanksgiving meal, companies like DJR Catering offer a fantastic alternative to cooking for yourself, and you can even hire yourself a personal chef to come and do the cooking for you. It makes the entire evening stress-free, which is what you want at this time of year.
Being or cooking for a vegan at Thanksgiving, a time where meat is a big part of the meal, doesn’t have to be complicated or a hassle, it just requires a little bit of creativity and thinking outside of the traditional meat-meal paradigm.