What do Vegans Eat for Thanksgiving?

28 Nov

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we gather with our loved ones and give thanks, sharing in food, drink and conversation. This special day comes only once a year and many diet year-round just to prepare for the gluttony that is sure to ensue. Casseroles, Stuffing and Pies, OH MY!

If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you may be wondering, “What do vegans eat for Thanksgiving?” The answer is simple: everything you would normally eat except a handful of things are either substituted or modified slightly to contain different ingredients. Here are a few examples:

  • Beef/Chicken Broth: When making items such as gravy and stuffing, beef and chicken broth can be easily replaced with vegetable broth.
  • Butter: Those foods which contain butter can be modified by using various oils (canola, olive, peanut, safflower, etc.), or products such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread and Smart Balance Light Original Buttery Spread.
  • Dairy: Rather than containing dairy-based cream of mushroom soup, green bean casserole can be modified to contain Imagine’s Creamy Portobello Mushroom soup or a thickened (often with cornstarch) unsweetened substitute such as almond, coconut, hemp, oat, rice or soy milk. Any additional dish (including desserts) may be easily modified with the substitution of any of the aforementioned non-dairy milks in place of dairy-milk.
  • Eggs: Desserts with eggs can be modified by adding a little oil along with a leavener such as baking powder/soda or thickener such as cornstarch. With regard to egg nog, there are multiple brands of vegan nog such as Earth Balance’s Soy Nog, Rice Dream’s Rice Nog, Silk’s Silk Nog, So Delicious’ Nog Coconut Milk and Vitasoy’s Holly Nog.
  • Turkey: Tofurky, Field Roast, Gardein’s Stuffed Turk’y, Match Meats’ Stuffed Holiday Roast or Vegetarian Plus’s Whole Turkey can be eaten in place of the turkey.

So what did I do this year for Thanksgiving? Well, it has been a tradition ever since going vegan to have a potluck with a few close friends. Everyone brings a dish or two and the resulting spread is a vegan food addict’s heaven. I always request that our guests bring stretchy pants and tupperware because, not only are they going to eat themselves silly, but they will need to bring home some food as my fridge won’t hold even the leftovers! So without further adieu, here is the aftermath of some of the food we enjoyed this year:

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What are your compassionate Thanksgiving traditions?


One Response to “What do Vegans Eat for Thanksgiving?”

  1. Lu November 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    My mom always makes a special vegetarian pan of her delicious chestnut stuffing for me and my (all-but-vegan) sister. The recipe calls for breakfast sausage, so she uses the veg version of that instead, plus veg broth instead of meaty broth, and Earth Balance instead of butter. Yum. Luckily she made enough this year, because my cousin, the host, doesn’t get what vegan means and puts butter in everything else. I had some Brussels sprouts and a spinach dish, both of which I helped make, and that was my Thanksgiving dinner. No dessert, no taters, nuthin’ else. But I made up for it by drinking a lot of wine and champagne.

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