This year, my husband and I are celebrating our ninth Thanksgiving together as a couple. Over the years, we’ve visited family on Thanksgiving, ordered our dinner from Whole Foods, cooked our own meal relying heavily on packaged foods (like stuffing mix, gravy in a jar, etc.), or done some combination of the above.
This year, however, I really wanted to cook a complete vegan meal from scratch that BOTH of us would enjoy (Jon is making a small turkey breast for himself, but we are sharing breakfast, sides, and dessert). It’s kind of scary, but exciting, too, to take on such a massive project as a “new” cook. Because this is momentous – my first homemade vegan Thanksgiving – I decided to blog it, although I may end up regretting that decision.
When I started looking for recipes on Pinterest several weeks ago, I knew that I was going to want to pick SIMPLE recipes, since I will be preparing several different dishes at once and all within a few hours. I didn’t want to have to purchase a lot of odd ingredients I will never use again or have to try any new techniques. I wanted to set myself up for success.
To that end, my first stop was the Minimalist Baker website. As you know if you have followed my blog in the past, I love Minimalist Baker recipes because they are easy to follow and usually require only a few, basic ingredients. After perusing the website, I did, in fact, select several Minimalist Baker recipes (it was hard to narrow down from all of the fabulous options!) along with a couple of additional recipes from other sites.
I also tried to be smart about ingredients. I needed one single carrot for my “meatless loaf,” so I decided to make carrots for our vegetable, too, so that I could purchase a bunch and not have any go to waste (even though we would both have preferred Brussels sprouts).
Here is what I picked:
Minimalist Baker Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls/
Fat Free Vegan Thanksgiving Meatless Loaf http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-meatless-loaf.html
Minimalist Baker Simple Vegan Stuffing http://minimalistbaker.com/simple-vegan-stuffing/
Minimalist Baker Best Damn Mashed Potatoes http://minimalistbaker.com/the-best-damn-vegan-mashed-potatoes/
Minimalist Baker Mushroom Gravy http://minimalistbaker.com/cauliflower-mashed-potatoes-with-mushroom-gravy/
Kitchme Roasted Carrots http://www.kitchme.com/recipes/roasted-carrots
Oh She Glows Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding Parfait http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/14/pumpkin-pie-chia-pudding-parfait/
I realize writing this now that I probably should have added something green in there – like a kale salad – but it’s too late to go back to the store now!
Speaking of the store, I made two trips to grocery stores to purchase ingredients this week – Monday to Wegman’s and Tuesday to Whole Foods – and Jon also went to our local chain grocery store, Giant, not once, but TWICE, on his own to get three additional items. We went to Wegman’s together on Monday and barely made it out (1) alive and (2) still married. In the future, I’m going to buy my groceries the week before Thanksgiving!
I knew attempting seven (yes, SEVEN) completely new recipes on Thanksgiving Day would be too much for me, so I decided to start a few things on Wednesday (today) to get ahead of the game. My “day before” to do list was as follows:
- Prepare and bake meatless loaf,
- Prepare and refrigerate chia pudding (it’s going to thicken in the fridge overnight),
- Wash, peel, and trim carrots for roasting,
- Cook green lentils for stuffing, and
- Cube bread for stuffing and set out in a large bowl to dry overnight (I’m using Whole Foods organic whole wheat sourdough).
I’m happy to report I finished every item on my list without any major incidents (defined as: calls to the fire department and trips to the E.R. to reattach fingers and/or treat burns). The pudding smells amazing and I’m really excited to dig into that tomorrow!
Stay tuned for Part II!