It’s that time of year again…we celebrate Thanksgiving by spending time with family, feasting, and remembering what we’re thankful for. Since going vegan, I’ve been trying to think of new ways to reinvent classic dishes. When recreating classic comfort foods, I am always presented with challenges. How do I make these dishes plant-based but also taste like how I remember?
After doing quite a bit of research, as well as some trial and error, I came to the decision that I would make the following vegan dishes: meatballs and gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and spinach and artichoke dip. Sounds like quite the feast, right? I even served the spinach and artichoke dip to my boyfriend and his roommate, and they didn’t even believe it was vegan. That’s when you know you’ve really “made it.”
Let’s start off with that recipe:
VEGAN SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP
- 1 cup vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo)
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Go Veggie)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 jar of artichokes, chopped
- 1 can of spinach, drained
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella (I use Follow Your Heart)
1. Soften cream cheese, set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cook onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil, set aside.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mayo and cream cheese together. Fold in the onion, garlic, artichokes, and spinach. Mix well.
4. Top with mozzarella and make until bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, and/or veggies.
It’s never Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes! I’ve found that I really enjoy a combination of potatoes–sweet potatoes and russet. Here’s my vegan version of this recipe:
VEGAN MASHED POTATOES
- 6 medium russet potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), melted/softened
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or more or less in order to achieve desired texture
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, add 1 tsp of sea salt, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes. By sticking a knife or fork in them, you should be able to tell if they are done.
- Drain potatoes, and allow them to cool. I like to rinse them in cold water until they are cool, and it helps the peels to come off easily.
- Peel the potatoes and dice them. Then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Mash potatoes with a potato masher or a hand mixer until fluffy. Note: Be careful using a hand mixer as you can over-mix the potatoes and they can become gluey. It’s personally the method I prefer as I don’t own a potato masher. I just make sure not to over-mix them.
- Add in butter, garlic salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Add almond milk in small amounts until you achieve your desired, fluffy texture. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.If potatoes have cooled down, you can place them in a baking dish to heat them up. Serve with your favorite gravy (or my go-to mushroom gravy recipe that you’ll find below).
Speaking of gravy, what better to go with them than meatballs? My aunt Jody makes the most amazing Swedish meatballs with a mushroom gravy. I made it my mission to attempt to make my own vegan version of this, and boy, was it a close match. Plus, it’s super quick and easy!
VEGAN MEATBALLS AND GRAVY
- 1 tube of Gimme Lean vegan ground beef
- vegan mushroom gravy
- Open package of vegan ground beef, break into chunks, and roll into meatballs.
Cook meatballs in olive oil on medium-high heat, until browned on all sides.
- Add prepared gravy to meatballs, stir until combined and well-coated.
And last but certainly not least, my absolute favorite Thanksgiving dish…
VEGAN GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
- One 8 oz. package of button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 packages of fresh green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half
- one onion, chopped
- 4 Tbsp veggie stock
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 can of fried onions
- Saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic in veggie stock until soft.
- On medium heat, add soy sauce, mix in cornstarch, and stir in almond milk until mixture is well-combined and thickened. Turn off heat.
- Flash boil green beans for 3-5 minutes, until they are bright green.
- Mix beans and sauce mixture together until well combined. Add half the can of fried onions and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Then add remaining fried onions on top and bake for another 7-10 minutes until golden and crisp.
FEAST WELL, MY FRIENDS!
xo – PBG