Thanksgiving is all about traditions. This was our 10th Thanksgiving together. Our first holiday together was Thanksgiving. For us, it has become a day we recommit to our relationship. As part of our tradition, we have our dinner alone, followed by dessert with our relatives. So this way we have the best of both worlds.
This year we had our first Vegan Thanksgiving. If you’ve been reading along with us, you’ve probably heard me whining about not having turkey this year. Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Certainly, we missed the turkey, but the Tofurky was a passable alternative. The dinner was very good. Our menu consisted of the following:
- Tofurky Roast and Gravy
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- Mashed Yams
- Cumin Braised Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
- Salad: Mixed Baby Greens with Kiwi and Cranberry
And for dessert:
- Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Pecan Cranberry Cookies
Our traditional (non-vegan) Thanksgiving was pretty much the same. Obviously we had turkey instead of Tofurky. Also, Jane used to make mashed cauliflower instead of the yams, but since that dish requires copious amounts of butter and cream, Jane opted not to try to “veganize” it. She also skipped the onion pie entirely, as that calls for eggs and milk to bind everything together, and she was concerned that the taste would be “off” if she used one of the available alternatives. The rest of the dishes were all our regulars sans the dairy products.
So how was our Thanksgiving in comparison to the previous years? Our side dishes were stellar. If you didn’t know they were “veganized, ” it’s highly unlikely that you would even notice. The mashed yams were a nice addition to the plate. Jane used a little soy milk and spiced them with garam masala and sea salt. They tasted like Thanksgiving!
Cooking the Tofurky was interesting. Since I usually took care of the bird in the past, Jane suggested I prepare the roast this year. When we took the product out of the box, we were struck by how small it was. And getting it out of the casing it was wrapped in proved to be quite the challenge. Really, they could make that a lot easier! But the preparation was easy enough. You put the Tofurky in a pan with some root vegetables and pour an olive oil sage mix over everything and into the oven it goes. Jane and I joked that I was making a baste-free bird, since you plop it in the oven and don’t touch it again until 10 minutes before it’s done.
It smelled like turkey. But it didn’t taste like turkey, and we both missed our turkey. However, it’s certainly edible, and much easier to prepare and clean up after than a roast turkey, and we wound up with about six servings instead of the four they suggest on the box. So, we’ll do it again next year. By then our taste buds should have completely acclimated to the vegan life!
For dessert, Jane made the apple pie and pumpkin cookies I mentioned above. Of course they were prepared using vegan recipes. Our hosts also had pumpkin and pecan pies which looked delicious, but weren’t vegan. As a side note, when being served my pie, I was offered the option of whipped cream. My response, “no thanks Maria, whipped cream isn’t vegan.”
And now it’s time for some leftovers. Yum!