Real Food, Made Vegan

Two Pals, Two Thanksgivings

So, as you guys know my husband and I host a vegan Thanksgiving every year and this year was no different – with only one exception – Keturah was missing. Keturah and I initially thought, “O, we should feature Thanksgiving on our new blog!” It would be perfect since I make a bunch of awesome traditional Thanksgiving dishes all Made Vegan. From the green bean casserole, the homemade cranberry apple chutney, tofurky and right on down to the mash potatoes made with homemade almond milk. Delish! There was only one problem this year, Keturah was going home to visit her super cool Mom, Tina, in South Dakota, which means her awesome photography skills would be missed. I can cook up some mean tasty food but taking a great photo is not one of my stronger suits, hence the Instagram pictures below. I also snagged a few cool photos from one of my Thanksgiving Day guests. Thanks, Harrison! :)

With all that being said, the awesome Made Vegan Thanksgiving blog post shrunk down to… Two Pals, Two Thanksgivings!

But that does not mean I can’t share a couple of my fave recipes with you!

vegan_thanksgiving1

PINEAPPLE SWEET POTATOES
 
2 large sweet potatoes or yams
1 fresh pineapple (or 1 16oz can of crushed pineapple, I used the fresh pineapple)
1 tsp agave
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
 
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Cube sweet potatoes and put in large mixing bowl. Cut up fresh pineapple and toss is blender. Pulse the blender a few times until the pineapple is like crushed pineapple, add pineapple to sweet potatoes along with the agave. Mix well and pour into pie pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until you can put a tooth pick through the sweet potatoes easily.

I love this sweet potato recipe! It is so easy, healthy and delicious. It’s great alternative to all those sweet potato dishes covered in brown sugar. :)

In addition to the Pineapple Sweet Potatoes, check out my homemade almond milk recipe. This was my second time making almond milk and man, this stuff is soooooo good. I felt like I really nailed it this time around. I used the almond milk in the mashed potatoes with a little bit of salt and pepper. It turned out sooooo yummy and super creamy!

ALMOND MILK
 
1 1/2 cups soaked raw almonds
2 cups of water (add more or less water depending on how creamy you would like it, I used two cups and it was a creamy delight)
pinch of sea salt
natural cheese cloth for straining
 
Soak almonds overnight, about 8 hours. Place soaked almonds in blender with 1 cup water. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the final cup of water and the pinch of sea salt. Blend on high for a minute or two. Grab a large pull and place cheese cloth over the bowl. Pour almond milk over the cheese cloth and then hurry up and grab the cheese cloth and squeeze the almond milk real good. The cheese cloth is basically a really fine strainer. It is separating the almond milk from the almond pulp. Store your almond milk in a sealed glass container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
 
What to do with the almond pulp? I spread mine out on a cookie sheet and cooked it in the oven at 350 degrees until it was completely dried out, about an hour. Store it in a sealed container and use in place of bread crumbs in your favorite recipes.

My final tidbit of vegan Thanksgiving recipe heaven I will share with you today is the pseudo recipe I shared with Keturah and her Mom. They wanted to dive in and make a delicious tofurky for their Thanksgiving dinner in South Dakota, so I came to the rescue. (Sort of – not that they needed rescuing or anything – but I did share my tofurky cooking secrets with them in hopes that their vegan cooking venture would be a success!)

vegan apps and tofurky

My tofurky notes to the Mother-Daughter Team went something like this:

I get the Tofurky brand. It’s really good! I treat it sort of like how you would treat a real turkey. (I have actually never cooked a real turkey, thank goodness) :)
 
I make a yummy sauce to baste the tofurky in. Usually something like this:
 
Olive oil
Organic Soy Butter
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Sage
Oregano
Italian Spices
Garlic
Salt
Pepper
 
Place it in a casserole dish. Sometime I might even put some veggies around it to bake in the oven with it.
 
If its frozen I thaw it overnight in the fridge. The instructions on the box are useful as well, I go by the temperature it says and I usually cook it for 1 1/2 hours. Cover it tinfoil for the first hour, I continue to baste it the entire time so it does not dry out, about every 15 minutes or so. The last 20 minutes or so I take the tin foil off and bake it with no foil.
 
Covering it and continually basting it is the key!

So how’d it turn out, Keturah?

To which Keturah replies…

“The Tofurky was SO GOOD! I’ve always been a fan of Tofurky but I’d never really made one myself. We (meaning: my mom) followed Trisha’s directions almost exactly and it turned out perfect! It was super flavorful and juicy, not dry at all. I’m not an expert chef, but I did get some good practice in basting food items! Sadly, Tofurky doesn’t work with a gluten-free diet (it’s basically made out of glutens) which meant my mom couldn’t try the Tofurky herself. Ahhhhhh well, more for me! YUMMMM.

I’d also like to note that the age-old tradition of eating leftovers and turkey sandwiches for the week following the holiday extends into Tofurky territory as well. I recommend it on a sandwich with leftover cranberry sauce and vegan cream cheese. Sounds like a weird combo, but I promise, it’s awesome! I was devouring Tofurky sandwiches for several days following Thanksgiving and was a little more sad than I should admit when I hit the bottom of the tupperware container.

SO, while I wished that we could all be together for the holiday, I was very thankful for good times with family, cooking adventures with my Mom, a super delicious tofurky, oh… and all of that other awesome food she spent two days making! Perhaps next year we can all reunite again!”

Next year I plan to unleash all of my favorite holiday recipes to all of you. Until then, the Pineapple Sweet Potatoes, the almond milk mashed potatoes and the tofurky cooking tips are all great vegan recipes to use for any holiday you might be celebrating this season.

Have an awesome holiday and a wonderful new year!

Hugs,
Trisha

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