It's almost Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays! Last year at this time I was in Belgium, choking back tears at a 12€ buffet at some stupid posh nightclub where I couldn't eat anything except a martini. Not this year, my friends! Although Germany doesn't "do" thanksgiving, I am going to have a real American one in my little apartment and try to convince people that green bean casserole is really delicious. (Failing that, I will just eat it all myself.) Luckily, my Mom is meeting me in London in a week so I can get her to bring a few essentials that are hard to find here in 'Schland.
As I usually do, I thought I'd do a round-up of ideas for all you celebrating Thanksgiving with your families who still don't know what vegan is. (Or pretend not to know and try to serve you gravy anyways.)
Speaking of Gravy, Tofu Mom over at More Than Tofu and Sprouts is doing a whole month of gravy for VeganMoFo, with lots of varieties (like mushroom and miso gravy) that would be perfect for the occasion.
As for a centerpiece, if you are going to an omni Thanksgiving do as the vegans do and bring a few sides and your own gravy, and maybe put in a request that the mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes be vegan. But if you are hosting your own, or want to have turkey-less centerpiece to impress, there are a few options. How about Hickory Smoked Apple Cider, Maple Syrup and Bourbon Glazed Tofu Lollipops from What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyways? Or you could try the gorgeous Seitan en croute from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.
As for desserts, this Chocolate Pumpkin bread pudding from the NY Times looks pretty kick ass, and cranberry chocolate tartelettes from Mihl is a classy choice.
Looking for a full-on Menu? Over at the PPK Isa posted Thanksgiving in an hour a few days ago, but if you have more than an hour, peruse the rest of the recipes including 3 ingredient cranberry sauce and chickpea cutlets. Yum! VeganYumYum also had a full menu a few years back with a creative stuffed seitan and a yummy green bean casserole. For the more adventurous, non-vegan websites also have excellent ideas, many of which are veganizable with a few tweaks. (Earth balance for butter, no brainer.) Epicurious has a huge selection of recipes and videos at their Thanksgiving headquarters. And over at 101 Cookbooks there are also a handful of luscious ideas, including shredded brussels sprouts and apples, one of my faves.
What will I be serving? Well, I'm going traditional all the way so as not to confuse the Germans. (Well, traditional in my household. I guess we will also have to argue about politics the whole time if I really want tradition.)
My (tentative, very tentative) menu
-A simple salad of roasted Beets, walnuts, and mixed greens
-Green Bean Casserole (with imported vegan cream of mushroom soup!)
-My Aunt Mary's simple and fabulous sweet potatoes w/ apples, pecans and brown sugar
-Fluffy roasted garlic mashed potatoes
-Mushroom and shallot gravy (from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan)
-Roasted brussels sprouts
-And EITHER chickpea cutlets or homemade seitan, depending on whether I can get my Mom to bring some vital wheat gluten.
-For dessert? Natch, pumpkin pie, provided by my friend Kat who doesn't mind making them from scratch (unlike myself, who finds pies nerve-wracking enough w/o the pumpkin roasting element.) Maybe a chocolate pudding pie as well, if I can find the right kind of soft tofu.
Now, this will be a challenge with my tiny kitchen and limited heating space. But I can't take another year in Europe without a proper Thanksgiving and I can't afford a plane ticket, so its worth a shot!
What are you guys cooking up for the biggest food holiday of the year?