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3 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Better Than Turkey

Family functions when you have dietary restrictions don't need to feel limiting! Bring a few sides, and show people that the way you choose to eat is just as delicious as meat-focused alternatives!

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As both vegan and vegetarian diets are gaining in popularity, it's more common to see more dishes on the table that cater to these diets. Even better, it's not just reserved for side dishes anymore as many people are finding ways to make their whole table plant based! 

3 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Better Than Turkey
Photo courtesy of Doesn't Taste Like Chicken 

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash

Recipe via: It Doesn't taste like Chicken

You don't need to just stuff a turkey. Adding both the sweet and savoury, this dish is perfect as a side, or the main attraction!

Ingredients: 

For the butternut squash:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots , peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery , chopped
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white rice (I used basmati)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage , chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. To make the butternut squash: Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then put both halves on a baking tray, cut side up. Drizzle the olive oil on top of each squash and rub around to coat. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until the squash is cooked and fork tender. The timing may vary a bit depending on the size of your squash. Be careful not to overcook the squash as it will still bake more when assembled and heated later on.
  3. Once baked, remove the squash from the oven. Let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh in the centre of both squash halves, leaving about a 1-inch border all around. I like to score a line with the tip of my spoon 1-inch from the edges before I start scooping so I have a guide to follow. Set aside the scooped out squash flesh and chop it up.
  4. To make the stuffing: In the meantime when the squash is baking, you can prepare the stuffing. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic until the veggies soften and begin to brown. Add the wild rice and veggie broth to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Now add the white rice to the pan, cover, and continue to cook another 8 to 10 minutes until the rice has cooked and fully absorbed the broth.
  5. Add in the walnuts, dried cranberries, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. When ready, add in the scooped out and chopped squash flesh. Stir well to combine.
  6. To stuff the squash: Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. You will likely have leftovers, but I like to pack it in nice and firmly and make both sides heaping full. Pick up one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Use kitchen string to tie up the squash in 3 or 4 places holding it together. At this point you can choose to let it cool, cover with foil and store in the fridge for up to 3 days until ready to bake. Or you can bake it right away.
  7. When you are ready to bake, lightly brush the top with more olive oil. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes until hot all the way through. Season the top with cracked pepper, and a sprinkle of chopped sage. The slices are tender and will easily fall apart, to help hold them together use a wide spatula, and carefully transfer them to the plate.

3 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Better Than Turkey

Photo courtesy of Green Kitchen Stories 

Holiday Stuffed Pumpkin

Recipe via: Green Kitchen Stories

If you've ever wanted something meat-free as the centre-piece to your Thanksgiving table, then this is definitely it! High in fibre, beta-carotene, healthy fats, and protein, your guests will be as stuffed as the pumpkin!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large edible pumpkin or 2 smaller edible pumpkins
  • 1 small knob of coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
Stuffing: 
  • 1 1/2 cups  uncooked millet or white quinoa
  • 1 large knob of coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 9 oz brown mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large stems kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp white wine or water
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh, frozen or dried)
  • 1 handful raw almonds, coarsely chopped (use pumpkin seeds for a nut free alternative)
  • 2 stems flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, save a little for serving
  • 5 1/2 oz goat’s or sheep’s feta cheese (optional), save a little for serving

Directions: 

  1. Cut a hole on top of the pumpkin, shaping a ‘lid’.
  2. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub the inside with oil. Now it is ready to be stuffed.
  3. Place millet in a sieve and pour over hot water. Rinse and drain.

  4. Place millet in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups water.

  5. Bring to a boil, lower the heat immediately and let gently simmer for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet.

  8. Sauté onions, mushrooms and kale for a couple of minutes until soft. Add wine, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes.

  9. When the liquid is almost evaporated, add cranberries, almonds, parsley and stir to combine.

  10. Taste and adjust the flavours.

  11. Turn the heat off and remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked millet.

  12. Now add the crumbled feat cheese and toss to combine.

  13. Fill the pumpkin with the millet stuffing.

  14. Place the pumpkin ‘lid’ on top and bake in the oven for about an hour (maybe less or more, adjust to the size of the pumpkin), this depends on the oven and on the size and type of the pumpkin.

  15. Check the pumpkin flesh with a knife from time to time and stir around the stuffing with a spoon.

  16. The pumpkin is ready when skin is browned and bubbly and the flesh is soft.

  17. Garnish with parsley and feta.

3 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes That Are Better Than Turkey

Photo courtesy of Minimalist Baker 

Vegan Pumpkin Pie (Gluten Free) 

Recipe via Minimalist Baker 

What's Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie? If you've made it to dessert with enough room to fit more food, kudos! 

Whether you're vegan, dairy-free or just want to try it out, this is your go-to!

Crust

  • 6 Tbsp cold vegan butter (or chilled coconut oil with varied results)
  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4-6 Tbsp ice cold water
Filling
  • 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (1 1/2 15-ounce cans yield 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or sub mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions: 

  1. To prepare crust, add gluten-free flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slice or dollop the cold butter in and work gently with a fork or pastry cutter to cut it in. Don’t overwork, just get it incorporated.
  2. Next add ice cold water a little at a time and use a wooden spoon to stir. Only add as much water as you need to help it come together.
  3. Once a loose dough is formed, transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and work gently with your hands to form a 1/2 inch thick disc. Wrap firmly and refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 days. Just let it warm back up a little before using. You don’t want it too warm or it can get too soft to handle.
  4. Once your dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and prepare pie filling.
  5. Add all pie ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  6. To roll out the crust, unwrap the disc and place it between two sizable layers of wax paper (plastic wrap will work OK, but is a little more difficult to work with). Use a rolling pin to gently roll it into the shape of your pie pan. If it cracks, don’t stress - you can reform it with your hands once you get it in the pan. But try and be gentle.
  7. To transfer the crust, remove the top layer of wax paper and gently lay the pie dish face down on top of the crust and use the support of the wax paper to quickly but carefully invert it. Don’t overthink it - just do it.
  8. Once you get the crust inverted, gently use your hands to form it into the pan, working the crust up along the sides. It can be a little tricky but it bakes beautifully, so it’s worth the effort! Just try not to overwork the dough in the process - it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to perfect the shape. Any holes or cracks can be mended with a little excess dough and the heat of your hand.
  9. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 58-65 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
     

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