Giving thanks for a vegan-style Thanksgiving

Everyone came to Thanksgiving dinner last year ready to gobble turkey. It didn’t quite work out that way. Good thing for them that I arrived with a full course vegan meal.
In short, the fowl killed two ovens and only made it half way through the cooking process, and not the good half. With Cracker Barrel being the only other option, my carnivorous friends (I was the lone vegan) had little choice but to embrace the opportunity to go — cold-turkey-vegan.
Fortunately, I’m a big fan of leftovers, so always make far more Thanksgiving food than any one – or, as it turned out, five specific – people can eat in a single meal. My longtime signature vegetarian Thanksgiving turkey replacement had been eggplant Parmesan (you know, just like the pilgrims had at the first Thanksgiving…), but I’ve been seeking an equally delicious new go-to vegan alternative (I’m still experimenting with vegan eggplant Parmesan recipes, but haven’t gotten there yet). So, I may have gone perhaps a little over board in the kitchen last year to fill the void, which turned out to be a really fortuitous and welcomed thing.
I’m not saying that any of the meat eaters switched teams that day; I’m certain they will make darned sure the ovens work this year. But they didn’t go hungry in spectacular fashion and still talk about how scrumptious their “Turkey-less” Thanksgiving was.
In the end, the real meaning of the holiday – which, as it turned out, doesn’t really have much to do with turkeys – came shining through: Family and friends joining together to share a fine meal and give thanks for each other and for all of the many gifts in our lives. Also, for those surprisingly frequent times when things don’t seem to work out, but then they do.
Here’s my vegan menu from last year. Some of the recipes are just something I’ve made for a long time, maybe passed down from mom, others I got from the Internet, and the pumpkin pie I picked up at Whole Foods. I’m sure that this year won’t be exactly the same, but I know I’ll make more than enough of whatever it is, just in case.
The menu consisted of: Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie; Lentil and Mushroom Shepard’s Pie; Nuthin’ Fancy Mashed Potatoes; Easy Mushroom Gravy; Mom’s Roasted Sweet Potatoes; Extreme Fried Kale & Peppers; Sourdough Stuffing with Pine Nuts and Raisins; From the Package Cranberry Sauce; Green Chili Corn Bread; Pumpkin Pie and Soy and Coconut Ice Cream (Whole Foods). This month, we’ll share a few of the recipes.

This month we’ll share one of the recipes.

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