Thanksgiving used to be all about the turkey, but nowadays many families are realizing how much more fulfilling the most delicious holiday of the year can be without a dead animal on the table. But skipping the meat doesn't have to mean giving up on flavor, as evidenced by these scrumptious vegan and vegetarian recipes from the Inhabitat team. From pan-seared Brussels sprouts to vegetarian "seiturkey" to garlic cauliflower "mashed potatoes", read on to see them all!
Mike Chino, Managing Editor: Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts (vegetarian)
You’ll never look at your usual Brussels sprouts the same after you try Mike’s crispy, caramelized version of ’em.
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 2 tbsp butter (use olive oil instead to make it vegan)
- 1 tbsp oil
- salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper and italian herbed salt)
The trick is to use a hefty pan (cast iron works wonders) and preheat it on high for 30-60 seconds until it’s scorching. Next drop in the oil, butter, salt, pepper and sprouts, stir to coat, and DON’T TOUCH them until they’ve turned golden brown (usually about 5 minutes). Once they’re seared on one side, shake up the whole pan and let it sit again to continue building up caramelized bits. Once they’re nicely browned, add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with a pot lid for 30-60 seconds – the steam produced will cook the sprouts through and leave them tender with a slight bite.
Yuka Yoneda, Managing Editor at Inhabitat NYC: Homemade Vegan Turkey
Tofurky’s great but if you want to try something different this year, check out my recipe for a vegan turkey that you can make right at home and customize to your tastes.
Lori Zimmer, Art Editor: Vegan Pumpkin Mousse (vegan)
We all love pumpkin pie, but it can wreak havoc on our waistlines! Try our art editor Lori Zimmer’s crustless version for a smarter, healthier way to have your pie and eat it too.
What you will need:
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 block soft/silken tofu (8 oz.), drained
- 1 Tbsp. grade A Dark Amber maple syrup
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- pinch of salt
STEP 1: Combine tofu and pumpkin puree in a food processor; process until smooth
STEP 2: Add maple syrup and brown sugar, and spices. Process again
STEP 3: Taste, and feel free to adjust sweet/spice
STEP 4: Allow to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Beth Buczynski, Contributing Writer: Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” (vegetarian)
A silky smooth paleo take on classic mashed potatoes.
Fill up a large stock pot with an inch or two of water and put it on the stove. Pop a steamer insert into the pot, set the heat to high and put on the lid. Then wash, trim and cut up a large head of cauliflower. Next, peel and slice up a pack of garlic. Once your water is boiling, pop in the garlic and the cauliflower and salt liberally. Steam for about 1 minutes or until tender. Drain and then put the steamed veggies into the food processor with some nutmeg and butter. Blend until smooth and then serve!
Ana Lisa Alperovich, Contributing Writer: Vegan Chia Seed & Banana Power Breakfast (vegan)
Take a break from the heaviness of the holidays with this light breakfast recipe from contributing writer Ana Lisa Alperovich.
Tamsin Woolley-Barker, Contributing Writer: Stuffing (vegetarian)
Our resident biomimicry expert Tamsin’s favorite Thanksgiving recipe is her mom’s stuffing.
“I don’t have a recipe,” says Tamsin’s mom. “I just throw things together. Stale bread, onions, celery, sage, pepper and salt. Butter and stock to bind it all together.” Short and sweet! To make it vegan, just sub out the butter with olive oil and be sure to use vegetable stock.
Yuka Yoneda, Managing Editor at Inhabitat NYC: High Line-Themed Thanksgiving Buffet
Add some excitement to your T-day table with an edible centerpiece like the High Line Park-themed one we made using leftover sushi boxes and chopsticks. Copy our tutorial or adapt it for a work of foodscape architecture that will blow your relatives away.
Alyssa Alimurung, former Operations Manager and honorary Inhabitant for life: Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt (vegetarian)
A simple, scrumptious and unexpected recipe you can whip up at the last minute using just a few ingredients.
- 4 large, barely ripe peaches
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, or caramel ice cream, for serving (optional)
- 4 two-finger pinches Maine apple-smoked salt
STEP 1: Heat the oven to 425°F. Put the peaches, stem side down, in a baking dish large enough to hold the peaches without allowing them to touch one another. Poke each peach with a fork several times to keep them from bursting.
STEP 2: In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon, vanilla, and butter. Return the pan to low heat and simmer until the butter melts. Remove and discard the cinnamon pieces. Spoon the sauce over the peaches.
STEP 3: Roast the peaches for 10 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven and brush the peaches with syrup from the bottom of the dish. Return the dish to the oven and roast until the peaches are just tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 25 minutes more. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve one peach per person, with some syrup spooned over the top. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or crème fraîche or a scoop of caramel ice cream, if desired. Sprinkle a two-finger pinch of the salt over each serving.
Recipe via Saveur
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy these cruelty-free recipes. Happy Thanksliving!
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