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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Vegan Thanksgiving

All recipes by Didi Emmons, co-owner of Veggie Planet in Cambridge, MA, and author of “Entertaining for a Veggie Planet” [Houghton Mifflin]

All recipes generally serve 6-8 people


Thanksgiving Seitan

2 2/3 cups vital wheat gluten (this comes in a box, I like Arrowhead Mills brand)
3 cups water
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 large onions, sliced
3 heads of garlic, cut in half like an English muffin
a handful of fresh herbs such as tarragon or sage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and the water. Stir with a large spoon then when it comes together knead it with your hand in a bowl for 5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, combine the remaining ingredients with 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the seitan to a cutting board and flatten it a bit and cut it into 1 inch strips. Add this to the simmering stock and simmer on low for 1 hour. Transfer the seitan to a cutting board, let cool for 5 minutes, then cut them into smaller pieces and serve. Strain the stock and reserve for the stuffing and gravy.


Apple Walnut Stuffing

1 (1 1/4 lb) loaf bread – country style cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 sticks margarine
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
2 crisp apples preferably local, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped rosemary or sage
1/2 cup dried currants
2 cups vegetable stock or seitan stock
1 –2 teaspoons salt, pepper to taste but lots of it!
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts (toast for 7 minutes in a 350 oven)

  1. Either let the bread sit out on a baking pan for 2 hours to dry or bake in 300 oven until dry, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile saute the onion, celery, apples, garlic and herbs in 2 tablespoons margarine for 10 minutes until translucent. Add the rest of the margarine and melt. Transfer to a big bowl then combine all of the ingredients except the walnuts together in one bowl. Transfer the stuffing to a baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, with foil on it, removing foil and baking another 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the walnuts and serve.


Portobello Madeira Gravy

4 medium portobello mushrooms, stem and cap coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons margarine (preferably organic soy)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup madeira
4 1/2 cups seitan stock

  1. Place the portobellos in a processor and run the machine until they are finely chopped. In a big saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the margarine and add portobellos. Saute over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a plate.
  2. Place the pan back on the heat. Add the remaining margarine and melt over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic. Add flour and stir until the flour browns, about 5 minutes. Slowly add madeira and the stock, constantly stirring with a whisk. Then add the mushrooms back, stir well, then add salt and pepper to taste.


Simple Cranberry Raisin Chutney

1 12 ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
2 crisp tart apples, peeled and chopped (Fuji or Jonah Gold are good)
1 teaspoon cinnamon or favorite spice (try ground star anise!)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sucanat or any kind of sugar
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Combine all in a pot, simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool.


Rosemary Tofu Cornbread
(Makes 1 loaf)

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 8-ounce carton firm tofu, drained
5 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 1 9-inch loaf pan with oil-spray. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary and mix well. In another bowl, squeeze the tofu through your hands until it is the consistency of scrambled eggs. Stir in the canola oil and 1 cup water. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
    Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  2. Cool for 15 minutes, and serve.


Green Beans and Onion Strings

1 large spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable oil of any kind
1 pound green beans
1 tablespoon oil

  1. Toss the green beans with the oil and place in a roasting pan with salt and pepper. Roast the beans at 400 for 30 minutes and remove.
  2. Place the onions in a bowl with the flour and salt. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Once it is very hot, on medium high heat, add half the onions. Make sure you have a paper bag or paper towels lined on a baking sheet for the finished onions. Deepfry the onions until they are golden brown and with a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the onions and let dry on paper. Salt the onions again. Continue in same fashion for rest of onions.
  3. Serve the onions and green beans in one bowl, mixed up a bit. Both these veggies can be kept in a warm oven for up to 2 hours.


Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

1 lb parsnips – washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 lb potatoes - washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Boil the parsnips in salted water until very soft, about 30 minutes. Do the same for the potatoes in a different pot. While still warm, mash the two together in one of the empty pots, adding the olive oil, salt and pepper, and cilantro. Serve. It can sit for an hour or so or chill overnight and then reheat on stove or in microwave.


Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

2 lbs beets
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 bunch arugula
salt and pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup walnuts

Scrub the beets in warm water. Do not peel. Cut the beets into 8 wedges per beet. Toss in 2 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs balsamic in a bowl with salt and pepper and place on a roasting pan. Bake for about 45 minutes in a 400 oven, or until tender on the inside. Let cool at least 30 minutes. Combine the remaining oil with the balsamic and toss with the arugula and walnuts and red onion. Toss well and put on plates, topping with the beets.


Sweet Potato Maple Pie

Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
4 tablespoons sucanat (or any sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks soy margarine
1 large sweet potato (1 pound) – peeled, cut and boiled until soft
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sucanat (or any sugar)
2 tablespoons Asian rice flour (substitute regular flour if unavailable)
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick soy margarine
salt to taste

  1. Combine all dry ingredients for pie crust in food processor. Add the margarine and pulse the machine until the margarine has broken down into tiny bits. Add 2/3 cup cold ice water and pulse the machine just until the dough comes together, adding a bit more water if it is too dry to collect into a mass, but do not let the machine run for more than a second or two or you will make the dough tough. Transfer onto clean work surface, form the dough into a ball and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling: combine sweet potato in processor with maple syrup. Transfer to bowl and add rest of ingredients.
  3. Then roll out onto a large circle and line a large 12 inch tart pan with the dough. Blind bake (place foil around edges and poke the bottom with a fork several times) the dough for 15 minutes at 350. Add the filling and bake for another 35 minutes or until set. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.


Pumpkin Ginger Rice Pudding

1 small sugar pumpkin – about 2 1/2 lbs
4 inches fresh ginger – place in freezer overnite
6 cups soy milk, plain
1 cup rice, long grain white
1 cup sucanat
8 ounces soy cream cheese or sour cream

  1. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and roast at 400 in a baking pan until soft.
  2. In a heavybottom saucepan heat soymilk. Chop the thawed ginger and squeeze the ginger in your hands over the soy milk so the juice falls into the pan. Discard the ginger. Add the rice and slowly cook the pudding for 1 1/4 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, scoop the flesh of the pumpkin from the skins and puree it in a processor. Add the pumpkin and sucanat to the rice pudding, and the cream cheese as well. Stir well, adding a few pinches salt and some cinnamon if you like. Serve warm or cold.


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