My Big Fat Plant Based Thanksgiving

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This year was our first official Thanksgiving eating a plant based diet. As everyone is well aware, this is a holiday focused entirely around food. I was honestly pretty excited because it gave me a reason to make new things I have never made before. We also got invited to a friends house to do an island of misfits Thanksgiving. Any time I have the opportunity to make food for other people is a great day for me. I always love being able to show others how and why we chose to eat the way we do and hear feedback from them on how my dishes came out. Now these were all people on regular omnivore diets so there was plenty of meat and dairy dishes around the table but if I can show them an entirely plant based dish can be really tasty then it might encourage people to incorporate more plant based dishes into their regular meals. To me that’s the reward. I think I made some great things yesterday and people were complimenting them. We didn’t come home with really any leftovers, which disappointed Melissa, but made me pretty happy. I knew there was going to be a lot of food there we couldn’t eat so in an effort to provide enough alternatives I ended up making 3 different things. First was some great herb and cheese drop biscuits, next was a really good sweet potato and creamy kale tort, and lastly was a super bangin’ cornbread dressing which was my def favorite. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to post with these recipes. I was too excited to get them baked in time and get to our destination to remember to take pictures. But I can assure you they all looked, smelled, and tasted awesome!

 

Herb and Cheese Drop Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 Tbs natural cane sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fresh minced rosemary

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup fresh minced parsley leaves

5.5 Tbs coconut oil, frozen

1 cup unsweetened and unflavored almond milk

1/4 cup vegan shredded cheese

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Place coconut oil in freezer until solid, about 5-10 minutes. Place the cup of milk in the freezer to chill as well
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and garlic powder together in a large bowl
  4. Using a pastry cutter, cut the frozen coconut oil into the dry ingredients until it’s the size of small peas
  5. Pour chilled almond milk over the dry ingredients + coconut oil mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the herbs and cheese
  6. Drop about 8-10 biscuits all over the baking sheet, leaving 2-3 inches between each biscuit. Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes longer. Biscuits are ready when golden

I made these as a double batch by literally doubling each ingredient and got about 16 biscuits. They came out great and people really liked them.

 

Sweet Potato and creamy kale tort

For the dough I used the same recipe I always use as it is quick and simple. You can find the recipe here:

https://veggieandthefulleffect.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/i-was-told-they-would-be-punch-and-pie/

 

Filling

2 Tbs vegan butter

1/2 a cup finely chopped leeks

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 small sweet potato

1 cup softened vegan cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese

Instructions

  1. Make the crust according to the link above. Make sure you allow time for it to sit overnight or at least one hour in the refrigerator
  2. Roll the dough out and fir it to your tart pan. Pierce the dough all over with a fork
  3. Preheat the oven at 375F and prebake your dough for 10 minutes
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and cook for about 10 minutes. Add kale, red pepper, and a couple drizzles of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another couple of minutes until kale is just wilted. Remove from heat.
  5. Peal your potato and slice very thin
  6. Add the cream cheese to the kale mixture until fully melted and incorporated
  7. Place a layer of sweet potato slices in the bottom of the tart shell. Spread the kale and cheese mixture evenly over that and top with another layer of sweet potato slices. Brush the top thoroughly with olive oil and sprinkle shredded cheese over tart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown

Now I don’t own a tart pan and I wanted to make a double batch so I used a large casserole dish and doubled all the ingredients. The bake time was about 35 minutes and it came out great. Very tasty and filling.

 

Cornbread dressing

This was by far my favorite recipe of the day and maybe the month. I took the recipe from the chef on our local news network because it looked great and I’ve always wanted t make home made dressing but never had the opportunity. I replaced his cornbread recipe with my own because we love it so much and I knew it would make the dressing the best.

Cornbread

2 Tsp apple cider vinegar

2 cups almond milk

1 1/2 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

6 Tbs cane sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat over to 400F. Whisk the apple cider vinegar and almond milk together vigorously and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add the oil to the milk mixture and then add the wet ingredients to the dry ones until totally incorporated. Line a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the top of the cornbread is firm and the edges are turning golden brown. Allow the bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before moving on to the dressing recipe.

Dressing

1 recipe of cornbread from above

1 stick vegan butter

1/2 cup onion medium dice

3 stalks celery medium dice

1 poblano pepper minced

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

3 slices white bread torn into bite sized pieces

3 Tbs flaxseed mixed with 9 Tbs cold water

4 cups vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbs poultry seasoning

Directions

  1. prepare cornbread according to recipe above
  2. preheat oven to 400F
  3. melt butter over medium high heat, add onion, celery, poblano and cook to soften, 2-3 minutes
  4. add garlic and cook for one minute
  5. remove from heat and allow to cool completely
  6. crumble cornbread in a large bowl, add white bread and cooked/cooled vegetables
  7. season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning and gently mix to combine
  8. add flax mixture and stock and gently combine
  9. place in a large casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil
  10. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes, remove foil and place back in oven
  11. continue to cook until cooked through and set, 15-20 minutes

 

I apologize again for not having pictures to show but trust me if you make these you will not be disappointed. They made a great meal for us and great sides for everyone else’s meals.

 

Enjoy!

-Chef Drew

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