Vegan Frendsgiving/Thanksgiving Spice Cake

Vegan Spice Cake
Vegan Spice Cake

The recipe for this delightful morsel of a cake has been passed down from my great-grandmother. It was one of the first recipes I posted when I started my blog several years ago. I didn’t have a picture of it, and I never uploaded one, until today. Just in time to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This cake is ultra moist, full of warming spices, and somehow never too sweet. It is perfect for dessert, breakfast, or as an addition to a holiday brunch. It also takes about 5 minutes to make and makes a big impression with its amazing fall flavors. This is the cake to bake when you have company as the whole house smells like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen as the warm fragrance of fall baking spices waft through the air.

Makes 1 9×9 cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, or dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider or white, but I’ve also used rice in a pinch)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBL vegetable shortening
  • 1 TBL chia seeds mixed with 2 TBL water, or 1 egg, or equivalent of 1 egg in whatever form you like
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 370F.
  2. Add vinegar to milk and set aside.
  3. Cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  4. Add the chia seed/water mixture to sugar and mix together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  6. Alternate between adding flour mixture and soy milk to the shortening, mixing thoroughly between additions.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes if you can.

Roasted Vegetables and Thanksgiving Suggestions

Roasted Vegetabls
Roasted Vegetabls

This is my  last post before Thanksgiving! oh, my. I felt I had to do a quick post on roasted vegetables as it is a stable for my fall table. I particularly love roasted butternut squash, beets, parsnips, onions, and broccoli. I love to roast my broccoli until it is almost burnt and super crispy. It’s like little broccoli chips. Anyway, roasting vegetables is super easy. The hardest part is prepping them. If you’re short on time you can buy them peeled and chopped at most stores.

These are a perfect side for any meal, and are quite delightful as an easy, colorful side for Thanksgiving. If you are looking for other options for any portion of your meal check out this recipe roundup from last year Thanksgiving Feast Suggestions . I need to add a few things from this year of course, like:

Vegan One Dish Holiday Meal
Vegan One Dish Holiday Meal

One Dish Holiday Meal -Perfect for a vegan to bring to non-vegan Thanksgiving

Easy Vegan Gravy 

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

 Ingredients

  • Lots of vegetables (about 6 cups) cut into even sized 1/2-1″ pieces
  • Some of my favorites are broccoli, carrots, beets, onion, parsnips, and winter squash. I might also add in potatoes or sweet potatoes to add more bulk if needed.
  • Olive oil- I never measure this, but about 1/4 cup
  • Salt – also never measured, sprinkle a little on knowing you can always add more later
  • Other herbs and spices if you like. I almost always only use salt as it allows the flavor of the vegetables to really shine.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Place vegetables in a single layer on a sheet pan with sides, I use my biggest jellyroll pan.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables, sprinkle with salt, and stir so vegetables have an even coating of oil.
  4. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes or so until starting to become brown and crispy on the edges, and sweet and caramelized. I like to cook mine about 40-50 minutes depending on how big I have cut them.
  5. They are perfect as is for a side dish, or try them in pasta, lasagna, salads, burritos, enchiladas, risotto, soup, you get the picture.

Easy Vegan Gravy Without a Recipe-Thinking Thanksgiving

Vegan Gravy
Vegan Gravy

Thanksgiving is coming!! I can’t wait! I love a holiday dedicated to food, especially comfort food. A necessary addition to any Thanksgiving table is gravy. Creamy, umami filled, and delightfully full of vegetables it is the perfect addition to your table, Thanksgiving or otherwise.

Some people think that gravy can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. It can me a simple process, and one that is easily adapted to various dietary needs such as vegan or gluten free. It is also something that is so very quick to make and delivers flavor as if you have been slaving for hours. When we have just odds and ends in the house I’ll make gravy to top biscuits for breakfast, or to finish potatoes or other fall vegetables for a quick and hearty dinner.

Discussion:

What is important for successful gravy?

  1. Creamy texture
  2. Flavor
  3. Add-ins

I I like to think of gravy as a beautiful vegetable filled umami bomb. It is a versatile vehicle for bringing vegetables and protein, a way to round out a meal, and the perfect sauce. It is an easy process to make gravy and you can easily change things up to fit your mood and your pantry.

 

How Does It All Work? 

The Texture 

Balancing ingredients for the proper texture.

  1. The ratio of flour to liquid above has worked well for me, however, feel free to adjust it to your preference. The ratio will also be slightly different if you are using different flour such as garbanzo bean flour. Start with the ratio I have listed, then add more flour to make it thicker, or more liquid to thin it out. Make sure to cook the gravy before attempting to make it thicker as cooking with thicken the texture.
  2. To incorporate the flour you can either mix it with cold liquid until smooth, then whisk into the hot pan, or you can sprinkle the flour into hot fat, suck as oil (equal parts flour and fat) and cook while whisking until it starts to brown and begins to smell fragrant. Then add liquid.
  3. Vegetables are optional, so are beans. The will affect the overall texture so think about how you want them cooked before adding them.

Flavor

Optional additions for flavor

  1. I pretty much always use a mixture of non-dairy milk and vegetable broth (or water and vegetable broth powder), however, I have used just water when I’m out of milk. The balance of these will affect the flavor.  Just water makes it a little less cream and less rich. More milk can make it taste more like the milk you are using, just be sure to have a type of milk you want to eat in gravy. If you use sweetened vanilla almond milk it will taste like a nasty vanilla flavored gravy,
  2. Herbs are your friend. If you are using dried herbs, add them in the beginning. If you are using fresh, add them at the end. I love thyme, sage, and black pepper for a fall gravy. I might leave out the sage and add smoked paprika and vegan sausage for a breakfast gravy, or just salt and pepper with lots of vegetable broth for a lighter version.
  3. Nutritional yeast, lemon, and Dijon mustard are some of my favorite other additions to boost flavor.
  4. The vegetables you choose to add in will also affect the flavor. I nearly always use onions, often mushrooms and kale. Celery, onions, and carrots would lean toward a more traditional chickeny flavor.
  5. Don’t forget the salt!

 

Add-ins

More flavor, more texture, and all the fun

  1. Your gravy can be as simple as the vegetable broth that has been thickened and a few herbs and spices, but feel free to add anything else you like.
  2. Protein- I love adding cooked brown lentils to my gravy. The texture is fun and it adds a big punch of nutrients. Other options are garbanzo beans which I like to mash a bit and/or pre-made veggies sausage or other fake meat products.
  3. Vegetables- as in this recipe I usually use onions, mushrooms, and kale. The combination is delicious. Other options are anything in your fridge. I do a breakfast gravy with carrots, celery, red peppers and lentils. My daughter loves the addition of peas. Try things out as you have them available.

What To Eat For A Vegan Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving

Are you vegan or vegetarian, or have you invited someone who is to your Thanksgiving meal? All the choices for what to make can be overwhelming. If this isn’t your usual diet you might feel restricted. Don’t worry; you can make anything you want! You have the choice to make your favorite traditional dishes using vegan or vegetarian ingredients, or to develop new dishes and traditions. One of my favorite Thanksgivings it was just me and my husband (we had just moved and didn’t even have friends yet), and we made a full Indian meal for Thanksgiving. We cooked all day, ate ourselves silly, and took a nap. Pretty traditional if you ask me:)

In case you’re struggling with ideas for what to make I’ve giving you this lovely list of delicious dishes I have scoured the internet, and my own site, for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Appetizers: 

Vegan Smoky Bean DipSmoky Bean Dip from me (is there a trend here with the smokiness)

Chili Cheese Dip from me. -This is actually a tradition on my husband’s side, not vegan, but the chili cheese dip.

Vegan Tempe Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms from Connoisseurus Veg. -I haven’t actually made these, but holy yum do they sound good!

Homemade Vegan Sushi from Minimalist Baker -A tradition in my family

Hummus a video from me -easy to make, versatile, and delicious.

Entrees: 

This picture is from the Vegetarian Times Website
This picture is from the Vegetarian Times Website

 

Vegan Pot Pie from me. – Full of fall vegetables, savory, impressive, and a true comfort food.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce from me. -Could this be any more fall?

Bell Pepper and Tomato Rice from me. -I have requested this from my mother on a few Thanksgivings. I love it! Non-traditional for sure, but oh so delicious, rather easy, and the leftovers are fantastic!

Lasagna with Roasted Vegetables and Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. -This isn’t actually a full recipe, but you could use the sauce, some roasted veggies, and layer it all together for an amazing fall lasagna.

Vegetarian Wellington with Seitan, Roasted Mushroom & Kale from Veggie Belly -I haven’t tried this either, but it looks super impressive. There are suggestions for making it vegan so no worries there.

PUFF PASTRY WRAPPED LENTIL LOAF from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Lentil Loaf + Puff Pastry = Thanksgiving.

Sides:

Vegan Corn and Potato Chowder
Vegan Corn and Potato Chowder

Vegan Corn and Potato Chowder from me – Super easy to throw in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thing while you make something time consuming for the main dish.

Cranberry Orange Relish from me. -Cranberry something is necessary for Thanksgiving. Trust me and make this relish for your cranberry side.

Mashed Potatoes – You don’t need a recipe for this. Just cook potatoes, add earth balance, salt, and maybe a little nutritional yeast or coconut milk. Mash and eat. Yum.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole from Minimalist Baker. This version is totally homemade, not a can of cream of mystery in sight.

Vegan Pakoras from Veg Recipes of India

Butternut Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions from Chef Chloe.

Dessert:

Vegan Apple Pie
Vegan Apple Pie

Mom’s Apple Pie from my mom -It’s Thanksgiving a perfect pie has it’s place.

Vegan French Silk Pie from me -Rich, decedent, chocolaty. Need I say more?

Vegan Apple Spice Cake from me- The title says it all.

 Vegan Tiramisu Cupcakes from me -Impressive, creamy, adult yet playful, and quite lovely.

 Vegan Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Cake with Chocolate Ganache from me. Yup, chocolate cake. Why not?

Cranberry Orange Relish (vegan)

Vegan Cranberry Orange Relish
Vegan Cranberry Orange Relish

I’m just here, hanging out, looking at Pinterest for cranberry recipes. I am very lucky this year to get two Thanksgivings, so I feel some freedom to experiment with one. Instead of my usual pie for dessert I want to try something different, something with cranberries, I’m just not sure what. I’m looking at pictures, pinning ideas, and putting it all together in my mind. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll get the recipe out to you until after Thanksgiving, if it even turns out. What I think I want to put together is cranberries, bourbon coconut whipped cream, and some sort of toffee or caramel sauce with a cake, or shortbread, or something. Until I get my mind wrapped around this new idea you can enjoy this cranberry relish recipe that has been passed down through the generations in my family. No Thanksgiving, or Christmas, would be complete without it.

This cranberry orange relish bears no resemblance to the canned jelly nastiness that may have graced some of your Thanksgiving tables. This is bright with fresh cranberries and orange, sweet from some pineapple and sugar, and perfectly tart. We used to use the meat grinder attachment on my mom’s old school KitchenAid to make this, but now I use my food processor with perfect results. Whatever floats your cranberry though.

 Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries, washed and picked over to throw out any yucky ones
  • 1 large seedless orange, cut into eighths
  • 2 cups white sugar (vegan if you swing that way)
  • 1 8oz can crushed pineapple

Instructions

  1. Place the cranberries and orange in a large food processor.
  2. Pulse several times until cranberries and orange are chopped finely, but not total mush.
  3. Pour into a large bowl, or container.
  4. Stir in sugar and pineapple.
  5. Let everything sit for several hours to a few days for the flavors to develop.

 

Mom’s Apple Pie (vegan)

Vegan Apple Pie
Vegan Apple Pie

My mom’s apple pie. I really don’t know if there is anything better. I think this apple pie is my second favorite dessert, with chocolate cake coming in first. It might actually be my favorite since it is also good for breakfast and snacks, not just dessert. I like them so much I had my mom make pies for my wedding. She made 12 amazing pies that everyone talked about for weeks after the event.

As much as I love this pie, I don’t really love all apple pie, just  my mom’s. Most lack flavor, have a poor crust, are too sweet, or are just boring. This pie is perfect. The apples are just a little tart and hold their shape while swimming in a perfectly sweet sauce that just holds everything together. It is fragrant with cinnamon, and the crust is flaky with a hint of salt and simply melts in your mouth. The smell as it bakes smells like everything a home should be; warm, sweet, spicy, and welcoming.

I wanted to post this in time for Thanksgiving so you could have the perfect pie to impress you family. Just watch the video of my mom making the crust, and this one of her making the pie, and you are good as gold.

 Ingredients
  • Prepared pie crust (top and bottom crust, uncooked)
  • 6 apples cut into bite-sized chunks (mix of granny smith, cortland, gala, or whatever you like)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBL all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 TBL earth balance buttery sticks

Instructions

  1. Place apple chunks in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flour.
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples and stir until the apples are well coated in the sugar mixture.
  4. Place the bottom crust in a large pie plate and pour the apple mixture into the crust (it should be overflowing).
  5. Dot the apples with small pieces of earth balance spaced evenly over the apples.
  6. Roll the top crust over the apples, rolling and crimping the edges.
  7. Cut steam vents in top crust.
  8. Place pie in pre-heated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Keeping the pie in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 and continue cooking until the crust is golden, and the juices are oozing out the steam vents, about 40-50 more minutes.
  10. Allow the pie to cool for at least a half hour before serving.

Vegan Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Vegan pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce
Vegan pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce

This recipe has a long title and a lot of steps, but it is totally worth it. This could be a perfect main dish for your vegan Thanksgiving, or a perfect addition to take to Thanksgiving at a friends. You can eat this as a entree and be happy, and others will eat it as a side and be amazed at your cooking abilities. This is a luscious, rich, and satisfying vegan holiday meal.

You can make the ravioli ahead of time and freeze them to cook on the day of whatever event you are celebrating, even if it is just a Wednesday evening at home. The sauce should be made fresh and don’t skimp on the Earth Balance. Now is not the time for diets.

Vegan Pumpkin Ravioli 

The filling

Ingredients

  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, mashed
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 2 TBL nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBL minced fresh sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin or squash

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and tofu cooking until any water has evaporated from the pan.
  4. Add the vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, sage, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg stirring together until the cream cheese has melted.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

The pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • extra water for brushing

Instructions

  1. In bowl of stand mixer mix flours, salt, oil and water with paddle attachment until combined.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix about 2 minutes on speed 2 to knead. The dough should form a ball, if it is crumbly add more water, if it is sticking to the sides of the bowl add more semolina flour.
  3. Cut the dough into 4 sections and run through your pasta roller according to its directions until it is the thickness recommended for ravioli, a 5 on my machine.
  4. Lay out rolled pasta on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Brush the side of the pasta facing up with water using a pastry brush.
  6. Place pumpkin mixture on pasta dough by heaping tablespoon. The mixture should be about 1/2″ away from one edge of the pasta, and about 1″ between each spoonful.
  7. Fold over the half of pasta dough that does not have pumpkin mixture on it pressing the dough between each heap of pumpkin to seal.
  8. Once dough has sealed to itself cut the ravioli to leave one heap of pumpkin in each ravioli.
  9. Dust ravioli with more semolina flour and place in one layer on a semolina dusted plate until ready to cook. You can also freeze them at this point.
  10. When ready to cook bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  11. Once water boils cook ravioli 3 minutes and remove to pan with sauce to finish cooking.

The sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 TBL Earth Balance
  • 3 TBL fresh sage, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine or more vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Heat Earth Balance in a large skillet over medium heat until starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add sage, garlic, and walnuts cooking until garlic is tender and sage starts to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and wine cooking until reduced, 5-7 minutes more.
  4. Add the cooked ravioli directly from the water and toss in the sauce to finish cooking, about 1 minute.
  5. Serve hot.