Pass the Tofu-rky: Plant-Based Holiday Menu and Inspiration!

By: Denali Selent

As we near the end of a tumultuous and challenging year, many of us are looking forward to the comfort of the holidays and enjoying special traditions. However, the environmental implications of the foods that make it onto our table can leave us wondering about ways to make Thanksgiving dinner a bit more sustainable. No matter what diet or lifestyle you follow, choosing to swap out a few Thanksgiving classics with plant-based alternatives can have a positive impact on the environment. 

For those interested in exploring a plant-based Thanksgiving but worried that you may end up missing out on the traditional comforts of the holidays, you’ve come to the right place. This menu compiles iconic entree, side dish and dessert recipes that have garnered great reviews and are sure to leave you and your loved ones reaching for seconds. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, these recipes could be whipped up for a perfectly fall-inspired meal on a chilly day!

Entrees– These entrees are full of warm and cozy flavors that are sure to satisfy!

  • Savory Vegetable Pies from Rabbit and Wolves- These delicious veggie-packed pies are a great main dish option and are full of the aromatic spices traditional to the holidays. 
  • Pumpkin pasta from Rainbow Plant Life- While pumpkin and pasta might not be a traditional combo, I can attest that this dish is delicious. The flavors channel all the fall vibes, and the dish is especially delicious with a sprinkle of smoked paprika on top.
  • Turkey Roast from Avant-Garde Vegan- If you’re looking for more of a traditional swap for a turkey, check out this roast! While a more time-intensive recipe, the savory, flavorful product makes the effort worthwhile. Pair this with the gravy recipe below for an extra wow-factor!

Sides– Maybe it’s just me, but I think Thanksgiving sides are really the star of the show. Many traditional sides, such as mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, are easy to vegan-ize with a couple of simple swaps. Below are some great recipes that you may not have thought were in the realm of plant-based possibilities! 

  • Green Bean Casserole from Minimalist Baker- An absolute holiday classic, this dish is sure to be a favorite. It only takes 30 minutes to whip up, and has rave reviews. 
  • Gravy from Nora Cooks Vegan- Even without a turkey, you can never go wrong with gravy. Adding a drizzle of this to your vegetables or side dishes will undoubtedly take them up a notch. This recipe in particular has dozens of five star reviews, and is made with just six ingredients.
  • Mac & cheese from Detoxinista- Mac & cheese isn’t usually in my family’s Thanksgiving lineup, though I don’t think anyone would protest if I snuck this one in. The internet is a gold-mine of vegan mac & cheese recipes, and this one in particular has been hailed as one of the best. 
  • Dinner rolls from Minimalist Baker- I would be hard-pressed to name a more iconic duo that warm bread and butter. You can get creative by adding different herbs and spices to this simple recipe, or just keep it classic with your favorite vegan butter.
  • Vegetable Casserole from From My Bowl- This casserole is not only very customizable, but it takes advantage of the in-season fall produce currently on store shelves. Not to mention the beautiful colors which are sure to spice up the aesthetics of your plate! 

Dessert– These dessert recipes are the perfect end to a great meal (or start- no judgement here)! 

  • Sweet Potato Pie from Loving It Vegan- When it comes to pie, the options are truly endless. I feel that sweet potato pie is the underhyped relative of pumpkin pie, and has a lot to offer. You can even whip up a batch of homemade coconut whipped cream to go on top! 
  • Apple Crisp from Loving it Vegan- Before apple season wraps up, there is no better time to bake this delicious crisp. To take the dish to the next-level, serve it warm with a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream (personally- I believe So Delicious is the way to go).
  • Chocolate Cake from Nora Cooks Vegan- Okay, so maybe chocolate cake isn’t necessarily a holiday staple, but I just had to include this recipe. This recipe has amassed nearly 600 five star reviews, and is a personal favorite of mine. Once anyone tries a slice of this, they’ll be wondering why chocolate cake hadn’t made the Thanksgiving lineup sooner.

Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay

GreenHawks Media

GreenHawks Media is Miami University’s first environmental publication. Our goal is to unite green initiatives on campus and in the community. We hope to make a difference in a journalistic fashion by spreading news and information as well as educating our readers. We would like to present GreenHawks Media as a central place for groups and individuals to share their ideas, concerns, and initiatives. Individually and in small groups, efforts are made to make a difference and promote change. While one person may have a concern, another is researching it and needs assistance. While one initiative is being made in a science department, a similar idea is being discussed in a local business. GreenHawks Media provides the opportunity for shared visions to come together. We are journalists, writers, photographers, and scientists. We are students. We are motivated to use media to contribute to the change that our generation needs to make in order to protect and understand the planet we call home.

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