I was blown away by the dinner my daughter June made for our family this Thanksgiving! Believe it or not, she is 11 years old. That's right folks, making an amazing vegan holiday dinner is so easy, a child can do it. Well, that's not entirely fair, she happens to love cooking and I have cooked so many Thanksgiving dinners in the past that I can guide her when she needs it. In all fairness though, she really didn't ask for much help.
She has recently declared that Thanksgiving is one of her favorite holidays. This is so wonderful for me because I had struggled for many, many years to attempt to enjoy Thanksgiving. Like many others during the holiday season when you grew up in a chaotic or unhappy home as a child there are often more bad memories than good. It's taken me quite a long time to not be put off by it even though we have celebrated it much differently for so many years now. This year, my heart completely changed.
The wonderful thing about cooking vegan for the holidays is that it's not overwhelming and you don't have a carcass in your oven. June did about 70% of the the meal. I added a few dishes that I knew I would eat for the next couple of days. Here's what we served:
Yams and Marshmallows
Yams without Marshmallows
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
Cranberries with Orange Sauce
Raw Mushroom Loaf
Raw Pumpkin Chocolate Pudding
Preparing for the meal was easy. I went to the market on Tuesday to buy everything I needed. Tuesday night I marinated the mushrooms for the Full Helping's Raw Nut Loaf. June made the pie crust for the Pie from Chloe's Vegan Desserts.
The following day June made the pie and I assembled the ingredients for the Raw Nut Loaf and put it into the dehydrator. I also had June put all the dry ingredients for the seitan from the Veg News December Issue. We were all prepared and my husband and I went out to the city for a date night. I took the raw loaf out of the dehydrator when we returned late that evening.
Thanksgiving morning June made the dough for the seitan and we steamed it for an hour. Meanwhile I cut the brussels sprouts and garlic and set it aside. I then practiced yoga for about an hour. After I got dressed we began cooking the rest of the meal.
We used the pressure cooker to quick the yams in advance. About an hour before we planned on eating we put the potatoes in the pressure cooker. After they were finished cooking, I mashed the potatoes in the pressure cooker and added some soy milk and earth balance butter. I kept them in the pressure cooker on the warming setting until we were ready to serve the meal.
Everything went very smoothly except for one hiccup. We forgot to thaw the puff pastry for the 'Turkey' Wellington. Thankfully it comes with 2 pastries and we only needed one. I decided to try to thaw the pastry in the dehydrator at 105° to see if it work. It did! It took about 10 minutes and we were barely delayed.
Dinner was served at 5:45pm. Everyone loved the "Turkey" Wellington. I think this may become a tradition for years to come.