I ran into Debbie Miller of Art of Compassion at an art opening. She isn’t the first person to ask for vegan representation on DCFUD, but she was willing to provide some…in the form of some upcoming events and this pie recipe. Thanks for the article Debbie.
Thanksgiving. For a vegan looking for a delicious, cruelty- free way to celebrate Thanksgiving, the internet is an invaluable too. Thank goodness for Google searches and Yahoo searches and any searches really. Type in Vegan Thanksgiving and up pops 12 million plus hits.
For those in DC who wish to celebrate with like-minded folks, here are two such celebrations that come to mind. Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary will host its annual Thanksgiving with the Turkeys potluck this Saturday, 11/21 from noon to 4:00. Of course the animals eat first, and the amazing food brought by DC area vegans will knock your (cotton) socks off.
The Vegetarian Society of DC will host its annual Thanksgiving feast in Bethesda (almost DC…) on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 5:00. (You must arrive no later than 1:00.)
For those who prefer a more homespun, “traditional” Thanksgiving feast, there are plenty of healthful, cruelty-free ways to celebrate. Truth be told, most regular Thanksgiving sides – yams, squash, roasted veggies, various casseroles, stuffing, etc – are pretty delicious and are already vegan or easy to veganize by subbing Earth Balance for butter, soy creamer for heavy cream, and Ener-G egg replacer or whizzed-up tofu for eggs.
Really, it’s so unnecessary to kill the bird to get wonderful food on Thanksgiving. But, if you really feel as though Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete with out a “centerpiece” food dish, there are a ton of easy and delicious turkey and meat alternatives. Tofurkey (don’t laugh…), Field Roast, tempeh, seitan, Portobello mushroom anything, are all easily available. Again, the internet is a great recourse for shopping tips and recipes. Of course you might not get the tryptophan-induced drowsiness, but heck, that’s what wine is for.
To me Thanksgiving dessert means pie! Really, it’s my favorite part of the meal. Below are recipes for a pumpkin custard pie, courtesy of www.cancerproject.org, and an apple crunch-top pie which I have been making for 25+ years. Most store-bought pie crusts are vegan. (Actually, a lot prepared stuff you already eat is vegan, you just might not be looking as closely at the label as I do.)
Pumpkin Custard Pie
In this recipe, cornstarch replaces eggs as a thickener.
1-1/2 cups soymilk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup raw sugar or other sweetener
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Fat-free pie crust: (Honestly, you can make your own regular pie crust, purchase a frozen store-bought crust, or make this crust-less in a 9 X 12 Pyrex baking dish – it’s all good!)
(makes one 9” crust)
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Mix the Grape Nuts and apple juice concentrate. Pat into a 9” pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool before filling.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the soymilk and cornstarch until smooth, then blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into pie shell (recipe follows) and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm. Cool before cutting. Serve with vegan whipped cream or soy ice cream.
Nutrition information per slice: 203 calories, 3.6 g protein, 47 g. carbohydrate, 0.6 g fat, 3% of calories from fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 347 mg sodium.
Apple Crunch-top Pie
About 6 large tart apples (I like Granny Smith)
1 Unbaked frozen pie crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (don’t crunch up too fine, some larger pieces are good)
1 cup sugar or succanat
½ cup flour
½ chopped pecans
¼ to ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ to 1 whole stick of Earth Balance butter spread (use less if you’re worried about fat/calories)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Take one pie crust out of freezer and place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. This is a messy pie, and this step will spare your oven.
Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/8, then cut each 1/8 into 1/3 or ¼. Put the apples in the pie crust until they create a nice mound above the rim of the crust.
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar (or succanat), flour, pecans and cinnamon in a bowl. Using your hands, add on top of the apple mound and pat down.
Melt the Earth balance and slowly drizzle on top of the pie.
Bake at for 1 hour.
Serve as is or with vegan whipped cream or soy ice cream.
I have no idea what the nutritional information is, but I know this is one damn good pie. Note: The topping is great for those times you have fruit about to go bad. Put in a baking dish or pie crust. Add the topping. Bake. Yum!
Go online (wait… you already are online if you’re reading this) and type into your search engine your favorite Thanksgiving food with the word “vegan” in front of it. Chances are you will find a really wonderful, easy to prepare vegan recipe to take to your family gathering. Here’s the really fun part, don’t tell anyone it’s vegan. I bet even your rotund, carnivorous uncle Harold with the napkin stuffed in his collar won’t even know the difference.
Whether you’re concerned with animal welfare, your health, the planet, are trying to cut costs, or you just want to try something new, treat yourself this Thanksgiving to a meal free from animal products. You’ll be thankful for the good karma points you get.