Countdown to Your Best Vegan Thanksgiving
Five Dishes Everyone at Your Table Will Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to be vegan. Though I am thankful every day that I chose many years ago to live more compassionately, it is during this season that I celebrate my favorite tastes and textures…and share them with you.

The mouthwatering menu I have selected for you features two entrée-like dishes, both meals in themselves because of the balance of ingredients: greens, grains, veggies and more.  So delightfully pretty, filling, and creamy are these dishes that the only side dish I recommend is a fresh bright salad that sounds some special autumnal notes in the form of dried fruits and smoked nuts.  All that remains to round out this bountiful fall feast is my late mother’s Double Cornfingers which I recommend serving in place of stuffing.  For dessert, I offer a recipe I developed for Tofutti a few years back that is a perennial favorite.  These pumpkin cheesecake bars with their streusel topping are super quick and easy but doesn’t look like it, especially when sliced and served on frilly paper doilies.

Each item listed in the menu below is linked to its recipe, and following the menu are captioned photos that will help you envision how your beautiful table will look as everyone gathers around with gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude, I am so grateful for all of you who make my platter bloom throughout the year.  With nurturing wishes to you and yours during this holiday season and always.

~Betsy DiJulio

Blooming Platter Vegan Thanksgiving Menu 2017

Butternut Squash Lasagna (with Smokey Marinara Sauce and Kale Pesto)
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Sallie’s Double Corn Fingers
3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
Vegan Butternut Squash Lasagna
Vegan Acorn Squash Stuffed with Creamy Rice and Greens Stovetop Casserole
Vegan Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Marinated Figs and Dates Topped with Smoked Almonds
Vegan Double Corn Fingers
Vegan 3-Layer Oatmeal Pumpkin Streusel Bars
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Meat Didn’t Make the Cut at Obama’s First State Dinner

Okay, so it wasn’t a vegan menu, but it was vegetarian. When the Obamas hosted their first official state dinner last night for the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, health and vegetarian fare was gloriously forefront in their minds and on their plates.

Roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney and smoked collard greens sounded particularly tantilizing. Check it all out here:

Photo Credit: I found the accompanying photo on The Huffington Post, but there was no photo credit listed.
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Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

When I realized that Julia Child’s August 15th birthday (it would have been her 97th!) was going to fall on a weekend when my beloved cousin Earl Weed from Houston was visiting, there was only one thing to do: throw a party! Since I knew that he and I would be out hiking and such during the day–and since our friends are gifted cooks–I decided to make it a quasi-French potluck. And I’m so glad I did.

Everyone’s contributions were just perfect: mouth-wateringly gorgeous, nutritious, plentiful, and lovingly prepared. Obvious care and attention was lavished on every detail, including the beautiful serving pieces and presentations right down to the totes and trays used to carry the dishes into the house. (Though my husband’s contribution doesn’t fit that description, his willingness to vacuum floors and rugs–after his afternoon cigar on the deck but before guests arrived–was appreciated just as much.)

I was the only vegan in the crowd, but everyone brought vegan food except Scott who, thankfully and generously, kept the meat-eaters well satisfied. Served buffet style (to keep the food mostly out of reach of our dogs!), the menu consisted of:

  • A mound of Black Olive Tapenade on ruby red slabs of fresh juicy tomatoes with slices of whole wheat baguette, warmed lightly in the oven (Sharon and Mike Tanner)
  • Vegan Chicken Liver Pate with Sauteed Red Pears served with bagel chips (me)
  • Julia’s perfectly crisp and refreshing Chilled Cucumber Salad (Jonell Walthall)
  • Julia’s lovely and savory Ratatouille (Becky Bump and Reese Lusk)
  • Julia’s Veganized Pissaladiere Nicoise [caramelized onion and black olive tart–thank you, Earl, for pitting those olives] (me)
  • Julia’s Roasted Jerk Pork En Brochette (Scott Walthall–he even roasted the herbs himself!)
  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse (me–even Julia wouldn’t miss the heavy cream!)
  • Red and white French wines and good ‘ole red, white and blue American stories and laughter
Until next year, thank you, Julia, for inspiring generations of cooks past, present and future. And thanks to you Joe, Earl, and our dear friends for continuing to inspire me at table and beyond.

Bon Appetite!

Pictured from left: Scott, my husband Joe, Sharon, Mike, Reese, Becky, Earl and Jonell. Not shown: three drooling dogs. (Light conditions were not optimal for photographing the food–plus everyone was too hungry to wait–but stay tuned for post-party recipes and photos.)

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