A vegan Thanksgiving

While a vegan Thanksgiving may lack a turkey, it makes up for it in creativity and flavor.

A turkey has been the centerpiece on millions of American’s tables every Thanksgiving Day. A side of stuffing, a warm roll and a slice of pumpkin pie often accompany the prize-winning bird. It might be hard to imagine a Thanksgiving feast without these delectable items, but for a vegan, a Thanksgiving menu is anything but traditional.

Kathy Hopkins, student, has been a vegan for six months and said she is nervous for this upcoming holiday season.

“I am afraid I won’t be able to find enough recipes,” Hopkins said. “Since I’m still kind of new to this whole vegan thing, I don’t have many recipes compiled yet.”

There are several levels of veganism differing in strictness, but on average, a vegan abstains from all animal products, including meat, fish, dairy products (including eggs) and sometimes honey. These restrictions require creativity and planning, especially around the holiday season, because our society consumes so much meat and dairy.

“I’ve been going on the Internet almost every day looking for recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Hopkins said as she finished writing her grocery shopping list.

A vegan diet has become more popular over the last decade, and there are countless online blogs dedicated to living a vegan lifestyle. Pinterest offers a variety of vegan recipes including a vegan Thanksgiving burger made from a sweet potato, hummus, cranberry sauce and maple syrup.

According to Hopkins, she plans on “cooking up a storm” come Thanksgiving Day.

“Even though I’m nervous, I’m going to be trying as many new recipes as I can,” Hopkins said.

Instead of roasting a turkey, Hopkins is going to make a “harvest veggie rustic tofu potpie.” Inside of an eggless and dairy-free crust, Hopkins will fill her pot pie with butternut squash, celery, sweet potato and tofu.

Instead of a traditional stuffing, which often includes meat, butter and chicken broth, Hopkins is trying a walnut-apple stuffing, made with whole grain bread, apples, walnuts, olive oil and a slue of spices and herbs.

For sides, she is making cider-braised Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes made with a splash of almond milk and mushroom gravy that uses cornstarch, vegetable broth and mushrooms in place of butter and cream.

“The thing I’m most excited for is dessert,” Hopkins said. She hopes her double-layer pumpkin cheesecake will impress her family.

Instead of using cream cheese, Hopkins will use tofu mixed with cornstarch, pumpkin puree and nutmeg.

“I hope it tastes just like a regular cheese cake,” Hopkins said. “But if it doesn’t turn out, I’m making a cranberry upside-down cake made with soy milk, just in case.”

Melissa Lindsey is a senior at Utah Valley University studying communication with an emphasis in journalism. Contact her at [email protected]

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