If you’re looking for a few extra Thanksgiving recipes to round out your holiday menu, we’ve got three vegan-friendly recipes from vegan Chef Bryant Terry, food activist and cookbook author, that will please your sustainable-seeking, meat-free guests.
Plan a sustainable Thanksgiving
Chef Bryant Terry, who recently spoke on mindful eating at this year’s Wanderlust, understands the importance of food during the holidays. But the sustainable chef, author of Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, also advocates for us to look locally and eat seasonally even if it means updating our Thanksgiving recipes and menu.
“Plan your Thanksgiving menu around local, seasonal and sustainable produce growing in your area and create new family traditions,” he says. “Make my homemade Apple-Cranberry Sauce using fresh cranberries and locally grown apples, and you can even make hard apple cider or my Cinnamon-Apple Jack Toddies from your bounty.”
The following Thanksgiving recipes are easy to add to your menu and incorporate ingredients you already have on hand.
This homemade cranberry sauce uses fresh cranberries, apples (local preferred) and tangerine juice. It’s so naturally sweet and yummy you could even eat it as dessert.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 1 cup peeled and diced sweet-tart apples such as Braeburn, Early Crisp or Gala
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (or fresh orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
- Pinch fine sea salt
- Pinch ground ginger
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until soft with some chunks remaining, stirring every two minutes.
- Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. Serve cool.
Roasted winter squash seeds
It’s kind of hard to write this recipe since you never know how many seeds a given squash will yield. I usually add enough oil to lightly coat the seeds, toss them with dried spices such as salt, black pepper, and paprika, and then roast them until golden brown. Use this recipe as a guide and adjust it to suit the amount of seeds you scrape from your squash.
- 1/2 cup winter squash seeds from squash or pumpkin used in your menu
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- After removing the seeds from the squash, rinse them with cold water and remove any squash remnants (although I leave that stuff on the seeds).
- Pat seeds dry with a clean towel or paper towel, and transfer to a small bowl.
- Add the olive oil and toss well until evenly coated. Next add the salt, paprika and pepper and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every five minutes, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool before serving.
Cinnamon-Apple Jack Toddy
This holiday cocktail is best served after an afternoon in the cold.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons Apple Jack (another brandy can be used in its place)
- 1 teaspoon fresh apple juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 Granny Smith apple slice, for garnishing
- Place the cinnamon stick at the bottom of a mug and add boiling water until the cup is a little over half full.
- Cover the mug with a plate and let sit for five minutes. Add the brandy, apple juice, lemon juice, and agave nectar and gently stir until well combined top off with more hot water.
- Add an apple slice to the mug and enjoy.