What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes to have at this time of year? Maybe you’ll have Turkey and Gravy, dressing and cranberry sauce, cheesy mac n’ cheese, collard greens and cornbread. But wait! What about your Vegan or plant-based cousin, nephew, or grandchild!
It is likely that your relative is accustomed to coming to the family function and not being able to eat anything to choose from besides salad (which usually has chicken in it), or the drinks. However, it is 2022 and I am here to tell you that it is time to accommodate the one’s you love regardless of their dietary choices or restrictions.
You may be wondering where to start, and I know this task can feel confusing and daunting, however it doesn’t have to be as hard as we often think it is. Even preparing one or two vegan dishes that can be enjoyed by everyone, would be very meaningful to your relative.
I like to use ingredients that mimic traditional ingredients. Here are just a few alternative ingredients to make easy substitutions:
Substitute Milk for Almond, Oat, Pea, cashew milk.
Canned coconut milk can be a wonderful creamy substitute for heavy creams.
Substitute cream cheese for almond or cashew cream cheese.
Utilize mushrooms (oyster mushrooms are my favorite) as meat alternative in collard greens and other dishes
Below I am offering my recipe for Yummy Vegan Collard Greens.
In this recipe (and many of my recipes) I use Oyster Mushrooms to mimic the bacon or smoked turkey wings/necks that usually go into Collard Greens. Oyster Mushrooms are mild in flavor but provide a delicious and meaty texture. You can also use smoked paprika or liquid smoke to create a smoky taste.
• Yellow or White Onion
• About 3 cloves of garlic
• 4-6 bunches of collards
• 2-3 chopped cups of Oyster Mushrooms (copped into medium pieces, not too small!)
• Oil for sauteing
• Garlic Powder
• Smoked Paprika
• (Cajun spice-optional)
• Red Pepper
• Vegan Better than Bouillon. Or Veggie Broth
• About 2 Tbs Distilled Vinegar
o Or if you like a little sweetness to your greens add a dash of honey or agave
You will cook these greens just like you would any other greens, just minus the smoked turkey or neck bones.
• Start by sautéing your chopped onion and garlic in oil
• Add in the oyster mushrooms and sauté until softened (about 4 min)
• Add in your spices and lightly sauté
• Add in a little more oil and your chopped collard greens and slightly sauté
• Add your Better than Bouillon and water to fill the pot
• Add in your vinegar
• Stir and occasionally, and add more seasonings as needed
• Cook until tender!
Enjoy! And don’t forget to share!
[Ife is a Pasadena Native, currently working as a mental health therapist providing therapy to individuals, ages 17-elder adults. She works from a holistic perspective and is passionate about supporting people with their health through food, nutrition, and sound healing.]