Greenbird’s Blog

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A Vegan Thanksgiving Feast November 12, 2013


My daughter, Janessa Philemon-Kerp, just recently returned from traveling the world for several months and is home for a visit now. Since she won’t be here for Thanksgiving, We decided to celebrate the holiday early. In honor of my fiftieth  post, we wrote matching blogs about it! We both LOVE cooking and baking and when we get together, the flour starts flying! Another quality we share is that while we like to have a recipe as a starting point, we tend to view it as more of a suggestion than actual instructions.

Our menu for our “Fakesgiving”, as my younger son named it is as follows:

  • Thanksgiving Casserole Topped with French Onions

  • Mashed Potatoes, Parsnips, and Broccoli

  • Gravy

  • Homemade Yeast Bread

  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Parsnip Curls

  • Mimosas

  • Pumpkin Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

We found a recipe for a Thanksgiving casserole which we modified. We added kale, garlic, red onions, mushrooms, lentils, and a mix of grains to what was essentially a recipe for stuffing. After sauteing the veggies, we added the bread crumbs, spices (I suggest oregano, thyme, rosemary, lots of sage, black pepper, and a dash of cayenne.) and a bit of veggie broth. Then we put this mix in an oiled casserole dish, with the French onions sprinkled on top and baked it at 400 for 30 minutes. It was delicious.

Mashed potatoes have always been a major hit with me. I recently started adding broccoli stems to them. It adds a subtle favor and nutrients, while not affecting the color. (I’m not sure I could eat green mashed potatoes, unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day.) Janessa and I added the broccoli stems and a parsnip, and the flavor was very good.

I had a favorite bread recipe for many years, but it recently disappeared. My daughter remembered seeing a recipe for bread by Grant Butler and looked it up for me. I modified it somewhat. It came out pretty yummy. Here’s my modified recipe:

  • 2 packages baking yeast

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ½ cup lukewarm water (It is very important to get the temperature right.)

  • 3 cups flour. You can use a mix of flours.

  • ½ cup oats

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Pour the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and the sugar and stir just enough to mix.  Dump in the flour and oats all at once and stir until just mixed. Cover with cloth and put in warm spot until doubled in size—about 2 hours. Place bread dough onto floured surface and flour your hands well. Knead lightly. The recipe say that you do not have to knead the dough, but I like to, so I do it anyway. Skip that step if you don’t. Shape into loaf and put into oiled bread pan. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until browned on top, and it sounds hollow when you thump it. Remove from oven, and take out of pan and place on rack. Let cool. It’s hard to wait because it smells so good, but it will slice better.


For desert, my daughter created a recipe that is so good that I have requested it for every holiday from now on. But, I’ll let her tell you about it.

Janessa: “Note: this isn’t a real honest-to-goodness candy thermometer-type caramel, hence why I call it cheater caramel sauce. I don’t have the patience for that. It’s something I threw together that turned out really nice, so if you’re lazy or impatient like me, this sauce is for you.”

Cheater Salted Caramel Bourbon Sauce:

serves 2-4

  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I’m a vanilla enthusiast; you may want to stick with 1 tsp if you’re a normal person)

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (I used Jameson’s, but Jim Beam Maple would be THE MOST IDEAL EVER)

  • pinch sea salt

Melt vegan butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Add salt and bourbon, stir. When the mixture starts bubbling, add the almond milk and keep stirring to prevent sticking. Let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, adding vanilla extract about half way through. Remove from heat.

Drink immediately. Ahem. I mean, pour on top of pumpkin pudding or dessert of your choice.


It was a wonderful meal and celebration, and I’m glad that we have lots of leftovers!



2 Responses to “A Vegan Thanksgiving Feast”

  1. Oh how FUN! Everything looks lovely – and YUMMY and while I love the name, it’s definitely not “fake” at all. Real, honest-to-goodness, Thanksgiving dinner, just a few weeks early. Who says we only have to have ONE Thanksgiving dinner!?

  2. Looks delish! I’m so glad you two lovely ladies are having such fun together! Much Love to you both!!

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