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Happy turkeys - Thanksgiving entree recipes

The latest potluck put on by the local vegan meetup group in Boulder was the well-named "Thanks-for-living" meetup.  Members shared vegan Thanksgiving food that was more plentiful than any simple family holiday feast could have been. Meetup members are also a family; we are connected through our food and our compassion. We can eat without worry about which parts of the meal we can eat, as opposed to sifting through the majority of the meal as we do with our non-vegan relatives. In this community setting, we are the majority. We shared recipes for our favorite Thanksgiving food, vegan style, told stories and got to know each other while filling our stomachs with delightful food!

Below are some of the recipes shared at the meetup for entrees to replace a real bird.  Articles showcasing sides and desserts coming on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, respectively.
Enjoy and make sure to give thanks to these vegan chefs for their great ideas!

Tofurkey in Puff Pastry
Provided by Dawn Jones

1 package store bought puff pastry sheets, thawed (check pkg for eggs, butter)
2 packages of Tofurkey slices (choose your favorite flavor)
4 cups prepared stuffing
1 cup Brown Gravy

Stuffing:
1/2 package of store bought dry Herbed Stuffing croûton. Check ingredients to ensure they are vegan!
2 Tbs Earth balance ( or your favorite vegan margarine)
1 small onion, diced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries (optional)

Melt margarine in a pan. Add onions. Allow onions to cook until translucent. Add celery. Allow to cook for 4 minutes. Add dry stuffing and slowly add broth. Stir until mixed well. Add more or less broth. Croûtons should be moist, but not saturated. Add cranberries. Cover pan and allow to stove cook on Low heat for 10 minutes.

Brown Gravy: (this recipe makes enough to have some in a gravy boat on the table)
2 1/2 Cups Water or Vegetable Broth
1/3 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
2 Tlbs Bragg Liquid Amino's
1/2 tea salt or to taste
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in small pot. Add wet ingredients. Stir until thickens.

Assemble:
Brush cookie sheet w/ Olive Oil. Form stuffing in middle of cookie sheet into an oval mound. Remove Tofurkey slices from packages and layer the slices over your stuffing mound. Brush Tofurkey slices w/ gravy between layers. Cover all w/ puff pastry. Tuck around sides, but the bottom of your pastry will be open to the cookie sheet w/ the stuffing in the center. Cut shapes w/ remaining puff pastry (leaves, hearts, peace symbol) and stick to puff pastry using water. Use shapes to cover any seams you may have in your puff pastry. Brush entire puff pastry w/ olive oil.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown.
Serves approximately 5 hungry people. Adjust quantities to make a bigger or smaller pastry.

Thanksgiving Stuffing and Mushroom Gravy
provided by Holly Stevenson

1 onion
1 bell pepper
3 stalks celery
2 tbsp canola oil
4 cups dried cubed bread pieces
Spices (add to taste): Dried parsley, basil, tarragon, salt, pepper,
paprika, nutmeg
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup walnuts, broken into small pieces

Sauté onions, bell pepper, and celery in canola oil until tender.
Combine in large glass container with bread. Mix in walnuts and
spices. Pour the vegetable broth over and toss to coat. Cook covered
for 45 minutes at 350 F.

Mushroom Gravy

8 oz mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1.5 tablespoons oil
½ cup white flour
2 tbsp oil
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup nondairy milk
2 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ tsp pepper

Sauté mushrooms and onion in oil. In a separate pan, combine flour in
2 tbsp oil and whisk over medium heat for one minute. Whisk in the
milk, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and pepper. Heat and stir until it
thickens. Mix in mushrooms and onion.

Baked Pumpkin with Mixed Rice Pilaf
provided by Ted Struzeski

The baked pumpkin makes a beautiful presentation and rounds out this hearty meal.
1 5- to 6-lb pumpkin or several small winter squash
3 3/4 Cups water
1 Cup brown rice
1/2 Cup wild rice
2 Tbsp. vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
3/4 Cup chopped onion
2 small tart apples, cored and diced
1/2 Cup chopped, toasted pecans
Dash nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (or more to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
3 Tbsp. apple cider
1/4 Cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut off the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers and discard, or save the seed for toasting. Place the pumpkin, with the top next to it, on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven until the inside of the pumpkin is tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and keep warm, covering the top of the pumpkin with foil to prevent the flesh from drying out.

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the brown and wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until most of the water has been absorbed, about 50 minutes.

Turn of the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Heat the vegan margarine in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Add the apples, pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the apple cider and sauté for 5 more minutes. Then add the golden raisins and wild rice and sauté for and additional 5 minutes.

Spoon the wild rice pilaf into the pumpkin and cover the baked top. When serving, scoop out the pumpkin flesh along with the pilaf.
Makes 6 servings

Green Bean Casserole Smothered by Sweet Potatoes
by Kylah Rail, adapted from vegweb.com

You will need...
*Green beans! -As many as fits your basic casserole dish. Vague, yes...and no. I prefer fresh beans, and fill the little produce bag just over half way full.
*Soy milk -1.5 cups
*Vegetable bullion -1.5 cubes
*One medium sized yellow onion
*As many mushrooms as you like, I use crimini
*Two medium to large sized sweet potatoes
*A dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
*Earth balance -half a cup
*Vegetable oil for sauteing of mushrooms and onions
*French Fried onions -1.5 tubs (Whole Foods carries the best)
*An electric hand mixer...unless you like to mash potatoes with the sheer power of your own physical force!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Chop sweet potatoes into medium sized cubes and boil until soft enough to mash. Chop up mushrooms and onions, and get them sauteing.
Prepare green beans, cutting off the tips and chopping in half.
In a small saucepan, heat soy-milk and bullion cubes until milk is bubbling some and cubes have disintegrated into the milk.
While milk heats up, steam green beans until semi- soft, though still bright green.
In a good sized mixing bowl, place your steaming hot boiled potatoes, the half cup of earth balance, and dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and get those potatoes a mashin'!
Once mushrooms and onions are sauteed, pour the heated bullion milk into the pan and mix together well.
Place steamed green beans in casserole dish, pour mushroom/onion/milk mix over the top and stir until all beans are coated. Scoop enough mashed sweet potatoes on top for a nice medium thick layer, spread.
Bake for thirty minutes. Add french fried onions and bake for another ten minutes, or until onions are a light golden brown.

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