For many people, sharing Thanksgiving with family and friends over a home-cooked meal is the perfect way to reminisce over everything you have in your life. However, this Turkey-and-stuffing dominated holiday isn’t always vegetarian, not to mention, vegan friendly. Fear not, just because you enjoy an alternative lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any of the festivities.
In this article we will be sharing two showstopping vegan side dishes, this way, everyone, even the vegans at the table, can enjoy the festive food in harmony with friends and loved ones.
Vegan Zucchini Gratin
So many people get the sweats when they find out that one of their dinner guests is a vegan. And because of little knowledge of veganism, it is assumed that salad will be the only dish they can eat. And for most that’s fine, but there are ways and means to make any dish vegan-friendly and enjoyable.
Hereere is one such dish. It is simple, natural, flavorful, and gluten-free. This dish is also perfect for busy parents as it’s a great lunch for kids. It is also light enough to take to picnics or a cook-out for non-vegans. The fact is that vegan food can and should be served with all kinds of prepared meals in order to enjoy a healthier and balanced diet. Best of all, with this recipe, no one will even know it is vegan.
What makes this recipe stand out from others is the vegan parmesan cheese. If you’ve been missing cheese since deciding to become vegan, you’re in for a real treat with this vegan cheese. You are going to love this dish. It’s flavorful, light, and perfect for any winter dinner table, especially on Thanksgiving.
This recipe only requires10-ingredients. This gluten-free gratin is 100% vegan, and contains asparagus, zucchini and onion. So quick, delicious, and straightforward.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Freezer friendly: No
How long does it keep? 2-3 Days
For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
For the Gratin:
- 2 medium zucchini squash (sliced in thin rounds)
- 1 small bundle of asparagus
- 1/2 medium yellow or white onion (cut into thin rings)
- 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 3/4-1 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1. Prepare the vegan parmesan ‘cheese’ by mixing all the ingredients in a food processor until a fine powder is formed. If you over-process it, it will begin to get clumpy. Set aside until needed. This substitute vegan parmesan cheese can be kept in the fridge for about a month.
2. In a 10-inch cast-iron pan sauté the onion in 1/2 tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes, seasoning with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
4. Slice squash into skinny circular slices.
5. Cut off the top 2-3 inches of the asparagus. That’s the only part you’ll be using.
6. Add asparagus and squash to a mixing bowl and top with remaining two tbsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, a pinch of black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional), and two tbsp of the vegan parmesan cheese. Toss to coat the entire dish.
7. Create an even base with the cooled onions. Top with squash—work from the outside- in, keeping them in line as much as possible. Now tuck pieces of the asparagus into the layers in a circular motion.
8. Top with an even layer of the vegan parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Then broil on high for the last 1-2 minutes to toast up the top layer. Let rest for a few minutes before serving warm.
Vegan 7-Layer Salad
Here we go with a salad! Yes, we all know this one, but here we have a vegan version that is perfect on any Thanksgiving table. It is so good that everybody will ask for seconds! This will be the one dish everyone will ask you to bring as a side dish. A healthy modern twist on a super classic salad. Vegan 7-layer salad with crunchy coconut ‘bacon’, fresh vegetables, and vegan mayonnaise dressing!
This salad is the winner for all your cook-outs and picnics. Making it so quick and easy to save you when unexpected guests arrive or when cooking huge meals feels impossible. To prepare, it just takes twenty minutes of your day and you’ll have a light meal bursting with flavors that even the best restaurant salads cannot deliver. Here is what you need and how to go to work.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Freezer Friendly: No
How long does it keep? 3-4 Days
- One cup frozen peas
- One small head of green lettuce (rinsed, dried, and chopped)
- Three stalks of celery (thinly sliced)
- Three medium ripe tomatoes (chopped)
- Two large carrots (shredded or thinly sliced)
- Five stalks of green onions (thinly sliced)
- One cup coconut bacon (or eggplant bacon)
- One and a 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise
- One tablespoon lemon juice
- Two to three tablespoons of maple syrup
Add peas with a cup of water in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for about two to three minutes. Then drain off water.
In a serving dish, add all the veggies that are chopped.
Add lemon juice, vegan mayo, and some maple syrup to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk all together. Adjust flavor as needed.
Pour the dressing over the salad and smooth it evenly with a spoon.
You can refrigerate for a few hours or enjoy it immediately.
Here are two classic side-dishes perfect for a vegan. Hopefully, the stigma over the cooking of vegan food will soon be forgotten. Because as you can see, there are so many ways to vegan-ize a meal. But not just necessarily for vegans. Maybe you want to lose weight or just go on a meat sabbatical. Whatever your reason might be, you now have a few tricks up your sleeve to impress your family and friends.
Now go and explore as there are millions of vegan recipes out there and ones you can chop and change to your liking. The time is now to discover healthy cooking habits and to eat the best you can eat. Just be warned! You might never go back to your old way of preparing food for yourself or your family and friends again. Enjoy!