With a major influx of plant-based living into the mainstream culture over the past few years, it's not unlikely you'll have a veggie lover at the table this year. Who let this tree hugger in here?

Don't panic, my name is J.B. and I am a vegan, here to help you know what your environmentally-friendly loved one's looking for this Thanksgiving.

Your plant-based loved one doesn't care about a turkey alternative, so don't even worry about that. They are there for the side dishes, so let me introduce some of my favorite vegan alternatives to classic holiday favorites.

 

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups fried onions

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400˚F

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch green beans for about 4 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Drain.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk in flour until a roux has formed. Slowly add broth, whisking into the roux until smooth. Add almond milk and continue to whisk. Add onion powder, salt and pepper.  Bring sauce to a simmer and allow it to thicken, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Stir in green beans and 1/2 cup onions until evenly coated in sauce. Top casserole with remaining onions and bake for 15 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and onions have browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe by simplywhisked

 

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 3 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 2 tbsp your choice: almond butter, tahini, oil, buttery spread, or omit for fat-free version
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
  • optional pinch nutmeg
  • 2-3 cups vegan marshmallows (The brand is Dandies. They are sold at Sprouts and Trader Joes)

Instructions

To save time, you can bake the sweet potatoes the night before.

Preheat oven to 350 F

  • Line a large pan with parchment.
  • Make cuts with a knife into each sweet potato 8-10 times, going about a third of the way down with each cut.
  • Place potatoes on the pan, and place on the oven center rack. Only now, turn the oven to 480 F. Bake 30 minutes, then turn and continue to bake (10-40 more minutes, depending on size) until you can see some of the natural sugars spreading onto the paper, which means they are nice and caramelized.
  • Measure a packed 3 1/2 cups of the sweet potato (skin removed) into a large bowl.
  • Mash with remaining ingredients except marshmallows.
  • Grease an 8×8 pan, and spread the potato filling into the pan. Top with marshmallows.
  •  Bake 20 minutes, or until filling is hot and marshmallows have browned.
  • Serve hot. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated 3-4 days.

Recipe by chocolatecovderedkatie

 

PEPPERMINT BARK

Ingredients

  •  4, 3 oz. dairy-free chocolate bars (Bakers dark chocolate works well)- roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut or vegetable)
    1 teaspoon peppermint extract (you can sub out vanilla if not going the peppermint route)
  • 1 cup of chopped crushed peppermint (mints or candy canes work)

Instructions

  • Roughly chop the chocolate.
  • Place a pot of about 1 cup of water and place a bowl over the top –once the water is boiling.  Turn the heat to low.  Add the chocolate and start stirring. The chocolate will melt slowly.
  • Once melted, add your oil and then extract.  Turn the heat off and keep stirring
  • Place a Silpat baking liner on a cookie sheet (or put coconut oil on foil) and pour the chocolate out in the center of the baking sheet.
  • Using a spoon – spread the chocolate out to about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Then top with your crushed peppermint pieces.

Recipe by J.B.