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Thanksgiving “Side” Dishes

As a vegan, I usually don’t think of vegetables in terms of “side” dishes — they’re DINNER!  Whatever you want to call them, nothing says Thanksgiving like a table filled with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce.  In yesterday’s post, I shared the link to my deconstructed green bean casserole, as well as the link to my vegan.com menu where you can find recipes for various sides.

Personally, I love to serve a bowl of assorted roasted vegetables on Thanksgiving.  The variety of autumn colors and sheer bounty of beautiful vegetables is visually stunning — and it tastes great, too!

For a fun presentation, you can serve roasted vegetables in a large squash like I did one year (see above photo).  I usually roast vegetables with just a little olive oil and salt and pepper to let their natural flavor come through. You can, of course, add your favorite herbs or serve them with a sauce like I did with these Roasted Vegetables with Lemon-Cannelini Sauce:

If you’re going to be short on oven space, consider making some of your sides in a slow cooker.  Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker has recipes for lots of great side dishes such as Braised Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts, Creamy Creamed Corn, Green Bean Casserole Revisited, Granny Apple Sweet Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, and these Maple Glazed Root Vegetables (photo by Sabrina Butkera):

I especially like to make mashed potatoes in the slow cooker because it eliminates the last minute stovetop boiling and mashing.  Plus, the potatoes keep well on the “Keep Warm” setting while you get the rest of dinner on the table. (Hint: the slow cooker works great for stuffing too — it keeps it nice and moist.) This is the Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives (photo by Vegan Aide) from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker:

Here’s the recipe:

Garlic-Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

Mashed potatoes are easy to make in the slow cooker, and convenient too, since you can cook and serve them in the same container. They also hold well on the Keep Warm setting if they finish cooking before the rest of the meal. The addition of sour cream and chives adds an extra flavor boost, but you can omit them (as well as the garlic) for more basic mashers. This recipe is from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson © 2012.

Slow Cooker Size: 4- to 5-quart
Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours on High

3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
2 cups water or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegan butter, plus more if needed (optional)
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or 1 tablespoon dried
1/4 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk, heated (optional)

1. Combine the garlic and potatoes in the slow cooker. Add enough of the water or broth to just cover the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. (If using water, you’ll need to add about 1 teaspoon of salt.) Cover and cook on High until the potatoes are soft, 3 to 4 hours.
2. Carefully remove the insert of the slow cooker and drain the potatoes, then return the potatoes to the slow cooker. Add the vegan butter, if using, and the sour cream and mash the potatoes right in the slow cooker. Stir in the chives, then taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Add more vegan butter, sour cream, or a little warm nondairy milk, if needed for desired consistency. Serve hot.
Serves 4


Don’t forget to tune in tonight for the VegNews Twitter Chat where I will be answering your Thanksgiving questions (I’m (@GlobalVegan) on Twitter.) Also on the panel will be Allyson Kramer (@manifestvegan), Hannah Kaminsky (@BitterSweet), Nava Atlas (@navaatlas2), and Ayinde Howell (@AYINDE).

AND….there’s still time to enter the Party Vegan Giveaway by leaving a comment at the end of Monday’s post.



{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Karen November 15, 2012, 10:42 am

    Yay! More pretty, pretty food pictures! X )

  • Dean B November 26, 2012, 1:48 am

    Gorgeous veg bowl!
    Very beautiful ideas for Thanksgiving.
    (I’m too late to find it here in this year.)

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