Let's start with a few affordable appetizers. Veg*ns can substitute vegetable or veggie "chicken" broth in the mushrooms, veggie dogs in the cheesy dogs, Worcestershire made without anchovies (there are a few brands, or you could make your own) and Vegan cheese/cream cheese (if Vegan) in the cheese ball.
And now on to the main dish. For non-Veg*ns, this is easy....turkey (here are some coupons for Butterball). But for those who don't eat meat? Well, you could buy a Tofurky, a Gardein Holiday Roast, a Field Roast Celebration Roast, a Quorn Turk'y Roast (if you can find one...availability varies wildly), or even (if you're not strapped for cash) a Vegan Whole Turkey! All but the whole "turkey" can be found in select stores (check the product locators at Tofurky, Gardein, and Field Roast [Quorn doesn't have a product locator] to see if you can get one locally).
But what if you don't WANT to spend anywhere from $10 to $50 (or more!) on a "turkey"? Well, here's a recipe for the Unturkey! The Unturkey had been incredibly popular until it was discontinued in 2006. I believe the company closed down, it WAS a small company. Another option is this seitan "turkey" which is described as being similar to Tofurky. For those who're gluten sensitive, here's a tofu "turkey" (when I made this in the past, I seasoned the tofu with vegetarian "chicken" broth powder and nutritional yeast in addition to the herbs).
Now, on to the sides! Most people I know think of potatoes right away. REAL mashed potatoes can't be beat. But for those pressed for time, there's always potato flakes. And if you're absolutely the DIY type, you could try these homemade mashed potato granules. Of course, you'll need gravy. Here's a Wild Mushroom Gravy. If you want a turkey-esque gravy, try using a broth of 2 parts "chicken" broth powder and 1 part "beef" broth powder, with a bit of nutritional yeast and some poultry seasoning. Add a tiny bit of oil for a rich mouth-feel.
While for some, Thanksgiving means mashed potatoes. For others, it's cheesy potatoes! And while Vegans could use Vegan cheese, sour cream, etc, that would be expensive. So here's a recipe of Vegan cheesy potatoes. You can't make cheesy potatoes without cubed hashbrowns. But did you know you could make your own? Here's how.
Another must-have for Thanksgiving is stuffing. Here's a Stovetop copycat (Veg*ns, simply replace the chicken bouillon with a Veg-friendly broth powder). For years, I always kept a batch of this on hand just in case. I've slacked a bit lately, what can I say? :-S
Another classic? The green bean casserole (did I really even need to give a recipe? lol). You'll need condensed cream of mushroom soup. You could buy it, usually it's on sale around this time of year. Or you could try the cream soup powder I shared before. Or make a Campbells copycat. And if you're Vegan, there's even a recipe for Vegan cream of mushroom! Of course, some people (myself included) will often use a condensed cheese soup, so here's a recipe for homemade. Probably the most expensive part of the recipe can be made quite easily...fried onions. And though it's a little too late for this year, you CAN can your own homegrown beans with a pressure canner.
You COULD open a can of cream-style corn. Or just make your own.
Some people will make squash or sweet potato casserole, topped with marshmallows. Now for those who don't eat gelatin, you can either buy Vegan marshmallows (expensively) at a natural foods store, or make your own.
Yet another Thanksgiving staple is cranberry sauce (for some unholy reason, lol). Here's how you can make whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce.
To go with all this food, you'll need rolls of some type. Here's a recipe for homemade crescents. And here's how to make homemade Brown & Serve rolls (I used to always make a bunch of cloverleaf and fantail to keep in my freezer).
And now, for dessert. Though people will serve anything from pecan to cherry, the main pie of Thanksgiving is pumpkin. Here's a tutorial on how to turn an actual pie pumpkin into a pumpkin pie. Now why would you do that instead of buying a can of the puree? Well, let's start with the fact that canned pumpkin isn't always pumpkin. Add to that the richer flavour from the fresh pumpkin.... Do I make my pies this way every year? No. Have I done so before? Absolutely! And you can taste the difference. Vegans don't have to miss out with this Vegan pumpkin pie recipe.
Another pie that many seem to love around this time of year is sweet potato pie. I've seen some in the store bakery, and mini boxed pies on displays at the aisle ends. But you can make your own affordably.
Some things you'll need for these pies: Pie crust, evaporated milk, and whipped topping.
One more thing: Several times throughout this post, I've mentioned broth powders. Rather than re-post an entire paragraph (links and all), I'm just going to ask you to visit my Homemade Cooking Basics post and scroll to the bottom.
See? I told you I had something special planned! lol. Until next time....