How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year? A vegan meal with great, sustainable wine pairing is at the top of the list for the Ethos Founders. Here’s what we’re cooking and drinking.
Whether you’re having a quiet Thanksgiving for two or the family’s all together again like the pre-Covid days, there’s much to be grateful for. Few things bring us together like great food and great wine. These courses will make for a lovely holiday feast, and pairing with wine makes it even more special. All the course are plant-based and all the wines are sustainable. Enjoy!
Course 1: Hors d’oeuvres
Hailing from the dairy land, Wisconsin, I’ll admit cheese was definitely its own food group growing up. When I transitioned to a plant-based diet, finding recipes that satisfied that creamy, tangy food was important to me. One of the best things I have found is dairy-free cheese spreads like this Spicy Vegan Pimento Cheese Ball from the miracle workers at Minimalist Baker. It is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser at any holiday party this season.
I don’t know the first time I made stuffed mushrooms as a Thanksgiving appetizer, but it’s been a pretty consistent offering at my table for years. The mushrooms are so juicy and umami, and the sausage delivers such a great spice element that balances it out. I’ve been winging this dish for years and finally wrote down the recipe here a few years ago. Whether you start the party informally with hors d’oeuvres passed around during Thanksgiving Day football, or at the table, this one is sure to get your guests’ attention.
Serve either with this wine: Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne
Course 2: Soup
Continuing with my creamy, dreamy theme, Mushroom and Wild Rice soup is easily one of my favorites. It is like fall comfort in a bowl. This version from Food52 combines loads of fresh veggies and mushrooms and gets its creaminess from coconut milk. Whether serving it up for Thanksgiving or any other day of the year, I am sure it’ll become a staple.
If it were up to me, most meals would be soup. It’s a versatile medium that lends itself so well to most any ingredients. When I lived in New York, my favorite restaurant in the city was Angelica Kitchen. It closed in 2017 much to my dismay. One of the absolute best items on its menu was its daily soup offerings. The best of the best was a creamy vegan cauliflower soup. I would hustle down to its to-go window after yoga and sit in my car sipping this cup of perfection. While I couldn’t find the restaurant’s recipe online, this one should do. And add this cookbook to your gift list if you don’t have it already!
Serve either with this wine: Chloe Chardonnay
Course 3: Salad
I am obsessed with tahini. I can’t remember exactly when I discovered its deliciousness but I absolutely always have a jar in my cupboard now because you never know when you need to whip up a dip or the insanely delicious Maple Tahini dressing that accompanies this Fall Harvest Salad from Running on Real Food. The salad is packed with fall essentials like Brussels sprouts, squash, and beets—and the Maple Tahini dressing is a gift from above.
I worked in the cafe at a health food store more than 20 years ago. We served a varied menu but it was steeped in old-school health food staples like carrot juice, brown rice, and steamed kale. Needless to say, I ate a lot of kale. I didn’t mind it; I quite loved it, actually. And nothing beats a hearty kale salad. But I’ve diversified my greens intake—for the most part, due mainly to the tastes of my daughter. She’s a big fan of cabbage slaws—they’re a staple in our house. Red or green sliced thin, with a little red wine vinegar, oil, a pinch of salt, and some celery seeds is our go-to. But if you’re looking for something a bit more elevated, give Alice Waters’ recipe here a try. (Or stick with kale, it’s always a winner.)
Serve either with this wine: Wild Pig Viognier
Course 4: Entrée
When I first went plant-based, holidays were definitely one of the biggest struggles. My parents were super supportive, but going to family gatherings was a different story. Since my very first Thanksgiving as a vegan I have been bringing veggie pot pie for myself, and anyone else who cares to try it. It has now become very much a tradition and I get every sentimental about my veggie pot pie.
My obsession with stuffed foods continues here with a meaty vegan Wellington main. I love that this one is filled with lentils and vegetables—a nice contrast to the traditional fare for this holiday. The recipe is easier than it sounds, and you’ll love the crisped puff pastry exterior with the soft lentil filling. Make an extra batch of this and freeze one for Christmas. Get the recipe here. Serve with the traditional sides like this delicious herby stuffing from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a simple sweet potato mash, and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Serve either with this wine: Cult Cabernet
Course 5: Dessert
Love pumpkin but want to switch it up from the traditional pie? These little pumpkin parfait cups are an absolute must. Jam-packed with goodies like pecans, pumpkin mousse, and caramel, this is the Thanksgiving treat you didn’t know you needed.
If you save enough room for dessert at Thanksgiving, you’re better than me. I’m usually stuffed early on—especially after snacking on everything while I cook it. But that’s why this pecan pie is such a great choice. It holds its flavor and gets better in a day or two, so I can have a little bite and save the rest. You’ll wow all your non-vegan guests, too who will inevitably ask “how is this vegan?” Get the recipe here.
Serve either with this wine: Bottega Prosecco Brut Gold