As problematic as Thanksgiving might be for vegetarians, it’s doubly hard for vegans. Aside from the turkey itself, the mashed potatoes often have cream, the peas and carrots have butter, the candied yams sometimes have honey, and forget the quiche that I threw at you last week.
Vegans can still pick their way successfully through a Thanksgiving meal. Where you can really shine, however, is at dessert time. Over the years, complaints about vegan desserts have ranged from tasteless and flour-y to boring and “hard” to downright “bad” and cardboard-flavored.
But recipes have evolved and been refined. Sugars have been replaced with fruit purees and agave nectar; dairy has gone soy; eggs have been deemed obsolete; and rich flavor has taken over. Vegans can now rejoice at their creations. So sayeth the agave god.
Let the meat-eaters have their turkey, the purists their mashed potatoes with cream and butter, the
vegetarians their quiche. When the coffee is put up and the pies and cakes start making their appearances, it’s time for the vegans to shine. Here are three fabulous desserts that you can whip out: Coconut Cake from Chooseveg.com, Almond Rice Pudding from VegWeb.com, and Butterscotch Brownies from SavvyVegetarian.com. Expect a standing applause.
See you next week for Part 3 of the Countdown to Turkey Day.
* For the Cake:
* 8 oz. silken tofu
* 1 lb. plus 5 oz. sugar
* 2 cups coconut milk
* 12 oz. coconut flakes
* 1 cup canola oil
* 1 lb. plus 4 oz. all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* For the Icing:
* 1 lb. soy margarine
* 1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
* 1/4 cup coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the first 5 ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and puree until thick and uniform in texture. Add the last 3 ingredients and process until smooth. Pour the batter into 2 (9-inch) parchment-lined cake pans that have been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for about 1 hour. Let cool.
For the icing, mix the ingredients until smooth. Spread on the cooled cake.
3/4 cup uncooked white or brown rice (*might need to add a little more rice)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups almond milk (you can substiute plain soy or rice milk with 1 tablespoon almond extract)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or dried blueberries (optional, for very different flavor)
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a fast boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed (I found it was much faster than 10 minutes).
2. Stir in almond milk and maple syrup, stirring until the rice mixture is as soupy as cooked cereal (25 minutes roughly at a simmer).
3. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and optional dried fruit. Eat warm or room temperature.
*I kept adding more rice because I thought it wasn’t near thick enough, but the simmering time is what gave it that pudding consistency, so be patient!
Source of recipe: This is a slight modification of a recipe from “Vegan Meals for One or Two” by Chef Nancy Berkoff
Makes: 3 Servings, Preparation time: 5 min, Cooking time: 35 min
- 2/3 cup veggie spread (we use Earth Balance)
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup unbl. wh. flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp egg replacer + 1/3 c soymilk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Oil a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and dust with flour
- Whip egg replacer with soy milk, or beat eggs
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt
- Melt veggie spread or butter
- Remove from heat and beat in brown sugar and vanilla
- Beat in egg replacer or eggs
- Stir in the nuts and coconut
- Mix in the dry ingredients
- Spread in pan and bake for about 25 minutes
- Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a cooling rack, cut in squares and serve