Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Complete Raw Vegan Thanksgiving or Winter Holiday Menu - From Raw Appetizers to Dessert

Raw sprouted garbanzo hummus appetizer.

Raw crackers with walnuts, veggies and mixed seeds.

Raw walnut and spinach pesto stuffed mushroom appetizer.

Raw pumpkin soup topped with pumpkin seeds and thyme.

Raw vegan turkey lettuce cups with cranberry relish entree.

Raw vegan Waldorf salad with apple chia dressing.

Raw kale salad with fresh corn and red bell peppers.
Pear and apple crisp for dessert. (Or, just make it with pears).

Experience Something New
In 2007 my husband and I were visiting our daughter Linda in New York City. I had just finished writing my dissertation on the “Nutritional Adequacy of a Raw Food Vegan Diet” so I was pretty immersed in raw food. Since Pure Food and Wine, one of my favorite raw food restaurants, was nearby we decided to invite ten members of our family to have a “raw” Thanksgiving. Now you've got to understand, except for me, my husband and my daughter, NONE of these people regularly ate raw vegan or even vegetarian food. I was absolutely delighted when everyone agreed to do something really different and adventurous for this special holiday. It was a fun meal and I will always appreciate and admire all of them for doing this.

Bring a Raw Dish to your Traditional Thanksgiving Gathering
Although Doug and I are certainly not “completely raw” year round, we continue to include an abundance of raw food in our diet. I spend lots of time trying to develop easy, delicious and nutritious raw recipes for my family and my blog followers. Although I don’t expect you to talk your family into a completely raw Thanksgiving, you may want to bring one or more of these delicious and healthy raw dishes to your family’s traditional dinner.

For my Raw Food Enthusiasts
For my many raw food friends, I’ve put together a complete menu for Thanksgiving. There are lots of dishes here so if you aren’t entertaining a big crowd, you may want to cut a few out. If you are hosting a raw food Thanksgiving potluck, hand out the recipes and have everyone bring one of the dishes. There are many other raw recipes on my blog so feel free to substitute. All the recipes are pictured above.

Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Menu
[Please click on recipe titles to link to the actual recipes and then hit the back arrow to return to this posting]
Our first appetizer is Raw Hummus with Sprouted Garbanzo Beans . Begin sprouting 4 days in advance. You can serve this with raw veggie slices or make Raw Crackers with walnuts, veggies and mixed seeds. The raw crackers will have to be started at least a day in advance as they need 6 hours for soaking, and 16 hours for dehydrating (turning them after 8 hours). These two items are the only recipes that take advanced planning. All the others take much less time and can be made the same day. The next appetizer is Walnut and Spinach Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms. Spinach makes a great pesto and is a lot easier to find in the winter months than basil, which is most commonly used in pesto.
Pumpkins are plentiful this time of year and there is nothing more festive than Raw Pumpkin Soup.
Main Course
For the main entree we have Raw Vegan Lettuce Cups with Cranberry Relish. With all of the other side dishes, you only need to plan for one lettuce cup per person. I've chosen two nice side salads to go with the lettuce cups. One is a Raw Vegan Waldorf Salad with Apple Chia Dressing and the other is a Raw Kale, Corn and Red Bell Pepper Salad.
For dessert we have a raw crisp. Follow the recipe for Raw Vegan Pear and Apple Crisp with Raisins . If you are serving the Waldorf salad (which already introduces apples to your meal), you may want to make this crisp with only pears. In this case, omit the apples in the filling and use 6 cups of thinly sliced peeled and cored pears instead of 3 cups. We've made it with just pears and it comes out great.

Two More Great Thanksgiving Recipes
I'm updating this post to add two more raw Thanksgiving recipes that I think you'll love.
The first is a Raw Vegan Brussels Sprouts Salad with Orange Chia Seed Vinaigrette. This light and colorful salad also has slivered almonds and dried cranberries so I hope you'll check out this November 10, 2010 posting.
The other recipe is a beautiful Raw Vegan Pecan Tart. These elegant tarts are very rich so a little goes a long way, especially after a big Thanksgiving meal. I just posted them on November 8, 2010 so I hope you'll give them a try!

To my followers in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving. To my followers in the rest of the world, I hope you enjoy this menu for any of your winter holiday celebrations! Check out more raw food recipes on my blog.



Well I know where I'm going for T-Day! *wink*

Fabulous, Joanne! Thank you for sharing these lovely dishes.

the inadvertent farmer said...

Beautiful...thank you so much for the inspiration to try something new for Thanksgiving! Kim

General Tom said...

Love to eat substitute meat.

Amy said...

I just found this awesome raw recipe from nutritionals Rose Cole for an eggnog substitute. I can’t believe how good it is, and it’s sugar-free, dairy-free, and RAW! http://ow.ly/BN0C Just thought I would pass it on.

Angelique said...

What a generous post -- thank you so much for sharing this, Joanne! I am definitely going to making those lettuce cups soon, probably before Thanksgiving :)

Eatgreens said...

Thanks for all of these recipes. I'm going to try some out this week.
For those of you who want to hear a wonderful Thanksgiving song by a vegan songleader with a degree in philosophy, listen to this (kids will like it too)