Monday, November 24, 2014

Memphis Vegan Thanksgiving!

Every year, usually a week before Thanksgiving, our vegetarian/vegan social club, Food Awareness, holds a vegan gathering with TONS of healthy holiday food. We held our annual vegan Thanksgiving this past Saturday at group members Barbara and Ken's house. Vaughan, our main organizer dude, cooks everything, so folks don't have to worry about bringing a potluck dish ... unless they just want to! Of course, I always want to!

This year, I brought Julie Hasson's Caramelized Onion Dip from Vegan Casseroles. This stuff has been taking over the internet, and I've been dying for an excuse to try it. It's a French onion-style dip made from raw blended cashews, which my Vitamix pulverized in seconds! There are dehydrated onions inside the dip and caramelized onions on top. I brought Wavy Lay's for dipping. Even though I'm typically all about the vegan sour cream-based dips, it was nice to have a super-healthy cashew-based dip for a change.

Everything else on the savory side was cooked by Vaughan and Nicole, but a couple more friends contributed desserts (more on that in a few). There were Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Kale, Raw Kale Salad, Stuffing, and Plain Sweet Potatoes.

And there was also Candied Yam-style sweet potatoes with a very melty vegan marshmallow topping. I don't get candied yams at my family Thanksgiving because my parents don't like 'em, so I really enjoyed having these!

Vaughan and Nicole were apparently all about the sweet potato this year. Nicole also roasted Sweet Potato Skins in an sweet 'n' savory citrus sauce. Now I've never had sweet potato skins. I typically just throw those down the garbage disposal, but you know what? These were good!

And because one can never have too many potatoes, we also had Roasted White Potatoes. I actually dipped these in the caramelized onion dip, and that was a crazy awesome combo.

There were also two big pans of Millet with Walnuts. I'm not sure what the seasonings were, but I think I detected cinnamon. It had a bit of a Moroccan flair.

And don't forget the Cranberry Sauce! Nicole made sure we had all those Thanksgiving essentials!

Not pictured was the giant soup pot of Black Bean Spaghetti with Tempeh. I hate that I forgot to take a picture because it was my favorite dish! Vaughan and Nicole always makes enough to feed an army, which is good because we always end up with a huge crowd at these things. I'd guess we had at least 30 people!

Here was my overstuffed plate! And in case you're wondering, I ate every bite. And then I went in for dessert. Overeating is one of my super-powers.

Last year, for some crazy reason, we didn't have dessert! So Cassi and Stephanie made sure that didn't happen this year! Cassi made Pumpkin Coffee Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream.

And she made Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies 'n' Cream Frosting. These got rave reviews! I had one and it was delicious. Moist, chocolately, cookie-y!

She also made a Coconut Blueberry Cobbler, but I was too full to even try it!

Stephanie made her Chess Bars, which are one of my top five favorite desserts she makes (right after cinnamon rolls and insanity bars!). Chess bars are a super-Southern dessert, and if you've never heard of them, think of them as Gooey Buttery Custard Bars.

And Nicole made two Sweet Potato Pies, but I also failed to photograph those! But I didn't fail to eat a slice. Very tasty and traditional!

God, I was so full when I left that party. We stuck around and drank wine after dinner, and by the time I got home, I was certain my stomach was about explode Thanksgiving guts all over my couch. Now I've gotta try and take it easy on the food for a few days so I'll have room to do it all again when we have my family Thanksgiving on Thursday!


Renard Moreau said...

[ Smiles ] It is so nice to see a large variety of vegan food being served in one place.

amber said...

Looks absolutely wonderful! This is my first vegan Thanksgiving and I am slightly nervous, but also excited. I got a holiday roast and will be taking a few sides with me. My family will be also veganizing a few of their dishes so I can partake. I dream of one day having a gathering like this to go to. How awesome! :)

foodfeud said...

That carMelied onion dip sounds fantastic!
What a fun get together.

Sarah said...

This sounds like such a fun tradition. The spread looks incredible, and I can see why the dip is taking over the blogosphere! Everything looks so yummy, I'm jealous of your plate!

GlutenFreeHappyTummy said...

those cupcakesssssss....yummmmm!

Susan said...

That looks amazing!
I have never heard of a Chess Bar before, but now I want it and I need it and I have to have it.