Thanksgiving typically has some fairly unhealthy, rich dishes on the table. We are changing the pace this year with an entirely vegan spread, including an incredibly tasty lentil loaf that pairs beautifully with the homemade vegan gravy and cranberry sauce. With this meal, you get all the classic flavors of Thanksgiving, only everything is much, much healthier.
For The Lentil Loaf
- 1 1/2 c brown lentils
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 3/4 c walnuts
- 1 large carrot, cut into small pieces
- 1 c steel cut oats
- 2 tbsp. organic tomato paste
- 1/3 c + 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp. liquid aminos
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. thyme
- 2 tsp. rosemary
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- sea salt & pepper to taste
For The Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Mash
- 1 small red kuri squash (about 2lbs), cut into small pieces
- 16 oz sweet potato, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp. vegan margarine
- 1/4 c steel cut oats
- 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
- sea salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste
For The Gravy
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot, cut into small pieces
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. organic tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. coconut flour
- 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. of rosemary, sea salt, & black pepper
For The Cranberry Pear Sauce
- 1 c cranberries
- 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
- 2 pears, cut into medium-sized chunks
- 3/4 c water
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- First, cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package. Then put about 6 tablespoons of the cooked lentils aside. You'll need them later on to give the lentil loaf a bit more texture. Warm a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Then add the chopped carrots and cook them for another 3 minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients, except the spices, into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a sticky but chunky mixture. It's very important that you make sure to not overdo it, so you still get some texture.
- Add the remaining lentils and season with thyme, oregano, sea salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
- Place the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Combine the sautéed carrots, onion, and garlic to the loaf as well. Make sure to let the parchment paper overlap the loaf pan, so it's easier to remove the lentil loaf once it's done. Bake the vegan meat loaf for 60 minutes at 350°F.
- In the meantime, make the pumpkin and sweet potato mash. Cut both the squash and sweet potato into small cubes and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until soft, in a pot of boiling water. Once they are fork tender, strain the squash and sweet potatoes, mash with a potato masher in a bowl, and add the vegan margarine, sea salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- For the nut-oat topping, chop the walnuts into small chunks and roast them in a small pan for about 2 minutes. Then add the oats and some a little more vegan margarine. Season with sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour the mashed sweet potato and pumpkin into a baking dish and sprinkle with the nut-oat topping. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 °F.
- Sauté the onion and the garlic in a little olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the carrots and the celery and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it becomes slightly brown. Then stir in the coconut flour and add the vegetable broth. Season with oregano, paprika powder, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Pour the gravy through a sieve using a ladle. Put it back into the pot, so you can heat it up once the rest is ready to eat.
- For the cranberry pear sauce, cut the pears into medium-sized cubes. Put them into a small saucepan together with the cranberries.
- Add the water and coconut sugar and cook for about 15 minutes until the cranberries are popped and the pears are soft. To give it some more flavor, add some ground ginger. The sauce is supposed to thicken to a jam-like consistency.