What is Thanksgiving without a turkey? A masterpiece, when done right.
We recently got to peek into a gorgeous 5-course vegan Friendsgiving, hosted by a crew of amazing creative women on the idyllic East Coast island of Martha’s Vineyard. The plant-based pop-up featured a stunning menu by certified holistic health coach and owner of Not Your Sugar Mamas, chef Kyleen Keenan — a drool-worhty lineup which including an epic whole roasted cauliflower that could make even the most traditional foodie swoon. We’re sharing the recipe below!
According to Kyleen, whose organic raw chocolate company was founded on the island, “this recipe came together last Thanksgiving and was the highlight of my family dinner. Cauliflower texturally makes a delicious plant-based alternative to the standard roast, and drenched in our shiitake gravy is incredible”. Other highlights from the seasonally-inspired feast included maple roasted carrots, sweet potato casserole, kale salad, pumpkin bisque, and a cozy apple crisp.
The table was designed by Emily Coulter of the locally adored, Morrice Florist, who shared with a few tips to re-create the magical vibe at home:
Consider Your Space. Consider how much table space you need for food platters. If your table is crowded with turkey, stuffing, and potatoes, make a series of small floral pieces that can be spread throughout the food. If you want to add large arrangements to an already crowded table, place a few cake stands around to boost the flowers up high and out of the way.
Focus On Details. A simple napkin sprig adds a nice natural detail to the table without taking up a lot of space or costing a lot of money. Are children on your guest list? If so, put them to work! Send the kids outside to gather pretty branches and greens to include on the tablescape.
Find The Right Flower. Hydrangea are perfectly dried right now and stunningly beautiful. If you have hydrangea bushes in your yard, grab a few big dried blooms and visit a florist for extra greens and fresh flowers to make your own statement arrangement.
Peek through the photos by photographer Jocelyn Filley then snag two simple yet sophisticated vegan Thanksgiving dishes just below…
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
This dish is a wowzer. The texture is perfect and combined with gravy and all the fixing, this is a for sure winner. At our event, we served it over a bed of kale and French lentils stewed with lion’s mane mushrooms.
1 large head of cauliflower
1 cup cashews
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
4 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos plus extra for marinating
A night before or at least a half hour – remove some leaves from cauliflower and slice the bottom so it lays flat. Poke holes with a fork in cauliflower. Using coconut aminos or tamari, cover and marinade.
Preheat oven to 425. Meanwhile make the “crust” by combining cup cashews, 1 tbs lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbs poultry seasoning and 4 tbs coconut aminos or tamari in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
Cover the cauliflower with half of the marinade. Cover with aluminum foil or parchment in oven and cook for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and apply more marinade, cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender when poked through and browned all around.
To a feast, gravy is the key. It is the element that brings everything together for me in our feast. This one is so delicious I could eat it by the spoonful and drench it on anything.
2 tsp olive oil
½ red onion
4 garlic cloves
1 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
¼ cup tamari*
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
2 cups water or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp cassava flour
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté red onion and garlic cloves in olive until translucent about 5 minutes. Add shiitakes, tamari, black pepper, and thyme, poultry seasoning and sauté another 5 minutes or until mushrooms have absorbed the tamari. Add the 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes.
While gravy is boiling, carefully remove half-cup liquid from pot and mix with cassava flour and add back to pot, whisking to combine. Let boil a minute or so longer. You can leave chucky carefully transfer gravy to vitamix and blend on low until creamy. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 5 days.
Ready for dessert? Check out this amazing chocolate ganache tart from Chef Kyleen.