MAIN STORYNovember 2020

Vegan Thanksgiving Feast


This year, why not try to make vegetables the star of your Thanksgiving table? These recipes, reprinted with permission from, are sure to please your holiday crowd, vegetarian or not. Pair the portobello mushroom steaks with cheesy rosemary polenta with some zesty roasted carrots or sweet potatoes, kale salad and a glass of wine for a delicious dinner.

For a vegan spin on a classic, try the cornbread stuffing, reprinted with permission from Gayle Squires of Bake up a fresh skillet of cornbread, crumble it and dry it overnight or in a low oven for 20 minutes, or use store bought. When added to onions, celery and mushrooms cooked down with thyme, no one will miss the dairy in this dish.

Portobello Mushroom Steaks with Cheesy Rosemary Polenta

Serves 4


portobello mushrooms (suggested 2-3 mushrooms per person)

sea salt or smoked salt for a grilled flavor, (to taste)

black pepper (to taste)

coconut oil (enough to thinly cover the pan, unless grilling outside)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar per mushroom

2 cups corn grits (pre-soaked for at least an hour is best)

6 cups water

4 tablespoons Earth Balance “butter”

sprig of rosemary (do not chop)

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

balsamic reduction for garnish (such as Trader Joe’s Trader Giotto Balsamic Glaze)

rosemary sprigs for garnish


1. In a pot, add 6 cups of water and the cornmeal/grits. Leave to soak for 1-4 hours for texture (optional).

2. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, then add a sprig of rosemary. Stir every few minutes to prevent burning on the bottom.

3. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until all the liquid is soaked in.

4. Heat the grill, stovetop grill or skillet till the oil sizzles, then add the seasoned portobello mushrooms.

5. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on each mushroom and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.

6. Flip the Portobellos, drizzle more balsamic and cook until desired (rare, med, well-done).

7. Remove from stovetop and slice at an angle for presentation.

8. On each plate, smash the polenta into a flat circle shape and then cover with the steaks.

Cornbread Stuffing

Serves 10


6 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for greasing pan)

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 medium onions)

1 1⁄2 cup celery (4–5 stalks)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

3⁄4 pounds white button mushrooms

3⁄4 pounds cremini mushrooms

3⁄4 teaspoons fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1⁄2 cup chopped parsley

8 cups crumbled, stale cornbread

3 cups vegetable stock


1. Prepare the cornbread and then crumble and spread out on two sheet pans, allowing to dry overnight or longer or for at least 20 minutes in a 150˚F oven.

2. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch or similarly sized (12-cup) shallow baking pan.

3. In a large, deep skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Sauté, stirring for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add mushrooms and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the mushrooms release their liquid (about 5 minutes) and then resorb it (another 10 minutes). Taste for salt and pepper.

4. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, parsley and cornbread. Mix in the stock to moisten the cornbread.

5. Transfer to greased baking pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is lightly browned, another 15 minutes. Serve hot.


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