Food and family go hand-in-hand, as do special occasions and great grub. To get together for Thanksgiving means to stuff your face until you pass out in front of re-runs of some old sitcom. However, Thanksgiving is famously not vegan-friendly. For starters, it’s all centered around a turkey. Adding a ham is pretty common as well. Then everything, from the mashed potatoes to the mac and cheese to the cream of spinach is covered with, cooked in and drizzled with butter and cheese. It’s a holiday that can leave those on a plant-based diet feeling like they’re ruining the party just by showing up. If you are a vegan, you might be very familiar with eating a sad meal alone before joining the others for Thanksgiving, because there would be no plant-based offerings at the big event.
With all of the incredible plant-based alternatives out there today, there really is no excuse not to have some vegan-friendly offerings at your table this Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a vegan or you’re catering to vegans, you can put out some delicious dishes that are completely void of animal product while also supporting Black businesses. How? By shopping these Black-owned vegan food brands. Below are vegan items that can help you put together a delicious and cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal.
Turkey and Lasagna
Turkey can be the toughest part of the Thanksgiving meal for vegans to feel included in. But Atlas Monroe, based out of San Diego and owned by Deborah Torres, has vegans covered this holiday season with their Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast, which contains a Deep Fried and Stuffed plant-based “turkey.” The bundle also has some of the brand’s famous fried chicken along with other Thanksgiving classics like creamy mac ‘n cheese, a loaded sweet potato casserole and cranberry stuffing. Torres famously turned down a $1 million offer on “Shark Tank” for her company, and has since grown a cult following. Atlas Monroe has recently starting shipping nationally. If you do like to add a lasagna to your Thanksgiving feast, Atlas Monroe is also offering a special cheesy stacked beefy lasagna for the holidays that serves up to eight people.
Mac n Cheese with Collard Greens
Created by lifelong vegan and chef Ayindè Howell, I Eat Grass got its name because when he was growing up, Howell would be teased by other children for being vegan, and they would he could only eat grass. Leaning into the joke, he launched I Eat Grass, which makes delicious plant-based products – most notably their Mac & Yease. The comfort food relies on a mixture of nutritional yeast, almond milk, coconut oil and a yummy blend of spices for what results in an ultra-creamy, delicious and non-GMO vegan mac and cheese. Howell also created a delicious and vegan smothered collard greens dish to go with your mac and cheese.
Marshmallows on Sweet Potato Pie
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole and really all things sweet potatoes. And it wouldn’t be a sweet potato dish without some ooey, gooey, creamy marshmallows. Unfortunately, traditional marshmallows contain cow or pig-derived gelatin and are not vegan friendly. That’s why husband and wife team Delisa Johson and Zach Harper created Funky Mello, a totally plant-based marshmallow brand. Based out of Austin, Texas, Funky Mellow offers several varieties of its creamy marshmallow spread including vanilla, strawberry and cookie. The product is available in two- and three-packs and is perfect for anything that needs a sticky, creamy topping.
If you love a nourishing and comforting Shepard’s pie but don’t know what to fill it with when you’re on a plant-based diet, look no further than Hella Nuts. Hella Nuts was created by Oakland, California native Chef Mieko Scott who also has the Hella Nuts plant-based café located in Oakland. Her faux beef crumble product Hella Nuts is made of walnuts and is free of preservatives and oil. It’s perfect for tacos, beef Bolognese, burritos and, of course, a Shepard’s pie. Hella Nuts meat replacement is also soy free – a decision that was important to Chef Scott as she knows many vegan options use soy, but that’s also a common allergen.
Onto the desserts, you can’t have Thanksgiving without some delicious pies. Coco Luv makes pecan pie that’s not only vegan but also gluten-free. Coco Luv was ceated by Hashani Azikiwe and his wife who became interested in the life-changing effects of gluten-free and vegan eating after taking guardianship of Azikiwe’s autistic brother. They began by experimenting with recipes, recreating Azikiwe’s brother’s favorite sweet treats but in vegan and gluten-free varieties and eventually, Coco Luv was born. You can also order their signature sweet potato, pumpkin peach or apple pie on their website. As for non-pie baked treats, they offer loafs, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, croissants and much more.
Granola seems vegan at first but the most common binding ingredient is honey, which is not vegan. But granola is a great multi-use ingredient at Thanksgiving. You can use it to make berry and apple crumbles, make a sweet stuffing with it, add it to a sweet potato casserole and so much more. Its Nola makes vegan granola in several flavors like cranberry coconut and mango. Their products are carried in markets throughout New York including in Manhattan and Long Island. Owned by Margaret Barrow and Candice Ricks – both mothers and vegans – Its Nola uses all natural or organic ingredients and makes their product in small batches.