Tal Ronnen’s Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

October 29, 2010 by Keri

I have recently begun to ponder my 2010 Thanksgiving menu.  Sure it’s still technically October, but this is from the girl watching Elf as I type this very sentence.  I like to keep my holiday season as long as possible!  When Kristen from Gardein contacted me with Tal Ronnen’s new vegan Thanksgiving menu to share, the thought, “Just make these recipes…” flickered in my mind.  Though it’s frown upon to make new recipes for holidays and company, I always do it anyway, with some unfounded certainty that I could save any dish should it go wrong.  I think, at least, most of these are going to make my Thanksgiving menu, so I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out.  Try them with me!

Tal’s Menu

  • Beet and Orange Autumn Salad
  • Sage and Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Gardein with Cranberry Cabernet Sauce
  • Green Beans with Fresh Cranberries
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Chives
  • Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • Oven Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake with Spiced Pecan Crust and Maple Rum Sauce

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Beet And Orange Autumn Salad

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 ounces maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander ground
  • Pinch dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek ground
  • 6 ounces canola oil, cold pressed
  • 10 ounces olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 3 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 3 oranges, sectioned and peeled


  • 10 red beets, golf ball sized, peeled & roasted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

For the vinaigrette:  In a large saucepan, combine the vinegars, maple syrup, shallots, black pepper, coriander, dry mustard, and fenugreek. Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by one-third. Remove from the heat and chill. Once chilled, purée in a blender, while slowly adding the canola and the olive oils.  Strain, then add the chives.

For the roasted beets: Vegetable oil sufficient to coat the beets.  Heat the oven to 400°F. In a baking dish, combine the beets with the vegetable oil and roast until soft (approx 45 minutes). Peel and chill.

To assemble the salad:  Slice the beets and arrange on a plate with the orange slices and spinach then drizzle with the maple sherry vinaigrette.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Sage And Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Gardein

  • 12 (3 packages) chick’n scallopini (frozen) or 12 (3 packages) chick’n filets (fresh)

Cranberry Cabernet Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup cabernet
  • 1 cup faux chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons ‘earth balance’ butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (without shells)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • Unbleached white flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the cranberry cabernet sauce: Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the thyme and cranberries and sauté for 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Add the cabernet and scrape the bottom of the pan, then reduce the liquid by half.  Add the stock and reduce by half. Mix the arrowroot with the water and add to the pan. Stir well and continue to cook for 2 mins. Turn heat off and whisk in the vegan butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove thyme stems.

For the cutlets: In a food processor, process the sage, seeds, paprika, bread crumbs, yeast, salt, and pepper until well incorporated.  (Thaw the frozen gardein™ scaloppini) Dredge each gardein™ cutlet in flour, then dip into the soy milk and then into the panco breadcrumbs.  Sauté on each side until browned and crisp.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes With Chives

  • 6 large potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup cashew cream (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cashew cream:  Soak 2 cups of raw cashews overnight.  Add the soaked cashews to a blender and fill with water sufficient to cover the cashews by 1”. Blend on high for 2 minutes.  Tip: If not using a professional high-speed blender, you might need to strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Can substitute soy milk for cashew cream if needed.
Mashed potatoes:  Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, and mix until smooth. Serve hot.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance vegan butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup mashed sweet potatoes, cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk

Sift together the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut in the margarine using a pastry blender until well incorporated.  Add the agave nectar, sweet potatoes, and soy milk and combine, forming a soft dough.  Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to ½“ thickness.  Cut out biscuits of desired size.  Bake in a preheated 400°F oven on a greased baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.

Green Beans With Fresh Cranberries

  • 3/4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and pressed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Oven Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake

Oven-roasted bananas:

  • 4 large, very ripe bananas


  • 1 cup grade b organic maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum


  • 1 cup pecan nut flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (white or whole)
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed light
  • Brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance vegan butter, partially melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of sea salt


  • 16 ounces non-dairy cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To serve:

  • Toasted pecan halves

Make the oven-roasted bananas:  Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the unpeeled bananas on a roasting pan and roast in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bananas are soft, the skins are dark brown, and some juice is seeping out. Let the bananas cool to room temperature in the pan in their skins. Set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.

Make the maple rum sauce:  In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and salt to taste and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the rum, stirring well; be careful, as the sauce will bubble up a bit. Let cool for a few minutes, then taste and add more salt if necessary. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a squeeze bottle. The sauce can be rewarmed by putting the bottle in a pan of hot water off the heat.

Make the spiced pecan crust:  Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl and stir until well incorporated. Press the crust into a 9-inch springform pan and put in the freezer for 5 minutes. Bake in the center of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust looks a little dry and the edges are light golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the filling:  Peel the roasted bananas and remove any obvious strings. In a food processor, puree the bananas until very smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically; do not overprocess, or the cream cheese will separate and curdle.  Pour the filling into the crust and bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is the color of light brown sugar and the center of the cheesecake is set but still jiggles slightly; a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature on a rack for at least 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

To serve:  Rewarm the sauce in a pan of hot water. Use an offset spatula or a thin knife to loosen the edges of the cheesecake, remove the sides of the pan, and cut the cake into slices. Serve with the warm sauce and toasted pecans.

*Making nut flour:  To make your own nut flour, first freeze raw nuts overnight. Place about 1 cup of the frozen nuts in a food processor at a time and pulse until finely ground. Freezing the nuts prevents them from turning to nut butter in the food processor as the blade heats up – but be warned, it will be loud!

Don’t those recipes just look lovely?!  I know that’s a lot for one post, but every holiday I end up with 12 tabs open, clicking around trying to remember my place in each recipe as I go, so I thought scrolling through one post might actually be helpful.  Before I forget, in case you want to cut back on your kitchen time or travel to your nonvegan loved ones homes with your own celebration food in hand, gardein is releasing the delicious-looking, limited edition stuffed turk’y with gravy just in time for the holidays!  Each package comes with two “suggested servings”, which if we’re being honest is probably one in “holiday servings”… I better grab one for each of us…  I’m told these are available at natural food stores across the country, specifically Whole Foods.  I’m going to see if they’re stocked yet tomorrow, and if so, I’ll buy them, bake them up, and be back in no time with a review!

cider vinegar 1/2 cup
sherry vinegar 1/2 cup
maple syrup 2 oz
shallots, minced 2 tbsp
black pepper, crushed 1/4 tsp
coriander ground 1/4 tsp
dry mustard pinch
fenugreek ground 1/4 tsp
canola oil, cold pressed 6 oz
olive oil, extra-virgin 10 oz
chives thinly sliced 3 tbsp
baby spinach, washed 3 cups
orange, sectioned and peeled 3
red beets, golf ball sized, peeled & roasted 10
canola oil 2 tbsp
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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Leinana says:

    I made that banana rum cheesecake recently for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. It’s perfect for the holidays. This whole menu looks great!

  2. Carly says:

    I love Tal Ronnen! Last month (when I first decided to make the leap from vegetarian to vegan) I went in search of vegan cookbooks at our local library. I checked out the Conscious Cook. I loved it so much I bought it online. I love the cashew cream. It has helped me get my husband and friends to think twice about the need for dairy in their lives, too.
    I made his chive mashed potatoes from the book. Amazing!
    If I wasn’t going to be in an airplane this Thanksgiving I’d definitely be preparing the dishes you have posted above.
    Happy Holidays!

    • Keri says:

      I need to pick up a copy of his cookbook, especially after these recipes! Happy Holidays to you as well!

  3. Noelle says:

    I would love to try all these recipes!!! Yum! I am tagging this post for sure. Thanks for sharing Keri! 😀

  4. Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama says:

    Oh man…. this looks AMAZING!! Thank you so much for sharing!

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