Quick and easy sides for Thanksgiving

Still looking for inspiration? Tessa’s mushroom dressing and Monika’s pumpkin drop biscuits may be what you’re looking for.

Mushroom Dressing

2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped apple
1 lb chopped mushrooms, white or cremini
12 oz seasoned bread crumbs
vegetable broth
1 cup melted vegan butter

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil either a muffin tin (if you like crispy edges) or any baking dish 8×8 or larger (for a traditional texture). Sauté celery, onion, and mushrooms for 5-7 minutes in 1 tbs butter or olive oil. Add apple, sauté an additional minute. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs and enough vegetable broth to moisten bread crumbs. Add melted butter and stir. Add to muffin tins or baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits


1 cups whole spelt flour
1 cup white spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup solid coconut cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup (grade A or B, baker’s choice)
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin or butternut squash
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk (I always use almond)
Large pinches of natural cane or turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F and position a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator or freezer to chill while you mix up the dough.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Quickly rub the cream into the flour with your fingers until the pieces are the size of small pebbles; don’t worry if they aren’t uniform in size. Add the syrup, pumpkin puree and milk and stir until just incorporated; the dough will be sticky. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 10 minutes, or longer if your oven is not yet preheated. Once the oven is ready, divide the dough into six portions, dropping them at least one inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit liberally with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just beginning to brown around the edges and golden on top.

Yield: 6 biscuits

If you want to make regular coconut cream drop biscuits, use this shortened ingredient list instead:

2 cups white spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup solid coconut cream
3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I always use almond)
Large pinch of natural cane sugar

Chickpea Curry

 chickpea curry

This simple salad is a great way to use up fresh produce, and is endlessly adaptable to what’s in season. The cooking directions below yield al dente  quinoa that has a nice bite. If you prefer yours more fluffy, increase the water to 3 cups. 

1 yellow onion, diced
1 – 2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2/3 can full fat coconut milk 
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles, such as Rotel
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas (1 cup dried chickpeas if making from scratch)

If making your chickpeas from scratch, cook them first, drain, and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, saute the diced onion in a scant amount of oil. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the chickpeas, to the pot. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the chickpeas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice or quinoa. 

Quinoa salad

quinoa meets mamou

This simple salad is a great way to use up fresh produce, and is endlessly adaptable to what’s in season. The cooking directions below yield al dente  quinoa that has a nice bite. If you prefer yours more fluffy, increase the water to 3 cups. 

2 cups dried quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 peach, diced
2 shallots, minced
2 carrots, shredded
4 to 5 handfuls mixed greens
mamou’s magical vinaigrette, full recipe (approximately 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to boil in a heavy pot. Add quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover tightly. Cook until the all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. While the quinoa cooks, prep the rest of the salad components and the vinaigrette. When the quinoa is finished cooking, turn out into a big bowl. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and vinaigrette, and season to taste.

Cinnamon rolls with orange-infused icing

cinnamon rolls with blood orange glazeVEGANIZED! Cinnamon rolls with orange-infused icing


This recipe is part of our Veganize Your Favorite Recipe series. Wondering how to veganize a favorite recipe of your own? Submit it here, and in a few weeks we’ll post a vegan version of the recipe!

Non-vegan cinnamon rolls contain milk, butter, and sometimes egg. Substituting vegan ingredients for their dairy counterparts in this recipe is straightforward, without the need to adjust any measurements. These substitutions are highlighted below. An egg substitute is not necessary for these rolls. (One does exist, though; see note at the end of the page to learn more.)


Dairy substitutes in this recipe:
– Almond or soy milk replace dairy milk in the dough and icing.
– Non-dairy butter (store bought or homemade) replaces dairy butter in the dough and filling.


3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
3 tablespoons water, room temperature
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter, melted
6 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons non-dairy butter, melted
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon almond milk
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 small pinch of fine-grain sea salt


Lightly oil a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, butter, and sugar, and mix on low until combined. Scatter the yeast over the top of the liquid and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt, then add 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining flour in 2-tablespoon increments until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Lightly oil a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the turbinado sugar and cinnamon.

Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface and pat or roll into a 10 x 13-inch rectangle. Brush the melted butter evenly over the dough, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting at the short end of the dough, tightly roll into a cylinder and pinch the seam to seal it. Cut into eight equal-sized pieces. Carefully arrange the pieces in the cake pan, cut side up. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rise for at least 30 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before icing and serving.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the icing. Whisk the sugar, milk, and juice together until smooth. Drizzle evenly over the rolls and serve!


Note on replacing egg in this recipe: Egg is sometimes included in a recipe such as this to enhance the crumb. Egg yolks contain lecithin, which is an emulsifier. Lecithin helps the rolls retain moisture and fat, which in turn enhances the crumb and slows down the rate of staling. In small amounts, it also boosts yeast fermentation. If you would like a vegan substitute for the egg yolk in your cinnamon rolls, add 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid soy or sunflower lecithin when you combine the other liquid ingredients in the first step of this recipe.

Don’t miss out on this class and raffle!

Thanks to a generous supporter, we have several vegan cookbooks including the new Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen and a mini pumpkin tart to raffle off during our Vegan Holiday Cooking Workshop. Everyone who registers gets one free raffle ticket and everyone goes home with a goody bag. And of course at the end of the demo, there is a full meal! 100% of the proceeds benefit the animals at the Refuge. You can sign up here

holiday culinary workshop

Join us for our Day with the Turkeys!

Save the date!

Save the Date! We are excited to offer this peaceful holiday celebration and we welcome you to join us for our Day with the Turkeys, co-sponsored by the Triangle Vegetarian Society.

Sunday, November 30th, 10AM – 4PM: come feed special treats to our animals, get your photo taken, cut your own holiday cedar tree, and more!

Then, from 4PM – 7PM: join us for an all vegan holiday potluck.