Montessori Thanksgiving Feast

Today, Zander’s school is having a 2-hour Thanksgiving Feast (I can hardly wait!), and we  parents were asked to each bring a side dish to serve six people. I am sensitive to the fact that Zander is the only vegan at his school, and I never want him to feel as though he is missing out on tasty food during school parties. As a result, the instruction to bring one side dish translated, for me, into staying up until midnight last night to cook the following:

1. Mushroom gravy (scroll down for recipe)



2. Butternut squash soup (scroll down for recipe)



3. A Gardein holiday roast (I’m excited to try this–it’s the first time I’ve seen it in stores!)


4. And two dozen sweet potato biscuits.


Yep, that ought to feed about six people!




2 tbsp vegan margarine
8-12 button mushrooms, finely chopped (or thinly sliced)
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp tamari
1 cup vegetable stock

Sauté mushrooms in margarine until soft. Add flour, nutritional yeast, pepper, and tamari. Whisk in veggie stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly until thickened.

Tip:  If you want smooth gravy, blend in Vitamix or food processor.  Otherwise, serve as is.

Credit: La Dolce Vegan, by Sarah Kramer


1 medium-sized butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
4 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cups vegetable stock
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 5-8 fresh diced tomatoes, plus ¼ cup water)
sea salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
1 cup soymilk (or almond milk, coconut milk, etc.)


In a large pot, sauté garlic, ginger, and squash in olive oil on medium heat until garlic is softened.  Add veggie stock, diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes.

Option 1 – chunky soup: Blend ½ veggies with soymilk in Vitamix. Return blended veggies to pot (with non-blended ones) and simmer for 5 minutes.

Option 2 – creamy soup: Blend all veggies with soymilk, return to pot, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Optional: Garnish with croutons and/or fresh chives.

Credit: How It All Vegan, by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer


About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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