Thanksgiving Cooking Experiment

I posted this on ladywiggins.blogspot.com  for Thanksgiving. I thought I would repost it here. Vegans out there please share your recipe successes.

I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. It was just my husband and I. Our children were away this year. I had a ball. Not because they were away though. I experimented with our traditional recipes. I was motivated by my newly vegan son and my dairy-intolerant grand-baby. I had wanted to try vegan cooking for a while and I figured now was a good time.

Mac and Cheese

Attention went first to my mac and cheese. This is my grandmother’s mac and cheese so the flavors are sacred. I decided to use rice elbow macaroni. I never used it before. Next concern: How do you bring those southern flavors to vegan world: Butter, real milk, sharp and mild cheddar cheese? I was skeptical but I went all in. I replaced the cheese with veggie cheese. I replaced the milk with flax seed milk. I found it to be creamier than almond and other nut milks I’ve tried. However, what to do about butter? I found some vegan butter in my favorite organic store but the cost was ridiculous. Google came through. I found several vegan sites that had recipes for making your own vegan butter without using soy products. I made my first non-dairy butter. The results were good but I still didn’t know how it would work in my mac and cheese. It was wonderful. That gave me hope for my sweet potato pie.

Sweet Potato Pie


This was not completely vegan but it was still an experiment. I used my non-dairy butter, a blend of flax and evaporated milk and egg. I thought my husband had bought an egg substitute but he bought egg whites instead. The filling was good. The real experiment was the pie crust. I decided to try gluten free flour. Who knows why? I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil or shortening. I either had a crumbling mess or something that was very oily looking. I wanted that flaky crust I was familiar with. As it turned out, the taste was great but the texture was too thin. Saved by the flavors.

I have learned a lot through this experiment.

  1. I will never plan to buy dairy butter again.
  2. I have since found a recipe for homemade baking shortening. That’s next.
  3. Coconut oil, refined and unrefined are my new best friends. It has so many uses besides cooking.
  4. I have found a website of a vegan sweet potato expert. Things are looking up for my Christmas pies.  http://sweetpotatosoul.com/2014/01/how-to-make-vegan-sweet-potato-pie.html
  5. Sunflower oil has entered my pantry.
  6. I found non-soy, non-gluten, non-wheat egg replacer. They also gave the ingredients and I have them in my cabinet. I wonder if I can make my own?
  7. I just found an egg replacer recipe using chia seed. Who knew? Got to try this. http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-make-egg-substitute-chia-seeds/

I also found this link for powdered egg replacer recipe. If any of you have used these recipes, I would certainly like to hear from you. My holiday baking begins in about a week and a half. I am planning to experiment ahead of time.

Vegans out there please share your experience and wisdom. I am on fire to test things out.

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