Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe: Creamy Mashed Root Vegetables

What could be a more perfect holiday mascot for the cook with project than Thanksgiving????

A day that brings family, friends, and strangers together to cook and eat in celebration. Even if you don’t typically rub shoulders with others in the kitchen, most all of you will be on Thanksgiving day. Be it chopping, checking things in the oven, finishing salads or gravy, opening wine bottles or scrubbing dishes, you are cooking with others on this very special day. Enjoy it!

On Tuesday I volunteer as the chef coordinator for an ESL student fundraiser who are all recent immigrants and refugees in the Portland area. The goal is to prepare a Multicultural Thanksgiving to honor their cultures and also meet the community and practice English language skills. The students are all a part of the Metro Workforce Center program, trying to develop skills to get jobs in the community. So here I am, in my element, teaching basic kitchen skills and cooking with strangers in honor of this upcoming holiday. People are never strangers for very long when you cook together! I can’t wait!

Here is a recipe I am making for that event. Try it for your table!

Creamy Mashed Root Vegetables

2 lb. root veggies (celery root, turnips, rutabaga)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 T. cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 T. coconut oil
¾ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 T. raw honey (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Peel the vegetables and cut them into medium chunks.  Put them in a large (4 quart) saucepan, filling the pan with cold water.  Cover the vegetables by 2 inches.  Add fresh thyme.
2. Bring the vegetables to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with olive and coconut oil, coconut milk, sea salt and optional sweetener.  Mash with a potato masher until creamy, adding more coconut milk as needed.  Season well with salt, to taste.
4.  Do ahead option: Keep the mashed veggies warm by holding them in a covered metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water for up to an hour.

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