Scary story in one sentence: When I was 21 years old, I developed a dairy allergy. I was the type of girl who would eat a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, a cheese quesadilla for lunch, and pasta with Alfredo sauce for dinner. Dairy in all its glorious forms was my jam. However, I learned very quickly that there's a wide world of dairy alternatives, like Country Crock® Plant Butter, that rival even the creamiest butters and stinkiest cheeses. Plus, plant-based butter is better for your health and for the planet.
So when it comes to Thanksgiving, I'm basically a pro at crafting a spread that both me and my dairy-loving counterparts can enjoy. In fact, I challenge any regular dairy eater to tell the difference between dishes created with plant-based butter and those made with regular butter. Try out the Thanksgiving recipes below and prepare to be converted to the dairy-free life.
Stuffing is by far my favorite Thanksgiving side dish, and using sourdough bread as the base gives it an extra kick. All you need is a small loaf of bread, Country Crock® Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil, broth (chicken, vegetable, or bone all work), three eggs (or egg substitute for vegans), and some chopped veggies and herbs. I like to use tri-color carrots, shallots (or sweet onions), celery, and fresh sage.
Tear up the bread into small pieces and bake on a sheet for about 30 minutes, meanwhile cooking all the veggies in a skillet with Country Crock® Plant Butter until tender. Beat your eggs in a bowl and add about 2 1/2 cups of broth, then add the mixture into a bowl with the vegetables and bread. Let it sit for a few minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed, and then bake with a foil cover for about 30 minutes. Finally, take off the foil and let it crisp for another 20 to 30 minutes.
Maple Butter Roasted Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is already quite naturally sweet, so you don't have to do much other than roasting it until it becomes slightly caramelized. For this Fall-flavored rendition, all you need is the squash, maple syrup, Country Crock® Plant Butter with Almond Oil, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
First, trim the top and bottom, and cut the squash in half. Scoop out all the seeds and strings and cut the remaining squash into one-inch thick slices in a half-moon shape. Microwave or warm in a pot 1/2 cup maple syrup, 3 tbsp. Country Crock® Plant Butter, cinnamon, cloves, and salt until melted. Drop the squash pieces onto a baking sheet and brush each piece with your maple butter. Roast on one side for about 25 minutes, flip them, brush the second side with maple butter, and roast for another 15 minutes.
Crumbly Apple Crisp
Sure, pie is great, but have you ever tried a warm, melty, ooey-gooey apple crisp? It's also about 10 times easier and quicker to make than a full-blown pie — it's a win-win for everyone. You'll need brown sugar, cornstarch for thickening the inside, cinnamon, about 4 large Honeycrisp apples (or your favorite kind), a lemon, flour (any kind will do, especially if you're gluten-free!), rolled oats, your favorite chopped nuts if that's your jam, and Country Crock® Plant Butter Sticks with Almond Oil.
Start with the filling — whisk 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, and cinnamon together until smooth. Slice your apples in your preferred size and add into the sugar mixture along with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Spread out in a baking dish and set aside. For the topping, add 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, nuts if you're using, and a pinch of salt into a bowl and whisk together. Using your hands, work in 1 stick of cold Country Crock® Plant Butter into the mixture until sticky and clumpy. Scatter the topping over the fruit, and bake on 375°F until the juices on the edges are bubbling and topping is golden brown.
Gravy is a must if you're serving mashed potatoes (more on that later), and if you're dairy-free or vegan, you pretty much have to make your own. Luckily, it's insanely easy to whip together in a few minutes with only a couple ingredients. If you're vegan or vegetarian, you'll need a meatless bouillon base (like this one), otherwise, grab a regular chicken-based bouillon. Then you'll need Country Crock® Plant Butter Sticks with Olive Oil, flour, poultry seasoning, and cracked pepper.
Start by dissolving 1 tbsp. of bouillon in 3 cups of water. Heat your Country Crock® Plant Butter and 3 tbsp. of flour in a sauce pan until a smooth and bubbling roux forms in about 2 minutes. Pour in the bouillon mix and whisk for about 5 minutes until it starts to bubble. It should start to thicken at this point, but you can keep whisking in 1 tbsp. of flour at a time until it gets to your desired thickness. Once you're happy with the thickness, add 1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning and a healthy amount of cracked pepper, whisk, and serve!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
The key to making these babies the star of the table is the roasted garlic — roasting your garlic definitely takes a bit more time than just sautéing, but you'll get the payoff in a sweeter, more robust flavor and more aromatic dish all around. Your grocery list should include two good-sized heads of garlic, olive oil, your favorite kind of potatoes (russet, creamer, red, or purple all work), dairy-free milk like almond or oat, Country Crock® Plant Butter with Olive Oil, and parsley for a garnish.
You'll need about 45 minutes for the garlic to fully roast — you can also do this in advance while other things are cooking. Slice about a 1/2 inch off the top of the head so you can see all the individual cloves. Put the heads on a sheet of foil and douse each with olive oil. Wrap the foil tightly around the heads and pop in the oven at 400°F and leave for 45 minutes. Pierce your potatoes with a fork and drop them in a pot of salted boiling water and let them cook for about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot, and add in 1 cup Country Crock® Plant Butter, 1 cup dairy-free milk, and mash until it gets to your desired smoothness. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the head and add almost all of them into the mash and stir with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with more garlic cloves and chopped parsley.