You don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to indulge in Plum Bistro's delicious menus. This premier Capitol Hill cafe makes all dishes from organic, vegan ingredients and offers excellent brunch, lunch, and dinner menus in-house, mobile lunch orders, & catering services.

Makini Howell from Plum Bistro is here to show us some tasty meat alternatives you can make for your Thanksgiving meal!

On Makini's menu today we have:

  • Seitan Roast with Cornbread Stuffing & Gravy
  • Plum's Smoky Mac and cheese
  • Southern Braised Collard Greens G/F N/F
  • Rosemary Roasted Winter Squash GF, SF, NF
  • Fresh herb and plant based butter Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
  • Cranberry pear Sauce GF, NF, SF
  • Sweet Cornbread NF
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie

Here's Plum's Smoky Mac Recipe:

At Plum, most of our attention goes to our "Mac 'n' Yease," a vegan mac 'n' cheese from the heavens, with super-secret ingredients. I agree that the Mac 'n Yease should be on everyone's bucket list, but I'm also a fan of this smoky, creamy pasta made with vegan mozzarella and cheddar and our own smoked tofu. (If you aren't in a market that sells Plum's brand, order ours online at PlumBistro.tumblecom/store or substitute another smoked tofu.) You can't have too many macs in your repertoire.

(Makes 6 to 8 servings)


  • To make the pasta, bring a large pot of water and the salt to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a medium sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until crispy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Put the onion, garlic, and thyme leaves in the same pan and cook for about 5 minutes. or until the onion is sok. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk with the thyme and garlic until hot but not boiling, about 7 minutes. Strain out the solids using a fine-mesh sieve and set the milk aside.
  • Melt the buttery spread in a deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Make sure this roux doesn't darken; turn down the heat if it's in danger of browning.
  • Whisk the milk into the roux. Continue to whisk over medium-low heat until the roux is smooth, about 1 minute more. Stir in the soy cream until it is thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the cooked macaroni, 4 cups of the cheese, and the red pepper flakes, and fold together until the macaroni is coated. Scrape the mac into a large baking dish (3 quarts is about right, or use 2 smaller dishes). Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese and tofu-onion mixture over the top. then dust with the panko. Bake until the mac is bubbly in the center, crispy on top, and heated through, about 30 minutes.

For the pasta:

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 ounces smoked tofu (such as Plum brand), minced to roughly resemble bacon bits
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:

  • 3 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted vegan buttery spread (such as Earth Balance brand)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Savory Soy Cream (page 7)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups (22.5 ounces) shredded vegan mozzarella or cheddar cheese (such as Daiya brand), divided
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Half cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)