Vegan Thanksgiving? You Bet!

Even way back in June when my husband and I began a very rapid transition to veganism, people would ask – well what about Thanksgiving?  What the heck will you eat?

It’s a valid question, but when you consider that the origins of Thanksgiving were to celebrate the end of a successful harvest season, and to relax and rejoice after months of hard work, I would argue that a vegetarian thanksgiving makes much more sense!  I mean, what is it about eating a bird that says hard work?  I suppose if you’ve outrun it with your bare hands to bring it to your table, that’s one thing.  But for most of us I would argue that Purdue and Butterball had a lot more to do with the reason why the bird has become the centerpiece of a celebration that’s otherwise intended to revolve around vegetables.

There will be no animals on my festive holiday table this year.  No cows milk in the mashed potatoes, no butter in the stuffing, no lard in the baked beans, and definitely no majestic birds in the oven.  So what will we eat?  I’ll be preparing a day-after Thanksgiving feast.  Much of this year’s menu was inspired by The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone, a book I highly recommend.  Other recipes are from the Forks Over Knives book, a supplement to the amazing movie.  The sources are abbreviated below as either TKD or FOK.  Here’s a glimpse of what we’ll be having:

Kabocha Squash Soup – made with two ingredients – kabocha squash and water…  You simply boil the cut up squash, and then mash it with a potato masher.  That’s it.  Don’t tell anyone though because they’ll think it’s a gourmet recipe loaded with secret herbs and spices.  It’s unbelievably tasty.  *TKD pg 253

Lentils, Wild Rice, and Caramelized Onions – shoot – I just gave you the whole recipe in the title again.  Hate that!

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts – Cooking in season is always ideal, and sprouts and shallots are in right now!  Add a dash of maple syrup and the sprouts you used to turn your nose up to taste like candy.   *FOK pg 165

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes – No butter nor milk in these bad boys!  Just bright orange sweet potatoes, soy milk, salt and pepper, and a splash of maple syrup.  *FOK 169

Fruity French Lentils – These you’ve got to taste to believe.  It’s a cold salad with lentils, fruit, basil, parsley, raspberries, and OJ.  Sounds a bit bizarre, but it suits my sweet tooth just fine. *TKD pg 245

Mixed Berry Cheesecake – You didn’t think vegans skip dessert, did you?  Graham cracker crust, and a blend of non-dairy cream cheese and silken tofu create a mouthwatering delight you’ll swear could be served at Cheesecake Factory.  Sure there are some calories in this one, but not an ounce of cruelty or inhumanity.  Now that’s something I can sink my teeth into!  *TKD pg 192

I’m so excited to share this meal with family that’s visiting from out of town this year.  I only wish we had a bigger table and could have an open invitation!

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