Vegan Thanksgiving

Salutations, everyone!

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you all had a restful, happy, fun day with loved ones. You’re all probably in the same situation I am: emerging from the heavy foods lethargy, getting creative with the leftovers and switching from Thanksgiving mode to (wait for it)….CHRISTMAS MODE. As an aside, I did not partake in the Black Friday craziness but we are putting the Christmas tree up in my house today, so the holidays have officially begun for me.

Let’s talk about more exciting things: my first Thanksgiving as a vegan.

In a few words, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. My Momma might beg to differ, but the substitutions all tasted great and it was exciting trying a few new recipes. My Brother-in-Law and his Dad also came over and had a lot of interesting questions about my veganism which was also exciting. I could go on all day about my thoughts as a vegan. Plus, it’s always nice to catch up with family:

It isn't a get together without a proper snipe. Don't worry — Shazib got some real good gems of me of the most unflattering variety.

It isn’t a get together without a proper snipe. Don’t worry — Shazib got some real good gems of me of the most unflattering variety.

Got to see "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with my sister, too!

Got to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” with my sister, too!

I was extremely thankful this year for how flexible everyone was, especially my Mom since she cooked everything, with my special dietary needs. My Mom got creative with recipes she has used for years and used vegan substitutions like Earth Balance vegan butter, flax seed and even nutritional yeast. She even let me try out two new recipes that I posted about a few days ago:

Easy Spicy Mac and Cheese from The Simple Veganista

Rosemary Whole-Wheat Stuffing with Figs and Hazelnuts from Vegetarian Times

My Mom made the stuffing while she prepped the rest of the food and it was absolutely delicious. We have fresh rosemary in our kitchen and I picked out Ezekiel multigrain bread which was toasted to perfection and fragrant and delicious:

Stuffing...vegan style.

Stuffing…vegan style.

I really love figs and was a big fan of this. The macaroni and cheese was made by yours truly and was the first time I have used nutritional yeast in cooking, or ever, for that matter:

This was a joy to make and watch come together. It had a little kick to it and the spice was good, but I think nutritional yeast is a bit of an acquired taste. The texture was creamy and looked exactly like macaroni with dairy cheese, but the taste was different. Not bad, just different. I think I’ll have to try the yeast flakes a few more times and find a way I like them the best. I was hardly sacrificing anything as a vegan this Thanksgiving:

I like to eat.

I like to eat.

Clockwise from top: Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (accidentally vegan, but vegan nonetheless. Score!), mashed potatoes with coconut milk instead of dairy, sweet potatoes (my favorite), corn, macaroni and cheese, stuffing. I also had a Boca “Chicken” patty as my protein.

Let’s not forget about dessert:

Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie...the best parts about Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie…the best parts about Thanksgiving.

The photo is pretty dismal, but the food was PHENOMENAL. My Mom makes an excellent Apple Pie and so I was delighted to have the vegan version this year. Honestly, you couldn’t really taste a difference. Even the crust, which she makes herself, tasted the same. The Pumpkin Pie was delicious and she used coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. The texture was a bit more akin to pudding rather than its usual texture, but it tasted delicious all the same [I’m actually enjoying some as I write this].

I really have a lot to be thankful for this year — especially as a vegan. I’m not going to bore you guys with all of that mushiness, but I am really very happy. Every day, veganism has a way of surprising me, keeping me modest, or showing me how amazing the Earth really is.

“Veganism deprives us of absolutely nothing. On the contrary, it provides a priceless gift — the peace of knowing that we are no longer participants in the hideous violence that is animal exploitation” — Gary L. Francione

 

 

 

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