A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

I am currently sitting at a deserted hospital. All of the clinics are closed, so this giant building is basically abandoned. It is the first year that I haven’t spent Thanksgiving with my family. I had some inner turmoil about it, but all is well. Plus, I made a few hand turkeys… what can I say, I’m secretly five.

First off, my family rescheduled the holiday to Saturday as both my step-dad and I had to work. SO, I get to have a Thanksgiving, just a few days later than planned.

Secondly, I am just so thankful that I have family that lives in the area. I know how blessed I am to live only a few miles from mom, dad, grandma, etc. This may sound like hell to some people, but I actually enjoy spending time with my family, so there you go.

Third, and most important, this holiday isn’t really vegan friendly. Granted, my family is used to my dietary restrictions. Before taking the plunge into vegan-dom, I was a vegetarian for 12 years. There have been years where they refused to bend—which resulted in a sullen 13-year-old me (tragic in every way possible) gnawing on a roll in the corner. “Well you could be eating the rest of this delicious food with us, if you just stopped being so picky,” REAL supportive family, thanks.

Needless to say, I was an unhealthy vegetarian for the first few years of my journey, as I thought that bread, cheese, popcorn and sunflower seeds equaled a healthy, well-balanced diet… I’m surprised I didn’t get scurvy.

However, now I inhale leafy greens like they are oxygen, and feel the best if I start my morning with some nut butter. I have come a long way.

As have my family.

Now, when I told them I was vegan—my mom nodded, and sent me the Thanksgiving menu, with stars next to all the things she was making animal product free (my mom is the best). Not only are the rearranging their schedules for me, they are also accommodating my dietary restrictions. How could you not love them?

On the menu she has butternut squash soup, roasted brussels sprouts with walnuts and a vegan/gluten-free pie (did I mention my brother is gluten intolerant? We are a handful)

All of this sounds absolutely delicious. However, I like to challenge myself, and I want to add more “traditional” dishes onto my menu, that the rest of the meat-eating family will be enjoying. So, although I am working a ten-hour shift today, and an 8 hour shift tomorrow, and Thanksgiving starts at noon on Saturday (don’t ask why we start so early), I am going to cook the following.

Non-dairy Creamed Kale

Maple Glazed Tempeh (see some repetition? I love a recipe… I make it over, and over and over again)

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato (oh yeah, I love syrup… “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup!”

Apple Sage “Sausage” Chestnut Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce

And Vegan Gravy

Perhaps this is a bit too much…perhaps I will actually think about all the work that is required for that and remember how little time I have to actually accomplish these goals.

Especially because I am also planning a trip to the market to get flowers and kale—mainly so I can flirt with the farm stand boy. GAH, he is just so pretty.

Either way, I will get to spend quality time with the ones I love, probably drink too much wine, get competitive over bananagrams, and listen to Christmas music. FINALLY!

So, my fellow vegans—I hope today finds your bellies full and happy; reveling in your meat-free day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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