Success!

I did it! I made all of the dishes I set out to make for my first Vegan Thanksgiving.

Not going to lie, my stuffing kicked the other stuffing’s ass. (sorry mom)

But really, it was impressive.

However, we may have gone a little overboard with the amount of food, and I believe I will be eating thanksgiving all week-long… which can get a little repetitive.

So, this is a short and sweet post. But here is what I am thankful for.

1) My family– they rearranged Thanksgiving for me. They play Bananagrams and Mad Gab AND they watch elf while eating candy canes… my family is the most bitchin’ family around.

2) My ability to let things go. And what that means for the future me. Forgiving and apologizing has literally made blue birds land on my shoulders, and sometimes I break out into a spontaneous grin. It is a beautiful thing.

3) My drive and ambition to achieve a plethora of different goals. These goals include: climbing a mountain (next summer!), running a marathon (next fall!), complete a triathlon (next spring!), going back to grad school (I think I figured out what I actually want to do– it might take me a billion years.. whatever), become a yoga instructor, meditate on a regular basis, make a quilt… the list goes on and on.

All BIG goals. (especially the quilt– I get distracted)

What can I say? I’m a dreamer.

Pinned Image

Advertisements

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!!

Friendsgiving

I love the holidays.

No no. You don’t get it. I LOVE the holidays. I’m annoying about it. I am the kind of person most people want to punch in the face when they think about over zealous christmas freaks. Yeah, I have six boxes full of decorations– what of it? Yeah, I start listening to holiday music on Thanksgiving. And yes, I will go to Starbucks (gasp!) and get a holiday drink in a PAPER CUP just for the seasonal drink.

Deal with it.

Here is the thing: I have never gone through a holiday season as a vegan. Vegetarian? Absolutely. As a vegetarian, I was able to eat an entire block of cheese, topped with some eggnog, swirled in some peppermint ice cream. Now, I have to search and hunt for a coffee shop that has vegan chocolate so I can get a peppermint mocha at least once. And yes, I have considered bringing my own soy nog to a barista– but I fear their judgement.

As the holidays approach, and I’m coming to terms with not enjoying my grandmas cheese platter, I am getting crafty with my vegan menus.

My friends and I just threw a Friendsgiving. 30 people crammed into my living room, drinking whipped cream flavored vodka (I did not partake), and eating an 18 pound turkey. What did I do? Well, I rallied with my three other vegan friends and made a feast of epic proportions.

Knowing we would be the odd ones out, I spent my morning at the farmers market. Making eyes at the cute market boy. I may have purchased more brussels sprouts from him then necessary, but those eyes! I can’t resist. With my tote bag full of goodies (local cranberries… what? delightful), I headed home to prepare.

Here is the menu:

Maple Glazed Tempeh, Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad, Wild Rice and Kale Salad, Broccoli Crunch Salad, Cornbread and Cranberry Compote.

I was feeling ambitious. Heidi Swanson does that to you. 101 cookbooks vegan thanksgiving menu? Yes please.

It was all perfect. The tempeh even had the turkey loving folks admitting it was delicious. (take THAT meat industry)

There is nothing better than farmers market/slaving away in the kitchen/succesful dinner parties to kick-start the holiday season.

Just a FYI– get ready for the CHRISTMAS EXPLOSION that will dominate this blog.

Think I can’t make yoga about christmas? Well sir/madam, I whole heartedly accept that challenge.