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3 Food Tips for a Yummy, Festive Vegan Thanksgiving

A vegan in modern American society is constantly treated like the new transfer student back in middle school. Everyone ogles at your meal choices and is just so curious about what you eat and how you live. But then, eventually, most people begin to realize you love food just like everybody else and that hey, you’re just like all the other middle school kids. I love that. Although I personally am only vegan for short periods throughout the year (and even then I fluctuate with pescatarianism and consistency), when you get to that point where your friends just understand eating becomes so much more of an experience rather than a lecture hall. But for some reason, nobody comprehends how vegans handle the sacred turkey day that we all know and love, Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving itself is an interesting celebration because although every holiday is an excuse to eat too much food, drink too much wine, and make too many blunt remarks with those people whom we know, love, and call our family and friends. Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. Really. So, I guess I’ll let the desperate vegan inquiries slide and the big sighs of “oh you poor thing, can’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving” because our society really does have a holiday centered around a big slab of meat. Classic.

But not to fear, here are some great vegan Thanksgiving ideas for herbivores and omnivores alike!

Rule #1: Festive veggies

Source: New York Times

Squash, carrots, brussel sprouts, kale, asparagus, string beans, mmm, mm, mmm! Gorge on the veggies of the season! Stuff them, cook them, season them. And really, really, really invest in some butternut squash to make delicious entrées  (yes, I said entrée) like roasted butternut squash with kale and almonds or butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and bread stuffing with apples! Stuff mushrooms with spinach, caramelize brussel sprouds, or just simply put a maple-fennel glaze on rich, ripe carrots! Channel your inner fall spirit and manifest it into your legumes for not only a tasty dish but also one that is appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Rule #2: Work that potato

Source: Woman and Home

Get your starch in! Make some delicious vegan mashed potatoes (supplementing butter with Earth Balance and dairy milk with almond or coconut). Spruce it up with garlic, paprika, shallots, thyme, even navy beans for a flavorful, fulfilling dish. Add hummus. And as much as russet potatoes are a constant go-to, stay in season and milk that sweet potato. Stuff them with quinoa and cranberries for a hearty, festive, and delicious vegetarian delight! And don’t worry, just because you’re not eating meat doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some gravy. Try a mushroom infused gravy sauce to drizzle over your hard-worked potatoes, it’ll be so good that even the omnivores will be drenching their turkey in it.

Rule #3: One word, three types, unlimited possibilities: pie

Source: Honk If You’re Vegan

Apple. Pumpkin. Pecan. I swear you should just make all three, share them around the table and nobody will even question if it would have been better with milk or eggs: it wouldn’t. The thing about vegan desserts is the attention to detail placed on texture and weight and when it comes to pie the emphasis placed on retaining the “non-vegan” qualities of the dessert leads to a rather accurate“recreation. Sugar is universal, vegans have sweet teeth too, and there are easy supplements for still making a rich, butter-like pie crust.  And I mean really, as much as we like to think Thanksgiving is all about the turkey we know it’s not a true meal until the pie comes out and everyone’s around the table sharing a little slice of vegan heaven.

-Lauren Samuel

Cover image source.

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