Planning a vegan-ish Thanksgiving

Pumpkins

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I’m still finalizing my cooking plans. This year our Thanksgiving will be pretty quiet, most of my family will be in New York fawning over my new niece so that means less people at our house. I will be the only person in the crowd not eating meat or dairy, so I must carefully plan all my side dishes. Last year was my first Thanksgiving on the raw food diet. I was nervous about what my family would say, especially my father. It all turned out just fine in the end, nobody noticed I wasn’t eating meat and I was worried for no reason. This year I don’t have that added stress everyone knows about my diet, it’s part of who I am at this point. Best of all I don’t have to cook the bird. My husband always makes the turkey, he enjoys cooking so that has always been his job. In fact I have never cooked a turkey in my life, even when I was a meat eater.

My husband and I always plan out our menu together and discuss what wines we will serve. For us the wine is just as important as the food. My husband LOVES Thanksgiving food and I generally don’t. I love sweet potatoes and the vegetable dishes; but I have never been a big stuffing eater and I’m definitely not a fan of anything that is creamed. I like the idea of Thanksgiving, but I generally don’t like the holiday. Somehow it has become all about the turkey and how to cook it so it will stay moist. Every year we hear about brining, smoking and frying turkeys. Enough is enough, how did it become all about cooking a turkey?  I do enjoy some aspects of Thanksgiving.

It’s great to get together with family and reflect on what we have in our lives to be thankful for. It’s also nice to donate food to people who cannot afford to feed their own family or need a little extra help. That is really what the holiday is all about. It’s about giving thanks not cooking a bird. Still a menu must be planned.

I have a vague idea of what sides I’m making, I’m more of a last minute type of cook. This week I’ve been consulting some of my favorite cookbooks for inspiration. I have plenty of vegetables to cook so it’s just a matter of narrowing down which ones I’ll make.

cookbooks

I like reading a wide variety of cookbooks, not just raw ones. Lately I’ve been enjoying Diana Kennedy’s  book, Oaxaca al Gusto. Her book is filled with beautiful photographs, interesting facts about food and mouthwatering mole recipes. Most of her sauces are served with meat, but the meat can be easily left out and replaced with beans or tempeh.

chiles

Just look at those beautiful chiles. I will most likely make something from her book, either a bean dish or a few salsas to serve with my appetizers. Her recipe for mushrooms in a yellow mole sounds absolutely amazing.

sweet potatoes

I will definitely be making a sweet potato dish, maybe sweet potato millet cakes. I don’t have a recipe yet, but I like the idea of serving them in little cakes. Better get busy on finding one.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts will be roasted that is for sure, that is my favorite way to cook them. I love how they get slightly sweet and caramelized and so does my husband. I am not sure if I will serve a salad, if I do it will be really special one. I don’t want people to think all I eat is lettuce. Instead I may make my raw vegan pumpkin seed curry served over cauliflower, since my husband really likes it.  The last thing I have to figure out is a raw dessert.

pie rack

I’m not into baking, but I think I want some sort of raw pie this year. I love this recipe for a pecan breakfast pie and I may make a few of these to serve along with the other pies. I also did buy some vegan chocolate to keep around just in case I need some, it does contain sugar so I’ll eat it sparingly. It’s good to be prepared. it may sound like I’m too laid back with my planning and I guess I sort of am. For me cooking vegetable dishes is really easy so I have nothing to really stress over plus we have a small crowd this year.

chocolate

Yes, this is how a lazy cook plans a Thanksgiving meal. Luckily my husband will be making the stuffing, a potato dish and the turkey so I will not be overwhelmed. I’m looking forward to a stress free dinner with family. The most important thing for me to do is juice in the morning and eat raw all day that way I’ll be calm as I cook. Nobody like a stressed out host. If all goes as planned I’ll be sipping on champagne as the guests arrive. I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow.

  • i’m working on a thanksgiving blog myself, i’ll probably post it sometime tomorrow. sounds like you will have a nice relaxing day though, and your husband will do the dirty work. btw, everyone is talking brussel sprouts lately, so i’d like to know how you make yours. i have not eaten them in over 20 years, have never cooked them, and have no clue. btw, my daughter maddie and i just finished that very chocolove bar. the ginger is a nice touch. have a great thanksgiving neven!!!!

    • I roast my brussels sprout, I’ll post a recipe w/ cooking times. Thanks for the tip on the chocolove, I feel good knowing I have it around. Hope have a great Thanksgiving as well, I know yours may be a little difficult with all the non vegan food but you are pretty tough so you’ll get through it.

  • i’m working on a thanksgiving blog myself, i’ll probably post it sometime tomorrow. sounds like you will have a nice relaxing day though, and your husband will do the dirty work. btw, everyone is talking brussel sprouts lately, so i’d like to know how you make yours. i have not eaten them in over 20 years, have never cooked them, and have no clue. btw, my daughter maddie and i just finished that very chocolove bar. the ginger is a nice touch. have a great thanksgiving neven!!!!

    • I roast my brussels sprout, I’ll post a recipe w/ cooking times. Thanks for the tip on the chocolove, I feel good knowing I have it around. Hope have a great Thanksgiving as well, I know yours may be a little difficult with all the non vegan food but you are pretty tough so you’ll get through it.