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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Normally, for the past few years, I've done a very non-traditional Thanksgiving meal, usually making lasagna.  It was easy to adapt this recipe when I went to a plant-based diet, and for the last two years I used Rip Esselstyn's fantastic lasagna recipe from Engine 2 Diet.

After the death of my mom, 5 years ago this month, I just wasn't really able to do the 'Thanksgiving thing'.  This year, I am feeling a new level of recovery and want to do something a little more close to our American traditions, (although if you really want to get it authentic, apparently you need to spend the day shooting your guns, eating deer organ meat and getting your kids drunk!  See this amusing reference: )

Stuffed Kabocha and Butternut Squash

I want to take this moment to wish you all a very happy holiday however you may choose to celebrate it (or not celebrate it).   Pausing and being thankful for all that we have in our lives is a good practice for every day!

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Roasted kabocha squash
Roasted butternut squash
 (I will stuff these with a bread/wildrice/pecan/cranberry stuffing)
Homemade rolls
Mashed potatoes (russets and sweet)
Mushroom/onion gravy
Broccoli/cauliflower/quinoa casserole (with homemade cream of celery sauce)
Poached pears with maple syrup and walnuts
German Chocolate Cake

NOTE:  Update:  My youngest son said this is the best vegan meal I've made.  I don't agree with him but was grateful to see his plate very full.  He loved the quinoa casserole which I thought was a disaster.  (My homemade cream of celery sauce needs work....I think I will try adding some mushrooms into the Vita-mix when I blend this and also may use coconut milk or even coconut cream which I recently found at Trader Joe's, to give this a more creamy texture.  It wasn't bad, just not what I was going for.)  The pears were actually my favorite thing....cranberries were too bitter for the stuffing even though I simmered them with a little bit of maple syrup.  I think I'll go with raisins next time.  The leftovers have been good and I'm loving just having cooked butternut around....I roasted three of those and two huge kabochas.  I'll be making a pasta sauce with one of the left-over squashes.

I had the "LET THEM EAT CAKE" attitude which kept me from feeling let down that it wasn't perfect.  (Also, just my immediate family was here, which was drama and to spend the day surrounded by people that I know love me was a true gift).

Sue, cooking, baking and thankful, in Ohio


  1. Sue your menu sounds great. Here is mine:

    Soup - mung bean/veggies [ my recipe ]

    Holiday Stuffing (McDougall Newsletter)

    Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes (McDougall Newsletter)

    Garlic Mashed Potatoes (McDougall Newsletter)

    Mushroom gravy [your blog ]

    lentil-walnut loaf [ The Ultimate Vegan ]

    barley/quinoa/rice salad - with celery/tomatoes/onions/corn/green beans [ my recipe]

    Colorful Broccoli Salad (Dr. Esselstyn - Prevent and Reverse)

    Cranberry Sauce ( my own recipe )

    Cornbread pudding casserole (The Vegan Version wesite )

    Dessert: Crustless Pumpkin Pie (Happy Herbivore)

    Happy Thanksgiving-!

    1. Hi Shell,
      Next year I think I'm coming to your house! Wonderful spread. Hope you had a great day.

  2. Love the link. We just got done learning about the first Thanksgiving in 1st grade this year. I have a special white calendar I burn at the table for my mom and other family members who've made their transitions.

    We usually have Tofurky.
    My son got Trader Joes no-turkey roast this year.
    mushroom rice soup
    mashed potatoes
    raw cranberry - orange relish
    peas & asparagus
    a couple sweet potatoes
    pumpkin cheesecake
    berry cobbler
    coconut custard pie

    1. We joke about the real first Thanksgiving at our house....really wasn't the image of all peace and bliss was it?
      That tradition of the white is lovely. I may have to come up with my own version of that....that could really help me. Thanks so much for sharing.

      (Love your menu too! Coconut custard pie...I may have to look into that).

  3. Sounds yummy! Hope you had a great day!

    1. Hope the same for you too, Gale! TTYS,