Last week was the week that some of my vegan Thanksgiving recipes were published in the newspaper I work for. It ended up being an entire page for my recipes, photos and descriptions. Also, I wrote an editorial (page 4) about being vegan and my story. It was so much fun putting together the page and I hope you guys enjoy it.
I am so humbled by the interest that my editor, coworkers and community have expressed in my lifestyle and food. It’s really inspiring me to get more creative and eventually expand this to more than just a blog at some point.
Scroll down for the editorial and here is where the recipe page was published (flip to page 11)
A new holiday food tradition
My Vegan Thanksgiving
It’s my first year as a vegan for the holidays. And guess what? My boyfriend and I are hosting the big Thanksgiving dinner for his family. Talk about pressure.
The entire feast will be vegan, except for the turkey. I just couldn’t talk my omnivore boyfriend out of getting one. But, as you can imagine, I will be in charge of cooking everything except the bird.
Through many trials and errors, I have narrowed my menu down to a few staple dishes, plus a few extras; because I like to add more work for myself.
So, while you’re preparing your Thanksgiving meal and you’re stressing about getting everything on the table and have it all still be warm, just think that someone out there has to do all that plus impress a group of meat-and-cheese-loving people with no-meat-and-no-cheese food.
My menu for dinner includes green bean casserole, stuffing (not stuffed into the turkey), caramelized onion gravy, sweet dinner rolls, “frog’s eye” salad (a family recipe), mashed potatoes and candied yams.
For dessert, there will be caramel apple pie, pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream, and homemade banana-vanilla ice cream. I will also make a cashew dip as an appetizer, along with marshmallow-Oreo no-bake drops.
If your mouth is not watering, then you obviously skipped the last two paragraphs or you’re a ginger kid with no soul like me.
My vegan story
Something I get asked a lot since going to a plant-based diet in February is, “Why?” Why did you go vegan? Everyone’s story about veganism is different. For me, it started out because of animal rights, but then it was also about the environment. Now, it’s about a passion for health, food and cooking, plus all those initials reasons.
That may sound very earth-loving and hippy-like to many of you, and that’s OK. You’re entitled to your opinion and I will respect of that, just as long as the feeling is mutual.
I haven’t been vegan since day one of my journey. I started out on a plant-based diet, and now I finally consider myself vegan. If you’re scratching your head trying to think of the difference between the two, don’t worry, I’m going to explain.
Being vegan is a lifestyle, while being on a plant-based diet is just that, a diet. It’s food-based, whereas, veganism is life-based.
This means I don’t wear the obvious things like leather and fur. But, I also don’t buy beauty products that have been tested on animals or contain animal by-products. I try to buy from environmentally-friendly and sustainably-conscientious companies for all of the products in my house. But, beyond that, veganism isn’t just about making better choices as a consumer. It’s about altering your view of the world.
I don’t get mad at my coworker for bringing chicken pad Thai into the office. In the grand scheme of things, veganism is about acceptance, empathy and compassion. If I filled my day with hate for every person that I saw not being vegan, my entire life would be full of hatred and bitterness. I have found that the only way to keep my sanity is to accept others and their choices, be happy for my own and live the best way I know how.
My vegan blog
So what does one do when their passions include food, photography and writing? They start a food blog of course! (Oh, jeez, not another food blog.)
I started the blog in February as a way of keeping myself accountable for eating plant-based. I didn’t actually think being vegan would become a huge part of my life like it is now.
My blog is a way for me to share my passion for food, animals, health and the planet all in one keystroke. I don’t make any money from it. It’s just a hobby and a way for me to share my recipes and ideas with the few people that follow it.
On my blog, you’ll also find more of the vegan Thanksgiving recipes that didn’t fit onto page 11 of this issue.