The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means? People start to go insane. At least, that’s what I have been noticing. Everyone is beginning to stress over what to make for Thanksgiving dinner. Who is showing up? Who is not showing up? What to get grandma for Christmas? It seems like the list never ends.
Everyone has ended up in a stressful conversation like this at some point. Whether it be in the office, or waiting in line with the most hip toy bundled under your arm like a quarterback holding a football attempting to remain calm during a Black Friday sale at Target. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but at some point during these hectic conversations, the topic that I’m vegan always comes up. No matter what the situation is. The simple fact that I don’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving is a serious issue. It might as well be considered a crime by some people. After that fact is well established by everyone within a 50 foot radius of me, the next questions arises, “Then, what DO you eat for Thanksgiving dinner?!”
The answer is simple, well… I eat almost everything else.
If you’re fortunate enough, then there’s typically an entire table of food. How could one possibly starve by not eating one thing on the table? That would be like if I was astonished that you passed up the corn on Thanksgiving Day.
Making your favorite Thanksgiving Day staples vegan is simple! Here’s just a couple ideas to get you started, and no one will be able to tell the difference.
Vegetables make their presence at every Thanksgiving table. Whether it be a green bean or carrot, there is usually something nutritious about. One thing to pay attention to, especially if eating at a family member’s home, is if they are adding butter to the dish.The holidays are not known to be healthy, so chances are Aunt Mimi may have slipped some butter into a couple of your favorite holiday sides. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this epidemic! If your aunt or whoever really, decides that butter on green beans is entirely necessary for their existence, then just swap out the butter for some dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance. No one will know the difference.
Here’s a recipe that I got from Yoga Journal for brussels sprouts that I can’t stop making. I got my boyfriend hooked so now he buys pounds of brussels sprouts specifically for me to make this recipe (That’s how good it is).
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 lbs brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the ends of the brussels sprouts, and cut in half lengthwise.
2. Mix all of the ingredients, then cover the brussels sprouts with mixture in a baking sheet. Make sure brussels sprouts are coated well, and in a single layer.
3. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes stirring about every ten minutes until they are soft and caramelized.
That’s it! Try it out, you won’t regret it!
Mashed potatoes are a very important holiday dish for my family. Unfortunately they normally include dairy… Until a couple days ago. So, I was experimenting in my kitchen. By experimenting, I mean, I ran out of ways to make potatoes, so I thought I’d give this a try. All I did was replace cow milk with Almond milk, and butter with dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance, like we discussed earlier. They turned out great!
Red Vegan Smashed Potatoes
serves about 4
- 4 medium red potatoes (I leave the skin on mine. If you are anti-potato skin, then I would suggest removing the skin before boiling)
- 1/2-1 cup almond milk (You may need more depending on what size potato you use. This is just an estimate, like I said, I was “experimenting”)
- 2 tbsp dairy-free margarine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes in water until they are soft enough to mash. By determining this, I usually just stab a fork into one and call it a day, but to each their own. I think I usually boil them for about 30 minutes or so until they are cooked thoroughly. Once cooked, drain water, add almond milk and margarine, then smash away. Once they are pretty much smashed to your desired consistency, then add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue smashing until all of the ingredients are mixed well.
I’ve never made vegan stuffing before,but I was doing some research, and there’s a lot of great vegan stuffing recipes out there. Here’s one that caught my eye: Walnut Apple Stuffing
Hopefully this entry has inspired you to curve your perspective this holiday season to try something different, healthier, and delicious for your family.