Vegan Thanksgiving options

Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up Thanksgiving. In fact, a big portion of the dinner is probably vegan–or could easily be made vegan. As for the turkey? Swap out the carcass with a delicious vegan loaf!

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of sharing precious time with family and friends. There’s no better way to show people how easy and delicious being vegan is. And if you can share your vegan food with others, they’ll know so much more about how to be vegan.

Here are some options for the holiday:

Host a dinner

Having dinner at your place guarantees you can make it an all-vegan meal and show others the joy of eating cruelty-free.

Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, soup, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are all dishes that are vegan or easily can be. Substitute butter and milk with dairy-free options and you’re set. You can find lots of vegan recipes online–even for things like gravy.

 

Field Roast, made from seitan (a wheat protein), and Tofurkey (made from soy beans), make delicious prepackaged loaves that easily take the place of a turkey on the table. Doing an online search for “vegan turkey loaf” will return great recipes for a DIY version.

Attend a dinner

There are two types of dinners I’ve attended. My favorite are ones hosted by vegans. I get to try all the food, and I get to spend time with like-minded people.

Attending a dinner with people who aren’t vegan is a great opportunity to bring a dish and show people you can still enjoy holidays and that vegan food is awesome! If being around a murdered turkey is too disturbing, plan to arrive for dessert–with your favorite vegan sweets!

Go to a vegan restaurant

Sometimes vegan restaurants will offer a Thanksgiving meal. You’ll likely have to make reservations in advance, but it will be worth it. It’s also a great chance to take friends who still eat meat and show them vegan options.

 

starter

No matter how you plan to celebrate the holiday, have fun, be safe, and enjoy the vegan food!

 

Vegan Thanksgiving at Plum Bistro

For Thanksgiving this year, hubby treated me to a four-course meal at Plum Bistro, a vegan restaurant in Seattle. Most restaurants were closed today, but Plum had a special prix fixe menu. Hubby thought it would be nice to eat without cooking or cleaning up. He was right!

We started our meal with roasted heirloom carrots and Brussels sprouts with a maple and thyme glaze. I could have gone home happy at this point, but there was more.

starter

Our appetizer was Plum’s famous smoky mac and yease. It was creamy and delicious–vegan comfort food at its finest.

mac and yease

For the main course, we dined on smoked seitan roast with gravy and cornbread stuffing. The stuffing, with cranberry reduction on the side was so satisfying I didn’t need dessert.

main course

But when dessert came–a bourbon chocolate pecan pie–I didn’t hesitate to devour it. It was drizzled with caramel, covered with a dollop of smooth, dairy-free whipped cream, and garnished with pomegranate seeds and a pecan.

pecan pie

I have a lot to be thankful for, and this meal was no exception! I enjoyed a cruelty-free meal and I loved seeing everyone in the packed restaurant enjoying healthy, vegan food too.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you’re in Seattle, you’ve got to visit Plum!

Making a wish with a wishbone

Have you ever wondered why people fight over the chance to break a wishbone?

A wishbone is the front of a bird’s breastbone: the furcula. It’s formed by the connection of two clavicles. The superstition, where two people grab either end of the dried bone and pull to see who gets the larger pieces, has a long history.

As early as the 15th Century, and before turkeys were introduced to Europe, geese bones were used to foresee the future and predict the upcoming winter. Wars were waged based on the bones’ predictions.

Clergy in the 17th Century even tried to tried to stop people from using the bones as a form of superstition. Despite their best efforts, the practice continued–and was brought over to America.

Now, the wishbone is less about prediction and more about making a wish. It’s even called the merry-making bone. But make no bones about it. There’s nothing merry about killing a turkey.

If you want to see if you get a “lucky break” or a “bad break” without including a carcass at your thanksgiving meal, you’ve got options. I suppose a v-shaped twig would work. My husband and I tried a similar tug-o-war with two grapes and a stem and it was also successful (he got the bigger piece, and hence the opportunity to make a wish).

grape wishbone

There’s even a company that sells synthetic wishbones for families who want more than just one wishbone per meal. Their site specifically mentions that their product is suitable for vegetarians.

So no matter how you break it, you can have a fun Thanksgiving, keep the traditions you like, and ditch the cruelty.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cruelty-free Thanksgiving

Last year, I attended the Feast for the Turkeys at Pasado’s Safe Haven. This year, the event is already sold out. To make up for disappointment, Hubby surprised me with reservations to a prix fix vegan Thanksgiving meal at Plum Bistro. That’s not until next week though. In the meantime, I’ll show you what last year’s event was like.

guestcard

Instead of having turkey, the turkeys had us! Butterball was the official host, but Stacie, our lovely guide, took us on the tour. First stop: Turkeys, of course!

turkeys

Turkeys are gentle and kind. It’s not true that if it rains and they look up, they drown. On the contrary, they’re smart birds who protect each other, “talk” to their friends (including people), and are loving parents to their little ones. I got to pet Butterball–what soft feathers! As smart as she is, I’m not sure she noticed that I color-coordinated with her today.

At Pasado's

Next, we met these little piggies, who were rescued from a fire. They loved eating the popcorn, carrots, apples, and bananas we brought.

mini pigs

While I was taking their picture, look who snuck up on me! (You might recognize that mug from my banner.)

goat

I gave him a carrot, and he was happy. As we fed the goats and sheep, I spied a rooster, well, roosting.

roosting rooster

I found lots of chickens in the coop next door. The white ones are rescued laying hens. To think they used to live in cages with no more room to move than if they were standing on an iPad. They love their freedom now! And they’ll never end up in a pot.

chickens

They loved eating lettuce and grapes. Look at that blur–she sure was a fast one!

feeding the fowl

This photo doesn’t show how big these two pigs are. They’re each over 600 pounds! Splash, on the left, saw her siblings slaughtered and escaped certain death by swimming across a river where a startled, but loving woman took her in until she could find a proper home for the pig. Nora, on the right, was rescued from a horder and was starving. They’re both happy, healthy, and safe now.

Splash and Nora

The cows loved the carrots I brought for them, but they look a little suspicious of me, don’t you think?

Eddie Cheddar

cow

After an amazing tour, we toasted the animals with a glass of bubbly and went inside for a feast!

I got teary-eyed as our hosts read the menu: Autumn vegetable samosas with plum chutney, carrot miso spread on baguettes, and baked chickpeas; red kuri squash and coconut soup with cashew cream and beet reduction; massaged kale salad with pomegranate, hazelnuts and pears; parsnip apple puree, root vegetable latkes, orange balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, and maple baked tempeh with apple cider glaze; pumpkin cake with chocolate-hazelnut ganache.

feast

I was overcome with emotion because as we dined on our vegan meal, rescued animals were snuggling in their stalls in the barns next door. Animals that would have been pork chops, turkey cutlets or hamburgers. I wished for peace for all living creatures and longed for every restaurant and household to serve delicious, cruelty-free meals like this.

What a wonderful time! I hope you take a tour of Pasado’s or a similar sanctuary in your area. They’re amazing places.