A Veggie Thanksgiving

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday, and are going to be enjoying all of the delicious leftovers all weekend long. Our fridge is stuffed with all kinds of yummy food from yesterday, and I can’t wait to dig back into it!

When I first decided to do the vegan experiment, I planned for it to “end” on Thanksgiving, so that I could eat turkey. But, as the day approached, I decided that I really didn’t want to stop just yet and to give it a full 6 weeks (which would “end” this coming Sunday… but I’ll get into that later). Greg did eat turkey- and I’m sure he loved every bite of it! For me, turkey isn’t the food that I look forward to most on Thanksgiving- it’s all about the sides!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was very low-key, and that was really nice. We usually go over to my mom and stepdad’s house, along with all of my siblings, their spouses and kids. That’s a pretty large group. And while I love getting together with my family, sometimes it’s nice to just have a smaller production. All of my siblings ended up going to their in-law’s houses, and my mom and stepdad (Joe) came over to have dinner with Greg and me. Since I wasn’t eating turkey, and didn’t plan on buying one, my mom happily roasted one herself and brought it over for her, Joe and Greg to enjoy.

I started out my day the same way that I’ve started every Thanksgiving morning for the last four years- by teaching a super tough, sweaty Spinning class. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I was home and showered a little after 9:00 and quickly gobbled (hehe) down some oatmeal before getting to work.

Greg and I started prepping and cooking everything around 10:30 am, and by 2:00, it was all done! Not too shabby. Before the meal, we all munched on some snacks.

The pistachios were Greg’s special request. Good idea!

He also requested the pickles and olives, which he could easily eat by the jar.

I made this hummus by combining chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, green olives (and olive juice), green onions, salt, pepper and smoked paprika. It was served with raw veggies and Mary’s Gone Crackers.

We all munched on the appetizers and drank the pumpkin beer that Greg and I had been hoarding in the fridge for the last two months (I figured that it would be a good day to finally drink the rest of it!).

And, about an hour later, the main meal was served!

Here’s what I made (I can’t write out the exact recipes, because I didn’t measure anything):

This delicious stuffing was made from Ezekial 7 Sprouted Grain bread, cherries, mushrooms, walnuts, onions, celery, sage, rosemary, vegetable broth and Earth Balance spread.

My mom also brought over some stuffing that she had put inside of the bird (I didn’t try it, but I’m sure it was delicious!).

This may have been my favorite side: sweet potatoes, delicata and kabocha squash and red carrots roasted in a glaze of maple sugar, cinnamon, olive oil and sea salt:

(I am SO excited that I made a huge batch of this and have so much left over!)

Brussels sprouts roasted in (a little) maple sugar, olive oil, liquid smoke and sea salt:

I usually roast brussels sprouts with bacon, but the liquid smoke/maple combination tasted even better!

(You’ll also notice sauerkraut in that photo- it’s been a Thanksgiving tradition for my family for as long as I can remember. I love it! I also served some peas because I didn’t think there was enough green on the table. :))

The gravy was made with roasted/pureed crimini mushrooms, sage, vegetable broth, Earth Balance spread, onion powder and oat flour to thicken it all up. Yummmm….

I also made cranberry sauce for the first time ever. Well, technically, Greg made it. :) It had fresh cranberries, orange zest, juice from the same orange, agave nectar and a few chia seeds to “gel” it up. It was great- nice and tart like Greg likes it!

My wonderful dinner companions:

No photos of me… but here’s my beautiful plate of food!

We broke open a bottle of The Pines Satin White that was brought back from our honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 2011. Ahh…. Oregon wine….

Instead of turkey, I had some Beyond Meat, which tastes so much like chicken that I almost can’t tell the difference. It’s almost scary how much it tastes like chicken… (right, Heather?) I went back for seconds on most of the sides, and felt deliciously satisfied. But, after dessert… I was definitely stuffed!

This pie was a take on my Flavors of Fall dessert (apples, pears and cranberries), and had a crumb topping (which beats crust any day in my opinion!), made from oats, pecans, coconut syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon and ground flax seeds. It was so good.

And that kept me full for the rest of the day!

The rest of the evening was filled with football, me trying to show my mom how to use my iPad (again), me trying to show my mom how to use Facebook (again) and more football. All in all, a pretty perfect day!

What did you do for Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?


  1. i’m totally about the sides too. I don’t even like turkey that much. Now about this beyond chicken tasting faux meat. Is it soy and gluten free? Looks good!

  2. That Beyond Meat looks interesting. I just went to their website and they don’t sell it in Georgia yet, unfortunately.

    Glad you had a good Thanksgiving! It’s probably a good thing that your mom doesn’t understand Facebook. Trust me!

    • They don’t sell it in many places yet- I wish they did! It’s manufactured in Cumberland, yet you can only buy it at one store in Maryland, all the way near Columbia! It’s in every Whole Foods in Colorado though- which is a lot further away!

  3. All looks delicious! And I’m with you that the meats don’t appeal to me much either. The sides are the best and I love the variety in yours. Glad you enjoyed your day!

  4. The roasted veggies sound delicious. My mom made a delicious dinner (I made the pies) and my favorite was everything!

  5. Yummy!

  6. When you inspired me to do the Vegan Experiement I said I would do it for 12 weeks like the film suggested, so it was a rough Thanksgiving. Not so much because of the no turkey, but things like stuffing in chicken broth, I really wanted some and had to hold back. Your spread looks delicious! I am a side person too.

    • 12 weeks! Whoa! Greg and I had already agreed to do it for 6 weeks before we ever watched Vegucated (if that’s the movie you were talking about), but hey- another 6 wouldn’t be that hard. It would probably also make it a lot easier to lay off the Christmas cookies…
      And I hear you about the sides. My mom put butter in EVERYTHING she brought. And she was like “oh! You can’t eat butter?!” No, mom… butter is a form of dairy….. sigh.

  7. Your stuffing and sweet potato mix looks super yummy!! I can’t wait to hear when (IF) your vegan experiment is ending! :)

  8. Those D-shaped serving bowls are BEAUTIFUL!

  9. Your Thanksgiving meal looks delicious…all the lovely veggies is music to my ears. I bypassed the turkey too and did just fine. It’s all about the sides is right!

  10. Heather @ Better With Veggies says:

    That Beyond Meat stuff is WAY too realistic for me. I just don’t like real chicken. ;) I was kind of excited that you had veggie thanksgiving, although I would have been more excited if you’d been in Vail with us to celebrate. But I’m so glad you got to celebrate with your parents! :)

  11. I definitely haven’t missed the turkey the past two Thanksgivings…I am ALL about the sides. We always have the same ones in my family, and I love them all, but I must say….I would pretty much die to eat this feast you have presented! Mixing sweet potatoes and tow of my favorite squash? Hello, delicious! And I love that you had Chia Cranberry Sauce. Only you. [And, well, maybe me. And a few other people we know.]


  1. […] enough to have that Friday off!). This was the first year in my whole life that I wasn’t with my family for Thanksgiving. Since I was in Maryland a few weeks ago for my stepsister’s wedding it didn’t really […]

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