Happy Monday, Friends! Am I the only one who is super excited about the short work week ahead of us? Yeah, I’m guessing that I am probably not! 😉 I just have two and a half days of work left and then I am home free (literally). Unfortunately, since my brother is in his first year of his residency program, he will not be home for the holidays. So it looks like it will just be my parents, my two puppy dogs, and me. This will seem strange, but irregardless it will be good to be home. I am looking forward to quality family and friend time, cooking, good eating (and lots of it!), relaxing, Black Friday (or I guess it is more like “Black Thursday” now) shopping with my mama, and decorating for Christmas. Could it be a more perfect sounding week? Now let’s hope the next two and a half days fly by and that the four and a half days after that slow way down. I want this holiday season to be a slow once since this is one of my favorite times of the year.
Now with this being a food blog and all, some of you may be curious about just what exactly my family and I will be sitting down to eat on Thursday. I know that I always love to read and learn about other families’ holiday food traditions and plans, so maybe there are a few of you out there who are curious about what a mostly plant-based vegetarian’s Thanksgiving dinner may look like.
Last year was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. And guess what? I didn’t miss the turkey one bit. This year is going to be slightly different. No, I’m not adding the turkey back in ;). In fact, I am taking away even more of the animal-based products. Over the past year I have started following a mostly plant-based diet. I would say that I eat plant-based (often referred to as vegan by many people) diet about 90% of the time and eat vegetarian the other 10% of the time. This 10% is usually reserved for eggs (hey, I love them), the occasional craving for pizza, certain restaurants/when traveling, and during the holidays. Therefore, this Thursday I am still going to try to stick to a mostly plant-based diet, but will also be eating a few old family favorites that contain dairy products.
The Goods (aka, The Food)
While neither of my parents are vegetarians, they are both quite open to a mostly vegetarian meal. My mom is not a big meat-eater to begin with, and my dad is very open to trying pretty much anything that I cook. Even still, my dad will most definitely be cooking up a turkey. I imagine that my mom might eat a little bit of it, but ultimately my dad is going to end up with a lot of leftovers…like, probably enough leftovers to last him until Christmas ;). I, on the other hand, am prepping up one of my newest recipes and current favorites:
I made this several weeks ago and loved it so much that I knew I had to make it for my Thanksgiving Day entree. I am super excited just thinking about it. I’ll definitely be using up any leftovers to make lentil loaf sandwiches, too!
We also plan on making sides galore (even though there will only be three of us!):
My mom is keeping up with her annual tradition and making green bean casserole and our family’s fruit salad.
This is where the dairy comes in. I looked everywhere for canned vegan cream of mushroom soup. And as far as I can tell, it does not exist (or at least nowhere around me). But, I am not giving up my green bean casserole, so it’s getting eaten anyways. Same with the fruit salad. Since this contains dairy from the vanilla pudding mix, it is not vegan-friendly. This fruit salad is so delicious, though, that I am eating it anyways. My holiday meal just would not be the same without it.
My contributions for the sides will be roasted red potatoes…
…homemade Crock Pot applesauce…
…and this vegan stuffing from Whole Foods. I was so excited to find vegan stuffing this year so that I can finally eat it again during holiday gatherings!
Last, but certainly not least, we cannot forget about dessert! I’ve mentioned this before, but in case you forgot: I am a big-time lover of all things pumpkin, especially pumpkin pie! My dad will be following his annual tradition of baking up a pumpkin pie or two on Wednesday night. And this year, while I may eat some of the pie that contains dairy, I am also going to attempt to make my first vegan pumpkin pie! I haven’t decided on the exact recipe that I am going to use, but I am thinking either this one or this one. Has anyone tried either of these? Or, do you have one that you have tried and recommend? I am a bit nervous about making this. But then again, if all else fails I can just dig into this:
And finally, I can’t write this post without mentioning that today is the first day of the Elf for Health Challenge! I can’t wait to have a “buddy” this holiday season and to work my way through the daily challenges. I can’t promise that I will get everything accomplished on the list during this busy holiday season, but I sure am going to do my best. I have a feeling that today’s challenge isn’t going to be too “challenging” for me! 😉
Do you love pumpkin pie as much as I do? Would you ever try a vegan version?
Are you participating in the Elf for Health Challenge?