This year, I had my first Thanksgiving without turkey.
Actually, it was a big thanksgiving of ‘firsts.’ First Thanksgiving away from my immediate family, first Thanksgiving with my boyfriend, and first Thanksgiving that I was going to be preparing for other people.
I’ve decided to give Pescatarianism another whirl, but opted to make the challenge even harder by preparing an all-vegan thanksgiving for myself this year. Yippee!
Ideally, I will be fully vegan one day. But I decided to ease my way back into eating plant-based by cutting out the more problematic meats first – including chicken, pork, and beef. Plus, I really treasure salmon sushi, and I haven’t yet escaped the cognitive dissonance of avoiding one kind of meat and eating another.
Thanksgiving seemed like a good time to try and make a veggie feast! We hit up Whole Foods to maximize on our combined Yuppie-ness, and began the preparations.
Then, the cooking started. I’m actually very surprised we managed to cook a delicious meal, with about six servings of leftovers, all in a tiny apartment kitchen – even more so that it all fit in his fridge!
We shared all the vegan dishes I made, but he made Gordon Ramsay’s Stuffed Roast Chicken with Chorizo Stuffing to go along with it. Admittedly, it looked pretty amazing, especially for his first time roasting a bird. But I know I could make a really tasty vegan version for myself. 😉
Meanwhile, I cooked up vegan mashed potatoes by My California Roots, this Thanksgiving side from Julia’s Album, and this vegan stuffing from Veggie Primer. I swapped out butternut squash for a yam when I made the side dish, and took the cranberries out of the stuffing. I thought maybe there was too much cranberry going on during this whole day.
But can you ever have too much cranberry on Thanksgiving?
We picked up vegan mushroom gravy from the hot bar at Whole Foods, along with a few slices of Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute. Ultimately, I think this was cheaper than my original plan to cook up Gardein roast and make mushroom gravy from scratch.
So how did cooking actually go? Well, I entirely forgot to put veggie broth into my stuffing – so it was on the dry side. Wait, did I say dry side? I mean that it actually burned onto the bottom of the baking dish. Whoops.
I cooked the yams and brussels sprouts a bit too long, I’m not too proud to admit that. But it was still pretty tasty! I prefer crunch to my brussels sprouts, but the yams still faired well when they got tender.
The mashed potatoes brought me back to my childhood instantly. So tasty, so buttery. The perfect leftovers to eat today.
All in all, a tasty meal and a great day to spend with someone I really care about. He loooooved the food, and that makes me really happy.
Onto the next big holiday!