Nov 30, 2014

A Vegan(ish) Thanksgiving


For years the Thanksgiving Holiday has brought me anxiety and left me feeling ostracized. There was nothing about a table full of meat and dairy that left me feeling talkative or social. Often, family and friends reached out and asked what they could prepare that would meet my self-imposed dietary restrictions. This kind of gesture always made me feel guilty. Shouldn’t I just be grateful for food in the first place? What gives me the right to pick and choose the nourishment provided to me? Does it get any less thankful than that?!

To be clear, I understand my dietary habits are a luxury. I am very thankful for having so many food options and the freedom to choose what I want to eat or not eat. That being said, Thanksgiving doesn’t really scream vegan feast.

This year I decided to prepare and bring a few dishes of my own to my family gathering. I went a little overboard. I brought Tofurkey, mini vegan(ish) pumpkin pies, vegan green bean casserole, pumpkin beer, and a bottle of wine.

Mini Vegan(ish) Pumpkin Pies 

For the Crust:

Watch this video and copy Ina Garten’s every move. (I substituted Earth Balance vegan spread for butter).

For the filling:

  • 1, 15 oz can of organic pumpkin pie mix
  • 3/4 cup of *cashew cream
  • 2 eggs (possible vegan substitutions: HERE)

*cashew cream: soak one cup of cashews overnight, rinse and blend with enough water to cover for about a minute.


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  • Lightly grease a cupcake pan
  • Roll the pie dough into small circles, big enough to line an individual cupcake cup
  • Line the cupcake cups with the pie dough
  • Mix the pumpkin pie mix, cashew cream, and 2 eggs
  • Scoop the pie mixture into the pie dough cups
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 – 40 minutes
  • Let cool and enjoy!


Vegan Green Bean Casserole 

Recipe: HERE

*I substituted French’s French Fried Onions for the quinoa flakes and used chardonnay instead of sherry. 

green bean

Dinner was a success  – the food, the company, the spirit of thanksgiving were all synchronized perfectly. The holidays don’t have to burden vegans or vegetarians. Sure, the odds of hosting a full-blown vegan feast won’t get your door kicked in or songs of praise sung in your honor. But there is no harm in preparing a few dishes of your own to help even the table selections.

And before I sign off, I want to share my list of “thanks.” The children’s table at our family feast included coloring pages and worksheets. One worksheet had the kids list ten things they are thankful for. They decided that square crackers were the number one thing they were thankful for, who can blame them? So, to match their tempermant, here’s my list:

  1. My family & God
  2. Almond milk
  3. My Vitamix Blender
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. The internet
  6. Blow-dry bars
  7. Bravo and the Real Housewives franchise
  8. Yoga
  9. Brunch on Sundays
  10. Rescue shelters where my husband and I got Bagel, the newest member of our family. She is a 12-week old beagle/lab mix.


Give thanks,



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