♥ Giving Thanks 

Happy Thankgiving my friends!

To everyone who has ever peeked at my blog, followed me, or inspired me with your own beautiful pages (I do visit many of them!) I would like to say thank you. I am grateful for the kindness and freedom of expression in the blogging community, for the support we fellow bloggers share with one another, and for the growth we attain by learning from each other. 

I believe allowing the release of our thoughts is invaluable. When we contribute a small portion of our minds or hearts to readers through our words, we are transmitting the same powerful message to everyone who reads it on the other end of the screen. Writing is timeless and our thoughts are of infinite worth.

Let’s keep sharing positive lessons…captivating the hearts of readers with every simple post. 

The impact may be profound.
This Thankgiving is my first as a vegan. Although I have stayed clear of meat for many years, this past June I decided to make the transition to a completely plant-based diet. 

Many people have wondered what kind of a Thanksgiving meal will be siting on my table (don’t worry, vegans don’t only eat raw kale). 🙂

For one thing, I’ve discovered how many options there are for non-meat eaters around the holiday season. Faux vegetarian turkeys and vegan pies, among many other traditionally non-vegan concoctions are now available in virtually any grocery store, making it easier than ever before to replace holiday favorites with their veg counterparts.

I could hardly wait for Thankgsiving to arrive because of my excitement to try out the Tofurky Vegetarian Feast, an all inclusive meal containing the classic Tofurky, gravy, wishstix (vegan jerky), and vegan brownies, enough to serve 6.

From the fantastic reviews I’ve read, I’m certain it will be a hit!

Down below I’ve reblogged a great post with some ideas for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, so whether you are or know someone who is or wants to be vegan, I suggest you take a look. Taking on a plant-based diet is not as intimidating as it may seem, and you certainly don’t have to give up delicious options. In fact, I have found that vegans gain a fresh appreciation for food by eating more cleanly, experimenting with flavors, and trying their cooking abilities in the kitchen at some point in time! 

Above all, vegans contribute to a humane, cruelty-free planet. No animal deserves to die, and humans fare just as well (if not better!) without using them on our plates. The holiday season envelopes the idea of gratitude, which may be as simple as giving back to the planet by eating wisely and refraining from supporting a cruel industry.

Think about that this Thanksgiving.  


Giving Thanks for Leftovers 


I hear a lot of supposedly good-natured ribbing that our Thanksgiving holiday is somehow lacking because we don’t cook a turkey. And I just do a mental eye roll and silently count to ten. Since when does the giving of thanks for the blessings in one’s life and gathering with family and friends only have meaning and significance when done over the mutilated carcass of a gentle and sentient being? Personally, I think the holiday has more value and significance when it is thoughtful and compassionate.

Every year I swear that I won’t do it: that I won’t spend the entire Thanksgiving day (and the night before) in the kitchen cooking . And then, every year, I do it anyway. So much for resolutions. But, on the plus side, we always stretch the leftovers through the weekend. One marathon cooking day equals several days of feasting for us.

Our Thanksgiving feast wasn’t lacking for anything. We enjoyed a Tofurky Roast baked with turnips, parsnips, fennel root and mushrooms. I made a simple baste for the Tofurky using the recipe on the box, but I added dried thyme and rosemary leaves, in addition to the sage, along with a tablespoon of pomegranate concentrate. Add a generous dollop of homemade cranberry sauce, Momma’s special holiday stuffing and savory red wine mushroom gravy over all. So good!

No self-respecting holiday meal would be complete without homemade rolls. I adapted this recipe for the bread machine for what is now our favorite dinner roll recipe (and it makes good doughnuts, too). I substitute plain soy milk and Earth Balance for the milk and butter 

and EnerG Egg Replacer for the egg. I also increase the amount of yeast called for in the recipe. Best of all, the bread machine does the work while the Tofurky and the side dishes are roasting in the oven.

I like to try a new recipe every year, and this year I chose this recipe, from Urban Vegan. Fig-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash will surely make repeat appearances at future holiday dinners. The figs and pecans with the squash are such a delightful combination and perfect for Thanksgiving. I generally followed the recipe (as much as I ever do), but I increased the pecans to 3/4 cup and decreased the agave to 1/4 cup. I also stirred in a scant 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into the filling before baking.

As a kid (and still to this day), I detested the standard Thanks-giving side dish of candied yams with marshmallows baked on top. In fact, it is because of this childhood trauma that years elapsed before I willingly made a yam side dish for my own family at Thanksgiving. Now, it’s glazed yams (from fresh and not canned in heavy syrup) with candied nuts in place of the marshmallows, or it’s nothing.

The Chinese five spice powder in the glaze makes this exotic side dish something special, and it has become a holiday staple for us. Of course, I don’t follow the recipe exactly. I substitute Earth Balance for the butter and I add a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper to the glaze. I replace the corn syrup in the toffee with maple syrup and I increase the amount of walnuts to 1-1/2 cups. A word of warning, though: it’s a good idea to halve the recipe if you aren’t cooking for a crowd.

Past Thanksgivings, I made both a cranberry apple pie and a pumpkin pie (yeah, I spent a lot of time rolling pie crusts). Then I discovered this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake With Candied Cranberries and now I make just one dessert. The combination of pumpkin and cheesecake with the candied cranberry topping provides the best of our favorite desserts and it is a perfect end to a Thanksgiving dinner.

Source: ♥ Giving Thanks For Leftovers


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