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The Official Thanksliving Survival and Gratitude Guide

What are you thankful for?
No, really.  Right this minute, can you rattle off some things you’re grateful for? Go ahead and do it. I’ll wait…

Didn’t that feel wonderful? Gratefulness is the reason for the season, and science has shown that a consistent gratitude practice can change the trajectory of your day and the course of your life!  While we’re tackling your most pressing holiday questions and talkin’ feasting in today’s blog, we’re also focusing on the real reason for the season. Besides, everything tastes better with a heaping side of thankfulness!

Be Grateful.  Everyday!

Question #1: “How do I deal with all the questions I’ll get from my family and friends when I show up as a vegan on the most food-focused holiday of the year?

This is a common conundrum at the GetVegucated Schoolhouse Online Community, and it’s one with a response that you can refine and perfect over time.

  • For starters, offer to bring your own food.  That way, you can eat, drink and be merry and be considerate of your host, while also showing your pals how delicious the vegan lifestyle is! 
  • Secondly, try to look at inquiries about a vegan lifestyle as an opportunity, rather than a defensive trigger. Sure, there are misconceptions out there, but people usually ask because they’re genuinely curious! Honor this inquisitiveness by giving them an affirming response with a dash of proactive education like: “That’s a great question. I became educated about how animals we eat are treated and I realized that I didn’t want to contribute to that. I still get to eat fantastic food too!”  
Vegan Thanksgiving Feast
Question #2: “What do I make and/or bring to the festivities that everyone will enjoy?”

Gobble Day is an excellent opportunity to BLOW PEOPLE AWAY with your delicious food. There are amazing recipes for cruelty-free main dishes. Whether you’re the chef, a dish-toting attendee, or a grab-and-go partygoer, the suggestions below will make you the most popular person at the gathering!

Homemade:
Appetizers: Devilish Potatoes, Cauliflower Broccoli Pie with Potato Crust, and Spinach Artichoke Dip with Garlic Cashew Cream

MainSeitan Stuffed with Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, & Mushrooms with Savory Mushroom Gravy, Butternut Squash, Kale, and Chèvre Gnocchi Casserole, Rosemary and Hazelnut Encrusted Seitan, Butternut and Wild Mushroom Lasagna with Pecan Parmesan, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Seitan Chops Smothered in Apple and Ginger, and White Bean, Brussels Sprouts, and Pomegranate Tart

SidesSmoky Butternut Mac n Cheez, Lentil, Beet, & Orange Salad3-Ingredient Cranberry SauceSweet and Salty Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Curried Pecans, Maple Cornbread Muffins, Roasted Green Beans with Walnuts and RosemaryGinger Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples, Green Bean Mushroom Casserole, and Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze

Dessert: Maple Pecan Pie, Maple Cream Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust, Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream, Peach Pie, Chocolate Stout Cake with Whiskey Ganache, Spiced Applesauce Cake, and Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Store-Bought:
Main: Gardein’s Holiday Roast or Field Roast’s Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute

Sides: Amy’s Non-Dairy Vegetable Pot Pie, Lots of fresh veggies, and some tasty vegan rolls with Earth Balance

Dessert: Pillsbury Apple Turnovers with So Delicious Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

In addition to the recipes above, we HIGHLY recommend Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe, an incredible resource, holiday gift option and opportunity to recreate Candle Cafe‘s magical dining experience in the comfort of your own home! We interviewed co-author Joy Pierson on our website. Another culinary staple of the holiday season is Nava Atlas’s Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions!

Question #3: “Beyond the food, how can I put my compassion in to action?”

Sponsor a Turkey: On a holiday where 45 million sensitive and inquisitive turkeys are slaughtered just to fill our plates, it’s a pretty great time to sponsor a gobbler and save a life. Farm Sanctuary has a wonderful “Adopt a Turkey” Project that aims to generate support for the Sanctuary’s many rescued turkeys. 

Mercy For Animals Spare a Turkey Campaign

Do For Others: Nothing gets us feeling more grateful than doing good deeds for those less fortunate! Volunteer with Food Not Bombs to serve nutritious vegan meals to the homeless, donate a warm coat to someone sleeping outside, walk (or sing to – just sayin’) animals in your local shelter, visit with or invite a lonely senior to your meal, give one of the 400,000 children in foster care a memorable gift (November is National Adoption Month, after all).

The point is – every little bit matters and means something BIG to someone. The options are really limitless! We’re sending warm holiday wishes and heaps of moral support to all of you compassionate cuisine connoisseurs out there! Have a gratitude-rich Thanksliving abounding with sharing, caring and enlightened eats.

Thankfully yours,
Team Vegucated