A Compassionate Thanksgiving: How I Ate Vegan On a Meat-Heavy Holiday

The Thanksgiving tradition in my family is to have ham. I don’t know how this came about, but it’s what has been done. The tradition of eating turkey, or some other kind of meat is very commonplace for Thanksgiving, unfortunately. This year is the first that I’ve lived with my vegan partner and not my omnivore family. We decided to have our own meal that would reflect our values and also be super delicious! There are many options when cooking and baking vegan, but I wanted to share with you what we chose.Zengarry's Holiday Brie

We started out the day by having brunch with my family. My mom was very thoughtful and provided Yves breakfast sausages, fresh bread, and sliced melons for us, along with coffee with almond milk and a few other things. We also brought along Auntie Loo’s pumpkin spice scones and cinnamon buns. We shared some Zengarry Holiday Brie as well – a big hit with my sisters. I found that spending time with my family over brunch rather than over a turkey dinner was easier for me. Less cooking birds, and more talking and catching up! Our little rescue dog, Démo the Pekingese, also came with us. We enjoyed a walk at the dog park near my parents’s place after eating way too much.Pumpkin Pecan Pie

When we got home, I started on a pumpkin-pecan pie. The recipe was graciously provided to me by someone on the NCVA Facebook page. I love getting recipes that are tried and true already! We went with a pre-made crust and it turned out amazing. This was my first attempt at any sort of pecan pie, vegan or otherwise, so I’m excited to make some modifications to the flavour and try it again.   Once the pie was out of the oven, I threw in a Celebration Roast from Field Roast. Field Roast products may not be widely available in Canada soon, so we figured we’d better make the most of it now. We actually have another one in our freezer for Christmas! Gotta plan ahead for family holidays.

 Anyways, while the Field Roast did it’s thing in the oven, I started boiling potatoes to be mashed into Isa Chandra’s “Fluffy Mashed Potatoes” recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen. I can vouch for the fact that they are fluffy. Very delicious and simple recipe, and we skipped the gravy. I’m a mushroom-hater at heart.

The full meal!Meanwhile, my partner sliced up kale and prepared a dressing for Oh She Glow’s “The Best Shredded Kale Salad”. We made a few mods. We skipped the pecan parmesan and added almonds to the cranberry garnish. It was a light and tart dressing that went well with the cranberries, and was also a good way to get some raw greens into our very rich dinner. I would make this again, but I’d love to try the pecan parmesan next time too! I have some nutritional yeast from VegFest Montreal that I’m itching to use.

Lastly were the Brussel sprouts. These I pulled from Isa Chandra’s “Isa Does It” cookbook. They’re in a recipe for a sweet potato gnocchi dinner, but I just made the tarragon cashew cream and seared Brussel sprouts. This was a more complicated part of our meal, as I find the recipes from this book tend to be. The pay off is huge, though. I’m so glad that I was leant this cookbook! It’s taught me a lot about vegan food prep that I didn’t know, and has certainly provided me with some impressive recipes to add to my repertoire.

Everything worked out well, which we were thankful for. I tried a few new recipes for our Thanksgiving meal and new recipes don’t always look presentable the first time. I hope that you and yours had a restful holiday, and I’d love to hear what you made for your “alternative” Thanksgiving feasts!


3 thoughts on “A Compassionate Thanksgiving: How I Ate Vegan On a Meat-Heavy Holiday

  1. love the post Mackenzie! sounds like you guys had a really nice meal! I had Tofurkey which was pretty yummy, but smart idea to throw a Field Roast in the freezer, I may have to grab one for Christmas too 😉


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