Imagine this scenario: You come home for Thanksgiving break, ecstatic to see your family. But that's one holiday scenario you're anxious for—the one day every year you awkwardly sit at the table and try to answer why you're hesitant to eat most of the food.
This, my friends, is the experience of a vegan at Thanksgiving. It's hard, especially for first-time vegans. It's something millions of Americans have to experience every year. No one wants to fill up on bread all night.
Thank goodness I'm writing this article, to save all you fellow vegans from the hardships of Thanksgiving. There are a few dishes you can gorge on and join your fellow family members in the ritualistic Thanksgiving coma. So, without further ado, here are some lifesavers for your next thanksgiving.
1. Roasted Veggies
I don't know about you, but roasted veggies are a vegan staple when it's at Thanksgiving in my house. We always have brussels sprouts or asparagus sitting on the table calling my name.
In order to make an amazing array of roasted veggies, take seasonal produce (I like to use sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and asparagus) and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Then cook for 40-50 minutes in an oven set for 400ºFahrenheit—that easy.
2. Mashed Cauliflower
This is one of my favorite vegan dishes ever. Take a head of cauliflower and chop it into florets. Steam them with five cloves of garlic for about 15-20 minutes, until soft.
Next, transfer to a food processor and add 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and two tablespoons of olive oil (if you want to add a buttery flavor, you can substitute Earth Balance instead). Add salt and pepper to taste, and grind until it forms a smooth, mashed potato-like consistency.
3. Quinoa Kale Salad
When everyone's gorging on carbs, slip in this sexy vegan side dish to get some nutrients into your body. Take about 1-2 bags of kale, then wash and dry. Next, take some dry quinoa and cook according to the instructions.
When finished, make sure it is completely cool before you mix about 2-3 cups of it with the kale. Then, mix in cranberries, pecans or walnuts, and chunks of roasted butternut squash. Toss in a balsamic vinaigrette, and you're good to go!
Being vegan at Thanksgiving is hard, I know. But you have the power to bring some veggies to the table, and make sure you don't go hungry.
And, if all else fails, buy some crescent rolls and cook according to the package directions. They're vegan and a perfectly acceptable meal.