Friday, November 9, 2012


The holidays are a time of family and friends. They are a celebration of our common journey. A celebration of our own little community.

As we enter our season of Thanksgiving, we honor the role food and family plays in our life, and our sustainability of that life.

Thanksgiving was always the one time of year our full family would get together. Sometimes we all ventured to my grandma's house on other holidays, but we could guarantee that the family would be together on Thanksgiving. It fitting that a holiday for giving thanks is mandated to include family and food.

Those things are really what sustains all life. Without them, we cannot live.

As I've gotten older, I have realized the importance of this idea. And that family isn't limited to close blood relations. Family can be seen as anyone in our close social circle. We consider our best friends "like a brother/sister." And we all agree the cat or dog is a family member.

But family is more than this. In God, we are all a family. A human family. A family of all sentient beings.

We give thanks to be a part of this family.

So when we have a meal of symbolic thanks, we must also be mindful and thankful of our full family.

Having a vegan Thanksgiving meal is not as hard as it may seem. Things like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes  green beans casseroles, stuffing, etc can be made vegan with only a few easy substitutions (Earth Balance for butter, or Almond Milk for milk, for instance). If you want a big main dish, Field Roast makes a tasty meat alternative. Tofurkey does as well (though I think the Field Roast is more flavorful). Or you can make stuffed squash, marinated Portobello mushroom caps, lasagna ... it's limitless really.

Here's a great resource for recipes:

I think I will be making in addition to my White House Sweet Potatoes  and Field Roast, a mac n cheeze with lentils (inspired by Ms Julie's Kitchen). It's delicious and no more difficult than any other big holiday meal.

And for dessert, my favorite:

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

    1 can (16 ounces) pureed pumpkin
    3/4 cup sugar or sucanat (or 1/2 cup maple syrup)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
    2-3 tablespoons cornstarch to firm up the pie filling
    1 package (10-12 ounces) silken/soft tofu
    1 9-in unbaked vegan pie shell


Preheat oven to 425 F.  Blend the pumpkin and sugar. Add salt, spices, cornstarch and tofu, mix thoroughly.  Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 F and bake for another 60 minutes.  Chill and serve.  Dont use the low fat tofu, then the pie tastes like it was made with tofu. This pie is soooo yummy, it will fool almost anyone. I made it last Thanksgiving for my whole family, I am the only one, and everyone asked for seconds.  They begged me to make another one for Christmas dinner. Top with non dairy topping and it will fool any pumpkin pie lover.

Serves: 8

Preparation time: about 1 hour + chilling time

And you're honoring and giving thanks to the lives of your full family.



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