November 20th, 2013
11:45 AM ET
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.
Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.
Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.
But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)
If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.
But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on.
My point is, you don’t have to agree on the ethics to agree on good food. So while other political opinions may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, the only bitter you’ll find at your table will be an arugula salad - preferably made with local greens.
But it's tradition!
I know what you’re thinking: this all seems so unfamiliar. Whatever happened to tradition? But let’s take a look. Did the first Thanksgiving really occur at Plymouth in 1621? Or did it occur in Texas in 1598, as others claim, or in Virginia in 1619? And what about the indigenous tribes before them? Certainly they gave thanks, too, for bountiful harvests with celebratory feasts.
Then there’s the bird. Scholars can’t even confirm that a turkey was present at the first “Turkey Day.” Nor will they tell you it was a national “tradition” until another 200 years or so had passed. And what was with all the buckles? Everyone, it seems, had belts wrapped around their heads and feet back then. Why don’t we do that anymore?
It’s not that I think tradition isn’t significant, it’s actually that I think it is. But tradition in and of itself is not carte blanche to do whatever you want, is it? History is fraught with some pretty terrible traditions.
We all have emotional attachments to food and I think that is a positive quality. If the world seems a little wonky, what’s the harm in the fact that some sage-scented cornbread stuffing can set it right? I love that there are tastes and flavors that ground us and make us feel at home.
But a larger tradition for Thanksgiving is inclusiveness. Or, at least, that is what we’re supposed to tell our children. Let's keep that tradition by providing something out of nothing. Or, more specifically, cutlets out of chickpeas. Here’s to new traditions!
But what's in it for you?
A newfound love of lentils? An additional set of cooking skills? Do you know the wonders of cashew cream or how to emulsify a dressing without eggs? How about massaging kale? Yes, that is a thing. And you just might find it as relaxing as a regular massage.
And not to get all preachy (I am, after all, a vegan) but plant-based eating is the way of the future, if only out of necessity. It’s lower on the food chain, uses fewer resources and is better for the planet. Perhaps this will lead you to Meatless Mondays or to Vegan Before 6 or (best case scenario) to becoming a level seven vegan. Because we all want to have a planet on which to keep celebrating Thanksgiving!
But it goes both ways.
Well, yes and no. No one is asking you to have a completely vegan Thanksgiving (although, hey you never know.) Different families have different solutions. Some set a portion aside before adding dairy products, and others opt for the everything-vegan-except-for-the-turkey approach.
But it would definitely benefit us vegans to chill out a little bit this time of year, as well. Yeah, we’ve all heard those same Thanksgiving jokes from all of our uncles through all those years. You know, when they pass us the turkey or tell us that maybe some bacon would improve our butternut squash bisque.
The truth is, your uncle loves you. He is making that comment not so you will complain about him in an angst-ridden Facebook status later in the evening. He is just trying to relate to you in whatever way he can; he is trying to make you smile. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make you smile, that is neither here nor there, but that is his intent. So smile anyway.
Now that I've convinced you to feed the vegans in your life...
Should you go out and simply buy a Tofurkey? I think that most in the veggie set will recognize your gesture as somewhere from kind to totally the most generous thing ever. But what about going all out?
There are some incredibly easy things you can do to transform your non-vegan dinner into a veritable feast for all your guests. Make the stuffing vegan, using olive oil instead of butter. Try coconut oil in the whipped sweet potatoes. Even the green bean casserole - yes, that one with the crunchy onions on top - can be made vegan. A creative mix of oils makes for a fabulously flaky pastry crust for all of your pie needs. Mashed potatoes using almond milk are totally delish. And I’ve saved many a Thanksgiving with mushroom gravy.
I guess I should also mention that vegans love Thanksgiving. I don’t know why. They love it more than anything. And they will be happy to help you in the kitchen until the cows come home (to the farm sanctuary, of course.) Honestly, you could go get a pedicure and they will make the whole darn thing. But that’s not what this is about, now is it?
Do something great for animals and the planet all while showing the vegan in your life that you love them more than pumpkin pie can say - or at least that much.
Vegan Holiday Recipes
The trick with eating raw kale is to work it really hard with your hands, like you’re ROLFing it (which is a deep tissue massage, that looks kind of fun.) Work it at every step, including when you rinse and drain it. Use your hands to really scrunch the leaves up to get the water out, almost like ringing out a sponge. Don’t worry, kale can take it! In fact, afterwards it might feel a little like you after a massage; tender, relaxed and ready to be smothered in vinaigrette.
1 lb butternut squash
Roast the squash:
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread squash out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. The single layer is important because if the baking sheet is overcrowded the squash won’t brown, it’ll steam and just get mushy. Sprinkle with salt and toss with your hands to coat.
Pop in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes or so. They’re done when lightly browned on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad:
Add the kale and take a minute or so, using your hands, to rub the vinaigrette into the leaves and really swish it around in there. Add the cooled butternut and lentils and toss to coat. Give the flavors a few minutes to settle in, then taste for salt and serve.
15 minute option: Don’t feel like butternut squash, or just looking for something a little less labor intensive? Replace the roasted butternut with apple. Just peel two tart apples, like Granny Smith, and dice them into 1/2 inch pieces.
Make ahead: Roast a mess of squash an evening or two before as a side dish for dinner, and use the leftovers (about 2 cups) for this salad.
Sweet Potato Soup With Ginger and Vanilla
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Add ginger and red pepper flakes, and saute another minute or so.
Add yams, veggie broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat a bit to a slow simmer and cook until potatoes are tender – usually 5 more minutes or so.
Once tender, add the vanilla beans. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Or transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor to puree. Be sure to let the steam escape in between pulses so that the steam doesn’t build up and explode all over you. Then transfer the soup back to the pot.
Add maple syrup and lime and taste for salt. Thin with a little water, if necessary. You can eat immediately, but the flavor develops a lot as it sits. The lime mellows out and the vanilla becomes more pronounced, especially the next day. Serve garnished with lime, if you like. You may also want to do a coconut swirl, or something like that, if you’re feeling fancy.
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and rosemary, until relatively smooth. Add the sugar, and beat for about a minute.
Add the non-dairy milk and flax seeds, and beat once again, for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.
Add about half the flour, as well as the salt and baking soda, and mix well. Add the remainder of the flour, along with the chocolate chips, and mix well until it looks like, well, cookie dough.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls. Flatten gently with your hands. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
Stuffed Thanksgiving Burgers
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan non-stick (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Saute onion in one tablespoon olive oil for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt, until translucent. Add mushroom, celery, garlic, black pepper, thyme and sage and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture.
Add baguette cubes, and drizzle in the other tablespoon of oil. Toss bread to coat in the mixture and cook for 5 minutes or so, tossing often, to lightly brown the bread.
Add the vegetable broth and use your spatula to really mush the bread up in the broth, so that it absorbs all the liquid and resembles stuffing. Let it cook about 3 more minutes, to sop up all the flavor.
While everything is cooking in the pan, place hazelnuts in food processor and pulse until they are chopped (not pureed.) Pieces should range from itty bitty to pea sized. Transfer nuts to a large mixing bowl. (No need to clean it out for the next step.)
Add the lentils to the food processor and puree until relatively smooth. Now add the bread mixture from the pan into the processor and pulse 10 to 15 times. You want the mixture to hold together, but there should still be mushroom and celery visible, it shouldn’t be a puree.
Transfer this to the mixing bowl with the hazelnuts. Add in the cranberries and salt. The cranberries like to stick together so make sure you separate them. Combine thoroughly, using your hands if need be, to form a firm but still malleable mixture. Taste for salt and pepper.
Let the mixture cool completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, just to help it firm up and let the flavors meld a bit.
Rinse out your cast iron, and preheat on medium-high. Roll the burgers into 6 equal sized tennis balls. Wash your hands often and keep them a little damp during this process for that the burgers don’t stick to your hands.
Flatten into 1 1/2 inch thick patties. Cook in a thin layer of oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with greens and mayo. Die of happiness!
Recipes used with permission of Isa Chandra Moskowitz
More vegan recipes:
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Sure, don't fear the vegan:
1.) Put bacon grease in your peanut butter, then make "ants on a log" (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with rasins)
2.) Spinach and artichoke dip: hide bacon in it
3.) Cook everything for your vegan friend/enemy with lard
Why? Why be so passive aggressive and go out of your way to make someone eat animal products? What is gained by that? You seem like a psychopath.
That's because you don't recognize humor when you see it. Get a grip and grab a drumstick.
Didn't really sound like a joke when there is so much anger throughout these (and all) comments attacking vegans as being stupid and not worth thinking about. And we've all had to deal with people who think it's funny to sneak animal products into our food. Think about who would be the person worth attacking in that situation.
Awww. Did your widdle plant-eating feewings get stepped on? GOOD!
(must be more specific in the future)
WHY would I want to lie about what is in the food I am serving???? YES, I am an omnivore, but I am so so SO not going to lie to vegans or vegetarians about food I'm making. Indeed, I'm going to be HAPPY to rise to the challenge of creating good and real food that they, if they are my guests, can enjoy, which fit their food requirements. I likewise do the same for kosher friends, and for gluten-free friends, and for lactose-intolerant friends. It is called being responsibly human.
Nick. And if we do survive annihilation it most probably will be because human populations finally decided to become vegetarians. Already we have taken up half the global land mass with agriculture and urbanisation. The worlds population is forecast to double before the end of the century. It is possible to grow 10-20 times more plant protein on an acre of land than meat protein. Work out the maths.
And then we'll take vitamins that our bodies can't fully digest to get iron and enough protein. And we'll have to make a pill that gives us fats. Great plan.
it might behoove you to actually learn about nutrition before claiming you know more about it than people who know a lot about it. (i.e. vitamin C helps us absorb plant-based iron, it's impossible to be protein deficient as long as you're eating enough calories to sustain yourself, since protein is in nearly everything, and then your comment about fats? well that's when i realised the following.)
this edutainment video might help you learn a little bit about yourself. http://www.gloveandboots.com/?p=291
Sorry, it's just that my needs as an athlete make me think a little bit narrowly sometimes. But fats are essential. True, very few fats but they are essential.
oh, no, you misunderstood me. i was insinuating that there are plenty of fatty plants. (delicious, delicious fatty plants. mmmmmmmmmmm cashews, and coconuts, and avocadoes, not to mention the almighty chocolate. *drool*)
I've seen vegan chocolate, and it tastes like coal. Real chocolate uses animal products. And I will never settle for less than the best Belgium chocolate I can find.
so you don't eat lindt 70%? ghirardelli's semi-sweet? (like i said, do a little research before commenting. otherwise, you're actually a troll whether you intend to be or not.)
(in other words, i don't know in what parallel dimension a 50% milk chocolate bar is more "real" than a 70% vegan dark chocolate bar.)
are you perhaps thinking of carob? (which is okay in it's own right if you know what you're eating ahead of time. it has it's own interesting flavor profiles. but it is definitely not chocolate.)
No, I actually don't enjoy either brand's dark chocolate.
I know we are killing the planet! Do you expect people in emerging countries to forgo meat just because we have been gorging on it for decades and suddenly decide it is wrong? Meat consumtion will increase until they perfect a way of growing it in a lab cost effectively!
NiCk . Life is hard out there in the wild for animals that is true. Have you ever thought about the millions upon millions of sentient animals who for our greed and pleasure never see the sun, have their young snatched from them after birth, who are branded, eartagged , tailed, castrated,muesled, debeaked, force fed,etc etc. w ... All without pain killers? In factory farms.
Like I said in another post... that's not my fault and meat-eaters are growing faster than people deciding to stop eating meat. I know that not eating meat is a statement, but it will change nothing in reality. And yes animals suffer 10 fold in the wild, always have, always will. If you want to avoid meat for health and taste reasons that is fine... but you are in no way contributing to save animals.
Your sentiment that, because the odds of changing something are low or even nil, it's not worth doing something worthwhile or truly good in this world, is really crazily depressing. Do you not vote (because that's kind of exactly what vegans are doing, just not at the polls but with our grocery purchases, and the same kind of 'your move won't do crap' that you are talking about)? Do you not brush your teeth, because they're going to fall out eventually anyway? Do you kill people because we're all going to die anyway?
Also, animals don't suffer tenfold in the wild. Do you know what happens on factory farms? And what happens in nature is not comparable to what we do for no good reason. Animals don't have the means we have to make better, wiser choices. That's not part of this conversation.
i don't know about you, but i'd much rather live in the wild on my own terms (sure, risking being devoured by a predator, whether human or otherwise, or disease and hunger) than living in a factory farm where there's a 100% chance you'll live in horrible conditions and die young (and also chancing not being killed by the first human on the killing line, which leads to being hung upside down with a big gash in my neck while i'm skinned alive or boiled alive. it happens more often than you'd expect. to keep prices low, the lines go too fast, and the first workers with knives don't always get an accurate slash in. it's too sad to think about, so i'm gonna stop talking about it. this thread is supposed to be about love. showing someone you love them by providing them something they can eat. let's go back there, please.)
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead.
My home isn't a restaurant. If you want to be a picky eater, then pick. Or stay home. Or better yet: how about YOU take on the expense and responsibility of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, instead of descending on the home of some who does and dispensing holier-than-thou insults on the food they've purchased and prepared for you?
And when I come over to your vegan household next Thanksgiving, I'll expect you to cater to MY special feelings, and provide at least a couple of meat courses.
Do you actually have friends?
Angry – got it. Have these self-centered vegans actually descended on your domicile and made unreasonable demands of you?
That is why god invented peanutbutter
I do have people over to my house every year for Thanksgiving and I cook a vegan feast. Or, I go to my inlaws and cook the entire meal at their house. Everyone loves it, even though they're meat eaters, because the food is outstanding. I would venture most veteran vegans cook or at least bring a dish to a thanksgiving meal and dont "descend", as you put it. I do so because a) I am a considerate person, b) I want to represent vegans and vegan food in the best light, c) many omnis are too reliant on meat and dairy as flavorings to know how to make a dish without these things taste good, so I'd rather eat my own stuff than their attempts at vegan food.
When I go to my family's place for christmas they make me vegan food because they want to. Because they love me. That's what family is about. Why would you invite someone to your house and play host if you are planning to be a rude host and apparently don't give a whit about your guests? It sounds like you're the one with problems.
Chill out. Did you read the article? She says vegans love to cook, love Thanksgiving and are always willing to help with food.
"... it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu."
Excuse me, but vegan is not a matter of "need." No. Vegan is a matter of want and, indeed, demand. In the case of a Vegan at an otherwise omnivorous, traditional Thanksgiving dinner, it's a socially-outrageous case of a guest demanding that his host kowtow to exceptional demands when the host is already busy preparing and serving an elaborate and complex meal. For a guest to do this is just rude; there is no other word for it but rude.
If you are invited to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you know what the menu is going to be.
If you choose to be a vegan and are invited to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you have three choices: 1) pick and choose quietly and content yourself with a meal assembled from among the traditional dishes; the green salad and the cranberry sauce are probably ok (remember, everything else is traditionally prepared with butter). 2) Bring your own food and eat it yourself quietly (oh, and expect to eat it cold as the kitchen is typically 100+% utilized on Thanksgiving. 3) politely decline the invitation.
Remember, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and for expressing the joy of unity, family, and friendship. It is not a time for condescending or trying to assert some sort of moral or nutritional superiority. If you can't conduct yourself within that framework, then you had best stay home and give thanks for your superiority alone.
This article went right over your head. Why would you invite a vegan to Thanksgiving if you feel this way? Would you make such a fuss for people with religious dietary restrictions? Vegans typically have ethical or health reasons for eating the way they do. If you disagree with their morals, don't invite them.
you've never actually been around a vegan who accidentally (or from malintent) eaten something their body no-longer identifies as food. (a hint: make sure there is a clear line to the bathroom and plenty of toilet paper.)
i'm sure you hadn't read the article. because it's made pretty clear that she isn't expecting you to make 15 dishes. it's insanely easy to make small substitutions and have your meal turn out exactly the same. if you care about your dinner guest, you'll spend the $4 for a container of earth balance (or the easier to find organic or lite smart balance. the organic one is much tastier than the lite one, pretty sure it's earth balance repackaged.) to sub for all your butter, and $3 for a container of plant milk to replace the cow's milk. it's really not that hard. eggs are a little more nuanced, but entirely doable, too. nobody is saying only the vegan can eat the vegan food. i've said it before, but it's worth repeating. if you understand the concept of "lowest common denominator" then you'll understand this situation too.
"Expect to eat it cold"
... so if a vegan loved one offered to bring food to share that's how you'd respond. I'm glad you're not my friend.
I think it's sad that such a nice article has to be spoiled by some people who don't see the point. The only reason people think vegans are preachy is because those are the only vegans who speak about their lifestyle. The rest of us don't feel the need to advertise our eating habits and you would never know we are vegan unless you asked. However, we do get to live in a world that is constantly screaming "BACON" in our faces, so if you are sick of hearing from a vegan or two, imagine how tired we are of hearing millions of people talk about meat all of the time without acknowledging the cruel practices behind it. It's not the fact that people eat meat, but the fact that we treat animals with such disrespect and we don't honor them for what they have provided us. Instead, we torture them and waste them like they are nothing but garbage. Yes, we have evolved as omnivores, absolutely,but we can choose a different way to live and we are very lucky to be able to do so. As for going to someone's house, I would NEVER expect them to prepare something special for me. I'll volunteer to bring something yummy and eat what I can and enjoy the company. I don't serve meat in my home because I know that I can provide a beautiful, delicious meal without using meat or dairy products. Why would a supposed "friend" demand meat from someone who chooses not to eat it? Would they ask a Jew to prepare them pork? A Hindu hamburger? I don't believe that any of the posters claiming this even have any vegan friends because I don't think they quite understand the definition of friendship in the first place.
Thank you 100 times THANK YOU. There's so many misconceptions and assumptions made about people who chose not to eat meat, yet I can't tell you how many times I've been preached at by people telling me vegans are too preachy, compared to the zero times I've ever heard a vegan shame someone for choosing to eat meat. All your points were completely on point.
For those commenting that they never hear vegans complain about the meat eaters, well you must live in a totally isolated world. It happens every day with many of the self righteous types. I believe in eating sustainable, healthy foods. As a biologist, I understand the value of lean healthly proteins. I include meat and fish in my diets that are farm raised or wild caught. There is nothing wrong with eating the diet we were designed to eat. True, we most likely eat too much and as with anything, too much is never good. Yet, I have no objections to those who choose a different diet. That is your decision. Just please refrain from trying to convince me that only you know the proper diet for all peoples as we differ not only culturally, but genetically.
man all you meatheads sound like southern white folks complaining that they just aren't treated fairly and don't get their fair piece of the pie.99.5% of restaurants and food joints only cater to non plant based peeps.so most vegheads can cook quite well. and yes fake meats are usually gross in mean why try to imitate something you dont wanna eat anyway
I believe that you can jut ask for them to not have any meat in the dish. The same way you can ask for them to make a meal spicier or milder.
I have I problem with vegans. Every vegan expects me to prepare a vegan friendly dish or two whenever they are coming over, however, I am not extended the same courtesy when I visit their homes. I understand they are morally against it, but if I am expected to adjust my options because of you, you should do the same for me.
Joe, you hit it on the head. There is only one way with vegans, and it's never your way. I respect people's right to choose what they want and don't want to put in their body, but vegans do not reciprocate.
They do not reciprocate because you are drawing a false equivalence. If they are vegan because they care about animal welfare, their reasons for not eating meat are not the same as your reasons for eating meat. I'm not sure why this is a difficult thing to understand.
Agreed. I guess I can see some validity to the tit-for-tat agrument, but in that case just don't have them over to dinner. Then they won't "owe" you a dinner. I mean, if you're that opposed to eating a vegan dinner, in which case you're being just as picky as they are. Vegan food is still food.
I love these comments. I love seeing what people really think about this issue, it's very revealing. I feel like you could insert the word 'gay', or 'black' or 'female', and get the same type of responses from people, depending on the context of the decade. In fact I think that the pugnacious responses are in themselves a vivid indicator that animal welfare is the new social justice issue of our generation. Let's all take a moment of silence to remember who comes out looking like the jerk in those situations of social justice. What I think is most interesting is how angry the meat supporters come across. It's like elementary school bullies, lots of jokes, low blows, and posturing. It's so weird, when someone just wants all creatures to be happy and torture free, and the response is 'P*SSSAAAAAYYYY!' Seriously? Oh cool so I'll just eat your dog? That's cool right? You're not a p*ssy or anything? Okay cool, I didn't think so. It's like the movie Idiocracy is unfolding before me:
'It's what plants crave!'
I am married to a meat eater, and from my experience, there is a way to discuss this issue without getting emotionally combative. If you have scientific evidence that will enrich and evolve this argument, by all means bring it on. If the massive amounts of growth hormones you ingest everyday through your factory farmed 'protein source' is giving you roid-rage-related-belligerent-comment-syndrome, Restrain yourself. No one cares, not even your fellow ... Antagonists....who chose to read an article about veganism... On a liberal website..... About inclusivity and acceptance...and find the need to crap on it. Fight on meat eaters. You sound super right.
just like Nicholas Klein said in 1918 about the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America:
"And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you...."
(a similar, more straightforward, quote is misattributed to ghandi. this one is just as good.)
So so SO missing the point. Being vegan is an ethical decision to not harm animals. Does it violate your ethics to eat sweet potatoes or wheat? Well, exploiting and torturing animals violate my ethics, so I'm not going to participate in that disgusting system because you can't live without flesh for a few hours. If you're not too afraid, you should educate yourself on how those animals get onto your plate. It's as uncivilized as anything you can imagine. So if humans were designed to eat meat (and they are not), even then, it's immoral to do what humans do to animals.
Andrea, I made a choice to eat meat, you made a choice to not eat meat. It is a personal choice. I am more than accommodating for my vegan friends. I understand their side of it and they understand mine. They appreciate the fact that I take the time to provide them with a meal that they can have without ethical qualms. Over time, they have come to terms with doing it for me. They do not agree with it as I do not agree with veganism, but it is a personal choice and to force your choice onto someone else is wrong. They don't enjoy it, but they make the effort to prepare something with meat in it for me. Usually it's some form of pre-made lasagna with sausage in it or something else where they do not have to handle raw meat. But unlike most vegans, they make an effort to respect my decision as I respect theirs.
Yikes. Why should someone buy something they're ethically opposed to to satisfy your taste buds? Good grief. This argument you make for reciprocity makes no sense. Would you expect a religious friend who is ethically opposed to alcohol consumption to provide wine at a dinner party? I don't. How about not requiring meat for every meal, then go to a vegan's house and let them prepare you something delicious that's made out of plants?
Wow. I'm not vegan or vegetarian myself, but I would NEVER expect someone who was to prepare me a meat dish. Would it absolutely kill you to eat something different for one meal? You must be the rudest guest on the planet.
Sorry Andrea, how do you know that plants do not feel pain when thy are yanked out of the ground?
that sir has been studied and with no nerosignals traveling to receptors then no pain impulse can be sent, try harder to make a point guy
Give me a break. People have to eat. You could be a breathatarian (it's a real thing). But then you'd die of starvation.
I do choose to avoid wheat, because of the gluten. I also choose, likewise, to help visitors eat towards their needs, too. Vegetarians/vegans who visit here will get this food, and I hope I can get low gluten (AND no tree nuts) when I visit them. If they do give me tree nuts, I hope they understand that I will have a long and unavoidable date with the facilities.
and yes, given the stipulation of no fake foods and NO tree nuts - see medical reason above - yes, I am quite happy to go vegetarian while visiting vegetarian friends.
Our bodies were built in such a way that meat is an essential part of our diet. Especially if you are an athlete. But even your casual old person needs to intake amino acids, iron, and fats. Taking vitamins is not nearly as healthy. I am not nearly so worried about how some fat cow feels as I am about my well-being as a human, and as a swimmer.
oh, and in reference to your swimming:
Note that that is two of an ocean of millions of swimmers (pun not intended.) And I have never seen either of them in the water at the Olympics, and never heard of them.
Sounds like you've met the wrong vegans.
wait, i don't think i understand. are you saying you are unable to eat vegetables? (or are you saying they don't take your allergies into consideration?) because if you're expecting a vegan to make you meat, i'm afraid you might not enjoy it, since they won't be able to taste it, so they could potentially feed you something overly spiced, or even undercooked. are you really saying you'd rather eat their potentially disgusting/unsafe food other than a meal that they know how to cook and cook well?
if it's the allergy thing, then that's inconsiderate.
also, look at the "vegans cooking you meat" perspective of them demanding that you cook them food that you personally are allergic to or find disgusting? (you know, like beets or cilantro. they wouldn't demand that, FYI. surely you can figure out some common ground where you both can eat the meal whether you're the cook or whether they're the cook. you know, it's called friendship.)
Frankly, I don't expect vegans or vegetarians to cook me a meat meal when I visit. I simply ask: leave out the tree nuts (I have a BAD reaction), and I'd prefer if you leave out the seitan and the TVP and cook REAL food. A meal based around lentils, black beans, squash, and/or mushrooms can definitly be as hearty as a meat-based meal. And extremely tasty to boot! (You don't need to add sugar or sugar additives as several of the recipes posted above do. That's a cop-out.)
I mean, I can understand your argument, although I do agree with the other commenters that I think it's a slightly different matter. But do you really want someone who isn't used to cooking meat to prepare meat for you? Seems like a good way to get sick to me...
I never expect a meal at anyone's home, and many many times I've been invited to dinners or events (weddings, parties, etc...) and have not been fed. I went to a wedding where I asked the hosts if I could bring my own meal because they didn't have an appropriate option for dinner, and I was told outside food was not allowed, so... I didn't get a meal. I have never complained to my hosts, I've always thanked them for having me, and then gone home and had a meal there. I always make sure if I have people over I have food they can eat. Will there be meat? No. But I will not prepare food they are unable to eat due to personal preference or food sensitivities. It's just being a good host.
I have a number of vegan friends who will be going to, or hosting, their own Thanksgiving dinners. I unfortunately will not be able to join them due to travel, but I am sure their food will be great and I wish them happy holidays regardless. Seriously, vegan food (when done right) is delicious! But most importantly, I would rather spend Thanksgiving in good company and if that means making vegan dishes to bring certain friends to the table then so be it! I don't restrict my turkey eating to one day of the year anyways.
And my vegan friends have never admonished me for my lifestyle. Even though I always have various heart, feet, tongue, and other meat cuts in my freezer, cure my own biltong, and am eating venison stew as I write this...
what a lovely article! very well written – funny, open-minded, and the recipes sound (and look) amazing! i cannot wait to try the kale salad with butternut squash and lentils. mmmmmmmmmmmmm!
A lot of this would be solved by people actually sending out proper invitations. Those invitations will include what the courses are going to be. If ya don't want to eat it, then ya RSVP "Not attending." It's that simple.
You come to my house and you either eat what I cooked or you don't come.
You know what you call a Vegan at our Thanksgiving Table? Hungry!
i think we may all be missing the point of thanksgiving. help feed the less fortunate, those who would go without. than kill them and take their land
Just make sure you feed them something that had a face. Then you can feel good about yourself when you've taken their land.
And what if that "something with a face" came from a small local farm, where it was raised respectfully with plenty of room and the sorts of things to eat that they're supposed to, free of hormones and chemicals that aren't necessary if you're doing things right? Honestly, I choose to be an omnivore but I also choose to spend a little more to have meat that I know wasn't mass produced.
All that said, I do always make vegetarian dishes (as no one in my friends or family is vegan (my sister tried, and her doctor told her that if she ever wanted to have a child she'd be healthier if she went to vegetarianism)) and they are just as tasty as anything else prepared that day. But then, I know how to make a vegetarian dinner – and have, because I don't need meat at ever meal as long as I have protein at every meal.
I know many people who say they are "vegans: but yet they put on a leather belt, wear leather shoes, or better yet sit in their leather seats in their cars!!! I wonder the same here.
I wonder why you think people have to be perfect. People trying to eat vegan might still use leather goods. I bet you don't call out people you know who identify as Christians who have premarital sex. Or Jews who eat bacon. Don't make perfect the enemy of the good.
you know, another aspect of veganism is conservation. it is not uncommon for vegans to recycle everything and many find that it is better to continue using products they currently own, or were given, despite their non vegan nature. many new converts continue to wear previously owned leather shoes, belts, hand bags, until they become unusable. no vegan is going to rid themselves of a car with leather seats until they next buy their next car. to toss perfectly usable items (regardless of they animal content) flies in the face of the environmentalism and ethical living espoused by veganism. it's not hypocrisy, it's common sense. the more you know....
As a vegan I must admit that Thanksgiving is and always has been one of my favorite holidays, both back when I was still participating in the turkey eating and now that I'm not. When visiting other people's homes, I always bring over a dish or two as a precaution. Not everyone knows or fully understands what veganism is, and that's ok. I would never expect to inconvenience someone due to my personal lifestyle choice. After all, thanksgiving is about being THANKFUL for what you have and spending time with the people you care about. To those who choose to bad mouth vegans, it's quite pitiful to use degradation as a way to handle something unique and perhaps not of normal circumstance to you, but after all those who decide to live their lives outside of the the lines drawn by social norms are often the ones who make history, and in this case, live longer ;)
for more awsome vegan info see.. Coleen Patrick Guodreau, bob linden, the vegan zombie. citizen radio. the list goes on
for more idiot vegan propaganda see.. Coleen Patrick Guodreau, bob linden, the vegan zombie. citizen radio. the list goes on
There you go, I fixed it for you. You can thank me later.
all the hate from the meat eaters,its like they are all evangelical Christians ( you now the worst kind of judgmental people ever) makes me proud to be vegan and atheist, or compassionate and rational however you want to word it
We eat meat because it is scientific since we are omnivores....
Religious nuts believe myths and parables are facts...
In my experience...vegans are way more preachy !
in your experience you like to put meat in your mouth nothing wrong with that
You eat meat because it's scientific? Can you explain what on earth that means? You mean you do things because your body CAN do it? Do you also think 13 year old girls should have babies, because their bodies can do that and are by nature 'meant' to.
science? yes it's too complicated for you I know!
Thanks to evolution, I also have a super awesome brain that is capable of understanding science, physiology, nutrition, ethics, and compassion. I'm happy that early humans could evolve because of cooked food and meat. However, because of this evolution I am also capable of recognizing that I don't have to do something just because my predecessors did it and that I'm physiologically capable of living a lifestyle that meshes with my ethics. If you choose to eat meat, that's your prerogative, but you need to find a better argument than "that's our biology!" because our biology is also what allows humans to be able adapt to a variety of environments and circumstances (i.e., veganism). I'd rather you say, "I eat meat because I want to". At least I know you're being honest.
Also, I'm a scientist! I have a Ph.D.! In a science! What you're saying, it makes no sense! Science!
yes I did rail against the religious on these boards for a long time...but that is only normal..delusional man in the sky believers deserve no respect...just a wake-up call to reality! I don't anymore since they are hopelessly brainwashed though..I can apreciate your choice of not eating meat, it makes sense health wise. If they stop selling meat at the market I will not go kill my own animals to eat. But since I am biologically evolved as an omnivore and meat is readilly available... I will continue to consume it..I know you will probably outlive me and be in better heath...anyway, meat will almost certainly be lab-made within 20 to 30 years making all this moot.
Did you hear about the Vegan who didn't go around telling everyone he knew that he was a Vegan? No? Neither did anybody else!
too dumb too live!
p.s. sorry, that was too tempting to pass up
Bingo! And they use every moment possible to rub it in your face. How repulsive you are that you are addicted to dead animals.
Stereotypes are fun!
That is a very interesting point of view, because when I talk to most vegans, I get the exact same impression. They are "holier than thou" and quite condescending about their choice not to eat flesh. It's nice to meat someone who is an atheist and a vegan. I'm not sure I understand your choice, but I certainly respect it.
Er, do you realize that your statement lumps you right in with the judgmental folk? It doesn't matter who's doing the judging or what opinion/belief is being attacked, it's all the same.
So great, when you get to h3ll, you'll still be hungry...
I do have to say I'd like to see the non-dessert recipes listed on this post, done without ADDED SUGAR. I mean, you do expect it for dessert (which I am happy to bypass) - but for the other items??? I'd love to increase a good vegetarian repetoire, but this ain't it.
so you want an overly sour and mustardy vinaigrette? *side eye* sometimes sugar is needed to balance. other strong flavors.
Excellent article, Isa. You really captured the sentiment of what Thanksgiving should be about – inclusion, love, and tolerance. It boggles my mind that people will invite someone to dinner and not care that they might not have anything to eat. I'd rather just not be invited and go somewhere I'd be more welcome. And so many commenters who have a problem with feeding vegans would probably gladly cater to someone with religiously imposed dietary restrictions. Why is that ok, but ethical choices made not from a book but from careful thought are not condoned?
And thanks for the recipes! They all sound amazing.
I have no problem with feeding vegans or vegetation in my house I just ask to be treated the same way when I go to your house for dinner
of course! tell us your allergies and aversions, and we'll make sure to keep them out of (at least some of) the foods we make. it's only the polite thing to do.
i can't tell you how difficult it is to cook for my family. (dad and sisters can't eat onions, one sister can't eat cinnamon, my brother can't eat tree fruits related to peaches, and a lot of other things i actually forget. he has so many!) but i love them, so i make it work (and if something contains the allergen, i make sure they know without any confusion which dishes contain them.) "lowest common denominator" foods are edible by everyone. nobody feels left out, and everyone can happily partake without worrying about anything. that's what get-togethers should be all about.
Yes, exactly it, the 'lowest common denominator' food is the way to appease everyone. No one should complain when everyone can be well fed. And as Isa's recipes show, the food can still be insanely delicious.
The best Thanksgiving meal I ever had (in 65 years) was at Isa's home last year.
I don't fear vegans. If I know there are vegetarians or vegans coming to dine, I will make sure there is good substantial food (without resorting to high gluten seitan or to faux food TVP) to feed them, and it won't just be a dish of salad. I welcome the cooking challenge. I simply request being informed four or five days prior, and I will take the challenge on, and make food that will be substantial and real. And yes, there will be non-vegan food available for the rest of us.
To be honest, I really adore cooking to a challenge. Whether glutin-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher... just don't make me cook faux food, and you will get foods you can eat and not be hungry after. I'm personally seitan and TVP-free, (And, tree-nut-free for gastric reasons, but I will cook tree nuts for others if requested.)
Wait, what? How is gluten a faux food? You can isolate gluten from flour by repeatedly rinsing flour with water. Unless you have a gluten sensitivity, there's no reason to not eat it. It's got a great chewy texture that holds flavor well.
My very picky vegetarian friend brings his own food to prepare when his family comes over for dinner. It works out just fine, he eats his stuff, his wife has a bit of that and a bit of the stuff I prepare. If I had a vegan friend I'd expect them to do the same. I don't though because I've yet to meet a vegan who isn't obnoxious and preachy. Yes I know they exist, at least I assume they must.
If a Vegan is sitting next to me he/she better love the slab of pork ribs that I plan to digest, cause it's gonna get messy.
My good friend is a Vegan and when we went to my bachelor party (weekend get-away in the mountains) I was going to buy food for the group of us. I asked him "so you want salads right?"...he volunteered (insisted) on coming with me to the super market :)
What's with all the vegan hate?
I love steak just as much as the next guy but I don't see why people get so hostile when the topic of vegetarianism or veganism is brought up.
If you know an annoying vegetarian/vegan/meat eater, chances are that's not the only thing they're obnoxious about.
People get hostile because someone has made a different lifestyle choice than theirs, which makes them scared or uncomfortable. Also, they figure since vegans live a cruelty-free lifestyle that we won't retaliate in any way. We don't, not because we can't, but because "being vegan just makes you better than most people." :)
This guy is why everyone hates vegans. Holy crap what a d-bag.
Edwin, the point people are making is that, as meat eaters, we are expected to accommodate the Vegan, but the vegan never has to serve US meat at there dinner parties. I don't see it as hate, just a predominant observation.
do you really not understand the concept of lowest common denominator?
people do "vegan for a day" all the time. (and going to eat at a vegan's house is probably only for 1/3 of your meals anyway. if you honestly believe you can't survive for a day without meat, you can have it for lunch.)
I guess I just don't get it. It's pretty easy for me to prep a vegetarian/vegan meal.
Besides, would you want someone who probably hasn't had meat in years to cook for you? Sounds like a recipe for dissapointment.
If I invited a Vegan to my house, they better expect not to be catered to. They either eat the food I prepare, or don't eat, it is their choice.
that's your prerogative, but i hope you make that abundantly clear ahead of time so they know not to take your invitation seriously.
And also not to take your so-called friendship too seriously.
and for that kind of courtesy there is the 2nd amendment
The comments on this article have several folks who aren't vegan criticizing vegans as people and the vegan lifestyle. There are zero vegans criticizing non-vegans for eating meat and other animal products. This is a great example of most conversations. The non-vegans are the ones being hostile and critical (in my opinion, because they're defensive b/c they know that slaughterhouses are shameful and wrong) and the vegans are sitting awkwardly hoping the conversation just ends. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of awesome, friendly, kind non-vegans, but if you're talking about which community is more likely to be rude to the other - non-vegans win every time. They're the ones who get mad. I NEVER bring up what others are eating. The evangelical vegans are out there, sure, but most of us just want to eat our veggies in peace.
Science is on our side... humans are omnivores...not herbivores! eat what you want but don't try to tell us it is better or more moral...it isn't!
What scientific fact are you following here, I'm very inclined to ask??
I don't know what you are defining 'science' as, but actual science as humans practice has shown that well-planned plant-based diets are superior in every way. Are you some sort of scientician?
I don't think that criticism is directed at you. I'm pretty sure just about all of us omnivores have met a militant/evangelical vegan or vegetarian at some point and the experience with one of those people makes a strong impression sadly. Really it's the person and their personality, not their choice of food that rubs us the wrong way. It's no different than a very preachy religious person being pushy about their beliefs.
When comments are about vegans, I take it as being about me. Because I am vegan and people made ridiculous assumptions about me in life, in the comments sections of articles, and basically any other form of communication.
Why is it ok to generalize vegans and but it would be considered rude to generalize other groups? Do you rail against random religious people, liberals, conservatives, minorities, the poors, and the richies because some person at some point had a negative interaction with an individual from one of these groups? Do you think all vegans and vegetarians make broad generalizations that all meat-eaters are militant jerks? I guarantee you, this is not the case, even though I've met way more rude meat-eaters than vegans.
dont read very much do you? our do you read food articles with blinders on? if they posted a triditional turkey dinner news article, the vegan crowd would be out in force
Anyone going vegan on Thanksgiving must have the palate of a goat.
Don't be threatened. No one is going to make you defend yourself and your way of life just yet, so you can try to just breathe and relax. We're not coming to take your meat away, so try not to have an accident in your little boy pants.
*raises hand* that was me. my first day as a vegan was in my dorm room all alone while most everyone else were eating thanksgiving dinner with their families. i tried to make a tofu turkey that i found a recipe for on vegweb.com, using only a hotplate and a toaster oven. (and in 1997, the recipes on vegweb weren't all that trustworthy. they're still kinda iffy, but that's what ratings are for.) it was horrible, and i was really sad, and then i went and watched ferris bueller's day off by myself in the common room. worst thanksgiving ever.
I'm a vegetarian so that's easier than vegan but I don't expect anyone to accommodate me at Thanksgiving or any other time I just eat what I like that isn't meat and leave others to eat as they please. I will be going to my daughters for Thanksgiving and everyone there besides me will be a meat eater, my daughter will try to make me feel guilty for not eating her turkey (and her desserts as I don't eat sugar either) but I'll just smile and say no thank you.
I'm sorry. Yes, I am an omnivore, but if you were going to be showing up at my table on Thanksgiving, I'd be CERTAIN to provide items of substance for you to eat. Good base dishes include eggplant, squash, mushrooms, lentils, black beans.
Exactly!! Not all omnivores are mean – and we like veggies as much as meat. If I'm inviting vegetarians to my house for a meal then I'm making something they can eat. I love to cook and I love new recipes – how could you pass up an opportunity like that?
Funny, sweet, and tolerant article with many great points. Isa is a goddess, and her recipes please everyone I've ever cooked them for.
Humans are omnivorous! I cannot understand why some people go against our natural biology and restrict themselves in the very foods that have sped our evolution and made us into the advanced species we are today. I honestly think that if we survive annihilation, we will gradually evolve into a more vegetarian diet, but there is presently no logic in avoiding lean delicious meats. And yes! most vegans are extremely annoying with their flawed logic and sermons!
except for global warming?
Nick, really? You can't understand why someone would be a vegan? Have you ever seen an animal led to slaughter? That's a pretty potent reason. You see, people who don't "get it" or are so resistant to the logic of it, like yourself, think that veganism is all about wanting to be difficult, different, or just craving plants – and that's simply not it. It's not even the beginning of it. Many people are vegan for their health, for the wellbeing of animals (which is a pretty potent reason), for the preservation of the planet, for food equity issues (why use thousands of lbs of grain to fatten a single cow, when that could directly nourish people?), for economical reasons, and yes, because they have found that plant-based food tastes damn good while accomplishing all of the above. Don't knock it 'til you try it. It may be easy to go through life writing off an entire movement as "annoying," but one day you're going to look around and find that you're in the minority and that the only one who is annoying is you.
Actually no little Fox.... I exaggerate for effect.
I am a realist ...All I stated is true though. I approach things from a scientific point of view. Life on land has been around for over a hundred million years and animals have died for all that time in horrible ways...eaten alive, starved, cold disease etc.. life is suffering and many if not most babies born wild don't make it to adulthood. Yes we slaughter animals for food, but that won't change anytime soon no matter how many vegans and vegetarians join your ranks in the foreseeable future...most of what you said is true...global warming, grain for people ... I can't change any of that...if you think your contribution helps...good for you...The reality around me is not of my doing... I choose to live the only life I have (not religious) the way my biology has evolved...good veggie burgers to all! peace!
Hi Nick – We can all choose not to participate in those practices we find objectionable. I stopped counting the rituals and "traditions" and cultural indoctrination that others said would "never change". Indeed the only thing that IS certain is change. Vegan options are a change for the better for everyone! :)
natural biology you like this term, well what is natural about a mammal consuming the milk of a different species, and for that matter consuming the milk excretion after childhood that is all against natural biology
..but now with the abundance of alternative food available ( in western nations ) we can chose to be vegetarians or vegans and remain healthy and at the apsame time avoid endorsing the cruelty involved in most farming procedures. There has been little or no discussion here about the ethics of treating animals as commodities.
That's because the topic of conversation is having a vegan for Thanksgiving. I prefer mine over open flames.
except the fact it has been going on for billions of years?
There is literally no dietary reason to forego meat. It's generally emotional.
Apart from the lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and a host of other diseases including diabetes and arthritis? There are definitely quite a few health-based justifications for a plant-based diet.
Sorry, no. Lean meats do not offer those drawbacks or health risks. Try again.
Actually, they do. So much nutrition information provided in mainstream media is incorrect and controlled by Big Ag sponsors. Animal products are consistently shown to be unhealthful.
And yet we all end up in the same location. 4.5 feet under the grass. :) well unless you are cremated or get one of those boxes above ground. Thats your choice though. I would be perfectly fine with a ditch beside the road but I doubt the family will agree with me there.
When did we get chincy on the depth? Always used to be 6ft.
What about fish?
doesn't anyone know about the environmental impact of factory farming,or the fact that demand for everyone to have meat and cheese with every meal. it is completely unsustainable, don't stop eating meat just cut back and have smaller portions on your plate. we aren't the only inhabitants on this planet
Aw, it's cute that you distilled the entire argument for veganism down to "emotion".
.... A chimp. Shares 98.6 % of its genes with a human. This has been known for some time. However now it has been discovered that those genes we do not share are not differences in the brain/ nervous system or it's functioning but only to do with body shape etc such as hair, arm length. Knowing this would you eat a chimpanzee.? Would you eat a human? If not , where do you draw the line ? Would you eat your dog?
If you actually knew anything about genetics, you'd know that there is still a huge difference. All because one or two differing genes that make a huge difference in how our neurological system responds. It doesn't matter how big of a difference there is in terms of percent, but what the different genes are. And eating the dog for which I cared, and that I loved is different than eating some already butchered cow that I never even saw with my own eyes.
What a heart-warming article. I'll definitely be sharing this with my family this year. Isa, you rule!
Hopefully over a nice steak and baked potato.
Traditionally a roast beef is more in order!
Thanks Isa for making such a positive article. This is just what omnis need to know about vegans this Thanksgiving. :) This holiday is about inviting people in, not shutting them out because they want the turkey to have a chance to be thankful this year as well.
omnis?? all humans are omnis... the fact you choose to not eat meat doesn't change that at all!!
Yes it does; vegans are herbivores.
Is that a joke? maybe look it up instead of looking foolish!
Oh, the irony! I have had the opposite experience. I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, and in my experience, it is the meat-eaters who go on the attack, demanding to know why I became a vegetarian, when, etc., and then trying to make me defend my choice. Followed by, "You're not going to stop the meat industry," and "But you have leather shoes!" Ummm...really? I have to defend myself for my moral beliefs? I'm just trying to eat my veggie burger in peace and I haven't said a single word about your choices, dude. I'd like to say that I believe the unprovoked attacks are a symptom of folks feeling guilty for their cruelty to animals and the environment, but that would sound smug and righteous. ;-)
Kayde, I loved your comment. I hate it when ignorance is surpassed by ignorance.
Love to all!
I've had the exact opposite, with my childrens' vegetarian and vegan friends trying to tell me just how cruel I am for eating poor Wilbur the pig.
that's because kids haven't learned how to bite their tongues. kids are truthful without thinking of the consequences, because that part of the brain hasn't completely formed until they reach 26 years old.
there are plenty of adult vegans who don't deserve the backlash they receive from someone who had been offended by a young'un who thinks they can change the world faster than it otherwise would.
I really do try to accommodate my vegetarian friends when possible, but vegans? Forget it!
It's really quite easy to make a vegan stuffing or a vegan creamed corn casserole or a green bean casserole. My family has had 5 mostly-vegan thanksgivings (everything apart from the sacrificial turkey or ham, depending on the year) with me and they loved all the creative and delicious dishes we came up with. The cookbook Vegan for the Holidays is a great resource for holiday cheer, and it's not any more work than cooking normally or for vegetarians! My parents still use vegan recipes at the holidays after I've moved out because they just taste so damn good.
You would be amazed at the huge variety of delicious and accessible plant-based dishes you can whip up in a snap!
I agree – it is very easy to make many Thanksgiving dishes vegan. My family will cook all the veggies without butter, leave some boiled potatoes aside for me before they make mashed potatoes, and have other things like salad and vegan rolls that I can eat. I think that people get scared when they hear "vegan food" but a lot of food is vegan by default. It's just normal food without animal products in it.
Lately my family has been ordering the vegan Thanksgiving meal from Whole Foods – it includes a tofu turkey roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and vegan gravy – all you have to do is heat it up. This is really easy for me and my family; they can make all of the recipes they normally make and then have food for me on the side that they know ahead of time is vegan. It's not as great as homemade food like the recipes shared above but still very good and both parties win.
I am not surprised at many of these comments – I think it's funny that people have such negative views about vegans and how "preachy" they are when in fact the majority of vegans I know, including myself, are not that way. I don't like to get into it at all with people but it usually comes up because they pester me about why I'm not eating meat, and when I say I am vegan they start questioning my reasoning and beliefs. It puts me in an awkward position because I can either say I'd rather not talk about it or say that I don't eat animals because of the way they are treated. That leads to a conversation about HOW they are treated and ultimately the meat-eater gets defensive because even though I'm NOT saying it, by me saying "I don't eat meat because I refuse to support factory farming and the treatment of animals that occurs" it translates silently into "you are immoral because you aren't doing the same as me." I think a lot of people become defensive because deep down they know that animals are treated terribly but repress it because they enjoy eating meat. For a long time I was that way; I knew how factory farming worked but it didn't affect me enough to change my lifestyle. Once I did enough research, however, I couldn't consciously eat it anymore.
I also understand preachy vegans as well – I don't like to be that type of person, but especially for me, a vegan for moral and ethical reasons, it deeply disturbs and angers me to know how animals in factory farms are treated and when you realize how unjust it is it is hard to sit by and let it continue to happen, especially when your friends and family around you are contributing to the problem. However, I think many "preachy" vegans need to realize that attacking meat-eaters and going on rants about how horrible animals are treated (while valid) is not the way to go. It doesn't solve anything – it makes meat-eaters become defensive and block any rational arguments you are presenting. I have found that having calm, intellectual conversations about veganism without attacking others gets a lot farther with people and they are more open to listening to your side. They don't jump on your side right away of course, but they at least respect and understand your decision.
All humans are omnivores...if some want to pretend to be herbivores I really don't mind... but if you want to come eat at my place....meat is on the menu! ...eat the side dishes :P
I'm so relieved that you don't mind my personal choices. I'm just a bit worried that you think people need your consent, and that you think your inhospitable nature is something to boast about. I'm sure your many friends have similar points of view, but what happens when you meet someone different from you? Do you act in real life how you act on the internet with the protective shield of anonymity? If so, I fear that you are among those in our society making life hard for anyone different.
so not eating meat is fine but, giving up milk is just too much and eggs oh nooooooooooooo
Isa is the best! My omnivore friends love when I cook her recipes. We always bring vegan options to Thanksgiving so there's no pressure on the host.
Isa RULES! All her cookbooks are awesome.
If you want to be a vegan, more power to you. I will take the ham, turkey and trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner.
Great article. We cook from Isa's books all the time and the food is delicious!
Fabulous article focusing on what's important: getting together and getting along; there's room for everyone at the (yay! vegan) table. And look at that gorgeous kale salad!
Isa, thanks for offering a vegan perspective on Thanksgiving. I appreciated your article and all of the recipes look delicious. I might need to make that Kale Salad tonight!
No way! Megan the Vegan? Really?
Two people in my family are the only vege-anything we have in the family – and they're vegetarians of the pesce- & dairy-tarian type. :) Best thing is they like to cook for themselves. More power to them.
Great article! This will be my third Thanksgiving as a vegan, and I always have to bring all my own food. And then my omnivore family eats all my food because it is awesome and then I don't get any leftovers! Grr :)
This is what happens to me every year, it would be funny if my mother didn't ask me every time (before the dinner) why I have to make so much. : ) Then after dinner everything I made is gone.
I LOVE Isa's books, and her Post Punk Kitchen site and Breville videos are a treasure trove of delicious recipes and how-tos. She's a boon to both the vegan and omnivore world!
Oh, heeeerrreee we go!
I love Isa's approach to vegan cooking, and her attitude in general. Her books are great, her site is fun, and there's encouragement to eat healthier with enjoyment and without judgement. Oh, and there's also dessert.
Yes Tracee, that is what the problem is
Hey kale salad with butternut squash, let's get together ;)
The problems arise due to the ignorance and intolerance of most vegans, qualities which are only surpassed by their smug self righteousness and ignorance.
In the article, she totally pokes fun at herself and that reputation! I'm a meat eater, and I think she's truly fabulous.
Thanks Kat, I am vegan, but I appreciate your comment.
Way to really read the article.
Tracee, you're clearly hanging out with the wrong vegans! All the vegans I hang with are full of laughter, and enjoy good food-and couldn't care less what you choose to eat.
Ignorance in regards to what? You mention it twice so it must be something pretty intense. And intolerance of what? Curious to hear the examples behind your claims! I've found that carnivores tend to be much more hostile towards me; I'm cool with whatever other people want to eat and don't judge them for it. But for some reason, people tend to judge me for what I don't want to eat....
Same here, people are so hostile and angry at my choices.
Hmmm... who sounds ignorant and intolerant again? lol There's always gotta be at least one person claiming vegan "self-righteousness", which I don't get at all. I feel everyone should make choices for their own lives, and I honor that. As do most fellow vegans and vegetarians I know. There are are smug, judgmental folks among people in every walk of life (including non-vegans, obviously). Generalizing doesn't help with anything, nor does judgment. How many vegans do you actually know? I agree with "jerseyvegan" completely.
They are Kylie far and away vastly Superior in depth and intellect! It is simple people like, you who Consume without challenge what your parents had fed you all your childhood lost years.
As someone who is MUCH smarter then YOU for a certainty I can tell u this; Humans were NEVER designed or meat to Consume Turkey Carcass nor Cow Carcass!! Smug? Some are like most people who have an edge in knowledge then the average joe MORON! Should people be smug who r Vegans. NO but that reality does not change that you are chewing down on something you yourself would not likely KILL to eat. u have others do it for you, including REMOVING the fu enk Face so u dont have to THINK what it really is!
Tracee, from where I stand, people become vegan when they learn more about the world (not become more ignorant). I would bet that they are upset and frustrated by a system that creates pain and suffering and it may come out the wrong way. Maybe you can find common ground with the vegans in your life by relating over caring about animals, health, the environment, compassion, etc. I would encourage you to learn more about veganism (there are so many perspectives that it's hard to generalize). You might find something interesting.
We are omnivores, not herbivores... animals suffer ten fold in the wild and meat consumtion will only increase in the coming years as countries develop... you are wasting your time!
please stop saying that. sure we've adapted to being able to eat meat, but our bodies are more similar to herbivores than the typical omnivore/carnivore. sure our eyes point forward, but our digestive tract tells a different story. http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html
Our race have been omnivores for millions of years...it is you who force yourselves to eat from a different class of mammals!
Eat whatever you like, but you are wasting your time trying to convince omnivores that their diet is not natural. Humans have been omnivorous since the days of the cave man and that's not changing any time soon. Just be thankful that we live in a time when you can be picky about what you eat rather than spending most of your time searching for your next meal as was once the case, and still is for most animals in the wild.
Supercarrot...that website is a pseudo-scientific farce!
"...rather than spending most of your time searching for your next meal as was once the case, and still is for most animals in the wild."
James, exactly which animals in the wild aren't searching for their next meal all of the time?
Why, the one that just ate. Of Course.
in addition, to the decimation of the planet and complete waste of natural resources required to rape, murder and enslave a species for the benefit of our human gluteny
Maybe study a bit of history...domestication...etc
sorry gluttony, damn spellcheck
Man, I *hate* it when my ignorance is surpassed only by my ignorance. I smugly, self-righteously submit that Tracee didn't even read the article.
Ignorance can be sooo ignorant.
Oh yeah, you sound like a real peach. *insert eyeroll*
eyeroll? is that like a non-veggan spring roll?
no meat to a meat eater.less guns to a paranoid gun fanatic,abortion to a christian. its all the same hostility hostility anger and attack
Interesting. I find the complete reverse to be true. Not to mention the unquestioning and blind acceptance of childhood and cultural conditioning.
Don't forget the option of personal choice. Postings like yours are the reason that omnivores go on the attack. Your smug, self-righteous at!tude convinces no one that your way is the right way.
Darling people LIKE YOU ( not all who chose to eat meat are ignorant and go on the attack) I know nothing about you and I can assure you that you have many issues changing views on anything. Am I right? ;) . I love meat , would eat tons each day if I didn't had the education I have on the matter and didn't had the moral compass I have. But your response is ignorant and negative to the core, and only makes you look bad , Even if I was eating meat still , I would look at your comment and say : WOW idiots like this make us all meat eaters look like hateful redneck /bigots .
I've given up trying to argue with meat-touters. They're afraid to change their lifestyles hence they attack those who were able to do so more successfully. I condemn their lifestyle and arrogance, but I fight the best way I can: by preparing tasty vegetarian dishes (and desserts)! to show them just how "poorly" we vegetarians actually live ;).
Yes, apron activism is a great, happy idea! (term I heard recently from Isa Chandra Moskowitz on a youtube copy of her talk at VegFest). I don't like arguing or trying to convince people either, I just want to eat food that makes me happy and feel good, and I enjoy sharing that food with others. I hear this from her only about a week ago, so last Saturday when I had company I served Italian food, including a frozen meat lasagna I bought because they are generally not open to vegan food. Then just for myself I made Isa's lasagna (with tofu & cauliflower). I told them it was tofu lasagna and wasn't expecting them to want any, I told them no offense taken. Surprisingly they said aren't you going to let us try it? (Of course, yes, try some.) Boy was I shocked when they both asked for seconds! I believe it's the first time either of them had ever tried tofu. So......I'm now an official apron activist. Thank you Isa!