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A vegan-friendly Thanksgiving meal

November 23, 2011

Even though Thanksgiving is tomorrow, Matt and I spent this past weekend at his parents’ home in Springfield, Missouri for an early T-Day feast. You may remember (as I related a few months ago) that Matt’s mom went vegan this past spring to help her with her diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues. She’s still going strong! And as a result, the Crawley Thanksgiving dinner was the most vegan-friendly T-Day meal I’ve ever had. Since I’m not a big fan of comfort food, Thanksgiving dishes have never been much of a draw for me, but this year was a bit of a game-changer.

The cranberry-apple relish on the left is vegan, and though the rest of the family ate their vegetable cruditΓ©s with non-vegan ranch dressing, Matt, his mom, and I ate ours with vegan spinach hummus (below)! We even had vegan, gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers to munch on.

Although there was a turkey for the rest of the family, Matt’s mom made the mashed potatoes AND the stuffing vegan by using Earth Balance and rice milk, and the bowl of “butter” set out to go with the [whole-wheat] rolls was (shh) Earth Balance too!

The center of our vegan feast was a Tofurkey roast, my first ever. It was filled with wild rice and whole wheat bread crumb stuffing and came with a savory vegan gravy on the side. I thought I wouldn’t like it (because I never liked real turkey), but I loved it! It just tasted like especially-salty seitan. We all liked it, actually; even Matt’s non-veg brother. I guess I’m now a Tofurkey convert!

Dessert was equally special, because Matt’s sister-in-law Bobbi had taken extra-great care of us. She made the cherry pie AND sweet potato pie vegan this year by using [whole-grain!] butter-free crusts and employing some creative sweeteners like sorghum syrup. How cool is that?!

The Tofurkey feast also came with a vegan dessert: an Amy’s chocolate loaf cake. And on top of all that, Matt’s brother and sister-in-law even thought to pick us up a can of Soyatoo Rice Whip “whipped cream” for our treats.

I was just blown away by how thoughtful Matt’s family was, not to mention how much I enjoyed this dinner. I think it’s the first Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever had that I can truly rave about loving!

QUESTION: Will your Thanksgiving dinner be veg-friendly? What favorite T-Day dishes are you serving?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

3 years ago…
Vegan night: spaghetti & cheesecake
Almost vegan cruise, parts one, two, & three
2 years ago…
Almost Vegan in Venice, Italy, parts one & two
1 year ago…
Matthew Kenney Academy: final menu revealed
Matthew Kenney Academy: last-minute prep
Matthew Kenney Academy: Level I graduation
Almost Vegan Boyfriend in Boston & London

30 Comments leave one →
  1. bitt permalink
    November 23, 2011 10:04 am

    That is so nice of them to be accommodating like that. His family makes inviting a vegan over look easy.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 10:08 am

      They did SO well for their first-ever veg-friendly Thanksgiving! I can’t believe the stark contrast from last year’s – and they pulled it off with relative ease. They really set a great example, I think!

  2. November 23, 2011 10:13 am

    That’s amazing and it all looks so delicious!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 10:13 am

      I thoroughly enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  3. November 23, 2011 10:14 am

    Awww that’s amazing!! So nice of Matt’s mom to keep the stuffing & mashed potatoes vegan, too. My mom does that, too, whenever we get together for holidays πŸ™‚ This year, Dallas’ family came over & I hosted an entirely vegan menu. It was pretty awesome, and everyone really liked the Tofurky, too πŸ˜€ Glad you had such a great Thanksgiving!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 10:15 am

      I dream of someday having/hosting a 100% vegan Thanksgiving! πŸ˜€

  4. November 23, 2011 10:34 am

    This is my first year for a meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free Thanksgiving and I’m looking forward to it. We had an early celebration with one side of the family last month and I pretty much brought my own dishes (to share, of course) so I would have food to eat. It’s a good thing, since only one item was vegan-friendly. Tomorrow my mom has made it a point to make several dishes to bring that are vegan-friendly and I’m bringing more dishes to share. I think this holiday is a great chance to share how delicious vegan food can be!

    I haven’t tried tofurkey and it wasn’t on my list at all, but you actually made me want to try it. Next time!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 10:37 am

      Sounds like you have tomorrow covered! I hope you have a great first vegan Thanksgiving day πŸ™‚

  5. November 23, 2011 11:27 am

    I’m so glad to hear you liked the Tofurky because this is also my first year making one. I tried a sample at Trader Joe’s and was amazed at how good it tasted! I’ll be roasting mine up tomorrow…we’ll see if the kids like it though.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 1:05 pm

      I hope you and your family enjoy the Tofurkey too!

  6. November 23, 2011 1:17 pm

    That tofurkey actually does look pretty good. I’ve always preferred the traditional Thanksgiving sides to the turkey anyway. Sweet potato souffle with brown sugar pecan crumble is like dessert for me and I look forward to it every year.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 1:26 pm

      Brown sugar pecan crumble? Drool. That sounds amazing!

  7. November 23, 2011 3:01 pm

    What a wonderful feast! That’s kind of how we do it…Dave makes a turkey, but most of the side dishes and even the “butter” are vegan. The cherry pie looks great!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 4:22 pm

      Cherry pie is Matt’s favorite! I’m partial to pecan, myself. πŸ˜‰

  8. November 23, 2011 4:23 pm

    Looks like lots of people are gettin’ into the Tofurky feast this year–yours with wild rice sounds very yummy πŸ™‚ I totally want to try that Amy’s chocolate loaf!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 4:24 pm

      The Tofurkey roast rocks! The chocolate cake it came with wasn’t bad either, especially with Rice Whip πŸ˜›

  9. November 23, 2011 7:25 pm

    Sounds like a great time and good for Matt’s mom sticking with the veganism; that definitely makes it easier for you to find something to eat there. I’ve had the Tofurky slices, but never the roast. My parents aren’t that advanced yet! How many people would you say the roast feeds?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 23, 2011 7:28 pm

      The roast says it feeds 6. We saw the size of it and thought “No way, that’ll barely feed the three of us.” But it swells up as it cooks and it turns out that the three of us only polished off a little more than half of it!

  10. November 24, 2011 3:49 am

    Isn’t this just a tremendously true a sign of how much Matt’s family love and respect you (and Matt, of course)? I’m so happy for you! Not just the food, but what it means that they made the effort. Hurrah!!

    P.S. I have to ask, though… is that canned pineapple on the spinach hummus crudite platter?!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 24, 2011 9:51 am

      Haha, yes, there are pineapple rings and mango slices in there. Not so good with the hummus, but she was concerned about filling all the little spaces. πŸ˜›

  11. November 24, 2011 3:26 pm

    That’s awesome that they took care of you like that–and you make it sound like (they made it look) easy, but I know how wedded to butter folks are.

    As for the tofurkey, aside from the fact that it’s not gf, (is it?), I’m so put off by the hideous word that I can’t ever imagine it going in my mouth! But I’m glad you enjoyed it…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 24, 2011 4:35 pm

      Haha! You’re so right about the word “Tofurkey.” There’s something…squishy and fat about it, if that makes any sense. It’s not GF anyway, though, so you’re safe πŸ˜›

  12. November 25, 2011 7:34 pm

    My mom declared yesterday (on Thanksgiving) that she is going vegan and she’s enlisted me to help her. I’ve got lots of work to do! Lol.

    I’m glad you had an enjoyable veg-friendly Thanksgiving this year!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 25, 2011 7:41 pm

      Are you serious?! That’s flippin’ AWESOME! Congrats to her…and you too, heh πŸ˜€

  13. November 27, 2011 12:48 pm

    What an incredibly thoughtful Thanksgiving you enjoyed πŸ™‚ You are truly loved Amber! Can’t wait for your book…where can I buy it?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 27, 2011 12:55 pm

      You’ll be able to buy my book pretty much anywhere!, Barnes & Noble, etc. πŸ™‚

  14. Monica Soto permalink
    November 28, 2011 2:10 pm

    Mmm, that Tofurkey roast looks so good.

    I did NOT know that Rice whip existed. That is amazing!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 28, 2011 2:12 pm

      Yeah! It wasn’t bad, either. Very whipped-creamy.

  15. December 2, 2011 7:20 pm

    Delish meal! I’ve never had one before, but thought about using Tofurkey next year for Thanksgiving. I’ve been catching up on my blog reading today and I’ve seen a lot of people write about its saltiness. I’ve somewhat sensitive to salt, so I don’t know if that would be a deal breaker for me. Is it overwhelmingly salty? Or is it just slightly noticeable?

    • December 2, 2011 10:31 pm

      Hmm, if you’re sensitive to salt, you may not love it, then. I am extremely INsensitive to salt, and tend to like my food extra-salty, but even I, upon first tasting the roast, exclaimed “Whoa! That is drenched in salt!” I kinda liked that about it, after acclimating to it within a few bites πŸ˜› but you may want to steer clear.

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