2 Easy Vegan Recipes to Bring to Your Thanksgiving Celebration

In my previous post, I mentioned that I would be bringing a couple of vegan dishes to Thanksgiving. After some careful consideration, I have decided on the following recipes that are easy, vegan and perfect for Thanksgiving. I hope it gives you some inspiration to bring some yummy dishes to your celebration.

CRANBERRY CHUTNEY (via In a Vegetarian Kitchen)
Makes 8 servings

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup peeled, diced apple
  • 1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup, to taste

Directions

Place all the ingredients except the agave nectar in a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat with the lid slightly ajar for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

Add agave nectar to taste and simmer uncovered for another 5 to 10 minutes until thick. Let the chutney cool to room temperature, then store in a sterilized jar, tightly covered but not sealed. Refrigerate until needed. Before serving, bring to room temperature.

I am going to make this beforehand and put it in some jars so that they are easily transportable (we’re driving ~600 miles). I might even make some really nice labels and put some ribbons around it so that it will be a nice looking gift.

The second dish I will bring is a Mediterranean Kale Salad. I first discovered this amazing recipe by Jennifer Cornbleet on YouTube and have made variations of it numerous times.

MEDITERRANEAN KALE SALAD (via LearnRawFood.com)
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 large kale leaves
  • 2 cups red, raw, sweet peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I have also used flaxseed oil for a nuttier taste)
  • juice from a whole lemon
  • 24 almonds or pine nuts chopped or slivered
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 24 jumbo sliced black or kalamata olives

Directions

De-vein the kale, then roll up 2 kale leaves at a time and slice thinly to make thin, long strips. Place in a bowl with olive oil, salt and lemon juice, and dig in your (clean) hands and massage the kale in the liquids. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Lasts for 3 days refrigerated, tastes better if left to marinate for a little bit.

Jennifer has done an incredible video showing how to make the salad. Check it out below:

Let me know if you try these out and what you think of them. I would also love to hear any other suggestions you might have for tasty vegan Thanksgiving recipes in the comments section below, on facebook or via twitter.

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Are you dreading Thanksgiving?

To be honest, Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays. I could never understand why everyone would want to get together with people they never see otherwise (and usually have unresolved issues with!) and gorge themselves on food until they make themselves immobile. The only thing that kept me going through the whole ordeal was knowing I could have a slice of pumpkin pie.

Now that I am a wannabe vegan, I am dreading this holiday even more. The thought of seeing the turkey on the table and knowing what it had to go through to get there feels me with dread. I can’t imagine I will have much of an appetite, let alone be able to eat heartily and enjoy myself. But shifting my perspectives is what becoming vegan is all about, so I really want to try and make Thanksgiving enjoyable again and something I look can forward to.

Have a Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!

After doing a bit of soul searching, I came up with the following perspective-shifting thoughts. I am hoping that they will help me handle the combination of family, food and being vegan on the 25th just a bit more easily and positively:

  1. I choose to think of being vegan as being a simple dietary choice. Just like some people don’t like to eat okra, I don’t like to eat animal products. Simple as that. When someone tells you they don’t like okra you normally don’t give them any grief unless you are a big okra fan but even then, it is usually just a, “Really? I can’t believe you don’t like okra. It’s the best!” and then the conversation moves on. If I treat my  choice to be vegan in the same way, hopefully others will follow suit and not make a big deal about it.
  2. I realized that being invited into someone’s home for Thanksgiving is a nice gesture that shouldn’t be taken lightly. They are letting me know that they value my presence and are willing to spend a lot of time and effort to make the experience an enjoyable one for me and everyone else. The best way to reciprocate the gesture is to be an appreciative guest. I plan on doing this by bringing a vegan dish or two of my own that I know people will like. This guarantees that I will have something to eat (which will help me feel less stressed about the situation) and will hopefully introduce others to some yummy recipes.
  3. At the dinner, I plan on keeping a positive attitude about being vegan. If anyone wants to know more about my choices, I will reply in an upbeat manner. I will tell them about all of the positive changes it has made in my life and to my heath instead of feeding into the common misunderstanding that it is all about restrictions. I know that if remember that people are just trying to understand, it will be a lot easier to be compassionate and understanding of their views as well. Isn’t that what being vegan is really all about anyway?

Even just writing these down has made me feel better about the whole prospect of Thanksgiving. I hope it has given you something to consider before the holiday arrives so that your experience is enjoyable too.

What do you think? How have you handled Thanksgiving as a vegan? Please share your comments and tips below.