My first Thanksgiving after shifting to a plant-based diet was surprisingly a breeze. Growing up in an omnivore culture, especially as a Latina, many of the main meals revolved around meat. Ironically, our first Thanksgiving meal as plant-based was much more concerning for my omnivore family members than it was for our plant-based family of four. We ate almost everything that was on the menu, simply omitting the non-plant based dishes. In the end, everyone's belly was full and we had a great time.
Thanksgiving is actually the perfect time of year to practice coexisting with grace and appreciation for our uniqueness. A big part of coexisting is a deep respect for one another. Each individual has their own views on how to live their life, even if one's choices are different. With time, our gatherings with family and friends have gotten to be easier, not only in the logistics of planning for everyone’s diet, but also, in terms of acceptance and understanding. This, to me, is what Thanksgiving is really all about.
One great thing you can do to help to ease the stress on your host is to bring a diet-friendly dish that everyone can enjoy, including those who are living a plant-based lifestyle. I think sharing your favorite dish is also a very peaceful and sweet way of showing your non-plant-based family members that you aren’t missing out on anything, that the food you love is delicious, flavorful, and festive. Holiday gatherings should be about enjoying each other’s company and celebrating, not about stress, nor leaving with an empty stomach.
If this is your first Vegan Thanksgiving, I am so excited for you to discover all the incredible (and nutritious!) flavors of the season. I’ve chosen some of my favorite recipes that anyone would enjoy, plant-based or not! As an added bonus, all of them are absolutely gorgeous in presentation—lots of beautiful colors that would really pop on a simple white porcelain plate!
Reading the suggested recipes above, you can see that Vegan Thanksgiving isn’t missing out on anything. In fact, it’s so festive and full of flavor. I really look forward to our family’s Thanksgiving meal each year.
As you can probably tell from my list, another favorite resource of mine for vegan recipes is Minimalist Baker. You can find a brilliant roundup of her recipes for Thanksgiving here. Consider yourself warned—the food photography is gorgeous and vibrant, and it will make you very, very hungry!
Finally, I want to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving season. I am extra thankful this year for the support of my family. Without them, none of this would be possible.
What’s your favorite plant-based recipe for Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!
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