Dear Fellow Herbivore,
I get it. Trust me. Having specific dietary preferences can be unnecessarily anxiety-inducing, and even leave you feeling on the defensive, especially during the holiday season.
Guess what? I’m here to tell you, being vegan during the holidays doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Instead, it can be downright delicious and simply amazing (just like any other time of year). All it takes is a bit of preparedness.
With Thanksgiving upon us this week, I thought now would be a fine time to offer you some suggestions on how to enjoy your Thanksgiving, vegan-style, and maybe even plant some seeds of compassion along the way.
First, here’s a low quality look at my Thanksgiving dinner plate last year, featuring ToFurky, a broccoli-infused gravy of sorts, sweet potato mash, spinach and artichoke dip, stuffed acorn squash and cranberry.
Whether you are a vegan veteran responsible for all the cooking (no pressure, right?), or a plant-based newbie sitting down at someone else’s table this year, here are a few Thanksgiving recommendations.
Although documenting plant-based food creations has taken the back burner lately in the midst of major happenings (like art shows and races), my life has certainly not been absent of nutritious and delicious vegan eats (neither has Andrew’s). These eats include quite a bit of seasonal grub—like pumpkin smoothies, beet salads, and leafy greens.
One seasonal green I’ve come to love this year is mustard greens. The best (and most convenient) part about these particular greens, is that they are as home grown as you can get. What I mean is, there just so happens to be a forest of mustard greens growing in my backyard.
Did I mention they’re gigantic? These voluptuous greens have been regularly serving as a base for my salads this season, and a green addition to vegetable medleys. One night Andrew even surprised me by wrapping my macaroni and cheese inside one of these leaves, lettuce wrap style.
Anti-Dye Pasta Salad
This afternoon, I decided to clip some greens from the yard and incorporate them into an Anti-Dye pasta salad. Why the name? Because this pasta salad is packed with powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients (mustard greens and turmeric), and turmeric is a natural dye.
It’s here. It’s here. It’s almost here. That’s right—I’m talking about Halloween!
Have you carved your pumpkin yet?
I must admit, although Andrew and I picked out our pumpkins weeks ago, they are still sitting patiently on his porch, ready and waiting. It appears carving will be happening tomorrow on Halloween, just in time for the ocassion. Better late than never, right?
Despite our tardiness in carving these particular pumpkins, the past several weeks have been quite pumpkin-filled.
Earlier this month, Andrew assisted me on a festive backyard photo shoot for a guest post I wrote for the Oiselle Blog—Bird is the Word, titled “Fall Fuel Favorites for Plant-Based Runners.” Since I opted for a slightly more serious photo to accompany the post, here is an outtake from that session.
Since I can’t seem to stop talking up autumn harvest, I figured it’s only fair that I dedicate a post to a root vegetable I’ve been slightly obsessed with lately—beets.
I wish I could say I’ve loved beets since day one, but it wasn’t until adulthood that I came to appreciate these bright, vibrant roots.
Why do I love them now? Beyond the fact that I adore their rich taste and color, beets are incredibly good for you. As I noted in a guest post I contributed to Oiselle’s blog last Monday, “Fall Fuel Favorites for Plant-Based Runners,” beets are an athlete’s best friend. Beets get your blood pumping and energy flowing. Both the roots and the greens are packed full of health-boosting nutrients.
Thankfully Andrew loves beets as much as I do. Over the past few weeks we’ve been snagging giant beets from the produce stand every chance we get. I even packed some in the car with me Friday and brought them home to Pensacola so I could share the beet love with my family.
One perk of being home is getting to take over my mom’s kitchen again. Yesterday, I decided to whip us up my rendition of the beet salad Andrew made for me last week. Fun fact: He actually remade this beet salad yesterday too, back in St. Augustine. Clearly our minds and hearts are synced even when we’re geographically apart.
Thanks to Vega’s Smoothie Pinnin’ Contest, smoothies have been fresh on my mind lately. Although it has taken me a minute to get unpacked and into a steady smoothie routine, I’m pleased to report my Vitamix is happily living at Andrew’s house and its blades are back in the smoothie business.
First up, Golden Rabbit.
Yesterday, I revisited several “On the Run” highlights from the first six months of Vegan on the Run. Since at the heart of each and every one of my days is plant-based cuisine, today I’ve decided to revisit the recipes that I’ve shared thus far. And so, I present to you a visual recap of the spread of vegan eats and drinks I’ve included on the blog since its launch date.
Intrigued by any of the dishes below? Simply click on a photo and it will take you to the appropriate blog post—complete with ingredients, directions, health perks and more.
While my return trip to St. Augustine has required ample rerouting of plans, the past week in the oldest city has been filled with blissful reunitings, welcomed opportunities, and delicious eats.
Immediately upon my arrival, I returned to two local eateries I especially adore—The Floridian for a Saturday night dinner date, and Manatee Café for Sunday brunch. I’ve also gotten back into a joint cooking jive with my boyfriend Andrew.
We decided to play around with a vibrant, mega-sized eggplant he bought down the street at his neighborhood produce stand. We both love eggplant and couldn’t recall the last time we had eaten it, which is a shame, considering it’s delicious and packed with phytonutrients that aid in blood flow, along with fiber and powerful antioxidants.
We knew we didn’t want to simply try and recreate a more typical eggplant dish. Instead, we wanted to create something different. We wanted to create something memorable. We wanted to create something that did this mighty eggplant justice.
So, what exactly did we create?
In less than an hour’s time, we created crispy chia-coated eggplant, paired with sauced tomatoes and quinoa, served alongside a bed of spring mix.