The Un-Turkey Dinner

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 11, 2009

Hello! :D

Yesterday we had a wonderful get together with the family for Thanksgiving. :) I made a vegan banana walnut chocolate chip loaf that was a huge hit.


It was literally gone in 10 minutes! lol. I love showing people that vegan treats can be even better tasting than ones made with animal products. No one believed me that it was vegan. :) Music to my ears!


My brother in law had about 7 slices! hahaha. ;)

I brought my Aunt some Glo bars!


Prepping in the kitchen:


The appetizers: Pita chips, cheese, hummus, candied almonds, and my bread:


I got the recipe for these candied almonds and I will be making them soon. They were so delicious!


Table for 12 (plus 2 kids!)


Our Uncle Steve has a huge garden and he gave us a big bag of Tomatillos!


I’ve never seen them in the flesh before!


I’ve been told that I must make Salsa verde with them. Anyone know a good recipe?


IMG_6839 IMG_6841

My MIL makes deep fried potatoes every Thanksgiving and Christmas.


The boys goes crazy over them. No, crazy isn’t even the word!




Fresh Carrots from the garden (my fav!):


Caesar salad:


As you can see, the choices I had for a vegan diet were quite limited. I don’t expect people to cater to my lifestyle though, so I always make sure to fuel up prior to the event. On the way there, I had a couple snacks to tie me over.

My plate:


I took advantage of all the veggies and filled my plate with them!

  • Fresh carrots
  • Fresh peas
  • 1 potato
  • Herbed roasted squash and red pepper (I had the cheeseless option)

I had it with some 20 Bees chardonnay which was really good:


I also went back for seconds on the carrots and peas. :)

Eric’s plate:


He isn’t a big turkey fan and he doesn’t like gravy. ;) He actually puts ketchup on his plate! Everyone makes fun of him each family dinner when he asks for ketchup. His request is always met with gasps of horror. lol. My dad always teases him too, he says, ‘Oh you aren’t going to ruin that plate with ketchup are you???’ ;)


Being a Vegan At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a bit difficult when you are vegetarian, and even more so when you are a vegan. Considering that the whole holiday revolves around eating an animal, it sort of provokes mixed emotions for me.

Firstly, I love Thanksgiving for the part of it that brings family together. Each Thanksgiving we go to our Aunt’s place and she puts on a fabulous dinner for us. It is always a really fun visit catching up with the family.

On the other hand, I am bothered by what is being served on millions of tables across Canada. Most likely, the turkey comes from a factory farm where it has suffered tremendously and been pumped full of hormones to make it grow. The method by which most animals are killed on many factory farms and slaughterhouses is nothing short of gruesome, inhumane, and down right disturbing.

Eric and I had a long talk on the drive home about factory farms and slaughterhouses. Apparently there is a slaughterhouse for pigs right near his work. He told me that each morning he sees a huge truck filled with pigs that are being brought to the slaughterhouse.

Eric said, ‘You know Ange it is really disturbing to see that. The pigs are just crammed in the truck with no room to move and you can see their cute little snouts sticking out of the truck. It is really sad to think about what happens to them in there.’

I think because Eric has witnessed this ‘so close to home’ so to speak, it has really started to change the way he thinks about eating meat.

He said something that I thought was quite interesting, ‘If I had to go out and obtain my own food [without having the convenience of a grocery store], I would 100% be a vegetarian. Actually I would probably be a vegan!’

We talked about it some more and I admit I got a bit emotional about it all. It really pains me to think about all of the animals out there who are abused, tortured, and living in conditions so severe many of them will ‘starve-out’. Starving out is a term when the animals starve themselves until death because they are under so much stress.

I never thought I would see the day when Eric would be slanting toward the side of giving up meat!!!!!

When we met, his diet consisted of meat, cheese, Coke, and bread. I’m not even joking. He hated vegetables.

I think because I make so many vegan dishes for us, he is starting to appreciate that a meal doesn’t always have to consist of animal products to taste good.

Whether he will or will not fully give up meat, I really have no idea and quite frankly that is up to him. I am just happy that he has reduced his meat intake to only having it on special occasions or when he goes out to eat. That is a huge change and certainly makes an impact on the meat-driven ‘system’.


I’m off to bake 300 Glo bars today! I’ve got a full 10 hour day in front of me so I need to get going. :)

By the way, I added more Glo bars for sale on the shopping cart in case you were trying to get them when they were sold out.


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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura October 11, 2009 at 9:10 am

My brother makes a wonderful salsa verde:

Check it out :-)


Sarah October 11, 2009 at 9:21 am

I completely understand about Thanksgiving. I originally became a vegetarian when I was 12, and it has bothered me ever since that every time we have a huge family dinner, meat is always right at the center of that. Now, I work right beside a poultry packing plant, and I have to drive a different route to work every morning because it breaks my heart to see it.

I won’t judge anyone for their choice to eat meat, but at the same time, I don’t understand how people are able to separate the meat on the table from the animal that suffered so much to get the meat. I have never been able to do that.

I am glad that you got to enjoy a great day with family.


Mara @ What's for Dinner? October 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’ve made salsa verde before with roasted tomatillos and roasted jalapeños, chopped onion, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice… SO GOOD!
Glad you were able to enjoy the holiday :)


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 11, 2009 at 9:32 am

I’ve never heard of deep fried potatoes! This made me so excited for Thanksgiving. :)


Madelin @ What is for breakfast? October 11, 2009 at 9:34 am

That banana loaf looks incredible! Are you going to post the recipe???


Hannah October 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

I’d love to have that recipe as well! I want to make if for all my coworkers!


Sana October 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Me too! that looks AMAZING!


jane October 11, 2009 at 9:37 am

Hi Angela! this is my first time commenting on your blog… I have just signed up for my first half marathon so am very excited about that at the moment, and your blog has definitely been a part of what inspired me to enter. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family! That banana cake looks completely amazing – where did you get the recipe from? Thanks for keeping your great blog! :)


Ryan @ Greens for Good October 11, 2009 at 9:42 am

This will be my first Thanksgiving as a vegan (and Christmas which pretty much brings up the same issues) and I am certainly a little nervous that there will be nothing for me to eat. I plan on cooking a few things just in case, but it’s helpful for me to see how you handled it over a month before the US’s Thanksgiving :)

It’s always exciting to me when people start to not only understand for themselves why I am vegan, but also begin to imagine themselves as one for the same reasons. Just having that level of understanding is really meaningful, whether they become vegetarian/vegan or not. I’m glad you’re experiencing something similar with Eric!


Katie October 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

Rick Bayless has some great recipes with green salsa. I particularly enjoy his chilaquiles. Mmmm.


Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm

I love Rick Bayless! Everything he makes looks so delicious and fresh!


Susan October 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

Funny, because after almost a decade as a vegetarian, last Thanksgiving I made the decision I was going to eat the turkey. My mom ordered from a local free-range farm (she insists on eating only happy animals). It was delicious, and I felt so GOOD after. I’ve kept up the meat-eating since. Of course, that’s just me. Some days I don’t eat a lick of meat and still get along fine. But I definitely don’t miss having to eat a plate of mashed potatoes at holiday dinners! :P


Kristin (Kristins Nibbles) October 11, 2009 at 10:06 am

Happy Thanksgiving! I feel the same way about Thanksgiving turkeys. Although I do eat meat, when I eat it I try and at least make it organic, grass fed and local if possible- the best I can do for, like Eric said, not obtaining my own food. But it is absolutely horrible what they do to those poor animals, and I don’t think I could eat turkey on thanksgiving, just knowing that.

Interesting topic! I’m glad Eric has changed his diet for the better and is rethinking his meat intake- can he hang out with my boyfriend for a day? lol



Michelle Gay October 11, 2009 at 10:09 am

I think that you have hit the nail on the head. If people knew where MOST of their food was coming from–veg or not veg–people would be having the convo that you and Eric were having in the car. I think that becoming vegan is a good thing. However, if people aren’t going to become vegan they need to be VERY aware of where their food is coming from…it’s only fair.

Thanks for writing thing, thanks for sticking to your guns and making people aware of their food choices.


Majl October 11, 2009 at 10:13 am

Laura’s recipe recommandation is a good one and very standard. After testing out over 20 modifications, here are some of tips:

1) Roast your vegetables, especially the tomatillos since it takes away the bitterness and make the flavour come out more,
2) Red onions or scallions accentuate the flavours better than white or sweet onions
3) Peppers: For a smoky taste, add chipotle peppers…As for jalapenos, jarred is okay and if you have no jalapenos, the green Tabasco sauce adds heat without being too spicy.
4) For a kick, add some tequila; 1-2 tbsp for each cup of salsa.
5) Add a crushed avocado to it if you want for more of “dip”.

I usually pour this sauce over some tofu, baked black beans, with quinoa or brown rice for a burrito bowl. Enjoy! I am happy to see the tomatillo is starting to gain momentum in Canada since it’s one of my fave ingredients!


Eri October 11, 2009 at 10:16 am

Even though you do not eat meat, I would like you to know some things.
The gruesome things are what get reported… not the 1000’s of slaughterhouses and farms that take good care of their animals. Cruelty to the animals is the exception, not the norm. Think about it, the healthier and happier the animal- the better the animal is going to be for food. most farmers are not going to endanger the live of the animals that pay the bills for the farmer. After living a short life, but a happy one- yes, they are killed. But that was the purpose of their life all along.. and they wouldnt even be alive otherwise…and its better to end their life when they are healthy then to let them grow old and starve to death or die of disease. Humans have been hunting and gathering since the beginning of time. And most animals eat other animals… should all animals be vegan too? Many animals kill their prey in much more painful and gruesome ways than humans kill our meat.

And also, be aware that PETA and many other “animal rights” organizations actually set up situations themselves that show inhumane treatment. So I dont trust the things they say. Use your head, and look at radically different sources- the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

And before you think I some hunter/meat fanatic/whatever else. Be aware that I love animals(and nature) way more than the next person… but I have to be realistic about what stuff is actually reasonable in “protecting” them.


Eri October 11, 2009 at 10:19 am

oh, and dont think Im bashing anyone for being a vegetarian or vegan, because I’m not.
Because it’s not my choice.
It’s yours.

I just have a thing for incorrect perceptions on this issue.


::christine:: October 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Eri dear,

I do not at all care for the tone of your comment and I think that it had no business on this blog.

But that’s me.

Now, go and fetch yourself a harmless creature and eat it already now…back to vegan recipes – Angela, please give up the recipe for that banana bread you made +)


Eri October 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm

i do not know how you can determine my “tone” over the internet…lol.
if she presents one side, i am not allowed to present my side?


Dori October 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Reposting my comment as a reply to the thread!

Eri needs to do some research — maybe pick up a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma or rent the DVD of Food, Inc when it comes out in a few weeks. “most farmers are not going to endanger the live of the animals that pay the bills for the farmer” — um endangering their lives to find the cheapest ways to feed these animals and pump them with growth hormones and antibiotics is these farmer’s bread and butter! They get government subsidies for high production so you better bet they will endanger the animals to find what will get them the most money. Stuffing tons of animals knee deep in feces — and yes, this is the “norm” for factory farms, feeding them with corn that they can’t digest properly and packing them one against the other their entire lives all add up to “endangering the lives of the animals that pay the bills for the farmer.” That is because their lives are SO short as it is — with all the growth hormones they are slaughtered as children!

I do believe that humane, local grass farms that let you visit and see where your animals come from are wonderful for the environment. If you choose to eat meat, it will be better for your health and the environment and eventually the food industry if you choose to buy your meat there. But if you can’t be sure where your animal is coming from, it is safe to assume a factory that is actually the “norm.”


Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

First I just have to say that it’s not completely “incorrect perceptions on this issue.” You yourself said this does happen, so the problem does exist, not just a skewed perception.

Also – “But that was the purpose of their life all along.. and they wouldnt even be alive otherwise” – to me this is a big issue! Yes, our ancestors hunted animals – in the wild. They didn’t breed countless animals just to kill them. Same goes with the logic of animals eating other animals – it’s part of the circle of life. I truly feel that when we have to start breeding animals just to kill them off for food, that there’s a huge problem.

Not to mention that meat-consumption is out of control. If people didn’t feel the need to have a meat-protein at lunch and dinner every day, it’d be so much better for us and the animals.

And yes, I am a vegan. I actually became one recently for health reasons. I’ve found myself naturally leaning more towards compassionate living and becoming more sympathetic to animals though, the longer I am vegan.


Jennie {in Wonderland} October 11, 2009 at 11:28 am

“Use your head”?

That is beyond condescending. Angela is extremely smart, and she has done her research on this issue enough to make an informed decision.

She can also speak for herself, so I will stop now, and just say that that bothered me so much.


Nicole October 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

I’m not looking to start anything on Angela’s blog, but I would like to know where you got this information from.

I do believe that the situation you speak of, animals having a happy yet short life, is not the norm on corporate factory farms. I don’t know about Canada, but in the US, 2% of livestock farms raise 40% of the animals used for food. There is no way that the people who run this farm can make sure that these animals have a happy and healthy life. In this industrialized industry, money is the drive and animals are just a product.

I’m sure there are a lot of smaller farms that treat their animals “nice” until they are killed, but the animals raised for food here in the US are treated as products and not living beings.

From “The broiler chicken industry produces 6 billion chickens a year for slaughter. This industry is ruled by only 60 companies which have created an oligopoly. Broiler chickens are selectively bred and genetically altered to produce bigger thighs and breasts, the parts in most demand.”

There is no way in hell that all those 60 billion chicken were produced on small farms in which the animals were treated humanely. There is simply not enough room to give them enough space or care.

By the way, an animals purpose is not to be food, whether or not they were born into the food industry. Hearing that said about other living beings is truly disheartening. The truth is that their lives are not ended when they are happy and healthy. Among other things, a lot of animals are separated from their mothers at birth, and this alone is enough to make an animal upset. I’ve seen and heard first hand the fear in an animal when it’s being taken away from it’s mother. I’ve been to small “happy” farms where animals were clearly sick and were electrocuted to move when they were too weak to even get up. Of course, this isn’t true for all farms, but the majority of them.

Yes, I’ve gotten a lot of my information from sources that care about the well-being of animals, but who is telling us different? Corporations that dominate the meat industry?

As for whether animals should be vegan or not.. we as humans have the capability to prepare food other than eating other animals. I don’t know any other animals who can go to the grocery store and pick up beans or bread in order to sustain their life. Many animals in the wild don’t have a choice and wouldn’t be able to sustain themselves on a diet of plant-based things that they could find.

Where we get our food now is FAR from hunting and gathering.

Anyway, I don’t usually get into these kinds of discussions, but I also have a thing for incorrect perceptions. But what do I know? I’m one of those “animal rights” people. I’m not here to make anyone feel bad for their decisions because, like you said, it’s not my choice, it’s yours.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 11, 2009 at 11:33 am


Use my head? I can assure you that I ‘use my head’ about the issue. Actually using my head is what encouraged me to look deeper into my own food choices. I’m sorry you think otherwise.

I also could not disagree with you more about the purpose of an animal’s life. That purpose that you are referring to is a socially created norm. Yes, animals kill animals in the wild, but the over-breeding of animals for human consumption takes this thing of nature and blows it up into something that is not only negative for many of the animals involved, but absolutely wreak havoc on our environment. Did you know that going vegetarian is the number ONE best thing you can do for the environment? Even more so than completely giving up your car. That alone tells me that something needs to change…fast.

I do not disagree that there are humane conditions on farms. From the research I have done, unfortunately the inhumane conditions are very prevalent. Of course we will never know the extent of it in full, but I am willing to take a stand for those animals that ARE treated improperly. As long as there is one factory farm or slaughterhouse that can get away with torturing innocent creatures, I will not be able to happily enjoy meat again.


Nicole October 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

Well said, Angela!


::christine:: October 11, 2009 at 1:41 pm

you tell’em Ange!


Eri October 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm

no, I meant everyone in general.
if you look at some of the other responses you’ll see what I mean… while accusing me of bashing them they bash me… which really does nothing about proving a point in the long run.

I am fully aware that you are sort of a research fanatic, but as you said yourself about your old job- research can be a controlled outcome. I am glad that you have done what is best for you. You have chosen a healthy lifestylt of diet and exercise. This does not involve meat for you- thats perfectly fine. (and great for the animals-yes.) I have several friends that are in great health as vegans and some that are in great health as meat eaters. Its a completely personal choice and I was in no way trying to insult you.

I have been reading your blog since like its second month. If veganism really bothered me, I’m sure I wouldnt read it everyday. I really like that you have presented me with alot of new things food-wise, exercise, and lifestyle-wise. And appreciate the time you take out of your day to post your blog. I am sorry for any problems I may have caused.

Happy Thanksgiving and Blogging!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Eri, You are completely entitled to your opinions! I am definitely aware of the slant that occurs in research and trust me I take many things with a grain of salt. I am not a big PETA advocate because I think they are quite extreme and I prefer studies that are conducted by university students who don’t have ties with either the government or an animal rights agency. The University of Guelph (my undergrad school) does a ton of research on factory farms and is where I first started looking into it.


caitlin October 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm

first of all, “After living a short life, but a happy one- yes, they are killed.” are you kidding me? in the united states, the top four beef packers control more than 80% of the market. the vast majority of the meat produced in the United States is slaughtered at one of THIRTEEN slaughterhouses. can you please explain to me how animals that are raised and slaughtered by such huge numbers in such close-packed conditions could possibly be living a “happy life.”

secondly, i think this comment is beyond uninformed: “its better to end their life when they are healthy then to let them grow old and starve to death or die of disease.” have you ever heard of de-beaking? or docking a pig’s tail so the pig kept in a cage behind it doesn’t chew it off out of boredom? or the fact that the animals are raised in the dark, in small cages, or even in DRAWERS (baby chicks for eggs)?

why don’t you google what a CAFO is?

you obviously are someone who want to continue to eat meat and have found justifications to do so. fine, whatever, that’s your decision. but don’t run around boosting false truths to make yourself feel better. if you’re going to eat meat, at least accept the truth of the situation.

and to tell angie to “use her head” is ridiculous.


Jennie {in Wonderland} October 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm

That was hotter than fire. I love you, Caitlin.


caitlin October 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

i love you too :)


Heather October 11, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Eri, where are you getting your facts from? I’d be interested to know! Also, this: “And most animals eat other animals… should all animals be vegan too?” — some animals, such as dogs, can lead perfectly happy, healthy lives as vegans, while some animals (such as cats) are meant to be carnivores. On the other hand, if you think that humans were destined to eat meat, then how do you draw the line as to what animals we should eat? Would you eat your dog? A horse? Another human? Personally, I don’t see the difference of eating a dog than I do a chicken or a cow. I mean, look around: there’s tons of cats and dogs in shelters that are sick, dying, etc. so why don’t we just eat them? Oh wait, that argument sounds kind of silly and ridiculous…

As Caitlin said, you are someone who wants to continue eating meat and that’s your decision, but to try to “inform” someone else that their decision is not justifiable in your eyes is kind of rude.


Stephanie October 13, 2009 at 3:04 pm

I am a meat eater. Always have been, always will be. While I respect both sides of the argument, I thought it was nice to see another viewpoint for once, that being Eri’s view. I don’t think it was meant to be rude and I do not think it was directed at Angela specifically. Just as vegans and vegetarians are passionate about not eating meat, other people are passionate about why it is ok. And I think both Angela and Eri seem to have done their research and come to their own conclusions about what is right for them. Luckily, we live in a free country where everyone is entitled to their own opinions!


Ann October 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

Well-written. I’m not a vegetarian, and for me, eating animals per se isn’t really the problem–it’s the industrial practices that go into raising those animals for consumption. As long as I can be assured that the animal lived a “happy life” (my mom also likes to refer to “happy cows” and “happy chickens”!), then I have no problem eating it (“happy” also translates to “eating grass and natural food”). Unfortunately, with all of the loopholes in food labelling, it’s really hard to determine that, but with a lot of local farms you can actually see the animals being raised and wandering around munching grass and so on. Wild fish are a good bet, too.


Jocelyn October 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

Hope you have a good thanksgiving Angela :) Your plate and Eric’s looks quite delish ;) I’ll be ordering some more glo bars soon!


Bridget October 11, 2009 at 11:25 am

Looks like you had a great thanksgiving! It must be hard to be a vegan on thanksgiving when the main dish is the turkey and most side dishes have some sort of animal product in them. Your plate looked really yummy though :) And your chocolate walnut loaf looks AMAzing !!!


Lindsey @ Sound Eats October 11, 2009 at 11:26 am

Thanks for sharing your reflections on being a vegan at Thanksgiving! I’m a fairly new vegan (about a month and a half) and I already know it will be interesting around the holidays. We spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s family in Alabama – and unfortunately everything is the stereotypical deep-fried, pork-fat, butter and cream to everything food. But I’m actually grateful for being vegan this year. In the past I felt pressured to sample and pretend to like everything to avoid offending the husband’s grandparents/ my future in-laws. But I would feel sick for days! I’m fully prepared (and excited!) to make a few vegan sides and a vegan dessert to share with everyone. :)


kay (eating machine) October 11, 2009 at 11:26 am

my bro is a vegetarian, and one thing he always does is make himself some sort of main dish… because most side dishes are fine, but of course the turkey/gravy/stuffing aren’t. What he’s done the past few years is stuff a big squash (usually a sweet meat that we’ve grown) with his own stuffing (because stuffing cooking in the bird is not vegetarian of course!) and then made some veggie sauce of some sort… that way he isn’t just stuck with sides


Jolene October 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

10 hour day on the weekend!! Wow girl – you need to hire help :-) Happy thanksgiving!


shelly October 11, 2009 at 11:41 am

I really love Mark Bittman’s recipe for Tomatillo Salsa. I like to make it and bring it to parties so I know there is something healthy on the table. And people eat it up!!
Speaking of Bittman, as a non-vegetarian, I really like his eating approach- it’s called vegan till 5. I do vegetarian till 5 on most days (I eat greek yogurt every day, so I’m definitely not able to be vegan) and that has basically cut my meat consumption in half. I also only eat fish or fowl at home. (I very rarely have red meat- but sometimes if I’m eating out, I’ll have it if nothing else looks good- I just don’t like forbidding myself from eating anything occasionally.)
I think it’s awesome that Eric is expressing vegetarian sentiments! I think if my boyfriend weren’t such a protein eater, I’d probably eat even less meat. But I cook dinner for both of us, so usually dinner includes meat.
He is going to be on an away rotation (he’s in med school) for a month soon and I think I’m going to try to do a meatless month to see how I like it. That way I won’t feel like I have to account for his tastes when I’m making dinner.
Oh, and I also wanted to link this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (It’s basically roasted tomatoes and cipollini onions over white beans and toast) b/c it is amazingly good and after I ate it, I realized “Holy Cow, this is vegan!”


Courtney October 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

Hi Angela!
I have been reading your awesome website for awhile. I loved seeing that delicious dinner you and your family had together. It was really interesting to read about the convo that you and Eric had on the way home. My husband had to trap animals for fur and hunt for meat when he was younger. He was the last man I would think would become vegetarian/part-time vegan. But he and I just celebrated our third year veggie-versary! He and I had watched “Fast Food Nation” and let’s just say that the ending of that movie had us both disturbed (I was eating turkey meatloaf too!). Anyway, I just thought I would throw my two cents in…….great discussion! You rock Angela!


cali October 11, 2009 at 11:50 am

that pig slaughterhouse is just south of king and bathurst – i always see the cute snouts sticking out of the truck too! AND they are still sticking out like all in the dead of winter! think about how cold those pigs must be on the truck traveling 100 km/hour in a truck with wind whipping through the holes! very sad.


Red Head, Yellow Dog October 11, 2009 at 11:53 am

My sister is vegan & I’m vegetarian and the two of us always set to work to make a main dish that is good and can also be enjoyed by others at the table. Last year was a vegan pot pie which was AWESOME; everyone loved it. But i have to say, the biggest hit of our thanksgiving dinner for the past few years has been the vegan pumpkin cheesecake we make. It’s SO good and everyone now requests we make it!! Love when that happens :)

I think the key is to make something that you can eat but also can be enjoyed by others. Our family is always mindful of using vegetable broth in sides etc. so everything other then the turkey is veg friendly


Lynna October 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

You know you have to give us that recipe for banana walnut chocolate chip loaf now haha. I love to bake and am usually pretty good at it but for some reason I’ve had numerous banana bread “FAIL’s” and I always have over ripe bananas on hand. I’d love to know your recipe, or where you got it from if you’re willing to share :)


Dori October 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Eri needs to do some research — maybe pick up a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma or rent the DVD of Food, Inc when it comes out in a few weeks. “most farmers are not going to endanger the live of the animals that pay the bills for the farmer” — um endangering their lives to find the cheapest ways to feed these animals and pump them with growth hormones and antibiotics is these farmer’s bread and butter! They get government subsidies for high production so you better bet they will endanger the animals to find what will get them the most money. Stuffing tons of animals knee deep in feces — and yes, this is the “norm” for factory farms, feeding them with corn that they can’t digest properly and packing them one against the other their entire lives all add up to “endangering the lives of the animals that pay the bills for the farmer.” That is because their lives are SO short as it is — with all the growth hormones they are slaughtered as children!

I do believe that humane, local grass farms that let you visit and see where your animals come from are wonderful for the environment. If you choose to eat meat, it will be better for your health and the environment and eventually the food industry if you choose to buy your meat there. But if you can’t be sure where your animal is coming from, it is safe to assume a factory that is actually the “norm.”


heatherdawn October 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Last year was my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian. My dad even tried looking for a tofurkey for me! It was sweet. Like you, I dont expect anyone to cater to my lifestyle either. I always try and bring one vegetarian or vegan dish so that I can show them that, yes i can eat “normal” food and it tastes good! I am planning on having my family and my boyfriend’s family over for dinner and I am going to cook a meal that is 100% vegetarian. Im excited.
It was nice to read your views, as well as Eric’s views, on this issue. I hope you have a fantastic holiday!


Shannon (The Daily Balance) October 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm

what a beautiful family dinner! Your bread looked fantastic! Have you posted the recipe before?


Jenna October 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm

What a feast! I’m glad you enjoyed your get together.

I love Thanksgiving. Love the food, but love the feeling of being with the ones you love even more :)

Good luck baking away today!


Tay October 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s one of my fave holidays – I love family time :-)

Your bread looks WONDERFUL!!! Droolworthy.


Deva (Voracious Vorilee) October 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm

It looks like a lovely family dinner, and I am very interested in the deep fried whole potatoes – they look divine :-) Your plate looks full of yummy veggies!


Mona October 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I have to say that one of the reasons why I started following your blog was because of its slant towards health and wellness. You’re so transparent about your fitness regime, and it is so admirable.:-) Imagine my amazement (and admiration!) when I discovered that you are also vegan. This blog just rocketed to the top of my favourite list.

I’m almost vegan myself. We all do it for different reasons. But I’m SO glad you brought up the whole issue of factory farming as we had into Thanksgiving celebrations. The whole ethical issue is one that needs addressing, and is gut-wrenching. I have a three-year old daughter, and it is very difficult to explain that when we go to visit the animals on the farm, most of them will end up on someone’s plate. She loves them like they’re her best friends!

Anyway, I think the issue is starting to balloon past small circles – people are reconsidering what they put on their plates for so many reasons. The fact that your Eric is thinking about too is further testament to that.

So, in my “thank-yous” for this season, having your blog to read is definitely on my list of things to be grateful for, lol!

p.s. I got my Glo-bar shipment last week. OMG, to die for!!!!!! My favourite was the chi. I’m addicted to the bars already, and I don’t know if I can afford the habit, lol!


Heather October 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Yay for Eric having such a thoughtful and open-minded discussion with you! It is never my intention to coax my friends or family members into thinking vegetarianism/veganism is for them, because it obviously has to be a personal choice, but all you can do is provide them with delicious food and prove that dishes don’t need to be made with animal protein to taste good. Bravo!


Chloe (Naturally Frugal) October 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm

This is a wonderful post, and I completely agree with you. I’m hoping to see if my parents will order a turkey from a human farm, and if not I don’t know that I’ll be eating it this Thanksgiving. Honestly, it’s not my favorite part of the meal and I am more than happy to do without!
Eating meat has never been an issue for me, but the more I read about it the more I look for grass-fed, humanely raised meat and that is what we buy. I was in Costco the other day looking at all the steaks to bring some back for the boyfriend’s birthday. I literally stood there for 10 minutes debating on what to do but knew in my heart that I just couldn’t buy that meat. It makes me feel like a horrible person, knowing what those animals go through and knowing what kinds of hormones and chemicals they contain.
I am 100% behind you and your decisions! I only hope that more and more people can become educated about our food system.


Pure2Raw - Twins October 11, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Glad that your enjoyed your dinner with family! And that your fish got a new home! It is always hard for us to eat meals with our family as well (though some of them are coming around). We grew up in sunny Florida with seafood. And than our 2 older sisters got married to big ‘meat eaters’. We have tried and tried to tell everyone about watching their meat intake – but doesn’t last long. :( It kills us – though we know every one has to make their own choices. My sister and I have also witnessed first hand a huge truck full of chickens… actually we were driving from FL to NC during winter and got stuck in a snow storm. And unfortunately we were driving next to this truck full of chickens and it made us so sad to see all these chickens freezing to death in the cold. We were in the car for 18 hours! I think most of chickens probably froze to death! :( So sad


Jil October 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Wonderful post! Now, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, but I rarely eat meat — it’s just not a part of my “routine” so to speak. I also read the book “Skinny Bitch” and that really opened my eyes a lot. It’s unbelievable what goes on in those slaughterhouses and “farms” — I shudder at the thought. The more I examine my eating habits, the less I see myself eating meat.


maria October 11, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I really enjoyed reading about Thanksgiving from your point of view. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m open to hearing other people’s opinions and I love that you put yours out there!


Sarah October 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Great post! It’s interesting to see how other vegans survive. I am a vegan, but Thanksgiving is probably my favourite holiday…I even started a tradition of having a big Thanksgiving dinner for all of my friends here in Australia (a vegan Thanksgiving at that!). I have a hard time going to a Thanksgiving with a turkey as a centrepiece, but I actually started a tradition the first year I went vegan. My sister had just had a premie (my niece was born at 28 weeks!), and she wasn’t allowed to be around other kids. We decided that I would come over and make them a vegan Thanksgiving dinner that year, and ever since it has been a tradition! So much so that when I visited my family in the US in July we had a vegan Thanksgiving dinner! It’s the family part that makes Thanksgiving so great from my perspective too, and if you can feed your family fabulous vegan versions of traditional foods (and not so traditional ones too), it’s even better! :-)

Glad to see you had a good time, and that your fishes finally have a ‘fancy’ home!


Nelly October 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm

happy thanksgiving angela…

thanksgiving is my fave holiday and this was my first vegan thanksgiving…and it was wonderful…i made a lovely vegan stuffing with roasted yams and butternut squash…

reading your post today and the conversation you had with eric re the cute little piggies on their way to slaughter made me quite emotional…and it reinforced my decision to become vegan…

thanks so much for your brilliant writings…each day you give us all something insightful and inspiring to read and think about…i think you “use your head” quite brilliantly…



Rachael (La Dolce Vita) October 12, 2009 at 1:28 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

We made a big pot of vegetarian chili for dinner tonight. Along with cornbread and a salad. Not very Thanksgiving-ish but it was good!

If only we had a slice of your banana walnut chocolate chip loaf for dessert, it would have been a perfect meal!



Randi October 12, 2009 at 3:12 am

You’re going to love tomatillos! We eat them on a weekly basis. We make green chili out of them. I couldn’t tell you the recipe as the DH just makes it up as he goes along. :) Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!


Paige @ Running Around Normal October 12, 2009 at 8:18 am

That’s so great everyone loved your bread! It does look delicious! I’ve gone vegetarian a number of times, but have come back to eating meat because I can’t seem to get all my nutrients in ( I know researching more and being more knowledgable would help) but I think if I ever did it permanently, I’d have to go vegan, because reasons, too, are because of animal cruelty. And even if you’re drinking milk and not eating the actual meat, you’re still drinking the milk of a tortured animal – so I’m not sure how someone can justify that.


Debbi October 12, 2009 at 10:16 am

Oh my goodness! My son in law loves ketsup – it goes on everything, yes even turkey. Only he really only like Heinz ketsup, I think it’s because he’s from Pittsburg. So, you hubby isn’t alone. I did laugh when I read that, now I know at least two who do this at Thanksgiving.


Mo October 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I have been vegetarian for 24 years and vegan for 3 years this month (yeah!). I love the conversation that you had with Eric. Even if someone does not make the choice to eat an animal-free diet, that they can see the merits of it is progress for a world in which we live as cruelty-free as possible. I am glad that he is so open-minded about it, that is awesome. I so wish that I had people like that in my life, but rather I am met with the questions/comments along the lines of “plants have feelings too”, “don’t you care how that potato feels?”. Seriously! It does not detract me though, I am firm in my principals and, like you, do not push my beliefs on anyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Katerina October 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I got a bunch of tomatillos from my FIL’s garden this year and did several experiments with them. Both a roasted and raw salsa verde, a soup and my new favorite. Baked eggplant with feta and salsa verde. Soo good! ( I am sure you could get creative with a feta substitution.) All the recipes are on my site.

I used to be vegetarian, and no longer am but I do try and make conscious choices about where my meat comes from. If I am in a restaurant where i don’t know I go vegetarian or choose a non-farmed fish.


Megan October 13, 2009 at 11:09 am

This was my 1st year aniversary for becoming a veggie; last year we didn’t do anyhting for Thanksgiving but this year I sponsored a Turkey at farm santuary, although it makes me extremely sad to know how many turkeys are killed during this time of year I’m glad to know I made a difference in one turkey’s life. I also celebrated this year with a tofu pot pie, which tasted awesome by the way :)


Glenda October 10, 2012 at 9:07 am

I really love your blog but i was wondering if you have the following recipes under your blog:
I made a vegan banana walnut chocolate chip loaf .
I saw a similiar recipe Rustic Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Cake with PB Banana Glaze
but the pictures don’t match up.
looking for a great banana loaf recipe


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