Vegan Thanksgiving: Feast without the Beast


Turkey is not a common meat in China. When I lived in  Nanjing, my American comrades and I clung to the tradition of turkey at Thanksgiving come hell or high water. We trekked to the German megastore, Metro, to find one, then found an oven to cook it in (ovens also being scarce) and served it up on a ping pong table. That, my friends, is dedication. 

I tell this story to acknowledge that my poultry past is not without fond memories and associations. It was over two years ago that I decided to become a vegetarian. I won't lie — I felt some trepidation that first Thanksgiving. I wondered if I would be able to overcome the nostalgia and still enjoy a meatless feast. Surprisingly, I wasn't tempted to partake and happily enjoyed all the sides and desserts. While Thanksgiving is decidedly about the turkey, there's still quite a lot happening on the sidelines and it's usually not difficult to remain a vegetarian that day. Veganism might be more challenging and here I am at another milestone — my first vegan Thanksgiving.

I will say that avoiding animal products is much simpler if you maintain some kind of control over at least some of the meal. If you are just showing up to chow down, you may run into trouble. Even if you aren't hosting, it's 1. a grown-ass gesture to offer to bring a dish and 2. ensures you will have something to eat. The more restrictive my diet, the more I offer to bring. 

That being said, there are people who develop recipes and people who follow them. Being in the latter group, I will not attempt to translate my culinary whims into actual directions. I will instead share my hardcore dedication to gathering recipes to try on Pinterest. Behold, my Vegan Thanksgiving board. 

Happy (recipe) hunting!


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