Traditionally Thanksgiving food is supposed to copy what the pilgrims and indians ate at that first harvest back in the 1600’s. I’m no historian and I’m not sure how much evidence is out there for what they actually ate, but I can guarantee it was nothing that resembled the turkey on the table today. A few years ago when I was still eating turkey at Thanksgiving, I happened to look at the ingredients in a Butterball turkey. I guess what made me do this is the same mistrust in the food supply that is a large reason why I no longer eat meat. Of course what I should have found on the label was just “turkey.” But in addition to turkey there is also “up to 8%” of a solution of basically flavor additives. So, if the pilgrims and indians did eat turkey it was probably some poor skinny, gamey thing with a normal proportion of breast to leg meat, not the freakish franken-turkey of today, bred to have way more breast meat than is natural and then injected with the flavor industry’s finest concoction of turkey flavor juice.
So given my view on the quality of the meat in the market today, I had absolutely no nostalgia for turkey this year during my first vegan Thanksgiving. We were visiting family so turkey was there, but it was not tempting. Our main course was this recipe from No Meat Athlete. It was very hardy and satisfying. I also made some mashed potatoes and cauliflower, which is basically my mashed potatoes and celeriac recipe except with cauliflower instead of celeriac. I also made Dr. Weil’s eggplant-walnut spread to have as an appetizer. And thanks to my wonderful family our day was not limited to just these 3 things. My mom made vegan versions of several delicious sides and desserts including stuffing, a sweet potato and apple bake, apple pie, poppy seed strudel and a green bean and walnut stir fry, and my sister made 2 versions of her creamed corn, 1 for us using soy milk. Talk about things to be thankful for!
It couldn’t have been a better day with great food and being together with family!