2.2 Decor

Oops.  How have two weeks passed since Thanksgiving already?  

And how have I not posted about my EPIC feast yet?  Shame on me.

In fact, in terms of Veganism, it seems to me that this year’s Thanksgiving was epic all-around.

Not only did Mike’s family agree to celebrating our 2nd annual Vegan Thanksgiving, this year the whole country seemed more open to Vegan Thanksgivings, evidenced by countless articles in the media featuring Vegan recipes and tips for accommodating Vegan guests.

This article by Isa Chandra Moskowitz on CNN.com was a standout – great advice, great recipes, and she’s hilarious! My favorite excerpt:

“I guess I should also mention that vegans love Thanksgiving. I don’t know why. They love it more than anything. And they will be happy to help you in the kitchen until the cows come home (to the farm sanctuary, of course.) Honestly, you could go get a pedicure and they will make the whole darn thing.

And I was so excited when my Mom texted me the two comics below.  In fact, Mutt’s ran a week-long Vegan Thanksgiving comic-strip series!

Announcements

Anyhow, before I get into my belated recap of my Thanksliving Feast, I have a couple quick announcements.

1.)     There’s only 3 days left to enter my giveaway for a $25 Freshii Giftcard & a Reusable Green Bowl!

2.)     Inspired by all the recent Gift Idea round-ups floating around the internet, I compiled a Pinterest board of my favorite finds – including plenty of homemade gift ideas!

3.)     Okay, truth is I’ve been getting pretty into Pinterest lately.  I’ve also been working on this Healthy (Vegan) Holidays board:

Thanksliving Cookin’

Okay, so now back to Thanksgiving.  After last year’s success, we were so excited that everyone who came to our Vegan Thanksgiving last year planned to join us again!  Mike’s cousins Evie & Jerry hosted us all, and it was amazing that we had 16 guests in attendance – very few of whom are vegan or vegetarian.

Mike and I prepared new-to-us versions of several of our favorite dishes to bring along.

I made the Port-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce recipe from Vegetarian Times, which was delicious.  The combination of Port Wine, both Fresh & Dried Cranberries, Grated Apple & Ginger reminded me of Mulled Wine – yum!

Mike is a stuffing snob and always insists on making it himself.  This year he made Nava Atlas’s Walnut-Apple Stuffing.  We also added some Field-Roast Apple-Sage ‘Sausage’ to the mix, but honestly the recipe didn’t need it – It was delicious on it’s own accord.

For protein, we made Dreena Burton’s No-Fu Love Loaf.  I chose to make this Lentil & Bulgur based loaf knowing that the absence of Tofu and “Fake Meat” would make it an approachable option for those new to Vegan food.  It turned out to be an excellent decision – I received several compliments on this classic comforting dish.

Lastly, we made a Big Green Salad. This was a mixture of Mesclun & Baby Kale, sprinkled with celery, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and roasted red peppers – all Organic!  We served it along with croutons, Fried Onion Pieces, and Light Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Oh my, those Fried Onions made this pretty typical salad absolutely holiday worthy. So good!  

We also volunteered to be in charge of the Turkey.  

The Turkey Adoption, I should say…  We sponsored Martha through Farm Sanctuary and her pretty picture was prominently displayed at our Thanksliving feast.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is always the leftovers, so of course I had to make extra of each recipe and squirrel it away at home.

Mike and I were so thankful to have such good food at home waiting for us, family & friends to celebrate with, and of course – each other!

Thanksliving Feast

My jaw nearly dropped when we walked into Jerry & Evie’s place.  While their home is beautiful & comfy-cozy any day of the year, this Thanksgiving, it was all decked out.

Evie’s cousin Katie is a professional Event Planner and she worked her magic for Thanksgiving!

I loved her creative incorporation of nature into the decor.  She hand-selected Fall Leaves for the centerpieces. 

She used Hazelnuts in the vases (which she planned to roast afterwards!)…

and there were Cranberries in the candle-holders.

 And how amazing is her “Be Thankful” display of reused bottles & wheat!?!

She also lined the buffet with Chalk Board paper, which was both beautiful and practical – it was so easy to label all the dishes.

My first trip to the buffet was for appetizers  – Evie’s Ranch Dip and Spinach-Artichoke Dip were incredible! Her secret?

Cashew Cream!

 Next, we all enjoyed the soup course – a thick Butternut Squash soup, made by Mike’s Dad.

 Then it was time to fill our plates.  Despite my HUGE plate, it was so hard to fit all of the amazing food onto it!

In addition to what Mike & I brought, we also had:

The Wellington from Native Foods Cafe: The Wellington is SO delicious, it’s becoming an annual tradition.

Onion & Tomato Pata: I’ve never had Pata before, but this dish is one of Evie’s family’s classics.  It reminded me very much of a cheeseless Pizza.  Mike loved it! 

Greek Salad: Evie and Jerry made this amazing Greek Salad.  Their Homemade Croutons were incredible.

 

And there was more!

  • Spaghetti
  • Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole
  • Risotto
  • 2 kinds of Gravy – Onion & Shallot and Gluten-Free Mushroom
  • Harvest-Grain Pilaf
  • and Mashed Potatoes!

Dessert

All the food was delicious, but Dessert somehow even topped that.  Evie made two incredible desserts.

1.)     This beautiful Mixed Berry Shortcake from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.  The cake was everything shortcake should be – moist, lightly sweet, and with the right amount of give in each bite.  It was topped with Coconut Whipped Cream (just Coconut Cream & Sugar) and a Berry Sauce.

This dessert was Mike’s favorite.  He liked that it satisfied his sweet tooth without being too rich. 

2.)     These crazy-rich Mint Chocolate Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World were the exact opposite.  While Mike prefers desserts that aren’t too rich, in my opinion, the richer the better! In terms of richness, these cupcakes are practically the next Bill Gates.  The cake was more like a brownie, and the creamy, cool-mint frosting was simply addictive.

I couldn’t help but have two.

So needless to say, I had a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving.

In fact, I’d say it could only be surpassed by the Thanksgiving feast that these gals had:

I’d love to hear from you!

How RICH do you like your desserts?

What was your favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner?