I grew up with big family Thanksgivings.
Big family meant BIG food.
While I never appreciated the turkey (unless it was smothered in mayonnaise and wedged between a fluffy white and buttered biscuit), I was all over the mashed potatoes.
The Thanksgiving mashed potatoes were a family favorite and an Uncle C speciality. They tasted nothing like the mashed potatoes I grew up eating at home (instant potatoes, go mom!) and therefore they were a real “treat” (which was all the more reason to gorge on them during the holidays). Uncle C’s special Thanksgiving mashed potatoes were heavenly… left me beyond stuffed… heavy…
As a young girl, I knew nothing of nutrition. As I aged, becoming more conscious of ingredients (and calories, and fat– things that no longer concern me) I began to snoop around the kitchen. What I discovered was shocking. Our favorite ingredients were:
Heavy Whipping Cream.
And more butter.
These foods were FAR from healthy. Even the green beens were more butter than bean.
Thus, I went through stages where I would only eat the salad at holiday parties, various grilled, or buttered veggies, and sip wine. Before my vegan days I tasted the turkey, and usually tried to prepare a fish dish. However my food selection was relatively bland. While I may love my salads (and I appreciate simple foods), I was missing out on all of the other deliciously, rich, and relatively healthy alternatives to white flours, animal products, butter, butter, and more butter.
Times have changed for me… and not just food wise… over the past couple years Thanksgiving got smaller and felt odd, whether hosted at a friends, or spent at a restaurant (where I worked part-time), it was different.
But that is aside from the point.
This Thanksgiving was finally hosted at my mother’s in New Jersey. And for the first time ever, I had a partner in crime in the kitchen. I brought the boyfriend home from Texas, and he took charge of the meat (thank you!), and me the majority of the vegan and raw dishes. He even made an enormous effort to forgo the butter, and whip up some fantastic vegan dishes as well. It was the best Thanksgiving I have ever had.
Here are some snap shots of the evening. Yes, there was meat, but what can I say… baby steps…
This was my part of the table. Steamed broccoli… roasted beets with ginger dressing, a roasted butternut squash dish cooked in Madeira wine, a raw salad with sun dried tomatoes, olives, and hearts of palm, on a bed of perky arugula, a vegan pumpkin and coconut cream sweet potato casserole, and a raw linguine pasta with pesto, and settled on a bed of roasted fennel. (Oh.. and wine, of course).
and this is on of my favorites… Roasted Golden and Red Beets with Raw Carrot Ginger dressing…
Everything was delicious and the company, gratitude and love, more than anything I could ask for. I will be posting recipes soon! All of my vegan and raw recipes were a hit, and even the beet haters loved the beets. It just goes to show that if done right, good food is simply good food… regardless of being raw, or vegan.
I have officially arrived back in Dallas, with a packed schedule. It feels good to be back at home and I am so grateful for my family, friends, and for love. I hope you all had safe travels, and a wonderful holiday! What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What are you grateful for? I know I am also so grateful for a safe landing last night… I have never been a fan of turbulence, or flying for that matter.