Thanksgiving with vegetarians & vegans 101

Thanksgiving- a frenzied, family ‘n friend filled, foodie-fest… and one of the few American rituals I partake in (sans Turkey).

meatball
Tempeh meatballs using minimalist baker’s recipe

 

I know that thanksgiving can be quite a stressful time of the year for some people- especially if one of your guests doesn’t eat turkey (God forbid!) Well fret not. If you’re hosting vegetarians or vegans for thanksgiving (or just want to make a nice meal for someone special in your life) then the blog world has gotcherback.

Seriously. I’ve been obsessively reading food blogs for over a decade now, and it’s astounding the number of quality vegetarian and vegan blogs that are in the mix. These folks know how to satisfy the hungriest customer and make meals that are consistently good. If you’re still on the hunt for a last minute dish, here are the top 3 sites I would recommend:

  1. http://www.theppk.com/ : If I haven’t said it yet, Isa Chandra of the post punk kitchen is my food guru and idol. I worship her wisdom, relish in her humour, and have become fatter as a result of her recipes. Try.Them.All. (Especially: Porcini crusted tofu, pecan pie, roasted butternut squash alfredo, chocolate pudding pie)
  2. http://minimalistbaker.com/ : Dana has made a splash in the past year or so with her easy to follow, low fuss and consistently delicious recipes. (Try fall pot pie, tempeh meatballs)
  3. http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ : Susan’s blog is the first one I tested when first moving from a vegetarian to a vegan diet in ’06. (Try: Pumpkin spice bread, sweet dumpling squash stuffed with rice)

That’s all you need. For real. I just gave you an entire meal plan- get to work ya’ll!

Truth be told, perhaps the best part about thanksgiving (yes, better than the food), is the opportunity to reflect and be grateful.

Today in particular my gratitude goes to these two beautiful ladies below.

manuraj_shilpan_WD_58

Happy birthday to my Mother-in-Law and my Mom. Amazing women celebrate birthdays on November 24th. Clearly.

Spice up your life: Vegan Chai Spice Cake

It’s the most wonderful time of the year ya’ll. Not only is this month full of beauty and bounty it also brings on weeks and weeks of festivities. Over the weekend, many Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving and yesterday was the start of Navaratri, a nine night Hindu festival [stay tuned for more on this…].

No matter where you are, over the course of the next few months you will undoubtedly be surrounded by festivities. Regardless of the occasion, at this time of the year you can never go wrong with bringing some spice cake along to share. [Read: you can never go wrong with spice cake any time of the year]

vegan chai spice cake

I used Vaishali’s recipe for Pumpkin Chai Spice Cake from Holy Cow! and it was perfectly straightforward. The only change I made was to use acorn squash instead of pumpkin because that’s what I had roasted. It’s a vegan cake so no dairy or eggs needed. If you’ve never tried vegan baking, it’s really easy and the most delicious cakes don’t require any fancy ingredients. It’s great if you know anyone with dairy allergies or anyone who is a “strict” vegetarian [read: no eggs]. As a bonus, you can leave vegan cakes sitting out on the counter, and after a day or so they don’t become ‘crusty’ and crumbly like their egg-laden cousins.

vegan chai spice cake

But I digress…back to this cake: seriously- WOW! Vaishali is a genius. My home smelled incredible and when we took a wedge of cake in the car [because it’s essential one always has cake in the car] we had the smell of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger teasing us the whole journey.

vegan spice cake and chai saladforbreakfast
Cake & chai for breakfast

I had a slice with an amazing cup of chai and was in chai heaven… Whichever way you slice it, try the recipe, enjoy and whenever possible- spice up your life with some of this cake.

Now, please excuse me as I go back to singing along with the Spice Girls (especially at 2.04)…