Our First Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving loves and welcome back! I hope this post finds you at a good time. I hope you are warm, happy, well fed, surround by good company and living your absolute best life. I just wanted to come on here because 1. it's Monday and 2. Today might just be my first vegetarian thanksgiving dinner and also marks one year of transitioning to the very fulfilling lifestyle that is vegetarianism! I know that the words thanksgiving and vegetarian contradict one another but let's start from the very beginning.

Like previously mentioned, about a year ago I went vegetarian. Well I didn't decide, I was forced to stop working around the idea of giving up meat when I got food poisoning. Food poisoning has a way of putting everything into perspective. You get in the state where you blame servers, restaurants, the lunch lady or that sushi place before you take responsibility for what you consumed and admitting that it did indeed look or smell a little fishy. You start making deals with God that if the sickness stopped right this second you'll be more mindful when eating and not consume everything in sight or even better, never eat meat ever again. I know, seems drastic, but it's actually something that's long overdue. In grade 11 I stop eating red meat up until first year where I was more lenient and soon had no problem chowing down a beef burger. After falling ill after Thanksgiving dinner (last year) I didn’t exactly make the decision to quit meat cold turkey (pun not intended) but was completely uninterested by it.

I don’t intend to preach about vegetarianism in this post and the great things that have come from it but wanted to give a little bit of a back story because it has been a year (of veggie burgers, eating extra greens, trying new recipes, dabbling in vegan meals, googling restaurant menus beforehand, disappointing relatives, swapping chicken for tofu and ridding myself of digestive issues). I feel so amazing and wouldn't want to have this any other way. I am super grateful to have my health, the support of my family, nutritious food and doctors that actually care about me and support me through my health battles.

As someone who loves food, I can't let digestive complications let me down so I always try to be mindful about what upsets my stomach and what heals it. So I ask you to do the same, know what diet/lifestyle works for you and know that it's not a one-size-fits-all situation (nothing in life is really). This is a What I Eat in a Day inspired post giving insight on what I, as well as my non-vegetarian family, had for Thanksgiving (both the Sunday and Monday).

 

On Sunday...

we had breakfast at our place consisting of a warm bowl of oatmeal. Later on I made myself a cup of tea, slipped into my rain boots and headed to the car to drive to a family friends' new place somewhere in the middle of Dundas.

There, dinner consisted of rice, beans, lentils, beignet, collard greens and vegetable samosas (thank God because there's nothing worst then getting excited about samosas just to find out they have beef in them). My siblings had about the same thing maybe just swapping out the collard greens for beans and each of them taste testing the lentil dish. The coincidentally vegetarian friendly meal gave me no choice but to go for seconds.

It's now 8pm and we have just gotten home and straight into our pyjamas. Two hours later, my siblings and I wanted a snack so we whipped up some chocolate chip cookies and made hot chocolate (by heating up dark chocolate almond milk) which turned out unbelievably amazing and headed downstairs for a late night viewing of Ghostbusters (not the old one, sorry).

 

Today is Thanksgiving day...

and first up was pancakes with a hint of cinnamon and a cup of orange pekoe tea. After that, it was time to get dinner started and there wasn't much time to snack but I had the chance to eat a green apple and have 1L of water in-between meal prepping. Dinner was ready after 4 shorts hours and we gathered around the decorated table to have butternut soup, a chilli inspired dish, brown rice and your choice of mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes.

The butternut soup turned out amazing and way better then I expected. I went off the rails and added a hint of carrots to the blend (that the recipe didn't call for). We topped it off with rosemary and had it as an appetizer. It's super easy to make and doesn't call for any ingredients that one doesn't already have in their kitchen. So I would give this a meal a 10/10 for ease and bold taste.

The chilli inspired dish was an overload of veggies (red pepper, green pepper, kale from our garden, celery, onions, garlic and cumin) with kidney beans. I really wanted to go for something hearty, filling and rich in colour and taste. Again, this is something you can throw together with anything you have on hand and opt out for potatoes or any kind of beans you have to be the main ingredient in this dish.This was served over the brown rice. Psst feel free to make this spicy!

The potatoes were not made in any unique manner but the regular procedure we always follow. Along with this meal, some sipped on water, some ginger ale and others red wine.

After the clean up but before the board games, dessert was served! We had carrot cake covered in cream cheese icing. Which was just as phenomenal as it sounds!

 

I loved this experience with my family and they also enjoyed the competition of cooking meat-free. This isn't the first time my family and I have opted out for a dairy free or vegan friendly meal just for kicks. And even though not everyone followed through, it was still super fun to have all hands on deck. This has also been an amazing way to mark one year of making one of the most meaningful and rewarding changes in my life! I feel great inside and out and am over the moon kind of happy as I'm writing this because there is truly so much to be grateful for (even if sometimes it seems like there's absolutely nothing). Like I always say, for every bad thing there's two things to be grateful for. And even though vegetarianism doesn't heal/hasn't yet healed everything concerning my overall health I am still deeply grateful for what it has changed, what it will change, the people it's bringing into my life, the spiritual depth I've gained and again, the support of my family, access to nutritious food and doctors that actually care about me and support me through my little health battles.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy living your healthiest life, Cheers