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I know that Thanksgiving is still 3 months away and it seems a little early to be thinking about it but school has started now and time goes fast so I'd like to prepare myself. I was eating vegetarian most of the time for 2 years but I'd make exceptions for holidays, birthdays, vacations, ect. I decided at the beginning of this summer to make the full commitment and no longer eat any animal products. It's so much better this way. I always felt awful after eating meat or dairy and had trouble giving it up again. It just isnt worth it. My 13 year old daughter is also a vegan. My husband eats what I give him at home but not outside of the house. I'm looking for suggestions on what to fix and how to deal with the rest of the family.<br><br><br><br>
We'll most likely be eating at my mother in laws house because she's moving here this year and we've only had one holiday with her in the 10 years since we moved away. I dont expect her to cook an extra meal for my daughter and me so I'll be bringing food for us. I imagine that her stove and oven will be in use already so I'd like to plan foods that dont need to be cooked at the last minute or can be cooked in a crockpot. So far I've come up with pumpkin muffins (from Vegan Lunchbox), sweet potatoes, vegan sushi rolls (my daughters favorite), fruit salad, green salad and pumpkin tofu (if I can find my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook). I'd love to hear some suggestions for other things to bring. My daughter is a new vegan and pretty picky so tofurky isnt going to cut it. One of the reasons I'm posting this right now is so that I have time to test out lots of recipes and find the best <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:"><br><br><br><br>
My other issue is dealing with the family. My mil accepts that I am vegan but says that it's really unhealthy for the rest of my family. Bringing books or other sources supporting veganism wont help because she doesnt read much and she'll just say that "doctors always change their minds about things." Should I just flat out say that I dont want to talk about nutrition with her at the get togethers beforehand? What are some good activities that I can plan to take some of the focus off of food? Does anyone have some stories about dealing with nonsupportive people at holidays that went really well? I guess I just mostly need some encouragement that it will all work out ok.
 

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You could make a Tofurky roast or an Unturkey roast at your house and bring it with you when you go to MIL's house. Worthington's meatless smoked turkey slices are also good. Some of the omnis might even like them.<br><br><br><br>
If they give you a hard time I would be like "try this" and give them some of your veg food to let them know that you aren't missing anything.
 

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I am having Thanksgiving at home this year. My husband insists on having a turkey, but he will be cooking it. Everything else will be veggie. Really, the only thing I will have to change from before is the stuffing. I will be using vegetable broth instead of chicken. I also won't be putting any bacon in it, but rather mushrooms and other veggies.<br><br>
For Christmas, however, we will be going to Washington State to visit the in-laws. I don't know how that will work out. I know I will be getting some hummus, Gardenburgers, etc. to keep in their frig while we are there. I wll probably also volunteer to cook a few things for Christmas day. I am also interested in hearing simple ideas since I will be at their house.<br><br>
The good news is that we will be staying in a hotel this year. We have stayed in their guest room in the past, but that can get very tense. We just decided that it is definately worth the extra money to avoid that.
 

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I don't have any suggestions for dealing with non-supportive family, but my favorite thanksgiving-ish recipe (I spent just one year in the US, but totally loved the holiday season) is Sweet Potato and Coconut soup. It reheats well (so you could reheat it in the hob, microwave, or in the crockpot) and though its slightly non-traditional, its no more so than sushi rolls!<br><br><br><br>
Here is what you need (for four people)<br><br>
Half a chopped onion<br><br>
Couple of cloves of garlic<br><br>
2 good sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped<br><br>
A can of coconut milk (you might need another half can depending on how big your potatoes are and how coconutty you like it!)<br><br>
Lemon Juice<br><br>
Salt<br><br><br><br>
Saute the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil until translucent. Add the sweet potatoe, and stir around a bit to coat with the oniony juices. Now add the coconut milk. It won't quite cover the potatoes: add water until the potatoes are covered. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook until a fork goes in easily into the sweet potatoes. Puree. Put back in the pan: if its too thick, add some more water/coconut milk. Add lots of salt and lemon juice.<br><br><br><br>
This is simple, but great. Just don't leave out the lemon juice: you really need something to sharpen this up a little bit.
 

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I've got a couple friends who always cook veggie thanksgiving every year.<br><br><br><br>
She makes a nut loaf, mashed taters, veggies, I made Wild Rice and Chestnut stuffing last year to bring along.<br><br><br><br>
The nut loaf takes a long time to make, but it's fantastic with gravy. Always good to share.<br><br>
There's a great recipe for tofu loaf on VegWeb that I've used before.<br><br><br><br>
Something squash-y is always good.<br><br><br><br>
If she hassles you in any way, ask her if she's very well educated in vegetarian diets. If she says "Well, not really" then say, "they why should I take advice from you on this?" or something to that effect. People who tell others how to live their lives are usually not very smart about the other person's problems or ways of life.
 

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In one of my cookbooks (I think it's the passionate vegetarian) there's a recipe for a pumpkin stuffed with stuffing (the kind you usually stuff into a turkey - well not anyone here, but you get the idea.). It sounds really good and thanksgiving-y. I'm sure any stuffing recipe would work. I'm thinking of making it with a veganized version of the cornbread stuffing I usually make for thanksgiving.
 

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I'm lucky that my family and friends don't bother me about my vegetarianism any more. It makes for pleasant holidays - for the most part. I've made tofu lasagna for a holiday meal when I've hosted the dinner. At my sister's I usually ate the side dishes (though there was the mashed potatoes holiday where that was the only non-dessert item I could/would eat). My friends try at least to make a veggie burger or something like that (or a pasta dish of some kind). My mom made a great brown-rice and nuts/seeds loaf from "American Wholefoods Cuisine" plus some "Shake n Bake Tofu" from "5 ingredient Gourmet" that were both very good. Some vegan desserts are nice - I have a good Tofu Pumpkin Pie recipe around somewhere. (Hint: do NOT freeze this!) I guess my mom's cranberry-orange relish (which only my dad likes) is also vegan. Breads can also be made in advance and brought along.<br><br><br><br>
Most people don't mind having non-traditional dishes around as long as the traditional dishes are there.<br><br><br><br>
I find the most difficult thing is finding a balance between me not wanting to impose too much, and them wanting to make sure I have something I can eat. I'm still learning how much I should speak up and where I become too demanding.
 

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Thanksgiving is about familys & community. The "turkey dinner" is simply a simulation of what the Pilgrims and Indians possibly ate. woopie-do. I've been to thanksgiving feasts where raviolii was the main dish. You can create a "theme" thanksgiving. Why not "vegetables?" hum... If your MIL is moving here (not here yet) and her house is not set up, why not invite her to your house. That way you wont put yourself in the position of being in her territory. If she cooks, she has the right to feel a bit miserable if no one touches her food-- so it is better if she is a stress free guest. I would suggest a huge platter of roast vegetables. It makes a pretty site. Some vegetarian tarts. Open with a Soup. You have tons of holiday type food to choose from. Also, make it clear early on that there will be no debate about what the best diet is. Thats about as rude as going to eat at a Jewish household and extoling the virtues of pork.
 

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Tofurkey is:<br><br><br><br>
A) Nasty<br><br><br><br>
B) Way too expensive<br><br><br><br>
C) Never going to impress an omni<br><br><br><br>
D) A cheetah<br><br><br><br>
E) A, B and C<br><br><br><br>
(Hint: E is correct.)<br><br><br><br>
I served tofurkey to my parents last year and they did a decent job of pretending to like it. Much better than I did. I thought it was seriously gross.<br><br><br><br>
I'm unlucky in that, as my parents emigrated to Canada from Holland, I have a small family. My wife is from another province. We have no children. So familial obligations are slim to none.<br><br><br><br>
I'm <i>lucky</i> in that I have a small family and no kids because, if there's a turkey involved, I'll be at home.<br><br><br><br>
So it's easy for me to put my beliefs ahead of my acting skills. 'cos I have to dig deep to see a turkey in a pan and pretend there is nothing wrong with that.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, I have a great recipe with couscous, leek, thyme and mushrooms that tastes similar to stuffing, only without the salmonella. I'll see if I can dig it up for you.<br><br><br><br>
I think an embargo on veg*nism and nutrition discussion is an excellent idea. I personally hate when it's an issue and if you can set the ground rules early to say it's off limits then you'll probably all have a better time.<br><br><br><br>
Family functions simply aren't the time for such debates.<br><br><br><br>
Cheers!<br><br>
TJ
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>slp2b</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
The good news is that we will be staying in a hotel this year. We have stayed in their guest room in the past, but that can get very tense. We just decided that it is definately worth the extra money to avoid that.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Staying somewhere BESIDES at the reletives house is the BEST way to avoid a lot of issues.<br><br><br><br>
The second is to be gently assertive enough and BRING YOUR OWN FOOD.<br><br><br><br>
So many times I hear people say "Oh my Mom made me a side dish of potatoes, so I was fine, I just ate that all weekend". WTF!?!<br><br><br><br>
YES! It's GREAT if they accomodate you, even a little bit, but you deserve more than a couple side dishes!<br><br><br><br>
What is this teaching others about veganism if they see you constantly 'settle' for the boring side dish?<br><br>
No, you don't need to bring a four course meal, but bring one or two really amazing dishes - introduce some new concepts to the family if you can manage it.<br><br><br><br>
Are they under the assumption that you eat bland food, don't get enough nutrients, eat 'weird' things or just eat salads? Here's the best chance you'll ever get! Show them how healthfully and CREATIVELY we live (and eat!).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tofu-N-Sprouts</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Staying somewhere BESIDES at the reletives house is the BEST way to avoid a lot of issues.<br><br><br><br>
The second is to be gently assertive enough and BRING YOUR OWN FOOD.<br><br><br><br>
So many times I hear people say "Oh my Mom made me a side dish of potatoes, so I was fine, I just ate that all weekend". WTF!?!<br><br><br><br>
YES! It's GREAT if they accomodate you, even a little bit, but you deserve more than a couple side dishes!<br><br><br><br>
What is this teaching others about veganism if they see you constantly 'settle' for the boring side dish?<br><br>
No, you don't need to bring a four course meal, but bring one or two really amazing dishes - introduce some new concepts to the family if you can manage it.<br><br><br><br>
Are they under the assumption that you eat bland food, don't get enough nutrients, eat 'weird' things or just eat salads? Here's the best chance you'll ever get! Show them how healthfully and CREATIVELY we live (and eat!).</div>
</div>
<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> I'm definately bringing my own food this year. I'm so sick of eating corn and potatoes (sometimes squash if i'm lucky) every holiday. I'm getting some great ideas off this thread. using a crock pot is a great idea because the ovens usually taken by the poor turkey.
 
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