Pass the Tofurky, bring on the vegan mashed potatoes, and be sure to leave some room for the chocolate carmel Chai Rice Dream. With just days to go before Thanksgiving, vegans from around the metro shed some light on how to celebrate a meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, cruelty free “Turkey” day.
Emily Hager-Garman, 21, just made the switch from vegetarian to vegan a few months ago. This Thursday, she will be celebrating her first Thanksgiving as a vegan with her fiance and fellow vegan, and his family.
“We’re expected to bring our own food,” said Hager-Garman, “This is totally the kind of event where if we didn’t bring our own food, we wouldn’t eat.”
But even without the turkey, the buttered rolls, or the old-fashioned pumpkin pie, these vegans are still celebrating this Thursday with a few vegan friendly twists on the old Thanksgiving classics.
“We’re going pseudo-traditional,” said Hager-Garman, “We’re making vegan mashed potatoes, and vegan stuffing, which are both incredibly easy to make and it’s sad that people don’t know that.”
Nancy Meisel, a 54 year old mother and teacher from Minneapols has spent most of her life as a meat-eater. But over the past few years, she has spent time and energy feeding her vegan husband and children, and will be spending her first Thanksgiving this Thursday as a vegetarian.
“We make garlic mashed potatoes and throw in a container of non-dairy sour cream. I think we use Tofutti Sour Supreme. And you can throw in little bit of vegan margarine, but the most important part is the right sour cream.
Meisel said that it’s happened in the past that people in her family have liked the vegan mashed potatoes even more than the mashed potatoes made with dairy products.
“We also make a vegan dressing with shitake mushrooms, garlic, soy milk, white wine, and spices.”
Carolyn Soley is a student at the University of Minnesota, and volunteers with the Compassionate Action for Animals, a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cities which works to help reduce animal suffering through education and community outreach.
“Torfurky isn’t as bad as is sounds.” she said.
But, if you’re not sure which route to take this Thanksgiving, the Wedge co-op in Minneapolis has posted a resource of vegetarian and vegan holiday recipes on its website, including a recipe for Marinated Baked Tofu, and baked pears for dessert. For additional direction,the folks at Post Punk Kitchen have recipes to satisfy any Vegan urge, from sushi to stroganoff.
If you’re short on time and hoping to satisfy your Vegan visitors, never underestimate the power of a last minute trip to the co-op, or even to Rainbow, Lunds, or Cub. This year, plenty of grocery stores are stocking up on ready-made Vegan treats. Many Lunds in the area are stocking up on Tofurky. While Rainbow and Cub have also worked to expand their organic and natural sections to include Vegan convenience items like Tofutti Cuties, the vegan equivalent to an ice cream sandwich, many chains carry easy Vegan substitutes like non-dairy cheese and sour cream, just be sure to check the ingredient labels.
People think that being a Vegan is so hard, but it’s really easy.” said Chrissay Rishavy, who saw her transition into veganism as a natural progression. “It gets easier and easier everyday.”