Although Thanksgiving has problematic origins, most Americans think of the holiday simply as a time to be with family and friends and enjoy traditional foods.
In my immediate family, the majority of us didn't even like the taste of turkey, but it was a tradition. When I suggested that we try a compassionate Thanksgiving meal, my family was open to it. I found recipes on various blogs and compiled a list of recipes that we could make. We decided to shop together for the ingredients and cooked these new recipes together as a family. The large plate that once held a turkey displayed a large mushroom walnut loaf surrounded by beautiful roasted vegetables adorned with sage.
Here are a few ways you can bring more compassion into your traditions:
- Ask your family what recipe(s) is/are their favorite. For my family we found out that mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce were the top most loved recipes. Both of which were easily made 100% plant based!
- Plan ahead. Knowing what you are going to prepare ahead of time makes it that much easier to put together a fully plant based meal.
- Go grocery shopping together or cook together and make it an experience. There are so many delicious foods that are naturally plant based and working together to prepare a delicious meal makes it a memorable moment.
- Be patient. This may not be an easy transition for some individuals but if you openly communicate and work together, you can create a space for all those present to feel included in the dinner plans.
Here are a few recipes our family has been loving over the last few years since our first compassionate Thanksgiving in 2014.
Creamy Vegan Potato Au Gratin - subbing sweet potatoes works great too!
All Purpose Cheese Sauce - perfect for dipping fresh cut veggies, crackers, or drizzling on roasted veggies!
And if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, check out these Anti-Thanksgiving Vegan Recipes to Celebrate Multicultural Cuisine
What recipes will you try this Thanksgiving? What traditional foods are you able to find a plant-based alternative for? Share your Thanksgiving plans below or share your compassionate meal on social media with #compassionatedinnerinspo and don’t forget to tag #ffacoaltion and the recipe author!
This compassionate blog post was written by our college fellow Britt Joy from @joyfullforgood. Britt is currently a Nutrition Science student who plans to incorporate a plant-based approach in her future practice as a Registered Dietician Nutritionist.