When we were just beginning our vegetarian transition many years ago, we were naive to assume that anything that wasn’t an animal was fair game .. er non-game. We really had a ball that first Thanksgiving stuffing ourselves with bread and butter, dressing with mushroom gravy, and don’t forget the pumpkin pie!
The wonder was ... “Since we’ve gone vegetarian, neither of us have lost weight.” We weren’t so stupid to think that the can of mushroom soup and the crunchy onion rings that went into the “vegetarian” green bean casserole was harmless. We were just in denial. After all, we were eliminating meat, so our commitment to Ahimsa (non-violence) and Tapas (austerity) were sacrifices that deserved reward and results.
With experience, we have changed our nutritional habits so much more. Not eating meat has so many positive aspects. Of course, there is the ethical choice of not eating animals, but the health benefits of cholesterol, obesity, and cultivating a pure and loving relationship with nourishment has changed our lives.
My mindset in preparing meals takes me back to my Grandma Nonny’s kitchen where she wore an apron and designated a time of day to lovingly prepare nourishment for the masses. She chose her foods according to what the garden was supplying on that particular day. This meant that we always had the freshest of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that were available and that the food was served within a couple of hours of harvest.
Our menu this Thanksgiving will be very much like Nonnys, but without the turkey. Most of the ingredients are the freshest at this very time of year. When making your stove top stuffing, don’t forget that walnuts, cranberries, apples, apple juice, onions and herbs are all still fresh from the garden. Sweet potatoes are fresh, and even honey is not too far past the summer months.
For mushroom gravy, I use a product from Bragg (www.bragg.com) It is a liquid soy protein that tastes a little like soy sauce, but better! This is another contribution to the overall protein content of the meal.
You can find many great Thanksgiving Vegetarian recipes at www.vegkitchen.com/tips/vegetarian-thanksgiving
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