Our attachment to traditions and traditional fare at holidays runs deep. For years, even when I was a vegetarian, the one time of year I would relent and eat turkey was Thanksgiving. I could not imagine a Thanksgiving meal without it.
Last year, our first year as vegans, I stressed about what to make. We ended up having lasagna because I couldn’t imagine a Thanksgiving meal with all the traditional dishes except the bird. Let’s face it, the side dishes we can be a little flexible with. Not the bird. I decided a complete departure was easier and fortunately the meal was good and the company was game (pun not intended).
This year I decided we would have a more traditional meal. I looked through lots of recipes for the appropriate main event dish and came up with some winners to try. At the same time, we became increasingly aware of some commercially prepared meat alternatives and decided to have a test meal early in November. We bought Gardein’s Holiday Roast. Decision made. It had all the flavor and mouth feel we were looking for. Seriously. It is fabulous. It is even worthy of a sandwich we call the gobbler, traditionally made with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo to be eaten while watching football.
Yesterday we had a beautiful meal with our kids and their respective boyfriend and girlfriend. Not everyone is a vegan (at the moment), but everyone really enjoyed the meal. It had all the smells and tastes of what we think of when we think of Thanksgiving, but it was not at the expense of the life of another living being. Making choices consistent with our values gives us a sense of peace that we never anticipated on this journey. I am grateful that there are ways to make these choices without any sense of deprivation. Indeed, we are ever amazed at the tremendous bounty of tastes and foods available to us on a cruelty free, plant based diet.
Hmmm. Maybe we will have that roast again at Christmas. It was that good.
Greg and I will continue to try these meat alternatives because we recognize that for many people considering a plant based diet, there are hurdles like unwilling family members, limited time or cooking skills, and fears of missing the familiar and favorite tastes they are used to eating. Keep your eyes open on our Youtube channel or here on the site for upcoming reviews.