November 25, 2017

Our (almost) Vegan Thanksgiving

In the past, Yangkyu and I would always make these enormous Thanksgiving dinners just for the two of us. Thanksgiving leftovers are part of the fun of Thanksgiving dinners but after a couple of days it gets a little too much (and gross). So as much as we enjoy having our home smell of fall spices and herbs, two years ago we gave up doing those big Thanksgiving dinners and decided to something different. 

First it was a Korean Thanksgiving dinner where we just cooked one dish - something that sparked joy and reminded us of our childhood and family get togethers. 

Last year, I think we just did take out. 

This year we decided to do a small vegan Thanksgiving bowls.

While the thought of doing a vegan dinner was exciting at first, as we got closer to Thanksgiving the whole idea just seemed like a big undertaking - something we were trying to avoid. But as I sifted through recipes on Pinterest, I chose ones that were simple yet sounded tasty and asked Yangkyu to pick up a few things from the grocery. The only thing was, he couldn't find vegan butter and it was too much to ask him to go to Whole Foods the day before Thanksgiving or sending him out on Thanksgiving morning and so we ended up using butter for our biscuits, gravy and ended up adding them to our mashed potatoes as well. 

I was also going to do a French bread vegan stuffing but realized that store bought French bread could contain milk or butter or eggs and so we scrapped that off of our list. We did manage to pull off a lentil loaf (I didn't like it much though and don't plan on making it again) and roasted carrots, broccoli and acorn squash (Yangkyu forgot to buy the brussels sprouts). You can't really go wrong with roasted vegetables. They are always delicious. The mashed potatoes and gravy turned out well as did the biscuits, something I thought was going to be a big bust.

While we don't plan on going completely vegan we are going to make little changes as much as possible. I have a commitment to go meatless (Yangkyu says he will when we eat together, but on his own during work he will likely still consume it) and when we run out of dairy products that we already have in our fridge, we will restock with vegan items. I don't plan on reading all the labels to make sure that something doesn't include dairy products, perhaps that's a goal for a later time. Baby steps for now. And we don't plan on giving up on fish or shellfish. 

My main thing right now is to cut meat. My mom doesn't eat meat and her reasoning is that she doesn't trust the factories, farms and butchers. My main thing is that I love animals. For me, I have always had trouble justifying the wearing and consuming of animals for my own pleasure. Every year it weighed down on me and I grapple with feeling like a hypocrite, and perhaps I am finally done with excuses and at least give it a good try to go as meatless.

It's been a few years that I made the switch to products (although it's still not 100%), and it's finally time to see if I can walk the talk with what I eat. 


  1. Looks so yummy! It sounds like it's your gamily tradition to try new dish on thanksgiving :)
    Happy thanksgiving Jane

  2. YAY!! I'm super proud of you guys!! So amazing! And don't get discouraged by the lentil loaf, I made some many horrible vegan recipes but once you find delicious ones that you love it really becomes so much easier - I promise you won't be left just eating vegetables (which I was a little scared of in the beginning :P) he he!! YAY!

  3. Looks like a really tasty spread. I don't think I could be vegan but we are practicing flexitarians. We don't really celebrate Thanksgiving but we did celebrate my husband's birthday with hot pot at home.

  4. I think you did a fab job trying to go the vegan Thanksgiving meal, Jane:) Those plates above look awesome! And good for you for trying to eliminate meat in your diet. I can't do it myself now (I was lacto-ovo for a long time before kids), but I think it's always great to see when other people do it. Much healthier too.

  5. Happiest Thanksgiving and it's lovely that you're trying to change things and shift things around to see what fits best for you

  6. I think you guys did great for trying! It's something I've been considering too... I'm not sure I could go full vegan but want to eat less meat. Brandon on the other hand could eat cheeseburgers or steak everyday I think!


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