The healthy ashley Thanksgiving recap.. where to begin?
The long weekend included a missed race, my first funeral, three cities and tons of food… and concluded with coming home to a sick puppy.
My first Thanksgiving as a vegan actually went exceptionally well. Lindsey and Ryan also had their first Thanksgivings as vegans and theirs went well too! Unlike them I took the easy route bringing only one dish and searching out vegan food that would already be there. I certainly could have put more effort into what I could eat but with everything else going on this weekend, one meal couldn’t take center stage.
Normally I just drink water, but in the holiday spirit I alternated between water, cream soda and apple cider.
While everyone was enjoying a shrimp appetizer I munched on some walnuts to keep my appetite at bay.
My mom did a wonderful ob decorating the table.
I brought a simple quinoa mixture with lightly fried tofu, peas, onion and teryaki sauce to share. I figured that even if I ate nothing else, this dish would satisfy me. It was tasty! Everyone else seemed to like it too. Most of the people photos are on other’s cameras (I as busy taking photos of the food!), but here’s a candid shot of my view of the table
My Aunt Faye made a beautiful salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, peppers, dried berries, walnuts, mushrooms, a sweet vinaigrette and more. I was able to grab a dairy-less portion right before she added the feta for everyone else to enjoy.
I didn’t need anything made special for me, but I did ask my mom in advance to hold vegetables to the side before she added any animal products. It worked well! My plate ended up included my quinoa mix, steamed broc, string beans, a cranberry mix and sweet potatoes. You can pretty much double this plate
The main meal was easy since I’ve been a vegetarian for nine years and am already used to eating different from everyone else. This year I knew the challenging part would be dessert!
I tried to pick up a vegan ice cream but the only store open didn’t carry any so I was (vegan) dessert-less. I did want somethign so I created my own quick version of apple cobbler. I microwaved 1/2 a chopped apple with some soy milk, cinnamon, sugar and oats for about two minutes and topped the mix with granola, broken graham crackers and a bit of PB. It was a totally satisfying, filling dessert!
I used to expect my stomach to feel sick after Thanksgiving dinners. I was used to stomach pain anyway but everything on Thanksgiving day seemed to be a landmine for me. Enjoying the day as a vegan was so much different. I still enjoyed the company and good food, but this year I didn’t feel bad from the food at all. It was amazing to actually feel good about everything I ate.
That’s me with my brother Hunter and sister Madison!
Late Wednesday night David’s great grandfather passed away. He was 92-years-old and had a full life, but the loss was still tragic. Saturday I attended the funeral with David’s family.
I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to attend a funeral until now. Honestly, the thought of seeing a dead person and everyone mourning creeped me out. Instead, the funeral was sweet. It was beautiful to see that even though he had passed, this man had his loving family there because they loved him. Nonetheless, it was sad to lose him.
My dad headed to the other side of Florida to Daytona Beach for the long weekend so right after the funeral Saturday David and I drove with my brother and sister to meet him for one night.
We stayed in Daytona for less than 24 hours, but we had a blast! There was drinking (not me), karaoke, hot cars, late night pizza runs and practical jokes.
The night began at The Oyster Pub. I couldn’t believe there was not a single vegan thing on the menu…. not even a salad to speak of! Luckily I had eaten before and was able to get something after. I think bar food and seafood restaurants are the worst for vegans to try to navigate.
I couldn’t get over the cars in Daytona! At least half of the cars on the street were either incredibly expensive or impressive antiques. I snapped a few photos as we headed home. Between my lack of healthy food (unpictured… just trust me and emotional events and living out of a suitcase for 3 cities and 4 days, I am ready to start a new week. I’m ready to start this next week on the right foot!
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you make a special dish?