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At some holiday gatherings, there is very little for vegans to eat. Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast, however, was not one of those parties! Literally, every time I blinked, a new vegan dish appeared.

Anthony Nelson, your new genie is ready. 🙂

Dishes included the incredibly easy, yet so delicious Vegan Magic Mushrooms, and my favorite Creamy Vegan Polenta

Without lifting a finger (or engaging in the aforementioned blinking), I could’ve easily made a meal simply from the vegan side-dishes my mom prepared. Oh heck, I could’ve easily made a meal from just the magic mushrooms alone! My family’s always been big on vegetables; therefore some of what my mom prepares for Thanksgiving has always already been vegan. And other dishes, such as the polenta she made, are easily veganized.

Mom also makes a broccoli dish that is vegan (originally my grandma’s recipe). As I said, I could have made a meal feast from just the sides. But I didn’t. No, I made my own vegetarian main dish to share. It was so good, it deserves its own post. (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.)

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Stefanie says:

    That looks like a great vegan feast. It is always nice to have someone else do the cooking but I do not get that pleasure often. The only time is when I go out to eat but I do not dine out often. That polenta looks so good. I’ll have to try it soon.

  2. Erika says:

    I’ll admit when I was younger [like 8] I thought vegans were weird and vegan food was wierder. Boy, was I wrong! Katie, your vegan Thanksgiving looks delicious! 😀

    1. LOL thanks, Erika!
      P.S. I emailed you back :). Let me know if you didn’t get it, because my emails often go to spam.

  3. Tangy says:

    When I was heavier, I loved eating what everyone else made. Now that I have worked really hard to lose the weight and I’ve learned more about what healthy eating really is, it is really hard to enjoy what some people make. If I knew someone had the same nutritional standards as me I could enjoy their food, but now I just kind of wonder what really is in each dish! I love to cook and bake and try new things so I really am happy making most of my own food!

  4. lisa says:

    i have a problem eating what others make due to control issues. someday, i’d love to be able to eat my mom’s food or eat in a restaurant again without feeling anxiety or guilt about it.

  5. Ashlei says:

    I definitely prefer to make my own food because I know what’s going in it, but it’s nice to not have to cook sometimes and have others do it for you, or to eat out.

  6. eatandrun says:

    That all looks delicious! Excited for the main dish recipe :).

  7. Amanda says:

    I would’ve eaten the apple filling too! I’m not a vegan, but I still would’ve left the crust, because we all know that it’s the filling that’s the best part, right? 😉

  8. Allison says:

    What’s in the crust that’s not vegan? I made crust out of flour, sugar, salt, water and vegetable shortening. Way easy! I was all prepared to bring most of my own food to Thanksgiving at my Aunt and Uncle’s until they offered to make me a tofurkey and roasted vegetables. I almost always make my own food as it’s just me and my boyfriend and he hates the kitchen so it is always nice when someone who understands what vegans eat makes me some food. Not to mention how great it is when I don’t have to even look at the dishes much less do them.

    On a side note, do you ever get people who, when confronted with your choice of being vegan for the first or second or third time, ask a question like “wait, you can eat chocolate?”. It blows my mind how people can just eat things and have no idea what goes into them and yet they question whether vegans eat a healthy diet.

    End rant!

    1. Well, the first ingredient is partially-hydrogenated lard! (It was a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust.) LOL I wouldn’t want to touch that even if it were vegan. But it doesn’t really matter, because I’ve always hated pie crust and never ate it anyway! 🙂

      As for your second question: LOLOL YES!! Oh my gosh, if I had dollar for every time someone asked me how I cold have given up chocolate to become vegan. They obviously don’t know about my blog ;).
      I feel your ranting pain too. When people ask me where I get my protein, I always ask THEM, “Where do you get your Vitamin A? Your fiber? Your leafy green veggie servings?”

      1. Tammy says:

        I know you two aren’t TRYING to sound condescending, but, as I’m sure you know, lots of people just eat milk chocolate, and even some dark chocolate has milkfat in it, so it’s not like people who ask that question are totally ignorant. Try to see it from both perspectives! And, Katie, you know that plenty of people who eat meat also eat lots of vegetables! I think we should all try to be understanding of everyone’s preferences. Just sayin’, hope that doesn’t sound mean.

        As for me, I like to be vegan one day and a meat-eater the next. Kudos to you for eating the pie your mom made.

        1. anna bilozi says:

          I TOTALLY agree, Tammy!

        2. Melissa says:

          Um. Here’s the thing… when people ask vegans about chocolate they normally have this “gotcha!” tone of voice, like they are just waiting to tell us no chocolate is vegan and that we’ve messed up by eating it. It’s the INTENT of a lot of those questions that are irritating. They aren’t curious, they are being the vegan police – and they are doing in in absence of knowing what they are talking about. Trying to “catch” vegans being non-vegan so they can go “oh, you’re not perfect either, you better than thou vegan!” isn’t very cool.

          Honestly, it’s a bit insulting to have an omnivore in your face about whether or not what you’re eating is vegan. If I’m eating it, it’s vegan. And yes I checked!

          Not ALL folks who ask it do so in this manner. Some are genuinely curious and you can tell by their tone/wording. I am not annoyed by them. 🙂

      2. Melissa says:

        Oh ew! Sorry… my reaction to lard in anything is abject horror. WHY?! A lot of my Great Grandmas’ recipes contain lard and I always make this face: O.o or this XP when I read the recipe cards.

        Seriously, Katie, with your mom being so wicked awesome(!) you should talk her into ditching the pig fat crust. My mom isn’t half as cool with vegan food as yours is but she’s made me vegan desserts before. 🙂 Maybe you could make the crust and momma could do the filling? Then you don’t have to worry about possibly eating lard AND everyone else would have a healthier pie, too. 😀 Win win! Plus, pie crust is so easy to make and the vegan version doesn’t taste “weird”. I don’t really like crust either but I’d rather the little bits that inevitably fall into my filling aren’t non-veg.

        I’m so not trying to bash you (you know I <3 you!) but there is just no way in hell I'd ever want to even risk eating lard, ever again. *shudder* Mostly due to it being gross! Half the reason I'm such a "good" vegan is my weak stomach! LOL.

        1. Melissa says:

          Aw damn, I wanted to delete this post since I’ve been thinking about it since I made it.

          Rather than change your family recipe (sorry to suggest it) I think my solution would be to pull a serving of the filling aside and bake in alone in a ramekin! Then no icky crust (vegan or otherwise!) and more apple goodness. Totally WIN WIN. 😀

        2. Hey girl! Just got your email, and I’ll reply when I get a chance. 🙂

  9. i LOVE when I can make my own food- i take charge of the kitchen! that way I know exactly what’s in it and I can tailor it to my needs!

  10. The apple pie filling doesn’t have any sugar? That is awesome; I’ve never even thought to make filling sans sugar. It would be awesome if your mom were so inclined as to share that recipe 🙂

    1. I’m sure she would! I’ll try to write it out for ya later today or tomorrow! 🙂

  11. Holy YUM – what a delicious spread!
    I love the fact that you ate your Mom’s pie anyway, Katie.
    Sometimes it’s not worth worth it be always absolutely perfect.
    I’m so happy you’ve had a great time with your family, love 🙂

  12. I’m so much happier making my own food but on occasion it’s nice to have others cook for you. It may just be me but I’m a control freak ha and like to control every aspect of my kitchen.

    1. abby says:

      oh no, i am the same way! i’m such a control freak!

  13. I love when other people cook for me. It can sometimes get tricky with my cow’s milk sensitivity, but sometimes the same meal I could make tastes better when made by someone else! 🙂

  14. Olivia R. says:

    Love this post! Apple pie looks good.
    I have a quick dilemma and I wanted to see if any of you vegans could help me out. I have a block (er, tube. from the asian grocer 😀 ) of soft silken tofu. I don’t know what to do with it! I don’t want a dessert, can I make ‘cottage cheez’ with it? Hm. Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    1. Hey Olivia!
      I dunno about cottage cheese, but I do make something called “Cheefu” with silken tofu (but mine is silken-firm). Here’s the link:
      Otherwise, I’d suggest using it in place of sour cream in a recipe or cream in a soup recipe.

  15. Elle says:

    Thank you, CCK! I appreciate that you’re modeling the attitude of not being a perfectionist about your food choices. I’m not sure what to call myself because “omnivore” doesn’t help me explain my daily food choices very well. I eat vegan 9 meals out of 10, or maybe closer to 19 out of 20. But I will gladly eat filet mignon, bison, lean pork tenderloin, fish, or cheese as an occasional indulgence. This is what feels right for me and I don’t have plans to incorporate more or less omni choices. I don’t claim the title vegan for obvious reasons, but it’s what informs that vast majority of my food choices. Hey, I think I just figured it out: “I eat meat and dairy as an occasional indulgence.”

    1. That’s the problem with labels, ya know? They’re so black and white.
      I like your label better :).

    2. V says:

      I eat mainly vegetarian (depending on the day!), but since I have dairy and egg allergies, I prefer to bake vegan. But I also allow myself to indulge in certain meats, like poultry or fish (occasionally pork, as my sweetie is a die-hard meat lover who loves to take over my kitchen when he comes over 😛 ). I’ve adopted the label “Flexitarian”! 😀

  16. Jessica says:

    Those magic mushrooms look incredible! I would never have thought to put vinegar in them, but I love cooked ‘shrooms. I like the family dinner sides, too, and it’s great that you and your mom work together to veganize some things and you eat around others. That’s the stage I want to get to with my family!

  17. susan says:

    What a great meal that your whole family could enjoy! And I can’t wait to see you entree.

    I like cooking for myself because, as you said, I know how I like things (example: I like 3x the amt of garlic that most people do), but I really enjoy going out to dinner and having someone do the work for me! My parents don’t cook much, but I like it when they do make things for me. Its the thought that counts and the loving gesture is what makes it especially tasty!

  18. You food all looks so fantastic it makes me want to go out and buy all of the ingredients!!!!

  19. thedelicateplace says:

    yum those looks delicious! i like cooking my own stuff but certainly don’t mind if my husband wants to take the reigns as he knows i can’t tolerate gluten or dairy. also, re: pie situation…i think there is a fine line between being a zealot and being a compassionate recipient of home cooked food. i certainly don’t knock the tiny morsel of dairy found in that pie. you and your dad both win eating!

  20. I’m okay with having others cook for me, but I definitely like to know what’s in my own food!

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