A Vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Much to my surprise, there were lots of people out exercising in Eugene the morning of Thanksgiving. I’m used to seeing people running here and there, and when I go to Spencer’s Butte there are usually some cars in the parking lot. But on Thanksgiving, I think everyone was out in the morning getting some exercise before eating anticipated huge meals a few hours later.

I thought about running the local Turkey Trot race. As far as I can remember, I have never run a race on Thanksgiving. However, I decided that it would be more fun to get some exercise with Sonny and my parents, so we decided to hike Spencer’s Butte.

We got to the parking lot around 9:30 and it was almost full. I have never seen so many cars in that parking lot before. Rather than deal with the crowds, we drove to another trail head that is part of the same trail system as Spencer’s Butte. That parking lot was also full. We tried one more spot (Mt. Baldy), and luckily no one else was there.

We got in a nice two mile hike to start out our day of cooking and hanging out.

After hiking we started cooking. I thought it would be fun to do a vegetarian Thanksgiving, so a couple weeks ago I asked my parents and Sonny if they would mind. They were all okay with it! So I started planning.

I made a list of all the dishes I wanted to make and the ingredients for each dish I needed to get at the store.

I made a grocery list and printed a few recipes that I got from blogs.

Everyone helped cook our Thanksgiving meal. It was really fun! And it made my day a lot less stressful to have help. Here are all the things we cooked:

Holiday Salad with Cranberry Orange Vinaigrette
The salad dressing is so good! I have lots leftover so I have been eating it on salads everyday.

Mashed cauliflower
I didn’t follow a recipe. I just steamed a head of cauliflower, put it in the food processor, added a little bit of Earth Balance, almond milk, garlic, salt and pepper. I learned that a clove of garlic is too much for one head of mashed cauliflower! I think all you need is 1/2 or 1/4 of a clove.

Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts
Loved this recipe! I cut the brussels sprouts up more than just halving them because I thought my dad might like them better if they didn’t resemble a brussel sprout. I also added pecans.

Baked Maple Mustard Tempeh
I think this is my favorite tempeh recipe I have made! I got the recipe from the Clean Food cookbook. Delicious. I’m making this again in a few days.

Honey Glazed Carrots
Sonny made these and I’m not sure where he got the recipe. They were really good though!

Cranberry, Apricot, Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf
This is the first time I have cooked wild rice and I really liked it. Sonny wasn’t too sure about all the dried fruit in this dish, but he ended up liking it.

Roasted Squash with Fennel and Asparagus
This recipe was also from Clean Food. The asparagus was a great compliment to the squash.

Garlic Bread
Sonny makes really good garlic bread. He mixes Earth Balance, lots of garlic, and basil and then spreads the mixture on the bread.

All the food!

My parents and Sonny.

My plate!

Me and Sonny.

Sonny made this pumpkin pie. I really don’t like pumpkin pie that much. I think it’s the consistency that I don’t like. This pie was good though, for a pumpkin pie.

We had a fun and laid back Thanksgiving. I wish my brother and SIL could have been here, but I’m excited to see them around Christmas.

Our vegetarian Thanksgiving was a success! The food was great, so I don’t think anyone missed having a turkey (at least they didn’t miss it too much). It was really nice we didn’t have to deal with a turkey. It saved us money, and didn’t take up the entire oven for 4 hours.

It’s fun having a blog because you can look back on past holiday’s! This is my post from Thanksgiving last year.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


  • November 30, 2011 - 07:24 | Permalink

    Lucky you for convincing your family to go gobble-free! The last two years I have been a little irritated that so much of the day’s focus goes towards the turkey and I feel a little ostracized that I don’t eat meat. Ironically I grew up in a veg household but only my dad and I are currently meat-free. I would love a veg Tday but there’s no way my family would go for it . Looks like a great dinner!

    • Lindsey
      December 1, 2011 - 19:54 | Permalink

      I definitely feel lucky my family was okay with Thanksgiving menu. I think it helped that I only had to convince three people :) Maybe your family will come around and you will have a veg Thanksgiving in the future!

  • December 1, 2011 - 09:05 | Permalink

    Those are some great looking recipes! YUM! I’m frankly scared to make a turkey. Just too intimidating. But I do want to try out some stuffing recipes from Cooking Light and a few other things that I didn’t get to make at all on Thanksgiving since we were at my grandparents.

    Oh and we went running on Ridgeline last Friday and I couldn’t believe how packed it was!

    • Lindsey
      December 1, 2011 - 21:19 | Permalink

      I would be scared to make a turkey too. Sonny has always done it in the past. Let me know if you find a good stuffing recipe. I was going to attempt one on Thanksgiving but I got lazy.

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