While the VegNews staff will indulge in the annual VN Thanksgiving day luncheon together, we’ll also be branching out, chowing down, and enjoying cruelty-free Turkey Day celebrations with our friends and family. From California-style feasts to a whole new level of awesome desserts with vegan pumpkin cheesecake, here’s what these editors know about throwing foodie feasts and kicking back around the holidays.
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This year, I can’t wait to head home to my family’s amazing Thanksgiving spread. Not only are they my favorite people on the planet, but they can all cook! My mom’s signature stuffing (which originally came from my grandmother) is something that has to be passed to me last so that everyone else actually gets some before I eat the whole container. Same thing goes for mashed potatoes. And the stuffing and potatoes go especially well together when topped with cranberry sauce and shoved in between two halves of one of my mom’s amazing sweet dinner rolls. “Carbs on carbs with carbs” is pretty much my motto. And this year will be extra special, as it’s the first one with my handsome new nephew!
Managing Editor Elizabeth Castoria
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday because it’s all about food! I’ll be whipping up my famous garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry bars, a recipe my best friend Megan gave me. My husband Brendan is in charge of the Tofurky. He bastes it in a perfect juicy marinade of spices and sauce. I’m also baking the Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake from the VegNews Holiday Cookbook. I’m so excited to spend this Thanksgiving with my mom, who just moved to Berkeley. We haven’t spent the holiday together since I was in college. When I told my mom we were going to have a vegetarian turkey, she laughed. It’ll be her first Tofurky, but I’m sure it won’t be her last.
Associate Editor Jennifer Chen
Thanksgiving is the one holiday I look forward to all year long. For me, nothing beats the crisp fall air, sharing the entire day with my family, and eating amazing seasonal food. My Thanksgiving table will be filled with roasted butternut squash soup, garlic mashed potatoes, apple-sage stuffing (my mom now veganizes the dish we had growing up, and I can’t get enough!), my famous holiday salad (think greens, candied pecans, and dried cranberries), and spectacular vegan desserts, such as Dark Forest Trifle with Coconut Custard (found in the VegNews Holiday Cookbook). And if Thanksgiving couldn’t get any better, I leave for the VegNews Vegan Yoga Retreat in Mexico the very next day for a week of yoga, organic food, relaxing on the beach, and s’mores over a bonfire. I am grateful to be living a life that doesn’t harm animals, and have much to be thankful for.
Associate Publisher Colleen Holland
While this will be the fourth Thanksgiving in a row that I won’t be able to be with my family, I’m fortunate to still have my boyfriend and close friends to celebrate with. I plan on making a yummy veggie pot pie, some garlicky mashed potatoes with sage gravy, and a pumpkin pie made with fresh pumpkin. It should be a delicious feast, and this marks one holiday closer to Christmas, when I will be able to see my family on the East Coast!
Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig
This Thanksgiving will be my second as the sole plant eater in a family of supremely awesome omnivores. I’m lucky to have a family who, instead of scoffing at my choices, asks me what kind of non-dairy milk I want on-hand—it’s almond milk, thanks Mom! This year will also be the first at the new Peraino headquarters in Golden, CO. In between trips down the ski slopes and hours spent watching football (Longhorns!), basketball (Blue Devils!) and hockey (Sharks!), I’ll whip up my answer to turkey—Kathy Patalsky’s Rustic Greenmarket Veggie Tofu Pot Pie. With a sweet potato-pepita crust and a creamy roux, what more could you ask for? Well, you could ask for huge cubes of cheesy baked tofu, which it also has. I created this culinary treat last year, and it was—pardon my French—ridiculement délicieux. And even better the second day—pot pie sandwich, you shall be mine.
Assistant Editor Anna Peraino
My family is big on Thanksgiving—our annual celebration draws anywhere from 15 to 25 of my siblings’ friends, roommates, and cousins, in addition to my immediate family. Chaos and tomfoolery are embedded parts of our holiday tradition, and are necessary components to a successful run of the evening. Fortunately, the food is as plentiful as the anarchy. Since I was 16, every year I’ve whipped up Tofurky roast, vegan mushroom gravy, and vegan pumpkin pie—cruelty-free renditions of the conventional fare that my parents always cook. Last year, I even made a vegan pumpkin cheesecake and garlic mashed potatoes to boot—many omnivorous guests asked for seconds! Then we avoid Black Friday like the plague while we recover from the indulgent fun.
Editorial Assistant Hilary Pollack
This year, I’m going to be developing some new traditions for Thanksgiving, California style. While I usually spend my favorite holiday noshing on mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie with my family in New York, I can’t travel across the country this time around. Instead, my boyfriend Jeremy and I will be cooking up a feast for two (though it’ll likely turn out to be enough for 10), with amazing veggie dishes and the incorporation of fresh avocado—a California staple—whenever possible. While I’ll miss hanging out with my brother, sister, and dad, bashfully indulging in our annual revelations of what we’re most thankful for (usually each other), this year will prove to be as delicious as ever, and I’ll definitely be remixing my family favorites with some California flair, along with some post-feast board game competitions.
Editorial Assistant Joni Sweet