For my fellow vegan and vegetarian readers, as well as anyone who might be gluten free, paleo, or on any other restricted diet, how do people react when you disclose your eating habits?
For me, things have changed quite a bit in the twenty years (holy cow!) since I’ve cut meat out of my diet. I’ve gone from at one time being consistently met with strange looks and inappropriate jokes, to nowadays being received with curiosity, interest, and often remarks like, “Oh, my sister/brother/aunt/neighbor/coworker is one of those too!” And although I still get an inappropriate comment from time to time (“You didn’t tell us you were one of those when we interviewed you for this job…”), things are certainly easier these days.
I still get a bunch of questions based on genuine curiosity, which I don’t mind so much.
“Where do you get your protein?”
“Do you eat like this for ethical or health reasons?”
“Don’t you miss cheeseburgers?”
Of course, during this time of year, most of us plant eaters can anticipate that one, very special question:
“What do you eat for Thanksgiving?”
This one has always been particularly interesting to me. I think a more appropriate question would be “What don’t you eat for Thanksgiving?”
What I do eat is the dozen or so other items that are or can very easily be adapted to suit my dietary needs.
Stuffing? Cook it with vegetable broth and not inside of a turkey.
Sweet potatoes? Make a vegan version without the marshmallows. I always thought those were gross anyway.
Veggies? Um, yeah, obviously not much of a problem. Skip the butter. Try these.
Dessert? Totally veganizable. Recipe forthcoming.
Bread/biscuits/muffins? Also highly veganizable. Try this.
Mashed potatoes? Well, that would bring me to this post.
Welcome to part two of my November vegan Thanksgiving series, in which I’ve decided to cover everyone’s favorite (well, mine at least), good old mashed potaters.
While there are plenty of vegan gravy options out there, I wanted to take a shot at some mashed potatoes that were so loaded up with flavorful goodness you’d never miss the gravy. These were seriously tasty spuds. Gravy definitely not needed, and the creamy “cheddar” goodness could fool any omnivore. I might just try these out on my dad this year, assuming he hasn’t read this post and caught on to my game.
Vegan Roasted Garlic Cheddar Dill Mashed Potatoes
- 1 lb. red potatoes (the red is key here, as they cook up creamier than standard potatoes)
- 1 bulb of roasted garlic (for instructions on how to roast garlic, see this post)
- ½ cup unflavored, unsweetened non dairy milk of choice
- 1 tbsp. vegan margarine, melted
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp. salt (this is quite a bit, so cut back if you're watching your intake)
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
- Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to boil, lower heat, and allow to boil until softened.
- This should take about 40-50 minutes, but will vary depending on the size of your spuds.
- Remove from heat and drain water.
- Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into pan with potatoes.
- Mash potatoes and garlic with potato masher, leaving as chunky as you like.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.