Thanksgiving 2013 (With Turkey, Ham, and Vegan Side Dishes)

2013 has been a great year so far. I’ve found myself embracing a shift in perspective – from looking at what’s missing to focusing on what I have. As an analytical person, I find myself often wondering, “what next?” or “what could be better?” This can be a good thing in my work life, but I’ve found it’s good to focus on being more grateful, in general. I suppose that’s pretty commonsense, but I find gratitude one of those “easier said than done” kinds of things. Still, I’ve been focusing on what I have – the small and big, the simple and complex – all of it! And, I’m liking the new mindset.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey

I have to send a special thank you to all of YOU because this blog would be nothing without you guys reading and chatting with me. Thank you so much for your support!


Here are some photos of Thanksgiving 2013 with my family:



Sis has been making from-scratch cranberry sauce for the last couple years, and it’s so much better than the canned stuff. She isn’t into clean eating, but I like that this is a clean eats kind of dish for us now.


Sis decided to try something a little different for this year’s dinner – tempura sweet potato. These ended up being done before the rest of the food, so they sort of served as an appetizer that we could snack on as we wrapped up the last of the dishes in the kitchen.


Have I mentioned yet that my dad has gone vegan? Yup, he has. So, the fam asked me to create a vegan entrée that he could eat while we had the traditional turkey. I came up with a little something-something, and I plan on sharing the recipe later this weekend. I’m thinking of adding more vegan recipes here on TCL so I can help my dad with his new eating style.


We decided to make all the other dishes on the table vegan so dad could partake, save the turkey and ham, of course. We made the stuffing with soy milk instead of dairy milk. Too bad my family didn’t know that most “original” non-dairy milks are actually sweetened. They accidentally used a sweeter soy milk, so this had a bit of a sweet kick. Luckily, they didn’t use too much. It still tasted great!


We opted for just a turkey breast this year, but we did also get a honey-baked ham.


And much to my surprise, my sister picked up brussels sprouts for me to cook while she was grocery shopping. She said she really enjoyed the ones I cooked a previous time (using this easy brussels sprouts recipe). You must understand, my family teases my sister by saying she never eats anything green, so this was totally unexpected. Beyond that, my parents, who aren’t brussels sprouts fans were happy to see this on the dinner table. And, I was happy to add something healthy to the mix that everyone enjoyed so much. I used Earth Balance to make this so it would be vegan.


We also had a couple other vegan side dishes – steamed green beans and mashed potatoes (made with Earth Balance and soy milk…yes, the sweet one…oops!).


Here’s my plate – literally a little bit of everything on the table, even dad’s vegan entrée, which I really enjoyed. Even mom and sis tried dad’s main dish, and they liked it, too. Woohoo! I think I’ll have to work on more dishes like that so they can all get along while I’m back home in NC. hehe


We had a great spread!


And for dessert, I made a peach blueberry cobbler. This was also made with soy milk and Earth Balance so dad could enjoy.

We enjoyed another delicious Thanksgiving feast, but I was mostly thankful just to be able to enjoy it with my family.

If you celebrated, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too!

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2013 (With Turkey, Ham, and Vegan Side Dishes)”

  1. Wow! Looks like you had a delicious Thanksgiving! I’m going to have to try that brussels sprouts recipe. Oh and if you don’t mind sharing, what prompted your dad to go vegan? Was he vegetarian before? Totally understand if you don’t want to share but I am so curious. I’m not vegetarian myself but I’ve been flirting w/ the idea for awhile now.

  2. My family also had an earth balance thanksgiving due to milk/soy intolerances. We aren’t vegan so we used chicken broth in order to make our mashed potatoes. We’ve tried making dairy free/soy free Mac and cheese but can’t find a product that tastes very good as a cheese substitute. Any ideas?

    • Hi Jen, I know there are a lot of non-dairy cheese products out there, but I’ve heard mixed reviews on them. The most common/popular one seems to be Daiya – I have some friends who don’t think this is good and some friends who love it. Have you tried it before?

      If I were going to try to come up with a vegan mac and cheese, here are a couple paths I’d explore:
      ~You could also probably try a mixture of vegan cream cheese for the creaminess factor with some nutritional yeast for the saltiness and flavor.
      ~There are also ways to make things creamy with cashews. I’ve seen people make cashew creams, but I’m not sure if that would work as mac and cheese. Could be worth exploring, though. You’d probably also use some nutritional yeast here, too.

      Maybe I should try exploring those options?! 😉 I’m planning on coming up with more vegan recipes for my dad and family.

      Also, if you’re looking for a ready recipe right now, Angela at Oh She Glows has a good one here:

      Hope that helps! 🙂


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