Thankful.

For our first thanksgiving in our new home, we hosted my family for an all vegan feast! It was an amazing day full of love, laughter, gratitude, and of course, incredible vegan food.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Wishing you all a day full of love, laughter, happiness, and gratitude. While I love this day for the family time, what’s most important is taking the time to be grateful. Gratitude is something I’ve really tried to intentionally work on in the past year, and it’s amazing how much it can change your overall mental health and happiness.

Not every day is rainbows and unicorns, of course, I’m not saying that. Far from it! But taking the time to be consciously grateful for things that do make you happy can make all the difference on an otherwise crappy day.

I’m forever thankful for my sweet, strong, smart, SEXY husband. Those alliterations happened by accident, but all are fitting so I’m going with it, okay? Joe is my absolute rock, biggest supporter, and better half. I don’t know what I did to deserve someone as incredible as him, but he has my heart forever and I thank God every day for being able to live this life with a person who makes me happier than I ever dreamt I could be.

I’m thankful for my eyes having been opened to the horrific pain and suffering that millions of animals feel on a daily basis, and for finding my true passion in speaking for those who don’t have a voice.

I’m thankful for my faith, my dog, my family, friends, and health. I’m thankful for a warm, safe place to lay down to sleep at night, for a beautiful new home. I’m thankful for nature and beautiful animals. I’m thankful for the awesome foods that the earth makes for us – looking at you, bananas, sweet potatoes, and dates!

We’re currently in Denver at my sister-in-law’s to celebrate, and last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to host my family for an ALL VEGAN thanksgiving dinner and the day was more than I could’ve ever hoped for. I’m thankful for an amazing family who is endlessly loving and supportive. I feel so, so grateful for such a caring, genuine family who has always been there for me.

Here are some fun moments of our day! Starting with my favorite piece of kitchen decor. 🙂

If you’re at our house, there will be a candle burning 99% of the time. The fall scents are SO legit. Caramel, pumpkin, cinnamon, baked goods, you get the idea. I’ve gone through approximately 9 candles already in about 3 months. Sorry not sorry!

My cute lil brother and his sweet girlfriend!

My amazing daddy. The smartest, most driven, hard-working guy I know!

How else could we start the day? The grapes right now are in their PRIME. So big and sweet!

Had to include this one because immediately after my dad took it my mom said, “how’s my hand modeling?!”

PS these were quinoa chia chips, salsa, and Treeline nut cheese dip! Made from cashews, AKA the vegan miracle nut.

My beautiful mommy! I’d be nowhere without this lady.

Cranberry relish! I was never a fan of the canned stuff, and I love how tart and fresh this recipe is. Throw cranberries and a sliced up orange in the food processor, add some stevia, and that’s it! You can make it as tart or sweet as you’d like. It’s such a great contrast to all the other super savory dishes.

BAE! Flexin on the carrots, naturally.

For real, though, his knife skills are legit. Joe is actually a much better savory cook than I am! I love baking (did I even need to say that?), but he’s so much better at throwing things together and using seasoning in the best way to somehow create a fantastic meal.

Did I mention I’m thankful for him? Can’t say that enough times.

My handsome man!

Jake hanging out with Rumor while we prep for the feast! She loves him.

All of our dishes were homemade, except this gem! I got a Field Roast celebration roast on a whim, mostly because I saw it at my grocery store and figured it might be a fun thing to include if anybody wanted to try it. The verdict was that it definitely had great “thanksgiving” flavors. Joe said it was good and he’d definitely have it again on a special occasion.

I didn’t try it – to be honest, I think it’s SO awesome that there are so many vegan meats like this available now, but the texture kind of freaks me out, because I get a little grossed out if something resembles animal meat too much.

Also, I like sticking with whole foods, and if I am going to splurge, it’ll be on a dessert. 🙂

Sandy doing her thing with the mashed potatoes! Speaking of good cooks…my mom is literally the best.

Had to snap a few photos in the middle of our prep!

Me in my happy place…with a giant bowl of lentils. Level 10 vegan, right here, friends.

Me and one of my fave people on this earth! Also, check out those bananas casually laying on the counter. Foreshadowing…

When you’re waiting on veggies to roast and lentils to cook, you mess around with bananas to get pictures for an updated blog photo.

Grandpa, the dog whisperer! He brought his pup too, Miki, that little fluff ball! He and Rumor were actually born on the same day of the same year, but she’s literally double his weight, haha.

And yes, Rumor is just staring at the wall in this picture. Forever keeping things weird.

Tada! Almost ready to eat!! Here’s what we had:

  • Salad
  • Cranberry relish
  • Cashew sour cream – this was a hit! I have a ingredients for it in my chickpea salad recipe.
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts, carrots, onions)
  • Field Roast celebration roast
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Garlic lentils (cooked with onions and mushrooms)

Best day ever!

Oh, and of course we had dessert.

Don’t kill me. I forgot to take pictures. I KNOW, I’M THE WORST. Do I even run a dessert blog? Insert ten face palms here.

We had this skillet cookie and an apple crumble that my dad really likes – apples mixed with date paste, baked, then sprinkled with an oat, date, pecan crumble on top. Served warm with vegan vanilla ice cream!

We always do our thanksgiving dinner early – we ate around 1pm. I had the skillet cookie for dinner later that night. No shame. It is SO damn good.

We took a few photos because this year I’m getting my act together to be a proper adult and sending out Christmas cards! Here are a few fun ones that came out of that.

After dinner, we immediately decorated our whole house for Christmas.

Best. Day. EVER.

Thanks so much for another wonderful year, friends! I am so thankful for each and every one of you. Have a happy, healthy, safe, compassionate thanksgiving!