Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Feast!

I hope everyone enjoyed their day yesterday and took some time to feel gratitude for all we are and have in this life. No matter what happens to or around us, we can always search for the blessings. This attitude got me through my 1998 brain injury and oh so many other life lessons that made me who I am today.

The holidays are one of those times that vegans and vegetarians can feel left out or pressured to compromise their health and values. If, like me, you think Tofurkey and Seitan Rolls are gross (not to mention hard on the tummy!), then you might feel discouraged. Not me, though! Yesterday I realized that I have enjoyed a sumptuous 100% raw, or at least 100% vegan Thanksgiving feast every year since 2004. That’s a nice run!

In the past, I’ve hosted my own meals for people going through divorces or otherwise unable to attend family functions. When I lived in Sedona, I ordered from Cafe Raw Bliss (now the ChoclaTree), and in Northern California, I spent two decadent Thanksgivings in a row at Cafe Gratitude with my best friend and raw foodie, Tania Marie. Last year, a friend and I enjoyed the raw food feast from RAW in Chicago. We had so much extra food that we invited two other friends to help us finish it the following day. I don’t currently eat 100% raw vegan, but it still forms a huge portion of my diet. On a day devoted to gratitude, I love to feel vibrantly alive, instead of sleepy. I love to connect with nature through fresh, living plant foods shared with others who appreciate such things.

This year, my boyfriend had a layover in London, so I hosted some local friends and their two children at our house. It was lots and lots of fun, and delicious, too. I decided to share some photos to let you experience it vicariously. I apologize for the photo quality in that I’m still getting used to my new iPhone 4S, but I think you’ll get the idea.

(Curried Sweet Potato soup is just sweet potato or yams, blended in a Vitamix with water, Whole Foods Curry Powder, a bit of ginger and then a tiny bit of sweetener of your choice –dates, xylitol, agave, maple syrup. I often make this with hot, not boiling water or warm it gently on the stove to let the flavors meld. Since my guests are 100% raw, I warmed the soup for a few hours in the dehydrator.)

(This was my other contribution, named Scarborough Fair Waldorf Salad due to the fresh, homegrown herbs I used to make the dressing. I don’t measure things, but the ingredients were:

grated or spiralized celery root, also called celeriac
finely chopped celery
soaked walnuts
golden sultana raisins

The dressing was a blend of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, olive oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. I left the dressing quite tart to complement the sweet earthiness of the salad.)

Thanksgiving Feast 2011

This was our spread, minus the amazing chocolate goji berry fudge that was hiding out in the freezer! My guests brought cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” real cranberry orange sauce, and some cashew based raw “ricotta” as well as raviolis. All the greens came from their garden less than 5 minutes before their arrival here, and we each contributed some chopped veggies for dipping. Because the meal did not center as heavily around nuts as most gourmet raw meals tend to, we actually felt light enough to enjoy the exquisite fudge! (Sorry, the photo of that didn’t come out so well.) I love the 4:44 on the clock, a little wink from the angels, sending us their love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lest you feel too sorry for my boyfriend, missing out on all the festivities, here were the photos he emailed me from SAF in London, where he spent his holiday feasting on gorgeously yummy raw, vegan food:

Raw Vegan Pad Thai at SAF in London

And for desert, a raw tiramisu:

Raw Tiramisu at SAF in London

As you can see, my guy is much more savvy with the iPhone camera than I am! It was fun to join him “virtually” for the meal, since the 4S allows you to surf off any wireless network anywhere, even if you don’t have cell coverage there. Yay, technology! Wishing you and yours much love, inspiration and thriving …

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sweetopiagirl on November 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.



  2. Laura, this food looks gorgeous–and I love the feel of your dining room: warm colors, no clutter, simple and lovely. I’m sure it was a beautiful holiday meal. I’m inspired knowing there are people out there eating this kind of Thanksgiving dinner. Every holiday since going raw in 2004 I’ve been the only raw vegan at the table. One year I found myself at a fancy resort the day after Thanksgiving and the only thing they had to offer me off their fixed menu was a plate of romaine lettuce. Fortunately I had a stash of almonds in my purse, which I nibbled while everyone around me feasted on rich, gourmet meats and sweets.



    • Posted by laurabruno on December 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      We’re having another raw vegan Christmas feast tomorrow! I’ll post some photos when I get a chance. Glad you had the almonds! Happy Holidays to you …



      • Thanks, Laura. Happy holidays to you too.

        My husband, daughter and I have reservations at a raw vegan restaurant Christmas eve. This is progress. I’ve started making them raw vegan dinners, which they’ve been enjoying!

        I’m sure your Christmas dinner is going to be divine, delicious, and nutritious. I’m looking forward to the photos.

        Warm best,

        P.S. You may enjoy my recent blogpost: Upping Your Raw for The Holidays: http://www.bellamahayacarter.com/blog/



        • Posted by laurabruno on December 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

          Thanks, I will check out your blog post! Your feast sounds lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure if you saw my post on Raw Fusion, but I thought of you and your family, too: https://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/raw-fusion-better-living-through-living-foods-book-review/

          I’ll be contributing the very simple Caesar salad from there, as well as the Fennel “Sausage” served with a mustard sauce over a napa cabbage substrate. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apparently, we’ll also be having a raw soup, “fried” onion rings” and some other surprise goodies, including dessert.

          Then, I’m spending Christmas day prepping raw treats the rest of my boyfriend’s non-vegan, non-raw family can enjoy for our 26th-28th whirlwind extravaganza: marinated mushrooms, “braised” spinach with sweet mustard vinaigrette, frozen spirulina pie with goji berries, leftover fennel sausage (for us), and some extra salad dressings, plus a (non-raw) roasted root veggie dish. Photos will be shared. ๐Ÿ™‚ All the best to you and yours … Laura


  3. […] I eat during the holidays that I thought I’d post another round of raw vegan holiday photos. Here’s what I had on Thanksgiving, and below you’ll find two feasts’ worth of food: one from a Christmas Eve dinner with […]



  4. […] keeping with our raw vegan holiday celebrations, my local holiday crew and I decided to enjoy another delicious feast. In keeping with my Lazy Raw […]



  5. […] and/or vegetarian holiday food. You can click through to read about a Raw Vegan Easter Feast, a Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Feast, a Raw Vegan Indian Food Feast, a Raw Vegan Pizza and Italian Feast, Raw Vegan Thai, Tiramisu and […]



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