Thanksgiving and Holiday Decorating Vegan Style

I think there is always a lot of interest in decorating for the holidays. Thanksgiving is usually a more mellow version of the Halloween and Christmas Decor that can appear. On the Exterior of one’s house you usually see very little but the dining table is where most people focus. Cornucopias, pumpkins, decorative china, and candles. Teh good news about thanksgiving is that as much as it is focused around the inevitable turkey it is a very vegan friendly and focused holiday. We decorate with pumpkins, gourds, corn, stalks, husks, candles, and raw materials. These are all things that favor our compassionate and healthy lifestyle so I definitely want to help you embrace these ideas.

Exterior Decoration

Focus on the obvious seasonal waste products. That sounds bad but it isn’t. Corn has ripened and cornstalks and husks are readily available as are the corn cobs that didn’t quite make it this year. Use them all as Thanksgiving decor. Wrap your posts in them. Make wreaths from dried husks and hang dried out corn from bows of dried out fabric and burlap and garnish with fallen leaves. It will look beautiful. When the holiday is over move on to the garlands of evergreen trimmings from your Christmas tree and yard. Take the burlap trimmings from wrapping any bushes and plants up and use them to make bows. You can even garnish them with fallen acorns and some ribbon. The icicles will be a glittering finishing touch that only Mother Nature can do!

Interior Decorations

Start with will your house with natural decor. I use cottons and burlap this time of year. It is warm and generally ecofriendly. I then garnish with root vegetables, pumpkins, and gourds. I plant cabbage in containers and that way everything is usable on the holiday. You can place dips in hollowed cabbages, pumpkins, gourds, and even fresh baked bread bowls. Try for minimal waste and more compost. It will be great when the spring comes. I keep my composter in the back yard just for this purpose. Starting now will get your ready for the spring and with the cold you will not have the odor you would in the summer.

Right before it gets too cold, go to a nearby park and dig up some moss and gather stones and shells. Make a terrarium. I did this last year and it kept all winter. Fill the bottom with stones for drainage and top with lumps of moss. This is a great centerpiece and will stay green with a little misting and water all winter long. If you live near the ocean make a terrarium of seashells and sand. My stepdaughters add to our with every visit. We even wash out the large clam shells and use them to hold soap in our bathrooms. If you can gather enough shells you can make garlands, wreaths, and even small Christmas tree stacks. Take a look at my pinterest for some ideas!


As for Christmas time. I wash off pine cones and take tree trimmings and fill glass jars, bowls. and vases with them. I even make ornaments out of seashells and sea stars that wash up. I did a project with my stepdaughters where we glittered pine cones with some glue and sparkles and bedazzled starfish leftover from the summer to hand on the tree. All very simple but very beautiful. Make it fun and easy and people will be awed. You don’t need a fake blowup snowman on your lawn to show you are in the spirit!


Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

How to Make Your Vegan Holiday More Efficient in 20 Steps Over One Month

I serve an omnivore – vegan thanksgiving extravaganza each year. This year I will have about 12 people (I think). So because I am a little OCD and I love fresh food I always wait until the last second to get veggies. This causes a mess of a problem because now I must peel, chop, julienne, etc. in a short amount of time. I learned my lesson this year and started already. I peeled, chopped, diced, and whatever-ed all of my veggies that I could already. Bagged them and sorted them into the crisper. I have the bruises on my hands to prove it and a few knife cuts on my palm and some missing nail polish from that pesky mandolin. However I feel so accomplished! Here are my tips to fast track your Thanksgiving preparation:


  1. One month before, order your roast or turkey or tofurkey or field roast en croute.
  2. 2-4 weeks before, hire someone to clean your house the day before the holiday (It is about $150 for a whole house but you can prob get a good deal for just the downstairs). That way they can clean up whatever leftovers are on the floor from your chopping that the dog didn’t want.
  3. One week before get all linens, dishes, china, etc. cleaned. Get your hair done. Get your nails done (shellac or gel is smart in this case). Buy any theme holiday items that you need. Set your table aesthetics but not plates.
  4. Buy all your veggies the weekend before or a few days ahead.
  5. Wash, Chop, and Bag all veggies as you get them. This will make mashed potatoes and roasted veggies go fast the night before. It sounds crazy but peeling one large potato takes about 30 seconds. It will be worth it to do it as you get them when you have 10 lbs to peel and chop.
  6. Buy yourself something easy for breakfast so that you don’t need to cook. Donuts, danishes, or just plain old cereal and fruit. You WILL need energy the day of.
  7. Two nights before, pre-bake crust or buy them already done. Pre-chop all fruit and make any rice or pasta and bag it. Fruit can be tossed with a little water and lemon juice if you are afraid of browning.
  8. The day before Thanksgiving make any sauces and dips. They always taste better if they infuse overnight. Slice any cheeses and prepare any doughs (cookie dough or bread dough).
  9. The night before make any roasted veggies, casseroles, and prep desserts. You can bake desserts fresh since they come after dinner and all your casseroles and veggies can be warmed up while the turkey sits and cools a bit. Also brine your turkey if you get one and place in the fridge.
  10. The morning of place out all plates and appetizer arrangements without the food on them so that you are ready. Make your significant other get up early to put the turkey in the oven, you aren’t eating it anyway 😉
  11. Sit down have some tea and a danish and baste that turkey or tofurkey.
  12. An hour before arrival bring out ice, glasses, drinks, and appetizers and plate them.
  13. By the time you are done others will be arriving. You will look like you have it all together!
  14. When the turkey comes out place all precooked dinner entrees in the oven to warm back up.
  15. When it is time to eat place the desserts in and remove all appetizers and place in covered containers.
  16. After dinner place leftovers in large bowls and containers. At the end of the night you will have a buffet for people to make take home bags!
  17. Place out desserts and coffee and tea after dinner has been over roughly an hour to two hours. People need time to settle.
  18. Take a walk during this time or have an impromptu flag football game for the guys and kids! Or do the dishes if its too cold!
  19. Last, enjoy dessert. Set up the to go containers (I ask all my guests to bring some with) and set up the buffet for people to take home whats left.
  20. You will have less to put away or eat later on in the week 🙂


FOOD IS LOVE. Happy Holidays from My family to yours.



Meatless Mondays Guest Contributer @VeganRebecca : Common Recipes for Vegans

Common Recipes For Vegans

There are many types of vegan recipes on the market. They tend to fall into one of three types – substitutes, subtractions and originals. Each has their place at the dinner table.


The Substitute

Most vegan recipes tend to substitute vegan alternatives for the offending foodstuffs. A great example are vegan pancakes – a simple substitute that removes butter and milk from the equation makes the meal far more friendly to those who are conscious about their food choices.

Ingredients:  1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 tbsp white sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp oil

Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Make a well in dry ingredients, add in wet – stir until blended. Heat a griddle to medium high, cook pancakes until golden brown and then flip.


The Subtraction

Many vegan meals simply feature the subtraction of offending elements. A great example would be a basic noodle soup instead of a chicken noodle soup. The entire recipe takes only moments to make, but still fits with a vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup celery, 3/4 cup carrot, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/3 cup orzo, 4 cups vegetable broth

Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add in vegetables, garlic and onion, cook until tender. Add the pasta, and cook pasta until toasted. Add broth, boil over high heat until pasta is tender.


The Original

Perhaps most rare are those recipes that are originally created for vegans. Rather than existing only as a modification of a traditional meal, these meals are created with vegans in mind. A great example is the Avocado Salad – a simple dish that is still quite delicious.

Ingredients: 2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp seal salt, 5 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 cups cooked lentils, 2 ripe avocados (quartered), 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts (chopped), 1/4 cup minced chives

Combine oregano, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss lentils with mixture, add avocado, hazelnuts and chives.



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Twitter:  @VeganRebecca




The Hippie Gypsy