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« Using Medical Journals to Guide Your Cooking - Immune-Boosting Mushrooms and Inflammation-Fighting Vegetables - Three Favorites Recipes - Two Favorite Movies - Three Thanksgiving Dishes to Try | Main | The Research Behind the "Gratitude Attitude" - It's Thanksgiving, TIme to Give It a Serious Try - It's a Win-Win for Everyone! »

November 20, 2011


Carole Hwang

Oh, I want that Reuben! Can't wait. We're going to a very large family Thanksgiving where we'll be the only ones not eating the usual dishes (which in our mostly Chinese family includes some very non-traditional fare!). This is our first plant-based low-fat holiday; oh, the 'splainin' we'll need to do. We'll be brining a meatless loaf, stuffing with roasted chestnuts, and thanks to you, HL, mashed potatoes and arugula/pear salad with dried cranberries. To top it all off I'm making 'creamy' pumpkin soup. Happy Thanksgiving Debby. I count you as one of the people I'm thankful for!!!

Jamie Shuller

Aw man! That all sounds so good! I wish we were doing Thanksgiving with you all this year, especially since I am in driving distance. I want to try all your food. I also always say cornedbeef and pickle sandwiches are the one thing I don't think I could ever give up! I miss the healthy librarian, the lab rat, son #1, son #2, and daughter in law! Maybe next year :(

The Healthy Librarian

Carole--I'm so humbled by your comment! Wow. You are bringing some super delicious-sounding T-day food to your celebration--I hope everyone enjoys it. Report back. Don't mess with too much 'splanin'--unless someone really really seems interested. It's a lot easier that way. Bet some of the Chinese dishes will trump the usual turkey dinner.

Jamie--We really hoped you guys would be joining us--last year was so much fun. I miss you too! Let's plan ahead for next year--if you're not too crazy far away. I know your dad will love this Reuben! And I know your grandma is going to be so happy to have you around as her personal PT for the long weekend.

Thomas Swanson

I'm not a fan of fake meats, but I may make an exception for this....

The Healthy Librarian

I kind of think of seitan as a cut above the typical fake meats--since you can make it in your own kitchen--which is the only way you'll get it made like this.


Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you so much for great blog you share and for all the work you do to inform us. I read everything you post and appreciate your effort and the fun and joy you infuse into it.


We will have all four kids and three spouses, and seven of eight grandkids here for parts of the holiday weekend. Our oldest son is already in from Tokyo; the rest of the crew follow Tuesday and Wednesday.

After numerous menu and shopping lists, emails and discussions, the plan is Coles Creamy Cauliflower Soup from Rip's E2 cookbook for Wednesday lunch, your Sami flax millet pizza for Wednesday supper, Lynn's Meatless Loaf (another E2 recipe) and turkey breast with lots of healthy sides for Thanksgiving, Rip's Three Bean Chili for Friday supper - still pondering Saturday options as the group will be diminished by then. I'm definitely going to check out the recipe links you posted for a few extra ideas.

Thank you for your inspiring and informative blog; I've been a faithful follower for the past year of our plant-based diet life. I wish you and your family a most blessed holiday.


As to the production of seitan, I buy 50 pound bags of vital wheat gluten on the internet for $99. So my pound of vital wheat gluten costs only $2; I have made a corned beef seitan (recipe off the internet; I think a video), and it is good,too, though it is most requested in my home on St.Patrick's Day. The more you make it the more you understand how to cook it and use it; I usually cook mine in a pressure cooker, but also go with a crockpot or oven baking.
I am amazed at your organizational abilities; planning for such good food for Thanksgiving, and putting this invaluable blog together. Thank you.

Happy Rehab Doc

Oh my gosh the menu for the week sounds AMAZING! Your family is SO lucky to have you!!!!!

I sadly am a gluten-free chickadee so the seitan is sadly out of my reach (although it does look DELISH!)And you know how I LOVE Robin Robertson!:-(

I was thinking about doing the Fat Free Vegan's Meatless Loaf too especially after eating another yummy Vegan loaf this week ("Hippie Loaf" by the Happy Herbivore) so now I feel more comfortable with the whole "loaf" thing :-)

It will be my first Vegan Thanksgiving (and one of the first Thanksgivings I'm not working!!) & I'm a guest at my Mother's house. My job is to bring the sides & the hors d'oevres. I'm absolutely going to be making Ann Esselstyn's yummy yummy artichoke & spring onion dip to bring! (with my Mary's Gone Crackers--my new obsession in oil-free crackers!)

For veggie sides I'm thinking about doing that green bean casserole from fat-free vegan or maybe so a roasted squash thing--I'm not sure. Let me know if you have any other simple ideas...the brussels sprouts you've planned sound amazing but one of my sisters is bringing a similar recipe (with bacon--hopefully it will be on the side as I requested!)

My family always makes too much food & since we are eating half down at my Mom's and half in the hospital with my family member who is recovering from surgery, everything needs to be portable!! To avoid my obsessive need for pie (which I pretty much haven't quite figured out how to make and eat in my gluten-free, sugar-free vegan world :-)) I'm definitely bringing the Happy Herbivore's Black Bean Brownies (yummy and I can do them sugar-free! Been saving my bananas all week!).

Anyways, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for finding your wonderful blog!


A while back, one of your faithful readers asked how to roast brussells sprouts. How do you?

The Healthy Librarian


Sounds like one fantastic Thanksgiving for you & yours. What a wonderful crew you'll have at your house--and your menus sound most excellent. Thank you for your sweet wishes & kind words. So interesting that you too are ordering from Sami's! Its the best crust around. After the holidays we really have to meet for lunch.


$50 pound bags of wheat gluten! Wow! You are a seitan master. Would love to pick your brain about all the different ways you prepare it--and your seitan tips. If you make it yourself it's such an inexpensive protein source.

HR Doc,

I've never tried Ann E's artichoke & spring onion dip--thanks for the tip. And I haven't tried HH's black bean brownies either. Don't know how you do all that you do! Your grandmother is so lucky to have you advocating for her at the hospital--I wish her a continued quick recovery. Happy T-Day!


Re Brussels sprouts--it's always a little different. But generally, I cut off the ends, wash them well, sometimes cut them in half (not always), and put a little maple syrup, fresh pepper, & a tiny sprinkle of sea salt on them, thoroughly coating---or sometimes mix the maple syrup with a little dijon mustard--or a little Olive Tap balsamic vinegar (very thick & rich)---coat them well, and bake them on a preheated hot oven on parchment paper or a silpat. 425 degrees. Watch them--they don't take that long--maybe 15 minutes. Flip 1/2 way through. I like them browned with crispy edges. Good luck. It couldn't be easier.

Sorry for missing the first request for how to cook.

Oh--one of my sons likes to just pan "fry" them--works well, too.


Oh to be able to eat gluten ... sigh.

Wendy of Healthy Girl's Kitchen

"Loved this post. Got so many great ideas. Cannot wait until you teach us how to make these reubens. That sandwich is one of the only meat and cheese based foods that I actually loved in my former life, although probably ate them only 5 times total in that life. Tom from Organic Energy had a fabulous Tempeh Reuben-because really all of the flavor could come from the Russian Dressing, melted cheese and toasty, greasy rye bread. Like I said, I'm anxiously awaiting your version, and if it means I have to make seitan from scratch, then I'll be making it!

P.s. In my next life, I'm asking the guy up stairs that I be born into your family. I want a Thanksgiving with people on the same page!"


I just sent the nyt gratitude article to my friend list this morning -- I'm happy to see your take on it here! Hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Carole Hwang

Reporting back after our first low-fat vegan Thanksgiving. I actually changed my menu in the end and made a leap away from tradition and prepared a couple of very special, delicious, vegan dishes. They both definitely had more fat than we've been eating since 10/1, but hey, it was a holiday! Acorn squash stuffed with a little Field Roast chipotle flavored sausage and some brown sugar melted in our mouths, and the Moroccan Vegetable Packets from Quick Fix Vegan were AWESOME!! Certainly not low fat due to the pastry sheet, but what a special dish it was...also one full of nutritious veggies and chickpeas. I wouldn't have traded my plate for any of the traditional dishes on the table (not to mention the plethora of oily Asian delights). The questions were minimal, and were ironically mostly about how we get our protein and if we're taking supplements. We continue to be livin' la vida vegan loca!

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