food & drink

Planning a Vegan and Paleo Friendly Thanksgiving

November 22, 2017

This year for Thanksgiving, instead of heading back to the East Coast, Devlin and I went down to San Diego to meet my parents for a week-long vacation. The four of us rented an adorable Airbnb and, in addition to taking in all San Diego has to offer, we are planning on cooking our Thanksgiving meal in this beautiful listing’s kitchen.

Thanksgiving for four people may seem like an easy task, but due to our dietary restrictions and preferences we need to get a little bit creative. While I prefer to eat Paleo, my parents are both Vegan. Lately I’ve been incorporating a little bit of dairy & sprouted grains into my meals, but still prefer to cook this way. On paper, these restrictions seem to clash but we are determined to make our Vegan and Paleo friendly Thanksgiving work.

Because my preference is something I’ve been a bit relaxed on lately and Vegan diets generally are not flexible, I am making some compromises on my end. With this being not only a holiday but also vacation, I am more than okay with that. For example, stuffing was pretty important to everyone, and I am very okay with our stuffing using French bread, because *yum*.

We also are a bit limited by not being in our home kitchens and not having our pantry essentials—while this Airbnb kitchen has tons of appliances, utensils, and spices, we still don’t have everything we have at home. I gave up on making Detoxinista’s amazing sounding Paleo/Vegan ‘Clean Green Bean Casserole‘ because the thought of trying to make the parsnip/mushroom ‘cream’ sauce without my Vitamix started to make my head spin. That all being said, we are all excited about cooking our Vegan and Paleo friendly Thanksgiving meal in our Airbnb. Just walking through Whole Foods and writing this post has me PUMPED. I can’t wait to not only share this meal with my family, but also with all of you.

Our Thanksgiving menu is heavily reliant on produce—far from a bad thing. By the time we finished walking through the produce aisles, we were 85% finished with our shopping. Eating a produce-dense meal is easy on the wallet, ensures we are eating nutritious and delicious food, and honestly just cuts down on time in the grocery store.

We also are making our proteins separate—Devlin and I are having pan-fried duck breast, and my parents will be enjoying a ‘Field Roast‘ (I’m still not entirely sure what this is, but my understanding is that it’s like a less-processed Tofurkey).

Other than that, we will be sharing everything else that comes to the table! What we have planned so far (subject to adaptation and change, because shit happens):


First Course

  • Gnocchi (maybe in a sage-vegan butter sauce)

Main Course

  • Pan-fried herbed duck (for the non-Vegans)
  • ‘Field Roast’ (for the Vegans)


  • Roasted then Mashed Butternut Squash (Devlin’s recipe)
  • Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts & Sesame Oil
  • Vegan French Bread Stuffing (with #allthegluten)
  • Roasted Potatoes & Carrots
  • Homemade cranberry sauce – honestly, I’ve made this one for the past 5 years for both Thanksgivings and Friendsgivings and the recipe is always a hit. The recipe lives in a note in my phone but is basically cranberries, water, fresh orange and lime juice, orange and lime zest, spices, and maple syrup.


  • Raised Gluten Free Berry Peach Pie – store bought at Whole Foods! While of course we all love a nice homemade dessert, making one without the comforts of our own kitchen proved to be too much of a headache (although the giant marble countertop in this Airbnb would be perfect to homemake pie crust on). This pie we bought is Vegan, Gluten Free, and will be an easy (and delicious) end to dinner.
  • NadaMoo Vanilla-Ahhh Bean Ice Cream – to top our pie, of course! Again, Gluten Free/Vegan goodness!

Overall, super excited about all this yummy food. We also bought a leek that no one knows what to do with, so your suggestions are (as always) welcome.

I’d love to hear from you: what’s on your menu this year? Any competing food needs you need to work with?



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