Holidays come with invitations and family traditions. The spirit of the season reminds us to meet people where they are, to celebrate our differences, and model compassion.

SURVIVING DINNER WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY VEGAN AT THE TABLE

By Tanya Akim Ariane David, Ph.D., has authored a number of publications on critical thinking, conflict transformation, change management, and culture development. She’s also vegan and provided the following tips for handling the season with grace and humor.

How should one cope with or tolerate the spotlight of questions from people about a vegan lifestyle?

I think that vegans should educate themselves about vegan nutrition. For example, people ask, “Where do you get your protein?” I answer, “Where do elephants get their protein?” Vegans have to know what they’re talking about!

What about the inevitable “Don’t you miss all the normal foods?” question?

I tell them, I have new awesome foods, and besides, for me, [the holiday season] is about being with friends and family.

Are there any ways to prepare for triggers in advance for the big day?

Do you mean food triggers, like, gawd that stuffing looks awesome?

I think vegans should just remember why they became vegans and give themselves the opportunity to make that choice again. I sometimes look at something that looks good to eat and tell myself, I can choose at this moment to eat this. I don’t have to be vegan. And I choose again.


PARTY-PLANNING CHECKLIST

Toast Compassion

Toast Compassion

Toast Compassion

Farm Sanctuary-logo wine glasses provide the perfect pairing for a plant-based feast. Order them from the Farm Sanctuary Shop.

Set Place Cards

Set Place Cards

Set Place Cards

Buy your guests honorary Adopt a Farm Animal certificates, print them out on cardstock, and place them around the table. That way, your table-mates will know whom to honor when they enjoy their compassionate holiday meal. This year, you can "Gift Sanctuary" with a symbolic sponsorship of Albert donkey, Sweet Pea cow, or Taylor and Reiman goats, while benefiting critical rescue, education, and advocacy work. Sponsor and "Gift Sanctuary" today.

Accent Peace

Accent Peace

Accent Peace

Remind your guests of the other animals whose lives are saved with a plant-based meal with this lovely coaster set featuring Farm Sanctuary rescued residents. The set also makes a great hostess gift. Purchase yours at the Farm Sanctuary Shop.


QUEUE THE PLAYLIST

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.

Kahlil Gibran

Musician Joan Jett relaxes with her Farm Sanctuary namesake, Joan Jett pig.

The season’s in full swing and the perfect time to download “Farm Sanctuary’s Tunes for the Compassionate Holiday Host,” with hits from plant-based artists on Spotify!

For Cocktail Hour

  • Erykah Badu – “Green Eyes”
  • Smokey Robinson – “You Really Got a Hold on Me”
  • Fiona Apple – “Waltz”
  • Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat – “Lucky”

For Dinner

  • Foster the People – “Sit Next to Me”
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – “Crimson and Clover”
  • The Mountain Goats – “Noche Del Guajolote”
  • Miley Cyrus – “Hands of Love”

Into the Evening

  • Stevie Wonder – “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
  • Paul McCartney – “I Saw Her Standing There”
  • Sia – “Unstoppable”
  • Moby – “Simple Love”
  • Michael Franti and Spearhead – “The Sound of Sunshine”


Rescued turkeys Jackie and Christina enjoying a special feast at Farm Sanctuary's Celebration for the Turkeys.

COMPASSIONATE HOLIDAY RECIPES

ENTRÉE OPTIONS
Check your supermarket for these four easy-to-prep main-course picks.

  • Gardein Holiday Roast
  • Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute
  • Tofurky Roast
  • Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Stuffed Roast

CAULIFLOWER GRATIN
Courtesy of Laura Louise “Lou” Oates, Executive Chef of Little Pine, owned by recording artist Moby, who donates all profits to animal charities, including Farm Sanctuary.

Cashew Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 8 large garlic cloves
  • 2 cups veg broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp miso
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
  • Place all ingredients in Vitamix or high-speed blender.
  • Blend until completely smooth.

Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 4 Tbsp Follow Your Heart Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp chives or parsley to garnish

Procedure

  • Place cauliflower and sauce in a heatproof ceramic dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 30–45 minutes until tender.
  • Remove foil and cover with Follow Your Heart Vegan Parmesan.
  • Bake for a further 8–10 minutes or until melted.
  • Remove from oven and top with bread crumbs and chives.

SOURDOUGH STUFFING
Courtesy of Chef Dave Anderson, co-founder and executive chef of Outstanding Foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Spanish onion, small dice
  • 1 cup carrot (peeled), small dice
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp rubbed sage
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the crust from the sourdough bread, then cut it into cubes. Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan in a single layer.
  • Place the pan in the oven and toast the bread cubes, stirring often, until they are dried out and start to brown.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Add the garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper and cook a few minutes more.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vegetable stock.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes and the sautéed vegetable mixture and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
  • Lightly oil the inside of a loaf pan with olive oil. Mold the stuffing mix into the loaf pan and cover with foil.
  • Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake until the liquid reduces and the stuffing has the proper moisture and texture. Remove the foil and bake a few minutes more, browning the top of the stuffing. Remove from the oven and serve.

GRAVY

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ½ cup Spanish onion, small dice
  • 1½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp rubbed sage
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup tamari
  • 2 quarts boiling water

Procedure

  • Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil in large pot over medium heat. Brown onions, then add garlic and spices and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Add flour and yeast. Stir often and cook until flour is toasted.
  • Stir in canola oil and cook for a few minutes.
  • Whisk mixture while adding boiling water. Return to a boil and mix in tamari. Simmer for a few minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  • Remove from heat, then blend and strain the liquid. Cheers!