The Bengal Beat

A Vegan Thanksgiving

Senior+Eva+Purcell+has+been+vegan+since+2015+and+enjoys+every+minute+of+it+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Eva+Purcell%29.
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A Vegan Thanksgiving

Senior Eva Purcell has been vegan since 2015 and enjoys every minute of it (Photo courtesy of Eva Purcell).

Senior Eva Purcell has been vegan since 2015 and enjoys every minute of it (Photo courtesy of Eva Purcell).

Eva Purcell

Senior Eva Purcell has been vegan since 2015 and enjoys every minute of it (Photo courtesy of Eva Purcell).

Eva Purcell

Eva Purcell

Senior Eva Purcell has been vegan since 2015 and enjoys every minute of it (Photo courtesy of Eva Purcell).

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The life of a vegan can certainly be a difficult one in several different ways. Most people may believe that without dairy, meat, and other animal products, life has absolutely no meaning. However, for a senior at Brashier, being vegan has never been better! Before she went vegan in 2015, Eva was a vegetarian for three years. After learning more about the unethical practices in today’s animal agriculture industries, Eva decided to test the waters of the vegan lifestyle.

“From my research online, I saw the poor conditions in which these animals lived. Considering that these so-called livestock have the same levels of sentience and intelligence as my beloved dog, Bailey, I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I continued to support the very systems abusing them. So many people think that their individual actions won’t make a difference, but I firmly believe that each step in the right direction is pivotal for our goals,” said senior Eva Purcell.

However despite the positive aspects of veganism, there are disadvantages to being a vegan.

“There are always drawbacks. Although it has become easier as I have adjusted to this lifestyle, there are still times when I miss out on the typical treats found at parties and celebrations. In this way, veganism can be quite restrictive. But these small annoyances are not enough to deter me from my values as a vegan,” said Purcell.

Eva encourages anyone attempting to eat healthier this Thanksgiving to just do it.

“Since going vegan, I’ve definitely been more active in the kitchen each Thanksgiving. This year, for example, I cooked most of the vegetable dishes for my family. Of course, this is partly because I love cooking, but I also [because] wanted to ensure these recipes wouldn’t contain any unnecessary animal products like butter. Additionally, I baked my own vegan roast [store-bought] and pumpkin pie [from scratch] because there’s no need to miss out! These days, vegan alternatives are available in most stores, and you can find a good vegan recipe for almost anything. Don’t limit yourself on the foods you love at Thanksgiving–just make them vegan!” said Purcell.

Eva has several favorite dishes when it comes to Thanksgiving time.

“My favorite dish around Thanksgiving has to be sweet potatoes. Not only are they packed with nutritious components like beta-carotene [Vitamin A] and fiber, but they naturally taste like a caramelized dessert when baked. As an entree, however, nothing can top the vegan roast. The brand I used this year, Field Roast, as well as the Gardein holiday roast I have used in the past, are great alternatives to the typical meat-based entrees served at holiday dinners. If you plan your Thanksgiving in advance, you can make sure you have tasty plant-based versions of everything your non-vegan friends are enjoying. But of course, no one has to be vegan to enjoy these dishes. As many of my friends have told me, these meat substitutes are appetizing enough to rival traditional meats,” said Purcell.

What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey….or a vegan roast? This year, Eva bought a vegan roast by the brand Field Roast from the Sprouts Farmers Market in Five Forks. It is made from soy protein, wheat gluten, and various spices, which combine to create a delicious main course for her Thanksgiving meal. A perfect compliment to any turkey or vegan roast is a homemade cranberry sauce. Combining a blend of cranberries, orange juice, and sugar, Eva simmers the mixture until the perfect consistency is reached.

The infamous sweet potatoes around this time of year can also be tailored to delight any vegan! Eva made a sweet potato casserole filled with maple cinnamon pecans and topped with vegan marshmallows. Also, to substitute brown sugar, Eva added a drizzle of maple syrup to complete her sweet potatoes side dish.

Brussel sprouts? While brussel sprouts usually do not come to the mind of many people during Thanksgiving, Eva has a recipe to create this vegetable perfect, in which she roasts the brussel sprouts with garlic and sriracha aioli.

And last but certainly not least is the must-have pumpkin pie! Eva has created this pumpkin pie three years in a row ever since she began a vegan. She paired it with So Delicious non-dairy peachy maple pecan ice cream and So Delicious coconut whipped cream, which can be found in just about any store.

So if you’re a vegan searching for recipes this Thanksgiving or simply trying to eat healthier around the holidays, these trusted recipes are sure to bring smiles to your whole family. Happy Thanksgiving!

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