A raw challenge on the heartiest of holidays would be a buzz kill for most bird hungry feast goers, but for me it was just the thing I needed to get in the spirit. Thanksgiving was to be spent the usual way– at my grandma’s Upper West Side apartment amongst a bounty of pickled appetizers, stuffing balls, and my grandpa’s drink refill interruptions. When we got wind that my father and uncles raw vegan friend (comedian Eddie Brill) would be joining the party, I received an email from grandma asking if I might be able to “throw something raw together” which made me giggle. As easy as it would be to subject this poor man to a Thanksgiving cucumber salad, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to dive head first into the world of RAW.
2 1/2 cups of soaked nuts, a whirl in the food processor, and a trip to Juice Press later, I had created a raw autumnal feast worthy of the occasion. The best part was that is actually tasted GOOD. My onion and rosemary infused raw “turkey” was so good I had to hide it from myself! A vegan cooking raw is like a meat eater cooking vegan– You don’t know what it is that you’re making and you’re genuinely surprised when it comes out crave-worthy. I can only imagine forcing my seitan recipes on my omnivore friends would have the same effect.
The full meal consisted of the nut-based “turkey” loaf, portobello mushroom gravy, a spicy citrus kale salad, and a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate. Not only was it flavorful, fresh, and filling– it made you feel good! The benefits of eating raw are incredible and Thanksgiving was the first time I ever experienced those benefits for myself. The meal has encouraged me to continue experimenting with raw recipes, adding more unprocessed and live foods to my everyday diet. I hope to share more about this way of eating with you as I continue to learn.