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How We Spent Our Thanksgiving

Well hello there!! I hope you all (well, my Canadian friends, that is!) had an amazing Thanksgiving long weekend!! This year we did things a bit differently … typically we do a potluck for Thanksgiving but I wanted to try something new so I (with the help of my cousins!!) made my family a VEGAN Thanksgiving dinner!! I was so worried at first as to how they were going to like it and if they would even show up … LOL!! And while it was a little bit stressful it was pretty easy and everyone was so stoked on it! Even the big meat-eating guys were raving!! Phewwww success!!

We ended up whipping up vegan AND gluten-free perogies (you have to wait until the cookbook comes out for this recipe!), kale caesar salad, vegan bacon bits (I used organic smoked tofu, marinated it in maple syrup and they fried it in oil!!), we used these for my grandmas lazy beet rolls (which I transformed into a vegan version!). Roasted carrots, vegan sweet potato casserole, Tori’s buns (yup, we even made these vegan!), vegan gravy, potatoes, and we also made a lentil loaf … but this dish wasn’t as much of a hit … we basically just took all of our old favourites and converted them so it wasn’t a hippy healthy dinner like my family expected! We also made a MASSIVE batch of cashew almond cream and used it in EVERYTHING cream based and subbed butter with Earth Balance!!

Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Thanksgiving
Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Thanksgiving
Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Thanksgiving

Then for dessert, Tori made an Apple Spice Cake (this is another recipe that will be included in the cookbook!!) butttt she made it vegan for our dinner and while it was a denser than the original recipe, it turned out DELICIOUS!! We even make homemade caramel sauce to top it off and Leo and Max could not stop licking the spoon … after about 25 solid licks I was worried that either they would crash hard or be up until 4am wired. LOL!!!! We also make the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Jars which we recently shared on the blog!

Jillian Harris Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

While we were waiting for everything to finish cooking Justin fired up the John Deer ride on, attached a wagon to the back and took the kids for a little ride around the yard. It was pretty cute to see them all bundled up under their cozy blankets and it also made my heart do a little flutter as this is EXACTLY how I envisioned family dinners to be at our new house.

I opened up our big sliding doors from the dining room to the front porch, I set up one table inside and one outside … in my mind the sun would be shining and the air would be crisp but comfortable buttttt it was pretty chilly out there so RIGHT before we ate we had to rearrange everything and bring the whole table, the chairs and the settings BACK inside next to our dining room table … lol! What would Thanksgiving be without a little chaos?!

Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Thanksgiving
Jillian Harris How We Spent Our Thanksgiving

Speaking of chaos … just picture 22 Ukrainians in one room … LOL!! It was a whirlwind of activity, we ate, we drank, we laughed and we shared stories all while making new memories. After dinner (or should I say, after the caramel sauce spoon licking) Leo and Max desperately needed a bath so we grabbed our wine, filled the tub with bubbles and got these boys squeaky clean again!!

Slowly our company started to dwindle and soon it was just myself and my boys at the house again, I was exhausted so some of the cleaning waited until the next day but I have to say, this Thanksgiving was a huge success in my eyes!!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving?? Share your stories below!!



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  1. SO happy to see you did a vegan Thanksgiving! I did my first this year but just for 2 other people, so next year I hope to cook for more and add a Tofurky roast or something comparable to turkey!

  2. I’m a fellow Vancouverites and I’ve been vegan since 2011 . I just want to say it’s great to see more people chose to eat plant based meals! Especially on a day so heavily meat centred, like Thanksgiving. We had a vegan thanksgiving as well, I love he Holdiday Roast by Gardein. It’s delicious and even omnis like it 🙂

  3. Would so love to see a recipe for vegan gravy!! I NEED gravy at any holiday meal and now I don’t eat meat I really need a sub. Congrats on the successful dinner!

  4. Sounds lovely! And glad everyone enjoyed it, my stomach can’t handle lentils unfortuantly because I love the taste of them. What I made was a carrot nut loaf, which has cashew nuts in it and very simple to make. I actually made two and popped one in the freezer.
    We had a quiet Thanksgiving as only one child could make it home and family are scattered across the world. So nice to see you enjoyed a large family get together

  5. Just love how you put your heart and soul into everything you Do! We just recently moved back to Ontario from kamloops in hopes spending more time with our kids and family . As it turned out we don’t see the kids as often as we like and for family gatherings for special occasions like thanksgiving , well that didn’t happen like we envisioned. So I would like to thank you for sharing your family dinner , your prep work and fun with your family .it made my day .thanks❤

  6. That looks amazing!! Oh yes the laundry baskets you can get them
    At a hotel suppliers.. I’m sure they will give it to you free..

    1. I’ll be in Ukraine for America’s Thanksgiving. My inlaws will be meeting our daughter for the first time. I understand what a party with 22 Ukrainians looks like ???

  7. I hosted my first vegan thanks giving this year as well!! I had 27 guests!!! And made everything but 2 dishes and an appetizer vegan ☺️ My menu was;

    Vegan turkey (miyokos vegan “unturkey”)
    Cranberry sauce
    Brussel sprouts
    Mac and cheese (non vegan)
    Mash potatoes
    Maple roasted acorn squash
    Roasted veggies
    Mashed sweet potato
    Pumpkin pie (your vegan mason jar recipe!)
    Apple pie
    Roasted garlic
    Spanikopita (non vegan)
    Tzatiki (non vegan)
    White buns

    My house has been under renovations but luckily we were still able to host! It was so lovely to have our first meal there, vegan/vegetarian and with all of our friends and family!

    1. Hi. I didn’t know you were Ukrainian? Or is it his side of the family? I guess I missed that part. But that’s so cool. I am from a large Ukrainian family and thanksgiving is always crazy and we never follow the tradition thanksgiving feast. Lol.

  8. We enjoyed a few dinners with family but the highlight for me is always our local fair. Animals, tractors and fair food! As long as I am with family and friends though it’s always a good holiday. I am inspired by your awesome meal, I need to do more adventurous vegan cooking.

  9. Thank you for so much gorgeous inspiration. Where is that gray checked tablecloth from? Can I get it stateside?

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