A Thanksgiving Feast!: Vegan Versions of Traditional Thanksgiving Favorites

Can you believe we're just a few days away from Thanksgiving?! Our recent trip to London made me completely lose track of time, which meant I hadn't planned my menu, I hadn't bought the elusive pecans before the store ran out like last year, I hadn't even told the family when and where! So yes, there were a few moments of panic, rapid-fire planning, but finally, it seems to all be coming together. 

In last week's episode and post we talked about those conversations that happen at the table when we're surrounded by non-vegan friends and family, and last year for Thanksgiving, I gave you tons of tips for prepping for the day, as well as some social tips for all my new vegans out there. This year, I thought we would make it all about the food! After all, what is Thanksgiving but a day that symbolizes the sharing of food together, and being thankful for the bounty nature has provided us, the fact that we have a warm plate of food on our table and a roof over our heads. It truly is a celebration of food!

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Conversations at the Table with Non-Vegans, Getting Ready for the Holidays

Carlos and I have been vegan for a few years now, and sometimes that means I forget what it was like in the very early stages of making this change. By now, all our friends and family know we're vegan, they know why we've made the change, they've even got familiar with vegan foods and they make delicious meals and treats for us! It's very rare that we need to explain the way we eat to people these days. On our latest trip to London though (which you can hear all about in our two most recent podcast episodes here: part 1 and part 2), we were surrounded by dozens of non-vegan doctors at the two incredible dinners we were invited to, and I remembered what it was like to have all eyes on the two different plates of food at the table, mine and Carlos's. Yup we were the only two vegans in the room! It was a great reminder that we just had to talk about this topic together in the blog and podcast before the holidays, and it was a great way to flex that "we're the same but we're also different" muscle. In today's post and podcast episode, I'm going to tell you about what usually happens in these vegan/non-vegan conversations, and tips on how to be yourself and inspire without preaching or relying on any specific outcome, and especially, how to have fun and enjoy your meals when all eyes are on you as you answer some difficult or personal questions. If you're an introvert like I am, you know what I'm talking about and how strange it feels to be under the spotlight.

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Two Hungry Vegans in London Part 2

We're back with part 2 of our little vegan culinary trip to London! Last week, in part 1, we told you why Harry Potter fans are probably really mad at us, the best meal of our entire trip and why we wish we could have gone back for more. We played in the fall leaves, had delicious vegan grub in a non-vegan restaurant, met a four-legged superstar, had everything topped with chocolate, and much more. In today's episode we're taking you with us through more of the movie-like scenes of London, to the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the city. I tell you how to find delicious vegan sandwiches at any given moment, we go to a very historical and literary meeting point, ride a bicycle together and much more. All in the hopes that you fall in love with London as much as we did and go and explore the bursting vegan scene there! It truly is the definition of a vegan friendly city.

Just as we did with part 1, the stories from our trip will only be available in audio version today, so you can click the play button above (it takes a few seconds to start playing), or listen on iTunes or Stitcher.

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Two Hungry Vegans in London Part 1

17 years ago when Carlos and I started dating, our first few weeks of spending every second together were interrupted by a 3 week trip I took to London. My mom had got me the trip as my high school graduation present, and as teenage love birds do, I remember walking around London town keeping an eye out for cyber cafés so that I could send him an email. We wrote every day, and got back to obsessive smooching as soon as I got back, and I've always kind of thought that those three weeks away from each other were very important. We missed each other so much! Who would have known that 17 years later we would still be together and have a home together. 

As I had mentioned in our 10 year wedding anniversary episode, we were soon going to celebrate the big occasion with a trip, but I didn't say where we were going. As it turns out, and by sheer unplanned coincidence (you'll see why when you hear today's episode), the destination was the same city I scoured for an internet connection many moons ago, only this time, we went together. 

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Coco-Choco Halloween Truffles!: Spiders, Mini Bats and Monster Eyeballs

Halloween was a BIG deal at my house growing up. My mom would throw the most famous Halloween parties in our building, and all the kids from my class and the neighbours would attend. We would cover the house in cobwebs, have spooky treats, and my mom would sneak off at just the right moment, change into a very scary witch (to the point of being unrecognizable), and would then read the kids' fortunes. All of which were eerily accurate since she had called all their parents a week before, to ask about what was going on in their lives.

Needless to say, I love Halloween! The best part being the candy overdose of course, and the costumes. 

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Vegan Mac and Cheese Basics

Last week was dedicated to teens who are trying to make more vegan choices or have gone vegan when perhaps their family doesn't want to make this change. It got me thinking about my teenage years and how even when I started cooking, opening a box of mac and cheese and ripping open that cheese powder packet gave me such a thrill. Even though I could already make delicious treats, mac and cheese was one of my favorite foods, and I had an endless supply of the boxed stuff in the pantry. Nowadays you can even find the same boxed equivalent, orange packet and all, in its vegan version, but in case you're like me, and you live in an area where some of these products aren't available, or you simply want to make it at home, today we're having a vegan mac and cheese architecture class!

Yup! Vegan mac and cheese architecture is a thing!

There are so many mac and cheese recipes out there that you can follow to get great results, but you know me and how my teacher brain works. I have to teach you the basics so that you can understand mac and cheese, breathe mac and cheese, cook mac and cheese, love mac and cheese.

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Brownble Turns 2!: A Love Fest, Our Journey, and What We've Been Up To

Happy birthday Brownble! That's right! We just turned 2! We couldn't have done it without you, so these lines today are only to introduce a little message I recorded for you this week, because you truly are the force behind Brownble. Today I wanted to turn this into a total love fest (and you are the smooch recipient of course!). I wanted to tell you what we've been up to, share a bit of this journey and the adventure that is Brownble, give you a very mean teaser of what's coming soon, and of course, lots of behind the scenes pics from this past year.

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Vegan Teens Series Part 2: "I'm a Vegan Teen in a Non-Vegan Family"

It's finally time for part 2 of our vegan teens series! In part 1 we talked about what can happen when parents decide to go vegan and they have a resistant teenager at home that may not want to start eating this way. I gave you tons of tips for keeping the peace at home, inspiring without relying on the outcome, how to ensure that no matter what you do or your teenager decides to do, that the number one priority is to infuse a sense of "normal" and balance to food and the act of eating. Today though, the parents are not my audience. This post is specifically for you my dear teen! If you then decide to show mom and dad this article in the hopes that they understand what you're going through if they've been resistant, feel welcome to, but this post and podcast episode is for you.

Let me start this off by saying that although I'm in my mid-thirties as I write this, I work with teenagers and I remember being a teenager extremely well. I can say without a doubt, that due to my life circumstances and the fact that very often I was the odd one out (you can read more about my personal story with food here, and my "always feeling like an outsider" story here), my teens were the hardest years of my life (with their amazingly cool moments too!). I know you hear people giving you the speech of how things get more complicated after you become an adult and have responsibilities, work and the like, but let me tell you this: that was NOT my experience.

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