guest post from The Little Red Journal / spiced pumpkin oat cookies

Posted on

Today I guest posted at The Little Red Journal! Click on the link or read it below “Dead Turkey & Butter Rolls: How to Survive Thanksgiving as a Vegan”. The blog’s founder, Kelsey Folmar, is a fellow vegan blogger I met through Twitter. Check out her guest post on Crumbs & yummy vegan recipe below. Happy Thanksgiving!

As the Autumn weather approached in the city of Austin, Texas, I began to crave something with pumpkin in it. Since going vegan in February 2012, I had been experimenting with different baked goods and tweaked different recipes to find a nice balance. A coworker who I had personally helped transition to veganism after I made my switch overheard me talking about my pumpkin craving and sent me a recipe. I modified it and have perfected the recipe below. Enjoy one or six of these cookies with a nice glass of almond milk!
Spiced Pumpkin Oat Cookies
yields 4 dozen

2 cans of whole pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
dash ground cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all spice
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 bag dairy free chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 and combine pumpkin and spices in a large bowl.
2. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.
3. Add in the rolled oats.
4. Drop small round balls of the dough onto a 9×13 with parchment paper.
5. Press down balls with a spoon.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.

 About Kelsey & The Little Red Journal
I am a journalism graduate in my mid-20s with a passion for writing, health, veganism, and spreading the knowledge about the benefits of a plant-based diet. I focus on posting interesting information regarding a plant-based diet, offer some insight to my lifestyle, document struggles, celebrate accomplishments and spread knowledge about the benefits of going plant-based. I’m an aspiring writer, blogger and minimalist enthusiast and have been vegan since February 2012.
My guest blog post! 
“Dead turkey & butter rolls…how to survive Thanksgiving as a vegan”


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends and be thankful for all that we have. It’s also a time to eat copious amounts of dead turkey. This can be a problem for those of us vegans who choose to abstain from buying or consuming animal products, not just for the obvious reasons, but because the Thanksgiving meal is such an intimate affair. If you don’t eat your grandmother’s 3,000 year old recipe for stuffing or your aunt’s infamous butter rolls, you risk ruining the entire celebration. Translation: evil stares from every member of your family while sitting at the dinner table, pursed lips and shakes of the head at your blatant display of vegan tofurkey, hushed whispering in the kitchen about your protein deficiency and residual teen angst from over a decade ago, and eventual shunning from post dinner drinks and board games. Your instinct might make you want to throw your tofurkey across the table while yelling about the inhumane slaughtering of turkeys, but trust me, that will only alienate you further and confirm their suspicions that your anger is due to malnutrition. Instead, try to see your lifestyle from their perspective, and realize that your veganism is forcing them to question how they think about food, animals, and their health. Even if you don’t bring up animal rights or vegan nutrition at the dinner table, your plate will speak volumes. I always find that the less I say about my diet, the more I draw people in. So instead of ranting about the murdered bird on their plate, calmly eat your tempeh sausage collard wraps and wait for them to come to you. Food is as personal as religion and politics. If you tread lightly, you’ll survive the holidays and perhaps even tempt others to explore a vegan lifestyle!

In addition, if you’re spending Thanksgiving at a family member’s or friend’s home, call ahead and tell the host that you’ll bring a few vegan dishes, and not to stress about cooking something special for you. This will take a lot of stress off of your host and will eliminate the probability of your diet becoming a huge inconvenience. In fact, cook my vegan tempeh sausage collard wraps and everyone will be jealous of your yummy plate! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, nightshade free, and free of processed sugars!


Tempeh Sausage Collard Wraps with Cranberry Sauce & Avocado


1 package tempeh, crumbled (I recommend SoyBoy Five Grain Tempeh)

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs poultry seasoning 

3/4 cup stock (I recommend No-Chicken Broth)

2 tbs mirin or white wine

1 tbs nutritional yeast

1 tsp tamari or shoyu

2 large collard leaves, stems removed (you should have 4 wraps)

1 avocado, sliced

1 tbs cranberry sauce (see recipe below) 

Sea salt & fresh black pepper to taste


In a sauté pan, heat oil on a medium flame. Once hot, add crumbled tempeh and cook without stirring for 3 minutes, or until tempeh begins to brown. Add poultry seasoning and deglaze with mirin, scraping up any stuck pieces of tempeh from the pan using a wooden spoon. Pour in the stock, tamari/shoyu, and nutritional yeast, and allow to simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile, steam collard wraps in another pan with salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes. To assemble wraps, place a few slices of avocado, a scoop of tempeh sausage, and a dollop of cranberry sauce on the upper third of a collard wrap. Slowly roll the top of the collard over the mixture and continue until completely wrapped. Optional: serve over forbidden rice or sweet potatoes. Makes 4 wraps. 



Festive Cranberry Sauce


1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, allow to thaw in the fridge for a few hours before using)

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup coconut nectar or natural sweetener of choice (I recommend Coconut Secret’s Coconut Nectar)

Pinch each of nutmeg & cinnamon


In a saucepan, bring water and orange juice to a boil. Add cranberries and return to a boil, then pour in coconut nectar and spices. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until berries burst open. Makes about 2 cups of sauce. 

thanksgiving / mashed cinnamon ginger sweet potatoes

Posted on Updated on

When I think of Thanksgiving, I envision pilgrims with buckle shoes and ridiculous hats gathering around wooden tables with a bunch of natives with headdresses, celebrating their most genuine “friendship” by feasting on a giant dead bird (with cranberry sauce and grandma’s pumpkin pie, obviously). However, because I’m highly educated, I know that this is a gross misconception of a holiday that has nothing to do with a dead turkey and everything to do with William Bradford (the badass governor of the 1620 American colony) proclaiming that all his puritan buddies should gather together and thank God for helping them thrive in America.
But let’s be honest, this is not interesting at all…
Turkey day (as I like to call it) is a time for families to come together and eat and drink as much as humanly possible, fall into a trytophan-induced coma, then wake up the next day and act like raving lunatics as they shop from 5am onwards to get the best deals on crap they don’t need.
When I was in fourth grade, we dressed up like pilgrims and sang songs with the “native americans” (fifth graders) about peace and corn and turkeys…then we cut out a giant paper turkey and offered it to the natives (fifth graders), which they happily accepted with “thanks”. This was followed by a feast in the auditorium with our teachers, but all I kept thinking (between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes) was how much I wanted to be a native (because they had cooler outfits and got to make their own walking sticks). A plump pilgrim nudged me in the ribs and said, “why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk?” I said I didn’t know. “To hatchet.” A blank stare. “Get it? Hatch-it?” Oh, right, I mumbled. Needless to say, it wasn’t until high school that I realized the sweet old puritans weren’t so “pure” after all…

“Wait, so they were escaping persecution from King James I and came to America so they could be socialists and practice their own religion?”
“Yea, apparently,” I said. “But then all the indians died from disease and-”
“Dude, you can’t say indians!?!” 
“Oh, forgive me. We butchered the Native Americans, then became a capitalist society and thrived. God bless America…”
“I know, right? He’s caused us more problems…”

So, what do I celebrate during Thanksgiving? Being with my family…because there’s nothing better. Nothing. 
Well, except perhaps mashed ginger cinnamon sweet potatoes! This is a simple recipe that’s a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread.

Mashed Ginger Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 T ginger pulp (= peeled and grated ginger root)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and onion and fill with enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and cover, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain water out and remove bay leaf, then season with salt and add ginger pulp and coconut milk. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until creamy and smooth. Serves 6 unicorns disguised as pilgrims.