Hey, Family!

It’s US VegWeek, a national celebration hosted by Compassion Over Killing (one of my favorite organizations) that encourages everyone to Pledge to Go Veg for 7 days (alongside some famous names you might know.)

DavidCarter2 2 300x300 Its US VegWeek! Get recipes & resources galore.

US VegWeek is held every year near Earth Day–which is Wednesday, April 22nd, this year–to remind everyone that eating plant-based foods is one of the best things we can do for the planet, our health, and the animals. (Check out Federal Report: Vegan Diet Best for the Planet.)

So how does the 7-Day VegPledge Work? You just go to US VegWeek.com, sign up to take the 7-Day VegPledge, then get a link emailed to you that includes:

  • A free, downloadable booklet with lots of great vegan meal ideas and color photos
  • A free, downloadable vegan food substitutions list
  • A website to search vegan and veg-friendly restaurants around the world, and more

And while you’re on your VegPledge this week, don’t forget to celebrate some Earth Day activities in your area (or bring something vegan to work to share with your co-workers.) I took my niecey-bop to the Earth Day Celebration in DC this past weekend and we had a ball!

Mara and Auntie at Earth Day 300x300 Its US VegWeek! Get recipes & resources galore.

You can also check out some recipes from my vegan cooking classes for more inspiration, including Vegan Soul Food and Sunday Brunch recipes. (They’ve all been tested, tasted, and cooking class-approved!)

And speaking of food (aren’t we always?), later this week I’ll be giving you all the deets about a Rally at the White House for a PlantPure Nation on May 9th that I’m proud to be a part of. Here’s a sneak peek:

ppn.DCmemeSpeakers 300x300 Its US VegWeek! Get recipes & resources galore.

More details coming on Earth Day. Until then, have a great week, family!

Much love,



Hey, Family.

Today Ebony.com published “Vegetarianism: A Black Choice,” all about the hows and whys of African Americans switching to veganism.

The article features interviews with yours truly, Bryant Terry (Afro-Vegan), and A. Breeze Harper (Sistah Vegan), along with the owners of Woodlands Vegan Bistro in DC. (Pretty interesting to read that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian eat there, too.)

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Here are a few key quotes:

EBONY: What tips can you offer those who want to transition into veganism?

Tracye McQuirter: As a nutritionist, I always tell people to focus on adding first rather than taking away. The first things to focus on are greens. You want to make sure twice a day at least your plate has greens on it. Next thing is, add whole grains. If you like rice, make it short grain brown rice, wild rice, black rice or quinoa…

Dr. A Breeze Harper: Do the nutritional research. Everyone has a different physiology and lifestyle and needs. Make sure you research what you specifically need to make sure you get the nutrients you need. There are books about becoming vegan for children, adults, pregnant women, bodybuilders, etc…

Bryant Terry: Obviously mainstream culture needs to be educated about our cuisine and the complex, diverse, nutrient-rich origins of it. But we need to be educated about it too. We don’t know since we’ve bought into the myths and stereotypes about our own food. When we think about our foundational food, we are talking about nutrient leafy greens like collards, turnips, kale, black-eyed peas, sugar snap peas, pumpkin and sweet potato…

The article is packed with lots of great info. You can check it out here. And please leave a comment on Ebony.com to let them know you’d love to see more stories like this on a regular. icon smile Today on Ebony.com: Vegetarianism: A Black Choice

Have a great rest of the week, family!

Much love,


+ + +

Want to repost this blog? You have my permission, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Tracye McQuirter, vegan nutritionist and best-selling author of By Any Greens Necessary, publishes a free weekly e-zine with expert tips for healthy eating and living. If you’re ready to eat great, get healthy, and lose weight, get your free resources and recipes now at www.ByAnyGreensNecessary.com.







Hey, Family!

It’s a gorgeous spring day here in the Washington, DC area! I hope the weather is wonderful in your part of the world, too.

And speaking of the world, did you know that you, the lovely readers of this ezine, are collectively located in more than 40 countries on 6 continents? I thank you so much for being a part of our vegan-loving global community. And if you’re brand spanking new to the family, welcome!

Our topic this week is 10 High-Protein Vegan Foods and a Sample Day’s Menu.

Chick Pea Salad 200x300 10 High Protein Vegan Foods + A Sample Days Vegan Menu

For starters, how much protein do we need each day? On average, we need to get about 10-15% of our calories from protein, or about 50-70 grams a day, according to the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Another way to calculate this is to multiply your weight by 0.36 grams. So if you’re 140 pounds, you’ll need about 50 grams of protein each day. Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or very physically active need more protein (up to 70 grams daily) and can easily meet their needs by increasing the amount of protein-rich beans, nuts, and grains they eat each day.

I’ve also written before about the fact that vegans get more than enough protein everyday, just like omnivores do–so consider that myth slayed!

Here’s where vegans get all that plant protein power:

10 High-Protein Vegan Foods

1. Tempeh, 1/2 package = 22 grams  (What the heck is tempeh? Check out my post on The 7 Healthiest Soy Foods)

2. Tofu, 1 cup cooked = 20 grams

3. Lentils, 1 cup cooked = 18 grams

4. Pumpkin Seeds, 1/2 cup raw = 17 grams

5. Almonds, 1/2 cup raw = 16 grams

6. Split Peas, 1 cup cooked = 16 grams

7. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), 1 cup cooked = 15 grams (Most beans have 14-16 grams)

8. Hemp Seeds, 1/4 cup raw (4 TB) = 10 grams

9. Quinoa, 1 cup cooked = 9 grams

10. Millet, 1 cup cooked = 8 grams (Want to know how to cook quinoa and millet? Check out How to Cook 7 Great Whole Grains)

So there you have it. Keep in mind that almost all plant-based foods contain some amount of protein, from an avocado (7 grams) to a cup of raw kale (2 grams). The key is to eat different plant foods throughout the day, and you’ll easily meet all of your protein needs.

And here’s what a day’s worth of protein-packed vegan meals might look like:

Sample Day’s Menu

Breakfast: A cup of oatmeal with a quarter-cup of almonds and a sliced banana = 15 grams of protein

Lunch: A bowl of French lentil soup with a cup of brown rice and a salad = 35 grams of protein

Dinner: A spicy bean burrito with a baked sweet potato and a cup of corn sautéed with red peppers and mushrooms = 20 grams

Total for the day = 70 grams

To find out the protein grams for your favorite fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains, check out the USDA Nutrient Database.

Have a great rest of the week, family!

Much love,



Easy, Breezy Vegan Pizza Night

by admin on March 20, 2015

Hey, Family!

It’s the first day of spring, it’s International MeatOut Day, and it’s Friday! So why not have an easy, breezy, vegan pizza night?

Here’s the “Pizza-z!” recipe from By Any Greens Necessary. I love, love, love this pizza! So yummy! I’ve shared it with you before and if you’ve tried it, you know just how easy and delish it is.

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(Rodney Choice Photography)


One whole grain pizza crust (I get Vicolo brand from Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

1/4 large red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons capers or 1/2 cup pitted and halved black olives

2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped course

Preheat the oven according to package directions for pizza crust. Mix the olive oil, liquid aminos or soy sauce, and nutritional yeast together in a bowl and brush onto the pizza crust before baking. Bake according to package instructions. Remove pizza crust from oven and arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Bake 5 more minutes or until toppings are hot enough for your taste. (Makes 2 or 3 servings.)

Chef Tips:

1) For a more tomato-y taste, add 4 tablespoons of your favorite tomato sauce to the olive oil mixture before spreading it on the pizza crust.

2) For a cheesier taste, sprinkle in 1/2 cup of Daiya brand vegan mozzarella shreds along with the remaining ingredients, then bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, as in the instructions above.

Happy eating! icon smile Easy, Breezy Vegan Pizza Night



Hey, Family!

Thank you to everyone who was able to tune in on Monday to watch me talk vegan on News One Now with Roland Martin. We had a great conversation about healthy eating as a social justice issue and juicing versus blending.

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If you missed it, you can check out the audio clip on the News One Now homepage. (And special thanks to Roland for another opportunity to share this vital information with 57 million households across the country.)

Now on to today’s topic: Which Fruits & Veggies to Buy Organic or Not.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released its free 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which lists the 48 most and least pesticide-sprayed fruits and vegetables.

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In other words, the list tells you which fruits and veggies you should try to buy organic and which fruits and veggies are safest to buy non-organic.

Why is this important? Because the EWG reports that a total of 165 different pesticides were found on more than three thousand samples of commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. These poisonous chemicals are associated with proven health risks not only for the people who eat them, but for the farm workers who pick them.

(And if you’re wondering if you can just wash off the pesticides, you should know that all the produce samples in this report were thoroughly washed before being tested for pesticide residue.)

Here’s a look at the top Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables from the list:

Clean 15 (least pesticide-sprayed; safest to buy nonorganic)
1. Avocados
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Sweet Peas – frozen
6. Onions
7. Asparagus
8. Mangos
9. Papayas
10. Kiwi
11. Eggplant
12. Grapefruit
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Sweet Potatoes

Dirty Dozen (most pesticide-sprayed; try to buy these organic)
1. Apples
2. Peaches
3. Nectarines
4. Strawberries
5. Grapes
6. Celery
7. Spinach
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Cucumbers
10. Cherry Tomatoes
11. Snap peas – imported
12. Potatoes

Remember, the entire list ranks a total of 48 fruits and vegetables, and adds info on harmful pesticides found in certain baby foods. And it’s free–love it! icon smile Which fruits & veggies to eat organic or not

So download it now and be sure to share the link with your friends and family!

Much love,



Hey, Family!

I’m not usually in your inbox on a Sunday afternoon, but I just want to let you know I’ll be on News One Now with Roland Martin tomorrow morning (Monday, March 9th) at 9:30 ET on TV One.

We’ll be talking about vegan trailblazers, the top 5 vegan myths, and juicing vs. blending.

If you saw the video I shared of my last appearance on Roland’s show, you know we’ll be having a great conversation. Here it is again, in case you missed, starting at the 36.27 mark.

Screenshot 2 300x168 Ill be on Roland Martins show tomorrow 3/9 at 9:30 ET

So, I hope you can tune in tomorrow morning at 9:30 ET and join us!

(And if you can’t, don’t worry. I’ll share the video as soon as it’s available.)

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Much love,





17 Black Vegan Trailblazers

by admin on February 5, 2015

Hey, Family!

I can’t believe it’s February already! And since it’s also Black History Month, this gives me another wonderful opportunity to talk about some of our legendary pioneers in the vegan movement, past and present.

As with any list such as this, it does not begin to include everyone who deserves to be mentioned. There are many more black vegan pioneers, known and currently unknown, whose stories can fill an entire volume (and that book will be written!). In the meantime, please feel free to let me know of more names of vegan pioneers that I can add next time around. Enjoy!

17 Black Vegan Trailblazers in the Healthy Plant-based Foods Movement:

Alvenia Fulton

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A naturopathic physician, Dr. Alvenia Fulton opened Pioneer Natural Health Food Store in the 1950s as the first health food establishment on the south side of Chicago. She later mentored Dick Gregory in his transition to vegetarianism and she led fasts for peace in Atlanta with Ralph Abernathy and other Civil Rights luminaries. Learn more.

Nation of Islam

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In the 1960s, the Nation of Islam promoted healthy plant-based foods (not exclusively vegan) to its legions of followers with the classic book, How to Eat to Live, written by Elijah Muhammad. Learn more.

Dick Gregory

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Legendary human rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory became a vegetarian in the 1960s, as a result of the philosophy of nonviolence he practiced as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Gregory later influenced Dexter King and Coretta Scott King to also become vegans. In 1974, Gregory with Alvenia Fulton went on to write the iconic book, Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ with Mother Nature, which influenced generations to become vegetarian. Learn more.

Ausar Auset Society

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A Pan-African religious organization founded in 1973 by Ra Un Nefer Amen, the Ausar Auset society practices and teaches veganism as one of its primary tenets, and has established vegan restaurants across the country. Learn more.

African Hebrew Israelites

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Founded 50 years ago by Ben Ammi Ben Israel, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem started Soul Vegetarian restaurants in the 1980s, which became the largest vegan restaurant chain in the world, currently with a total of 14 locations in the US, Israel, Ghana, and the Caribbean. Learn more.

Queen Afua

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An icon in the vegan movement for more than 40 years, Queen Afua has trained thousands of people worldwide to teach and practice optimal health using plant-based nutrition. Her groundbreaking, best-selling books include Heal Thyself and Sacred Woman. Learn more.

Aris La Tham

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The father of gourmet raw vegan cuisine, Aris La Tham, originally from Panama, began popularizing the cuisine as a master chef 30 years ago. A world-renowned restaurateur, celebrity caterer, and teacher, he has mentored many of today’s best known raw food leaders. Learn more.

Karen Calabrese

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A guru in the raw vegan movement, Karen Calabrese owns the longest running raw food vegan restaurant in the country, Karyn’s Raw in Chicago, and has since created a vegan mini-empire in the windy city. Learn more.

Makini Howell and Ayinde Howell

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Makini Howell and Ayinde Howell (sister and brother) are lifelong vegans, chefs, authors of Plum and The Lusty Vegan, respectively, and fourth-generation culinary entrepreneurs. Their parents started the first vegan meal delivery service in Seattle, Washington, in the 1970s, influenced in part by their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and their later practice of Rastafarianism. To learn more, check out Makini’s legendary restaurant Plum Bistro and Ayinde’s fabulous new cooking show Like A Vegan.

Chocolate City

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The first all-vegan cafes and stores in the nation’s capital were started by African Americans in the mid-1980s near Howard University. Many in this large community were influenced by Dick Gregory and Elijah Muhammad, as well as the Black Panther Party, which promoted healthier eating as a form of liberation, particularly with the establishment of their pioneering free school breakfast programs for children.

Imar Hutchins

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Straight out of Morehouse College and influenced by Aris La Tham, Imar Hutchins started the first raw vegan restaurants in the nation’s capital in 1992, called Delights of the Garden, with locations near Howard University and in Georgetown, and additional locations in Atlanta and Cleveland. Hutchins also authored three pioneering vegan cookbooks beginning in 1996: Delights of the Garden, 30 Days @ Delights of the Garden, and The Vegetarian Soul Food Cookbook. Learn more.

Traci Thomas

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Traci Thomas founded the first and largest African American vegetarian society in the nation more than two decades ago in Atlanta, and has mentored many others in starting similar organizations across the country. Learn more.

A. Breeze Harper

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As the editor of the groundbreaking anthology, Sistah Vegan, the first book to explore how race and gender shape the myriad experiences of black women vegans in the United States, Breeze Harper is a leading critical theorist whose work also focuses on the intersections of food and social justice, sexuality, environmentalism, classism, and animal rights. Learn more.

Latham Thomas

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As a pioneer in the holistic maternity wellness movement, and the author of Mama Glow, Latham Thomas integrates plant-based nutrition, spiritual development, and yogic practice to help women cultivate optimal health during pregnancy and beyond. Learn more.

Marya McQuirter and Tracye McQuirter

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I’m honored to say that my sister, historian Marya McQuirter, and I started one of the first ever vegan websites 17 years ago–and it was also the first vegan website by and for African Americans. I was inspired by Dick Gregory to become vegetarian, then vegan, nearly 30 years ago, and have been teaching people how to go vegan for more than 25 years. Learn more.

Today, there are an estimated three million African American vegan and vegetarians–about 6 percent of the black population in the US, according to a 2012 Vegetarian Resource Group study conducted by Harris Interactive. And of course, that number is growing every day.

In fact, I predict that the NAACP Image Awards will start giving Lifetime Achievement Awards to black vegan activists within the next 15 years. Mark my words! icon wink 17 Black Vegan Trailblazers

Have a wonderful weekend, family!

Much love,



Eating for Activism

by admin on December 17, 2014

Hey, Family!

I’ve been following and participating in some of the recent protests around the non-indictments of white police officers for murdering black children and adults.

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Sadly, these non-indictments come as no surprise. State-sanctioned violence against black people is an inherent part of institutionalized white supremacy in this country that dates back to enslavement.

And as you may have heard, according to a 2012 report by Operation Ghetto Storm, a black person is killed by police, security officers, or vigilantes every 28 hours.

So, people across the country and around the world continue to act, to move, to fight to bring an end to these 21st century lynchings.

And while we’re doing that, we need to be extra sure we’re eating well. Over the years, I’ve known too many activists who think that the urgency of protesting is too important to stop and think about food. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, if you’re an activist, you’re likely to be in a heightened state of moving, thinking, organizing, resisting, multi-tasking, and stress. Your immune system is taking a hit and you need to make sure it’s being strengthened, not weakened. So this is precisely the time to increase the amount of healthful foods you’re eating right now.

Indeed, sustained activism requires that we not only take the time to eat well, but to exercise and meditate, too, so that we can be the most helpful to ourselves and others. Even during the Civil Rights Movement, naturopath Alvenia Fulton and others led participants in fasts and healthful eating.

And it’s important to note that just as there were 313 extrajudicial killings of black people in 2012, there were more than 300,000 preventable deaths of black people in 2010 caused by diet-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive disease.

This is not a comparison game. Rather, it’s a reminder that unhealthful diets are a social justice and human rights issue, too, since there are state-sanctioned reasons that low-income African Americans, in particular, do not have access to healthful foods.

That said, we do not want to be active participants in our own genocide. So with the activist work you may be doing now and in the future, remember to eat more healthful plant-based foods. Here are some examples.

Start your day with a green smoothie or a green juice, along with a bowl of oatmeal mixed with chopped walnuts and apples, and sprinkled with cinnamon. Or you can even make a quick colorful salad for breakfast.

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For a snack, bring along 2-3 pieces of fruit: an orange, banana, a pear, an apple, or a baggy filled with 1/2 cup fresh berries. And bring a baggy of 1/2 cup unsalted, unroasted nuts, as well, such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, or pecans.

For lunch, bring a veggie burger sandwich (one of my faves is Sunshine brand Black Bean Southwest Burger), or bring a wrap made from a whole grain tortilla filled with spicy red beans and rice, avocado, tomatoes, onions, finely chopped spinach, and salsa or chipotle sauce.

And be sure to sip plenty of water throughout the day. Some of us tend to skip the water because we don’t want to have to stop and use the bathroom during a protest, but dehydrating yourself is not the answer.

And finally, when you get home, fix an easy veggie stir-fry using frozen broccoli, tossed with chick peas, cashews, chopped tempeh, or tofu. Then get plenty of rest so you can start out fresh the next day.

We need you to stay healthy out there!

* * * * *

Before I end, I want to give a special thanks to the Vegetarian Society of DC for their lovely Life-Affirming Thanksgiving Day Celebration. I had a wonderful time speaking at the event.

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This Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa was my favorite dish:

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You can check out more pics here.

If you’d like to leave a comment about today’s post, please click here to comment on the web site, so everyone can share.

Have a wonderful week, family!

Much love,



Watch me talk vegan with Roland Martin

by admin on November 19, 2014

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of talking about veganism on Roland Martin’s News One Now show on TV One and I was recently reminded that I never shared the video with you (tsk, tsk)! The interview starts at the 36.27 mark.

Screenshot 2 300x168 Watch me talk vegan with Roland Martin

The show is broadcast into an impressive 58 million homes each day, and most (though obviously not all) of these are homes are African American, it’s safe to say. So I’m especially grateful to Roland for giving me the opportunity to help get the message out about how vital it is that black folks eat more plant-based foods.

Roland is an avowed meat-eater and we had some fun with that, but we also talked about the very tragic statistic that black men are twice as likely to develop and die from heart disease at younger ages than all other groups in the US. Black women are next in line with that grim statistic.

And decades of studies have shown that those who eat the most meat are more likely to die sooner of heart disease than those who eat the least meat.

We’re talking about black people dying from heart disease as young as their 30s and 40s. And blacks who have heart disease generally also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.

These are folks dying from preventable deaths who are in the prime of their lives and could be contributing to their families, communities, and the nation in so many ways—so this has a devastating impact that goes beyond one individual.

Now we also experience dire health consequences from the chronic stress of living in a society of institutionalized racism. But, if anything, that’s all the more reason to take back control of our health and destinies with the help of a plant-based diet.

You can check out the full interview here, starting at the 36:27 mark.

Have a wonderful week, family!

Much love,


Join us for a Vegan Thanksgiving Celebration

by admin on October 28, 2014

Hey, Family!

It’s going to be 80 degrees in DC today, so it seems a little strange to be writing about Thanksgiving right around the corner, but here we go…!

Each year the Vegetarian Society of DC, the nation’s oldest ongoing vegetarian society, hosts an All-Vegan Life-Affirming Thanksgiving Celebration on Thanksgiving Day, with about 350 people in attendance.

This year, I’m happy to be the guest speaker for the event, and I’m extending a personal invitation for you to join us!

There will be an all-vegan buffet-style feast, live musical entertainment, door prizes, and a great gathering of people who are vegan, omnivore, and everything in between. So if you’re looking for a delicious, compassionate, and festive way to enjoy Thanksgiving, this is it.

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The Life-Affirming Thanksgiving Celebration will take place on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, 12-4 pm, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. You can learn more and get tickets here.

The menu includes:

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Seitan Stuffed with Shitake and Leeks
Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato-Fennel Broth
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Roasted Golden Beets with Warm Maple Mustard Dressing
Spicy Collard Greens
Pumpkin Pie or Cinnamon Apple Crisp

There’s an early-bird price going on now, but it ends this Saturday, November 1st. This event sells out every year, so if you want to go (or want to tell your DC peeps about it), don’t wait.

And if you’re wondering if you can join us and go to your relative’s Thanksgiving afterwards–absolutely! Many of us do it every year.

I hope to see you there! Have a wonderful week, family.

Much love,