Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza

1462735_10152121488794750_1208000374_o

A Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza is a great option if you are having thanksgiving dinner with just a couple of people. It is also good for bringing to potlucks or parties, or to have any time that you want the tastes of thanksgiving.  It also is great if you are the only vegan at your thanksgiving celebration because you can bring it and get all of the traditional tastes and not have to worry if you are able to eat the sides that are being served.  It stands alone and is very filling.  This pizza is also gluten free if you choose a gluten free crust and use a gluten free flour in the gravy.  At this time there are very few packaged meat substitutes that are gluten free and especially turkey roasts.   In this recipe I used the “Beyond Meat” Chicken Strips to give the pizza the turkey taste and texture and it worked out beautifully.  If you wish to use a different turkey substitute feel free.  This recipe is very easy and the ingredients can easily be bought pre-packaged or completely made from scratch.  You have lots of freedom  to  make it your own.

 

One of our favorite thanksgiving traditions is that instead of eating turkey, we participate in the Adopt a Turkey project at Farm Sanctuary.  When sponsoring a turkey that helps Farm Sanctuary to rescue animals and provide care for them at the sanctuaries as well as helping them to educate and advocate for turkeys and other farmed animals everywhere.  You receive an Adopt a Turkey certificate with a color photo and details about the turkey you sponsored. The certificate is placed in the middle of our thanksgiving table every year.  You can Adopt a Turkey and learn more about Farm Sanctuary by following this link, http://www.farmsanctuary.org/giving/adopt-a-turkey/

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough or Pre-Packaged Crust

Mashed Potatoes

Peas, Carrots, Corn Frozen Vegetable Mix

Canned Cranberries or Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Vegan Gravy

Beyond Meat  Mock “Chicken Strips”

 

Directions: 

Make pizza dough.  Spread on pizza stone and cook according to package instructions.  You want it be already cooked without any toppings on it because when the ingredients go on top we do not put it back in the oven.  Allow it to cool before assembling pizza.

Prepare mashed potatoes using your favorite recipe.  Here is an easy recipe for vegan mashed potatoes if you need one.

Make vegan gravy. You can use pre-packaged or make your own using this recipe.

If making homemade cranberry sauce here is a recipe.

Warm frozen vegetable mix.

Heat Beyond Meat “Chicken Strips” in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil.  Flip over when one side is slightly browned.  Slice strips into cubes.

Once all of the ingredients are prepared,  you are ready to assemble  your pizza.

Spread mashed potatoes on cooked pizza dough.  This acts as the “sauce” of the pizza.

Then cover with the vegetable mix.

Next sprinkle the cubed “chicken strips”.

Lightly drizzle the gravy over the entire pizza.

Then add dollops of cranberry sauce.

 

 

I wish you all a wonderful thanksgiving holiday!!!

 

Penelope Update

So many people have been wanting an update about Penelope and they have been wondering where she ended up and how she is feeling (please see previous blog for info about her rescue).  It has been a very eventful past couple of weeks filled with lots of uncertainty and emotion.  It also has been extremely time consuming so I haven’t been able to blog as much as I had planned.  I am happy that I didn’t though because now I have the full story to share with you. Here it is…

Penelope was staying at the Wild Bird Fund where they were taking wonderful care of her and helping her to heal.   It seemed that something must’ve fallen on her little face in the time before I rescued her because she had black and blue marks around both of her eyes and one eye was very puffy and infected. IMG_0792

 

IMG_0785 At the Wild Bird Fund they were able to heal the infection with antibiotics but unfortunately she lost her vision in that eye.

healed eye

healed eye

She was recovering beautifully and I had arranged for her to go and stay at the Tamerlaine Farm Sanctuary.  I contacted the Wild Bird Fund to tell them that I made arrangements to bring her there now that she was recovered. They told me that earlier that day  Penelope suddenly stopped using her legs and they were extended straight out in front of her and she was lying on her belly.  She was unable to pull them underneath her even to stand up.IMG_1061   They weren’t exactly sure why this suddenly happened but they began giving her vitamin b shots to see if that would help her.   Unfortunately it didn’t and she seemed to be getting worse.  The vet only visits the WBF once or twice a week and had no plans of coming in within the next couple of days.  Since this was very serious I came to get her and brought her to an avian vet to get their opinion.  They said that it appeared that she has Marek’s disease but there is no way to test and to know for sure if that is what she had.  Marek’s disease is a viral induced cancer. However, the symptoms of Marek’s that she was experiencing could’ve  be due to multiple other things.  They prescribed an antibiotic and a pain killer to see if she would show any signs of improvement.  If she had Marek’s she would not improve. They don’t house the birds there and if she did have Marek’s disease she would be highly contagious to other birds, so I had to bring her back to my apartment to stay with us.  Marek’s is not transmittable to mammals. We bought lots of puppy training pads to put under her, bought large cardboard boxes, and food.  We did lots of research about how to care for her.  To feed her we had to hold her on our laps and bring the food  and water right up to her mouth. We tried to leave it in her dish but she wasn’t mobile and with her legs out stretched in front of her she kept knocking it over. In many ways she was like a little infant that we suddenly were taking care of.  IMG_0912

We bathed her in our sink IMG_0926
IMG_1038

IMG_1036

 She loved being held and would cuddle all day long.

IMG_1034

The fact that she couldn’t use her legs anymore seemed to really freak her out. She would slap her legs back and forth on the ground and she would flap her wings so hard in a panic.  She got some cuts and bruises on her wing and legs from doing this. It was really hard to watch her struggle.  But it was clear that she very much had the will to live.

She would panic at night especially, but I found that the more that I held her or had my hand on her back she was calm.  So I slept with her in my arms on the couch many nights.  IMG_1046

IMG_1043

Unfortunately after a couple of days she appeared to be getting worse.  She started losing function in her right leg and her toes went completely limp and lifeless.  We brought her in to the vet for further testing to rule out anything else that could be causing this. They took X-rays, ran many blood tests  and did fecal analysis.  Later that day she began screaming every time that she would have a bowel movement and it would be covered in blood. This continued for a couple of days. There was one night that I stayed up holding her like my baby all night long while she screamed every two minutes.

 

I couldn’t help but cry watching her suffer and I was thinking that it would be much more humane to put her down, even though that was the last thing that I wanted to do. She has been through so much already that I had hoped that her story would end another way.  I prayed a lot and asked for guidance and out of the blue I had the thought that maybe the medication that she was on was causing her bowel issues .  Sure enough after researching the side effects of the meds that she was on one of the side effects was “blood in stool”.  So I discontinued using it.  The next morning I gave her some plain almond milk yogurt for the probiotics and she ate it right up.  That night she no longer had blood in her stool and didn’t scream at all when she went.  She has had no more bowel problems since. Thank God.  I also researched chickens that recovered from Marek’s disease because the longer that we had her and we learned about it the more it seemed that that is what she had.  The vet was also pretty sure that it was Marek’s.  I found a few sites where there were cases of  chickens recovering from this disease even though conventional medicine says otherwise.  Many people have had success with using the homeopathic remedy Hypericum (St. John’s Wort). I had a dear friend recommend giving her Colloidal Silver because of the amazing healing properties that it has.  I looked that up and sure enough, there are many cases of chickens recovering from Marek’s using Colloidal Siver. So we had to try. We alternated giving her the CS and Hypericum every 4 hours.  (I will leave instructions for what we did for anyone that also has a chicken with Mareks that they would like to save.) Update: Here is a link to detailed instructions about the remedies I used and how to administer them. http://wp.me/p4UsRC-7p

She also received distance energy healing and so many prayers.   Penelope was not giving up and as long as she fought for her life, we said we would fight for her life as well.

Very quickly her strength started coming back. We brought her outside daily so that no matter what happened she got to experience what it was like being on the grass. She was in a cage her entire life and never got to feel the earth under her.  This was one of my biggest wishes for her when I rescued her. And even though she was unable to walk her first time on the grass, she truly seemed content.  IMG_0920

Just 2 days into giving her the homeopathy she began pulling her legs underneath her again. My husband, Steve made her a little therapy swing to give her some relief from lying on her belly, hitting her wings and bruising her legs.  It also began to train her legs back underneath her and get the blood flowing back into her toes. She seemed to enjoy it. While she was in there I would massage her legs and train her feet to press firmly into the ground again.  IMG_0988

After 5 days she stood up for a few seconds on her own.   7 days into it she was standing stronger with one foot flat on the ground and stable. The other one that she lost all feeling in was curled underneath her and she pressed up on to her wrist to stand.

IMG_1012 She was very frustrated that she couldn’t walk but her determination was so powerful to watch.

On day 9, after some time in her sling we set her in the middle of the living room floor. To our surprise she stood up and she began to walk again with both feet flat on the ground.   We were literally jumping up and down with excitement!

She has gotten her strength back and is now walking all around the apartment.

For most chickens being diagnosed with Marek’s disease is a death sentence.  Traditional medications generally do not work and we were told by a few vets that it would be in her best interest to euthanize her because it would be a slow and painful death.  But my husband and I wanted to do everything in our power to make sure that she got the chance at  the life that she deserved.  We are so happy that we trusted our instincts and she miraculously pulled through.  She is so strong and has been through so much already. She is only 14 weeks old. This little lady dodged death so many times in her short life. She was saved from slaughter during Kaporos. When I rescued her she was so dehydrated that she almost died on the way home. She had a seriously infected eye injury and she now is blind in that eye.  Then she was almost euthanized due to the chance that she had Marek’s disease. And she had a reaction to the antibiotic that could’ve been fatal if we didn’t discontinue it immediately.  I am thrilled to say that she is on the mend.  In spite of all that she has been though, Penelope is the sweetest and most loving little soul I have ever met.  No matter how her story ends  she has changed so many lives for the better.  She has made my husband and I better vegans.  We are more nurturing and loving because of having known her.  I’ve had countless people tell me that since they have known her or heard about her and her story that they are no longer able to eat chicken.  This includes her caretakers and vets.  Co-workers ask for updates every day and she has countless people praying for her.  She and her story are educating the public about the slaughters that happen at Kaporos every year.  Thousands of other birds just as sweet and loving as Penelope lose their lives in this practice.  But of course chickens don’t only lose their lives during Kaporos. 50 Billion chickens die every year for food.  They have individual personalities and a desire to live just as much as Penelope.  I am honored to know her and am inspired by this beautiful, brave soul every day.   The original plan was to send her to a sanctuary, but we have become quite attached to her and are considering keeping her permanently.

Update: Please click here for an update about Penelope

Penelope is noticeably happier since she is feeling better.  Chickens purr when they are content just like cats do.  Please enjoy this video of our happy little chicken friend.