Thanksgiving preparations are stressful for the cook under any circumstances, but things get exponentially more so when the dinner guests have specific or unique food requirements. And while allergies, intolerances and specialty diets present challenges, veganism can present a special challenge, since it requires that no animal products whatsoever go into the preparation of the main or side dishes. Given the fact that the most common Google search in American will be “how do you cook a turkey” for the next week or so, it seems fair to infer that the average American doesn’t know how to cook a regular turkey for the holiday, much less a vegan alternative.
Luckily, in 2018, the team at Veestro is coming to the rescue, by making those specialty vegan Thanksgiving feasts easy to order, and have delivered.
Veestro is a California-based startup that launched in 2013 and was founded to fill a hole — both in the market itself and in the belly of Co-Founder Mark Fachler. Fachler found the U.S. a tough place to eat when he relocated here for college and found that his diet was far more filled with pizza, processed foods and junk than it had once been.
“It started taking a toll, I had skin problems, I was tired all day, I had always been very thin and I started gaining weight. I wasn’t feeling good about myself,” he said.
“When we started there were not that many plant-based meal companies out there. And the ones that were out there had one or two vegetarian or vegan dishes. Since then, we have seen the whole plant-based industry grow.”
He and his sister, Co-Founder Monica Klausner, bootstrapped Veestro though its first year, and built what it is currently the U.S.’s largest vegan meal kit delivery service. According to Veestro, revenue has grown 120 percent per year since founding, and the company is on track to turn a profit in January, according to Fachler.
All dishes are created by Head Chef Jose Aramayo, and the menu includes breakfast, entrees, soups, juices and desserts, with entrees fetching a price of $10.99 and $11.99. There are vegetable-focused dishes like like eggplant casserole, kale and quinoa salad and chickpea stew. There are also vegan versions of familiar meals, like country fried chick’n and shepherdless pie.
But for Thanksgiving Veestro is rolling out a special menu — and possibly providing peace in the valley for countless families.
The seasonal menu comes completely assembled as do all of Veestro’s offerings — meaning the slicing, dicing and measuring that normally adds fun and color to the Thanksgiving preparation process is gone.
And the offering list is pretty extensive. There is Herb Crusted Turk’y seasoned with rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley for traditionalists. That meal also comes complete with bread stuffing, cranberry relish and a silky, savory mushroom gravy.
But for those who want to step even further out of the box with their holiday fare, there is also Turk’y Scallopini and the gluten-free Cauliflower Milanese, both paired with Candied Yam Mash and Almondine Green Beans. There is also the Holiday Roast stuffed with roasted root vegetables and seasoned with warming spices.
And, of course, there is pecan pie on offer.
“Veestro’s holiday menu is designed to provide delicious, plant-based alternatives to the traditional turkey dinner. We want to make sure that our customers can enjoy their family time and the full dinner — not just the sides!” Klausner told LIVEKINDLY. ”We are always excited to introduce our holiday menu because we know how important it is for people to spend time with family and how much of that time is spent eating.”
Will it solve every problem at the Thanksgiving table? Probably not — politics continue to exist and since an election just occurred, it seems more than possible people will still find ways to create strife while dining.
However, when everyone can sit down at the table and eat something they actually want, it is usually a good first step toward peace. And if the host can pull that off without having to cook a few different variations on the Thanksgiving feast, all the better.