people at a round table enjoying dinnerThe Vegetarian Society of DC (VSDC) Life-Affirming Thanksgiving is an annual event that brings together vegetarians and non-vegetarians to enjoy compassionate and healthy, vegan food and a wonderful social setting.

The 2016 VSDC Life-Affirming Thanksgiving was held November 24, from 12-4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Md.
Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Our featured speaker was Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., founder of the Barnard Medical Center and the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and one of America’s leading advocates for health, nutrition, and higher standards in research.

The programming also included exhibitors, exciting door prizes, a silent auction fundraiser, an all-ages kids activity, and live music. More than 325 people celebrated with a gourmet, all-vegan feast!

Photos of the event are posted on the VSDC Thanksgiving Celebration Meetup page, and VSDC Facebook page and the Facebook Thanksgiving Gala event page.

A video of Dr. Barnard’s talk was live streamed and is available on the VSDC Facebook page.

2016 MENU

Our delicious, abundant buffet was all-vegan, with many gluten-free options. All menu items were made with non-GMO ingredients.

Curried Pumpkin Soup* (Recipe by Robin Robertson)

Kale Brussels Sprouts Caesar Slaw with Pine Nut Parm* (Recipe by Laura Wright)
Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad*

Cauliflower Fritters* (Recipe by Michelle Blackwood)
Sweet and Sour Meatballs* (Recipe by Michelle Blackwood)
Vegetable Crudité served with Artichoke Dip and Red Pepper Hummus*

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash* (Recipe by Jenny Sansouci)
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, made with Smashed Potatoes and Wild Mushroom Gravy (Recipe by Robin Robertson)
Smashed Sweet Potatoes (Recipe by Robin Roberston)
Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato and Fennel Broth

Roasted Golden Beets with Warm Maple Mustard Dressing* (Recipe by Isa Chandra)
Collard Greens
Cornbread Stuffing* (Recipe by Michelle Blackwood)
Cranberry Sauce

Dessert (choice)
Make-Your-Own Ice Cream Sundae Bar*
Mini Pumpkin Pies with Soy Whipped Cream

Spiced cider, iced tea, freshly brewed coffee, and teas

* Gluten-free options
Recipes without a hyperlink or otherwise noted were created by the talented Hyatt Regency chefs.


2016 sponsors for prizes and the silent auction

A Well-Fed World
By Any Greens Necessary / Tracye McQuirter
The Dalal Family
Dawson’s Market
Dr. Bronner’s All-One
Ener-G Foods
Field Roast
GreenFare Salon Cafe
Todd Gray’s Market Vegan Brunch
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
Lee’s Flower and Card Shop
Mellow Mushroom
Merlene Vassall (Author)
Michelle Blackwood
NutritionFacts.org / Dr. Michael Greger
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Robin Robertson (Author)
Roots Market
Rose City Chocolatier
Treeline Treenut Cheeses
Vegan Heritage Press / Jon Robertson
Vegetable Garden
Vegetarian Resource Group
Vegetarian Society of DC

2015 VSDC Thanksgiving

The 2015 VSDC Life-Affirming Thanksgiving was held November 26 at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Md.

The Keynote Speaker was Terry Cummings, director and co-founder of Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, a 400 acre non-profit refuge for farm animals and wildlife in Poolesville, Md. Entertainment was provided by vegan magician Michael Worsham (aka “Magic Michael”). Stephen Svoboda entertained us on acoustic guitar, playing flamenco and bossa nova music.