Thanksgiving without Turkey? Best Turkey-Free Recipes

I’ve heard more people talk about forgoing the turkey this year and opt for a Thanksgiving meal that is less work, and still delights the tastebuds. (This also includes forging the ham option too.)

Save a turkey and choose delicious vegetarian dishes instead for Thanksgiving this year.

My family and I have chosen to go the vegetarian route and not have a turkey or any other kind of meat this year. While everyone else is scrambling at the grocery stores (Saturday’s shopping at Aldi’s was just the beginning of the rush) to find the last package of celery, carrots or stuffing mix, I was stocking up on canned and fresh vegetables, breads and dairy products.

I found several other meal ideas for your annual family get-together on Thanksgiving that I’m sure you’ll love to try.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes from The Daily Green includes savory and colorful squash soups and side dishes along with desserts that will tickle your tastebuds and not tamper with your waistlines. Enjoy Basmati Rice Pudding and Carrot Pistachio cupcakes to name just a few. A few of these delicious recipes are vegan too (non dairy).

Tofu Turkey for Vegetarians from Natural Mom’s blog shares how to make a vegetarian turkey taste just like it’s bird counterpart. Tofurkeys are more common now, so you may be able to find one that already is complete with herbs and filling.

Simpler Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving ideas from The Ocean Girl Project really have a plethora of ideas and links to other sites that provide a wide variety of healthy, eco-friendly and simple recipe ideas for Thanksgiving whether you’re a vegetarian or not.

Also, remember, you don’t have to cook traditional Pilgrim and Native American meals for Thanksgiving. Make your own family traditions. One year we made a crockpot of chili and had homemade bread, another year we had a homemade Mexican feast (we lived in Arizona at the time) with authentic homemade tortillas and pumpkin pie, and this year we’re suggesting vegetable lasagna, bread, local wine and homemade desserts.

Greener Living Tips: Eco Friendly Living Rooms

Green and Eco-friendly Living Room Tips

Going green is a great idea for a variety of different reasons. The top two reasons to go green include helping the environment and saving money. What many people don’t realize is that you can start going green right in the center of your own home, ie: your living room. The living room is often the center of relaxing, entertainment, family bonding, and more. So why not make your living room more eco-friendly with these easy tips!

Check Your Thermostat
Since the thermostat for your house is often located in your living room, it’s a great place to start. Make your wallet and the environment happy by simply turning down your thermostat in the winter and turning it up in the summer. Of course, you don’t have to freeze or melt either. By changing your thermostat just a few degrees, you’ll be making a huge difference. You’ll also see your energy bill go down a bit too, especially if you’re keeping you’re thermostat at more eco-friendly temperatures throughout the year. And make sure you don’t have anything warm (like electronics that create a heat byproduct) near your thermostat otherwise it can alter the AC or heat.

Buy Secondhand and Vintage
It’s official. Vintage is in the season once again and is continuing to make a great comeback when it comes to furniture and d├ęcor. So instead of purchasing a brand new sofa, paintings, vases, and more, try checking out local antique stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army,, and craigslist. These locations and websites have a ton of different options for vintage and secondhand items for your living room. Plus you might just score a $200 item for about $20 bucks!

Invest in Drapes and Curtains
Drapes or curtains are great things to have. They can keep sun out during the harsh summer months and help lock in heat during bitter cold seasons. Needless to say they are a relatively inexpensive way to help regulate temperature within your living room. And don’t just limit it to your living room either, follow this simple tip for the rest of your house as well, including your bedroom.

A great way to go green is with your appliances. Make sure your TV meets energy standards and is one of the most eco-friendly on the market today. Don’t be afraid to shop around either. Also, invest in other green electronics as well, including stereo systems and gaming systems. Another great tip is to make sure your electronic devices are unplugged when not in use. You may think that just because they’re off it means they’re not using energy, but it’s not true. Unplug and save money!

Keep Your Fireplace Clean
Many of us have fireplaces in our homes. These are great for a variety of different reasons, including keeping warm during the winter. Not only that, but they create a cozy atmosphere. However, go green with your fireplace by keeping it clean. Hire a chimney sweep often to reduce ash buildup and more. Make sure you burn clean burning logs too.

Original article by Rachel Krech,

Eco Friendly Household Cleaners

This weekend I’ve been moving out of one apartment and into another, and I’m committed to only using eco friendly household cleaners to do the necessary cleaning when one moves out of a place.

So far I’ve been using lemon juice and hot water and it’s been doing a great job on cleaning and disenfecting the refrigerator and it leaves a fresh lemon scent as well.

Other eco friendly household cleaners that really do a great job are:

  • Baking soda
  • Baking soda and lemon juice – for cleaning a stove’s interior.
  • Mule Team Borax soap
  • Table salt – great for getting the grime out of your tub.
  • Vinegar

Combinations of the above work well together too, but vinegar and baking soda do cause quite an adverse reaction, although this might work well on those stubborn food stains in your oven.

What eco friendly household cleaners work for you? I’d love to hear other ideas. Post your comments below.