The credit goes to Reese for bringing Bailey Rae to the attention of the Draper James team. Otherwise known as The Local Vegan
, this Nashville-based blogger, recipe developer, and food writer is on a mission to support local agriculture while making veggies the star of the mealtime show.
Bailey Rae wears our Cable Cardigan to prep a Thanksgiving meal. On the menu: Portobello Washington (view the recipe video), Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Pears (view the recipe video), Green Bean Gremolata (view the recipe), Candied Carrot Salad (view the recipe), and Guilt-Free Mug Pumpkin Pie (view the recipe video). It’s a meal so delicious and flavorful you won’t even miss the turkey!
Tell us about The Local Vegan.
The Local Vegan provides weekly meal plans, cooking videos, and a huge catalogue of recipes. I encourage people to eat seasonally, locally, and as many vegetables as possible.
How did you get your start?
I was raised on a farm in Iowa, where meat was the main course, especially since my daddy raised livestock. But I always preferred an extra serving of grandma’s mashed potatoes in place of a pork chop. During the summer months, as early as elementary school, I loved making lunch for my parents. I would go to the garden, pick the vegetables that needed harvesting, and whip up a “feast.” Fresh garden vegetables were heavenly to my little palette. Once I left the farm for the city of Nashville, my passion for cooking exploded. In the South, it is easy to put on extra pounds, since the cooking is meat and dairy heavy. After I packed on a few, I went on a mission to create delicious, waist-line friendly vegetable dishes that didn’t sacrifice flavor.
How does living in Nashville affect your lifestyle?
The local food movement in Nashville is exploding. We have weekly farmers’ markets all over the city, and year-round CSAs you can join to get delicious vegetables. Nashville’s restaurant scene is amazing! If there isn’t an entree that is vegetable focused on the menu, a quick request to the chef, and I’m presented with a beautiful dish that often inspires a recipe for the website.
How will you be spending Thanksgiving?
My family is coming for Christmas, so we will be spending Thanksgiving with my man’s family here in Nashville. His mom and sisters are incredible cooks, so the the table will have the Southern classics as well as my vegetable dishes.
Favorite Thanksgiving memory or tradition?
Planning the menu with my mom. We go back and forth until the perfect balanced menu is created. This year we will simply delay that tradition to Christmas!
What do you love about Thanksgiving in the South?
In the South, everyone is invited. Nashville is a city full of transplants; even if you don’t have family here, you can be certain you won’t be spending the holiday alone.