Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Hey there folks,

As a vegetarian who always gets the short end of the stick at my family’s Thanksgiving meal, I thought I would share some neat recipes I found online in the hopes that you will add these great veggie options to your traditional holiday feasts (or, better yet, have an all-vegetarian thanksgiving!). And for those of you who want a Vegetarian Thanksgiving (or vegetarian Thanksgiving options) fast, you may be glad to know that many health food stores, including Whole Foods, offer pre-cooked Vegetarian Thanksgiving meals.

Appetizers, Dressings, and Sides

Praline Sweet Potato Casserole

Praline Sweet Potato Casserole

Many of the appetizers and sides at a traditional Thanksgiving feast are already vegetarian. Here are some nice ideas for especially delicious foods or dressings that I found online:

Pumpkin Soup from Boutell.com

Vegan Gravy from Boutell.com

Praline Sweet Potato Casserole from VegWeb.com

Vegetarian Stuffing from VegWeb.com

Yams with a Cobbler Topping

Butternut Squash Chowder with Pears and Ginger from Epicurious.com

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn from Epicurious.com

Main Course

Salisbury Tempeh

Salisbury Tempeh

For most vegetarians, this is where the traditional Thanksgiving meal becomes problematic. There are, of course plenty of turkey-alternatives to choose from: Tofurkey, Field Roast’s Celebration Roast, and Garden Protein’s Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing… any health food store should stock this sort of item, especially around Thanksgiving. I did a quick search and found a few other veggie main-course options that looked particularly delicious:

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from VegWeb.com

Tofu Turkey with Stuffing from VegWeb.com

The Un-Meat Loaf from VegWeb.com

Salisbury Tempeh from VegWeb.com

Spanakopita A classic vegetarian recipe from Greece: rich and delicious spinach-cheese pie.

Helpful Hints

An SFGate Article highlights some great advice from bay area chefs, and has some nice recipes at the end.

— Diana Adkins Glassman, Insalata’s: Festive fall dishes should feature the best produce, such as butternut squash soup with cinnamon creme fraiche; a fennel salad with pears, radicchio, escarole and orange-anise dressing; open-face ravioli with baby artichokes, leeks and wild mushrooms; a side dish of sliced delicata squash. Use special ingredients such as pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, dried plums, persimmons.\

— Gary Woo, E & O Trading Company: Highlight grains and seasonal produce. Try breads with dipping sauces, chickpea curry, lemony lentils and a saffron rice pilaf. Use warm earth colors associated in table decor and menu.

— Hoss Zare, Zare on Sacramento: When shopping, walk around the market once to see what is fresh, then buy. Rely on produce that is seasonal and hearty such as portobello mushrooms, squash and peppers. Choose herbs carefully; their freshness can make or break a vegetarian meal.

Also check out this great guide on How to Have a Vegetarian Thanksgiving, which gives hints on how to accommodate vegetarian guests, how to prepare tofurkey, and several other helpful how-tos.

Have a Happy Veggie Thanksgiving, everyone!

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