I’ll be honest with you for a second: I love Thanksgiving, but with a couple of reservations.
The idea of stuffing yourself with heavy winter foods, all full of carbs and cream, makes me want to run to a salad bar.
(I know. If you don’t understand why someone would want a salad, I have another meal plan that you might be interested in.)
Maybe part of me was always meant to be a vegetarian: I can do without turkey and gravy. No problem. Never missed them at all. Give me your cranberry sauce, your rolls, your flaky all-butter pies. I’ll live happily on sides.
Whether you’re hosting your own vegetarian feast, headed to a carnivorous fest with your own stomach to worry about, or you’re an omnivore not sure what to serve your son’s new vegetarian girlfriend, I’ve got some ideas for meals and menus. And if you need even more ideas, I made a nice tidy Pinterest board for you.
A couple of things to remember for a vegetarian Thanksgiving:
- If you’re hosting vegetarians, ask them what they’d like, and tell them specifically what you’re going to make, or ask them to bring something that they can eat.
- If you’re cooking something like, say, mashed potatoes, that can have meat products in it, either swap out for vegetable stock or let your local friendly vegetarian know. We don’t mind bringing something! The only thing that’s a real bummer is showing up and hearing, “You like beets, right? And chicken stock is okay?”
- If you’re vegetarian, think about bringing a hearty salad or side dish that can serve as your main if needed. There’s nothing sadder than a meal of rolls and butternut squash, and your host will probably end up being bummed, too, watching you with your sad empty plate. (Actually, I think I had non-vegetarian rolls at a buffet in Indiana, but that’s another story.)
- Marshmallows are not technically vegetarian, because they have gelatin. Watch out for ingredients in pie crusts, too.
- Keep those baking and cooking times in mind while you’re planning your menu, unless you have two ovens like you’re on TV or something. None of the sides listed below need to be served immediately. You don’t need that stress in your life. Make as much ahead as possible.
- Be thankful for whatcha got.
- As a side note to my mom: I’ll bring whatever.
Sample doable menu for two
Sample menu for more
Cranberry pistachio baked brie
Crispy sweet potato roast
Roasted carrots with farro and chickpeas
Roasted stuffed onions
Avocado and quinoa stuffed acorn squash
An astounding array of desserts that you make other people bring
Well, that’s a start! Are you planning your meal now? What’s your favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving dish?
photo: Andrew Yee via flickr