Planning a Vegan Thanksgiving (or any other Holiday meal)

My dilemna: I’m a [mostly] vegan in a family of carnivores. Luckily we will be enjoying a quieter Thanksgiving at home this year, giving me an opportunity to prepare a meal that I know I can be satisfied with. The goal, however, is to avoid creating a massive vegan feast that only I will eat (and be left to negotiate mountains of leftovers). Obviously the turkey replacement I choose (a.k.a the main dish) will probably be left entirely to me, but my hope is to create veggie-based side dishes that the whole family will love (and eat!).

The tool at my disposal, honestly, is Google. Foodgawker is very helpful here, too. And of course, being creative and thinking of ways to adapt non-vegetarian recipes.

On Twitter the other day, Whole Foods posted an amazing article with suggestions on creating a Vegetarian or Vegan Thanksgiving. I highly recommend it, as it was a huge help to me!

“Turkey” Ideas (for me):

  1. Stuffed tofu turkey
  2. Nut/Bean loaf (with stuffing)
  3. Lentil/Rice loaf (with stuffing)
  4. Giant Veggie Burger loaf (made with Falafel Burger recipe!)

I could just go to Whole Foods and grab a pre-made roast, but I really want to give it a try myself. Plus, those tend to be really over processed. If time and effort are an issue, then I will honestly just fill up on a million side dishes, I’m sure :)

Side Ideas (for everyone!):

  1. Cranberry Sauce
  2. Mushroom Gravy
  3. Mushrooms, Celery, and Brussels Sprouts roasted with garlic, rosemary, and balsamic
  4. Acorn squash (or pumpkin) filled with roasted squash and quinoa (or brown rice)
  5. Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto
  6. Spaghetti Squash with Cranberries, Apples, and Walnuts
  7. Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Leeks
Desserts (for everyone!):
  1. Vegan Pumpkin Pie
  2. Vegan Apple Pie

For anyone attempting to create a great Thanksgiving (or any holiday, for that matter) feast on a certain diet, the best thing I can recommend is RESEARCH. Have fun with it! I spend time drooling on Foodgawker and my blogroll on Bloglovin anyway, so why not get inspired? Here are some of my favorite ideas from the foodieverse:

Sweet Dumpling Squash Stuffed with Lemon-Herb Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sherry-Mustard Vinaigrette from What Would Cathy Eat?

Anything and everything from Healthy. Happy. Life.  Kathy’s Thanksgiving Series is amazing!!!

Pumpkin Brownie Pie with Pecan Streusel Topping from Oh She Glows

Cranberry Orange Ginger Mango Chutney from Love Veggies and Yoga. I’ve been looking for variations on plain ‘ole cranberry sauce!

Don’t even get me started on stuffing. My grandmother usually makes hers, but has opted out this year. She has always made it with sausage (in all fairness, when I ate meat, it was delicious), but I’m so excited to do a vegan variation! And then like 10 others.

Basically the most difficult part of my job will be picking and choosing what I get to make, because there are only 7 of us total this year and leftovers don’t last that long. No worries… there’s always next year. And Christmas :)

Did I mention I’ll be running a 5k Thanksgiving morning?

P.S. Sorry for the picture-less post… Tomorrow’s will be much prettier :)

3 Comments

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3 Responses to Planning a Vegan Thanksgiving (or any other Holiday meal)

  1. Thanks for linking back my cranberry mango chutney and I am drooling over the other links…Angela’s pumpkin brownie pie has been on my to-make list for about…oh 2 years :)

  2. What about some maple glazed root vegetables? Roast some sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, beets, etc with some thyme, sage and rosemary and when they are tender pour over a glaze made with 2 parts maple syrup, 2 parts cider vinegar and one part olive oil. Cook for a few minutes longer with some salt and pepper and you would have yourself a yummy and vegan veggie dish!

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