Traditional Thanksgiving dinners are great. I look forward to them every year as it gives me an excuse to make green bean casserole and stuffing. Every now and then I’ll grab a honey-glazed ham and sometimes, if I have to, I’ll make a turkey. But as my family and friends have evolved, so have their food preferences. Some of them are gluten-free, some follow the paleo diet, and even a few are vegetarians (no vegans yet). As a host, I think it’s important to be sensitive to everyone’s food preferences and offer different choices. Paleo and gluten-free are easy when it comes to the star of the show: the turkey. Vegetarians become a little tricker, but nothing my friends, is impossible.
If you looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving menu ideas, I’ve got a hint for you. No, it’s not tofu (though I’m wondering if you can mold that in the shape of a turkey…). It’s actually something better and tastes really, really good.
The sides are the easy part. There is the infamous green bean casserole that MUST be eaten, even if you don’t like cream of mushroom soup (I’m talking to my husband here) and in addition to stuffing (which I absolutely love), you can have mashed or roasted potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, etc. The hard part is the main course. The turkey. Because turkey is meat and vegetarians don’t eat meat.
Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s a product that tastes like turkey, but it’s really not. It’s Gardein’s Turk-y Cutlet and as I said before, it’s really, really good.
If you don’t believe ask my husband, you know, the one who doesn’t like mushrooms. Since we’re traveling to visit family for Thanksgiving, I don’t actually get to cook dinner. So not wanting to miss out, I made a simplified version at home last Friday night. And instead of making a turkey, I decided to go rogue on him and made a completely vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. He didn’t know the difference and even went back for seconds.
So my two cents, if you have someone at your Thanksgiving dinner table who doesn’t eat meat, be thankful they are spending the holiday with you and make them something they can enjoy, that won’t cause you any more stress and tastes good. In 15 minutes, they can enjoy some “turkey” too. And for those die-hard meat lovers, make them eat their vegetables, including the mushrooms.