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What? No Turkey on Thanksgiving?

Many of your traditional Thanksgiving meals can easily be made vegan. Or better yet, step outside of tradition and create a unique Thanksgiving dinner - a feast for your eyes and your palate!

Usually around this time of year with Thanksgiving fast approaching I get asked, "So, what DO you eat on Thanksgiving if you don't eat turkey?" With a smile on my face I respond to this question, a question I get asked every year, with the answer "Food. Delicious food!"  Okay, so I will not be participating in the carving of the turkey nor the pulling apart of the turkey's wishbone (it is the wishbone, right?!), but, that does not mean that my Thanksgiving is markedly less of a gastronomic holiday.  Weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, food is undoubtedly the main topic of conversation.  Some people spend weeks planning their menu, from the main course to the side dishes to the desserts *{Drooling}*! Oh, and the wine, let's not forget about the wine!

A vegan Thanksgiving is abundant in a variety of tasty foods.  The only noticeable difference in a vegan Thanksgiving dinner spread is the centerpiece - the absence of the turkey.  There are many vegan dishes that can be prepared that are not only palatable but visually appealing as well.  Listed below are just a sampling of what you may find at a vegan Thanksgiving:

Appetizers: At most holiday gatherings you can pretty much be guaranteed that there will be a veggie platter. You may have to skip the dip in favor of humus (if available - if not, there is nothing wrong with plan veggies) but other than that, snack away.

Side Dishes:

  • Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy
  • Potato and kale galette
  • Roasted brussels sprouts with onions and apples
  • Green beans with cranberries
  • Cranberry-apple relish
  • Cranberry chutney
  • Corn bread
  • Sweet potato biscuits
  •  

    Main Course Options:

  • Field Roast Celebration Roast
  • Garden Protein Veggie Turkey Breast
  • Tofurky
  • Pecan encrusted seitan
  • Butternut squash with wild rice stuffing
  • Veggie pot pie
  • Veggie loaf
  • Nut roast
  •  

    Desserts:

  • Pumpkin or squash pie
  • Sweet potato pie
  • Apple pie
  • Pear and apple crumble
  • Cranberry-nut bread
  • Poached pears with wine vinaigrette
  • Lemon custard bars
  • Fresh fall fruit tart
  •  

         Sounds delicious, right?! This will be my first Thanksgiving since going vegan.  I was trying to figure out what to make that not only sounded good, would taste good and would require very little culinary skill.  So, I did what anyone would do when faced with a dilemma , I Googled for help! In my search I came across some recipes on the care2 website. Recipes for stuffing, stuffed butternut squash, herbed roasted vegetables, mushroom gravy, candied yams and pumpkin pie. These tasty dishes will be what I will be feasting on this Thanksgiving.  Even if you are not vegan I say give one of these recipes a try. You just might like it and might even create a new holiday meal tradition.

         If you need a bit more inspiration in creating a vegan Thanksgiving I recommend watching Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's video, A Vegan Thanksgiving.  I wish all of you a lovely Thanksgiving and may you be surrounded by the love and happiness of family and friends.

    * Oh, here is a little Thanksgiving song for you to enjoy. WARNING: It's catchy!

    This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

    Lynne Cunningham November 20, 2012 at 01:33 PM
    Thanks for a very informative piece. The turkeys will be grateful too. We are having the Gardein Holiday Roast this year with lots of yummy plant based side dishes.
    Amanda Harnocz November 20, 2012 at 01:49 PM
    ooo vegan Thanksgiving! Interesting. If you have any vegan friendly recipes you'd like to share, please do so here: http://stow.patch.com/articles/share-a-thanksgiving-recipe-on-stow-patch-f8b53951
    joe ponikarovsky November 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM
    you left out the best one: quorn turkey roast. totally vegan and by far the best tasting of the turkey-alikes i've tried in the past nineteen veggie thanksgivings. my family discovered this about five years back and swear by it. it doesn't come with any fixings, like tofurkey and others, but it's delicious and ready for you to do whatever flavoring you need to to it.

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