For meat-eaters, it is important to understand that vegetarians follow a diet that includes fruit, vegetables, grain, seeds, beans and nuts. Some vegetarians also include dairy products and/or eggs in their diet. However strict vegans do not consume any animal or animal by-products.
Meat-free Appetizers and Starters
For vegetarians who eat dairy, this brie and fig recipe from All Recipes.com, makes a yummy Thanksgiving starter. These recipes for cheese balls also make great holiday appetizers.
Vegan pumpkin soup makes an excellent starter for a Thanksgiving meal. Pumpkins are in season, so it is a great opportunity for cooks to use this versatile, fresh, seasonal ingredient. Keep reading for a recipe on vegan pumpkin pie for dessert.
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Side dishes for traditional turkey dinners are usually made up of vegetables. Roasted sweet potatoes and root vegetables, corn, peas and steamed carrots will all compliment a tofu-based turkey.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without stuffing, so here is a very basic sage and onion stuffing recipe from BBC Food that satisfies vegetarian diet requirements.
Thanksgiving Condiments and Sauces for Vegetarians
Other traditional condiments and sauces, like bread-and-butter pickles and cranberry sauce are also vegetarian-friendly. Here is a simple cranberry sauce recipe to try this Thanksgiving:
Easy Cranberry Sauce
- 2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup of orange juice
- ½ cup of granulated sugar (add more to taste).
Combine all ingredients in a pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir often. Reduce heat, and allow the mixture to simmer until the skin has popped on most of the cranberries and the sauce has thickened to taste. (About 10 minutes). Stir occasionally.
Transfer to a serving dish and cover. Allow to cool for several hours.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner Options – Tofu Turkey and Turkey Molds
Thanksgiving tofu turkey recipes abound on the internet and in vegan cookbooks. Here is one example of a step-by-step tofu turkey recipe, with a marinade and stuffing. The tofu turkey can look as little or as much like a real turkey as is preferred. Turkey cake pans are a fun way to make a turkey-like tofu main, but a less life-like mold works too. Another fun option is to buy mini turkey molds, or cake pans, allowing each guest to have their own little tofu turkey.
For less ambitious cooks, a meat-free, ready-made alternative like Tofurky can be found at Whole Foods Market stores and many local health foods stores in Canada, the U.S.A. and the U.K. Holiday products can also be purchased online.
Vegetarian Desserts for Thanksgiving
For a classic Thanksgiving dessert, this recipe for vegan pumpkin pie will suit all tastes. Sweet and delicious, non-vegans will never know the difference.
For an edible vegetarian Thanksgiving centerpiece, to enjoy at the end of the meal, read up on the turkey centerpiece made entirely of fruit and cheese, under the heading, “Delicious Edible Centerpiece Ideas.”