I have been a vegetarian for 23 years, and I always seem to get asked one of two questions this time of year: 1. “What do you eat on Thanksgiving if you don’t eat turkey?” and/or 2. “So I guess you eat those weird tofu turkey things, huh?” My answer to question #1 is “lots.” My answer to question #2 is “no.” As for the vegetarian turkey alternatives, I’ve tried several of them, and although I have friends who think they are the best thing on the planet, I can’t get over the bizarre, rubber-like texture. They’re great for some, just not for me. And when it comes to having non-meat options aside from turkey, I’ve learned to absolutely love all of the goodies that most refer to as side dishes. I see mashed potatoes, veggie stuffing, fresh baked rolls, yam, green beans and cranberries all together in one meal as a seriously awesome abundance of main dishes. With all of this vegetarian goodness, I’m definitely just as full and satisfied as my turkey-eating family members. Lucky for me, there is also the fact that desserts very rarely have meat in them. Bonus.
Although I’m not much of a cook, I still love looking through magazines and food blogs around Thanksgiving. And I get especially excited when I come across recipes for unique vegetarian side dishes. Finding these types of recipes around this time of year is one of the only things that makes me feel motivated to attempt to create something in the kitchen. This is kind of a big deal for me you guys, considering that on a good day, my best case scenario is making a piece of toast without burning several slices of bread in the process.
I know some of my readers are vegetarians as well, so I thought I’d share some of the delicious, meat-free recipes I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks. I’m not sure which one(s) I’ll make yet, but it’s nice to have a little round-up of inspiration.
1. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, How Sweet It Is
2. Baked Feta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Gourmande in the Kitchen
3. Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds, Bon Appetit
4. Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup (gluten free!), Tartelette
5. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamy Kitchen
6. Delicate Squash Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds, The Year in Food
7. Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter-Balsamic Sauce, Aida Mollenkamp
8. Mini Pumpkin Pies with Vanilla Whipcream, Offbeat & Inspired
Whether you’re a meat eater or not, what is your favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving dish?