Friday, November 16, 2007

Turkeyless Turkey Day

I was all set to write a blog entry about vegetarian Thanksgivings, and then I read this article in the New York Times, which said most of what I wanted to already! I'm not sure if I will get around to making the included recipes for Thanksgiving, but I'm definitely going to give them a try at some point. They sound utterly delicious.

I really like the idea of making a dish more festive by putting it in a baked pumpkin. I had gnocchi served in a baked pumpkin at Paul's Italian restaurant once, and it was very impressive -- I still remember it vividly.

As the author mentions, it can be frustrating when attending a family Thanksgiving dinner to discover meat products thrown in the vegetable side dishes -- turkey broth in the stuffing, ham in the green beans, marshmallows on the sweet-potato casserole. That's one of the reasons I usually do most of the cooking on Thanksgiving. And if I go to an extended-family holiday dinner, I always make sure to bring something that I can fill up on if nothing else is meat-free, such as macaroni-and-cheese. (I always know that my mom's sweet-potato casserole is vegetarian, because I have the recipe!)

This link from the (New Jersey) Daily Record also includes some yummy-sounding recipes, as well as a handy guide of things to keep in mind if you're a carnivore preparing Thanksgiving dinner for vegetarians.

Do you have problems with getting enough vegetarian food when attending family Thanksgiving dinners? If so, how do you deal with it?


At 11/19/2007 6:48 PM, Anonymous P.S. said...

I am lucky: We go to two Tday feasts- my boyfriend's family early in the day and my family's later on, so I experience both non veggie friendly dinners and veggie approved ones. I can relate to your post and the article because at my in law's, I'm usually stuck with eating a scoop of mashed potatoes, a scoop of sweet potatoes and a roll. I love potatoes, but my plate looks sad and empty. :) After six years, my boyfriend's family still doesn't quite 'get' that I can't eat the green beans even though "they only have a little bit of bacon in them." :) They mean well though. I would love to bring something- another sidedish to share- but it's one of those things where if I did, it would come off as rude instead, since there are designated cooks. So, I basically eat a little of the potatoes so that I'm not called out for not participating in the big Thanksgiving chowdown. But then luckily when we go to my family's feast, we switch roles: the boyfriend is too stuffed from earlier and I'm ready to gorge. Thank god for mom's- it's been about 17 years (age 13) since I unexpectedly told her one night that I didn't eat meat anymore and she's never questioned it. I can always count on her to make a separate veggie stuffing (she even knows that pepperidge farm herb seasoned stuffing is vegan- if she runs out of time) and to have a vegetarian version of gravy. - she won't let me bring it- she insists on making it. Good ole mom's: I'm one of the lucky ones, I know! :)

At 11/19/2007 7:24 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

Thank you for your comment! It's a shame that your boyfriend's family hasn't quite gotten the hang of the "no meat in the vegetables" thing, but I think that's the case with a lot of Southern families. "Meat" to many nonvegetarians means a big steak, not little bits of bacon.

That's great that your family is supportive of your vegetarianism and that you actually get to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast that day!

At 11/27/2007 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a lifelong Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, I have never had the opportunity, or desire to try the Thanksgiving Turkey, but our family has the priviledge of being invited every year to our friends 5 hour long Italian American Thanksgiving food fest. The great thing is that I bring my favorite bean casserole, stuffed mushrooms, homemade fresh cranberry sauce, I have also brought along a Tofurkey one year which was almost all eaten up by non veggie people! The anti-pasto course always has a bunch to eat, and the previous years they had just plain cheese lasagna as a course. This year it was left out, but we still had way too much to eat. If you're looking for meat substitutes, Whole Foods has many, or contact your local Seventh-day Adventist church, they usually have a food store with vegetarian meat substitues.


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