Tag Archives: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

What Vegetarians Eat: Thanksgiving Edition

A lot of times when people find out you’re vegetarian, you get questions like, “So, um, what do you eat?” “Well do you at least eat chicken? Fish?” as well as the always funny jokes about only eating lettuce. And when it comes to the holidays, it can be tricky navigating the buffet table when the main focus of holiday get togethers is food, and often times, they’re meat-based.

Last year I made it easy on myself (read: I was lazy) since it was my first Thanksgiving as an official vegetarian, and I opted to only eat the side dishes. This was easy, because like many, the side dishes are my favorite part. I had stuffing (made with veggie sausage), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, maple glazed Brussels sprouts, corn and peas, mashed turnips, creamed pearl onions, and cranberry sauce. That’s obviously a lot of food, and I was more than satisfied without having a “main” on my plate. This will likely continue to be my approach for holiday events at a friend or family member’s house, but I’ve decided to get a little more creative this year.

No turkey here! I certainly don't miss cleaning & stuffing it...

No turkey here! I certainly don’t miss cleaning & stuffing it…

When dreaming up my Thanksgiving menu, I decided it was time to try a turkey alternative. No, I’m not talking about a tofurkey – I wanted to make something homemade! While I’ve opted to have a “main dish” this year, that doesn’t mean I plan to skimp on the sides; they are my favorite part! And since meal planning is something I really enjoy doing, I figured I would share with you all what I plan on serving for my Vegetarian Thanksgiving! That way, if you’re scrounging around for a last minute side dish idea maybe one of these will spark your interest, or, you can always save them for next year.

2013 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu
Seitan Roast – recipe found here

Brussels Sprout Mac ‘n Cheese – recipe found here
Veggie Stuffing – my recipe found here
Peas & Corn
Mashed Potatoes
Apple & Cranberry Crumble

I’m going to be so full, and I’ll have leftovers for days. It’s going to rule.

What’s your favorite side dish? 

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Vegetarian/Vegan

Modifications

On Monday, I stayed home from work like almost everyone in the Northeast due to Sandy. Even though I was working from home, I made sure to make dinner early (I’m talking before noon) just in case the power went out as the storm approached later in the day (the oven is electric). I had Namely Marley’s Lentil Sloppy Joe’s on the menu, and since there were purple turnips in our Fresh Box, I thought I’d roast them as a side dish. I was able to make the sloppy joe’s no problem, so a few hours later I turned on the oven so it could pre-heat for the turnips.

Almost immediately I heard a crackling that sounded like something was burning. To my horror I looked through the oven’s window and saw bright white light… the makings of a fire. I immediately turned off the oven and blew out the flames, and stared in disbelief. Of course I was immediately annoyed that my oven would have the nerve to break during a storm, and wasn’t sure what to make instead. Since I love when my mom makes mashed turnips for Thanksgiving, I figured I’d attempt to put my own spin on them. This version is vegan, but it would be just as good with regular milk!

I can’t have a post about a recipe I made during Sandy without speaking of the storm itself. Thankfully, my townhouse kept power during the entire storm (though it did come and go a few times). It seemed like everyone around me (including my parents) lost power, and are still in the dark. I’m surrounded by the Raritan River, but thankfully am a little higher up. So, while everything around me seems to flood and lose power often, this is the third major storm I’ve weathered here and have made it out okay. Though, being surrounded by such damage means I can’t really get anywhere – but I’m okay with that. I’m keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers, and sending a big thank you to everyone keeping us safe (police, fire fighters, nurses, doctors, EMT, etc.)!

But back the turnips. If you’re not a coconut fan, you can definitely use some EarthBalance (or if you aren’t vegan, regular butter). The coconut adds some extra flavor notes that I enjoyed, but I know of plenty of people who are not coconut fans, so butter will work just fine!

Vegan Mashed Turnips
– makes 3 cups –

Ingredients:
3 turnips, cubed
2 tsp coconut oil
1-2 Tbsp almond/soy/coconut milk (I used unsweetend)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Boil the cubed turnips for about 25 minutes, or until they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork. 
2. Drain the turnips and return them to the pot. Add in the coconut oil, milk of choice, and spices. Using a manual masher (I have a great double masher from Crate & Barrel) or hand mixer on low, mix everything together to your preferred consistency  (I like to leave a little chunk). 

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Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan