Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Holidays can be hard for us vegetarians, even ones like me that have been known to sneak a few slices of turkey every now and then.

Thanksgiving is arguably the hardest of all holidays for us veggies. If your Thanksgiving day host is unprepared for a vegetarian at the holiday table, it can be particularly dismaying — no big centerpiece entree, no stuffing, no gravy…and if your family is like mine and puts bacon in everything, no mashed potatoes either. Sometimes we vegetarians need to bite the holiday bullet and take matters into our own hands…

As I mentioned last week, le boyfriend and I were fed up with being second class citizens on Big Thursday and decided to host a vegetarian Thanksgiving as an alternative to trekking home to one of our parents. It worked out well! We made the following:

Veggie Seitan Loaf
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Mushroom Gravy
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Sautéed Green Beans
Stuffing with Veggie Sausage
Seasoned Corn
Roasted Squash

I’ve never cooked SO much at one time before, and with three cooks in a teeny tiny kitchen, it was quite a feat! I completely blanked on taking pictures, so you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that it was AMAZING. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and I’d be more than happy to make it a yearly tradition.

Leading up to our party, I did a lot of research about vegetarian thanksgivings. I wanted to find the BEST of what was out there for our menu and leave a good impression in our guest’s heads…many of whom had never attended a vegetarian Thanksgiving before!

It took no time at all to come up with a handful of good lookin’ side dishes that were meatless — sub in some of the fake stuff and your favorite Thanksgiving dishes are instantly vegetarian. But one conundrum that kept popping up was the severe lack of a big, centerpiece entree akin to a Turkey or a ham. Sure, there were plenty of great suggestions out there for making what amounted to glorified side dishes, but I wanted something big, traditional, and equally as satisfying.

My criteria were as follows:

Traditional – as in, something that could easily be associated with Thanksgiving. A lot of recipes for Thanksgiving lasagna out there… no thank you!
Comparable – if non-vegetarians were to have this instead of turkey, it would be acceptable.
Takes time and effort to prepare – there’s something to be said for the dedication and time it takes to prepare a turkey. It’s part of what makes Thanksgiving special.

In the end, my friend made this seitan turkey loaf. It met ALL of criteria and far outclassed my original plan, which was to reheat some Gardein Turkey Loafs that I ordered from Whole Foods (which I had later … blehhhh).

Next year, my plan is to make the Seitan Turkey Loaf all by myself (like a grown-up cook!) and when I do, I promise a huge, full post with pictures and deliciousness. Until then, I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and a great start to the most wonderful time of the year!

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