While most of the country is looking forward to a meat-filled Thanksgiving dinner, I am not. For vegetarians, Thanksgiving can be an awkward holiday. Why would anyone want to celebrate anything with a deep-fried turkey, or worse a turducken?
There is good news for us veggie lovers. With a little preparation and creativity, anyone can enjoy some meatless dishes on Thanksgiving Day.
Stick with the basics.
Most meat-eaters I've come across are not adventurous when it comes to trying out new vegetable dishes. If you are offering to bring a few sides to Thanksgiving dinner, stick with the basics. Prepare a creamy pot of mashed potatoes with vegetable broth. Make green bean casserole that is vegetarian-friendly. Toss a simple salad that will complement any main course. It's easy to prepare almost any side dish without meat ingredients, and your friends and family will not taste the difference.
Recreate a holiday favorite.
For me, stuffing or dressing is a real treat. This bread casserole is usually "stuffed" inside the turkey and baked - not a vegetarian option. I've learned how to recreate a "turkey" stuffing by baking the only meatless ingredients in a glass dish. Unless a guest asks, I don't even tell them it's vegetarian. I've never had any complaints over my turkey-free stuffing.
Bring something just for yourself.
If you're worried about not having enough to eat on Thanksgiving, then bring your own main course. You can go wild by eating a Tofurky, while everyone else is chowing down on real turkey. I would bring enough to share, just in case there is another vegetarian present. There is no reason vegetarians shouldn't feel stuffed on Thanksgiving Day, too.
Save room for dessert.
Dessert is my favorite course. The main advantage of desserts is that most of them are vegetarian-friendly. Go ahead and eat another slice of pumpkin pie. Don't feel bad about putting extra whipped cream on that pecan pie.
Remember to pig out all you want on Thanksgiving Day. Even us vegetarians love a huge meal.