Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving


My family had not one, but two Thanksgiving dinners this past weekend, one at my sister-in-law's house and one here at home. So, this What I Ate Wednesday, be prepared for a lot of photos of vegan turkey!

Speaking of vegan turkey, a friend of mine recently asked me what to feed a visiting vegetarian for Thanksgiving. Her question made me think that maybe there are others with the same dilemma. So, here is my little primer on what to feed a veg head for Thanksgiving.


What to Feed Your Vegetarian Friends for Thanksgiving



  • If you're feeling generous, buy a vegan holiday roast. My favourite is Gardein's version, which comes fully stuffed with a delicious cranberry dressing. It also comes with vegan gravy. Once you have this turkey/protein alternative down, you can basically feed your vegetarian friends all of your usual vegetable side dishes.
  • If a roast isn't in the budget, make my all-time favourite recipe, lentils and rice. It's easy, it's inexpensive, it's delicious and it makes a big bunch, so all the carnivores can eat it too! I find that this dish goes well with pretty much every kind of dinner and the lentils have protein, so you can build a meal around it. It's also free of gluten, so you can feed your gluten-free friends too!


For Your Vegan Friends



  • If you have a vegan dinner guest, use vegan margarine and non-dairy milk alternatives when making your mashed potatoes. I use soy milk and I find it works well.
  • If you cook your sweet potatoes with butter, use margarine instead. Or, leave some of the cooked sweet potatoes aside before you add the butter. 
  • Same goes for the potatoes. If you insist upon dairy in your mashed potatoes, keep some of the cooked potato chunks aside. Do what my Italian mother-in-law does - drizzle the potato chunks with olive oil and sprinkle on some salt. Maybe add fresh parsley. Squish them a bit with a fork (not to mash, just to smoosh a bit) and they are good to go!
  • Don't forget about apple and cranberry sauces - pretty much everybody can eat those!
  • A green salad topped with dried cranberries and pecans couldn't hurt either.


Dessert


Your vegetarian friends will be okay with most desserts, as long as there's no lard in the pie crust. For your vegan friend, take a look at some of the recipes on my recipes page. Try this easy Anything Goes Fruit Crisp. Or ask your friend if she can bring along a tasty vegan dessert. She might like the opportunity to show people that vegan baked goods can indeed be delicious. Chocolate chip cookies usually do the trick!


What I Ate


Now for our Thanksgiving dinners. I never have to worry about eating well at my sister-in-law's house. With the combined cooking efforts of my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law, there is always a feast to be had, whatever your dietary restrictions. Often my mother-in-law will make a meat lasagna, a vegan tofu lasagna and a dairy-free meat lasagna.

This time they served turkey, so my mother-in-law bought us a Gardein roast. But first we started with my sister-in-law's delicious sweet potato soup made with coconut cream (above).


I then had a couple of slices of the Gardein roast, with corn on the cob, broccoli, zucchini fritters, cranberry sauce and my sister-in-law's delicious stuffing. (She made a version with sliced vegan sausage for my family.)


She put out a beautiful fruit platter for dessert - or should I say pre-dessert - we had a selection of desserts with champagne later on too. I neglected to photograph the desserts, probably because I was too busy stuffing my face!


That was Sunday. On Monday, we had a little dinner at home, just me, the husband and the kids. We had another vegan roast, cooked with potatoes, onions and carrots. I made the optional orange juice tamari marinade suggested on the Gardein vegan roast box. It gives the veggies a lovely flavour. We also had mashed potatoes, steamed cauliflower, cranberries, sweet potatoes cooked in margarine and brown sugar, salad and some of my sister-in-law's stuffing.


Guess what I had for lunch on Tuesday? Yes, leftovers.


And dinner on Tuesday? Yes, more leftovers. I'm all out of leftovers now. Luckily I'm meeting some friends for a sushi dinner tonight!

What do you serve on Thanksgiving?


Linking up with:




25 comments:

  1. Two Thanksgivings in one weekend? Now THAT sounds like my kind of weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Both meals sound & look delicious! I think you have a wonderful mother-in-law to prepare three lasagnas to serve up (I know you said she brought the turkey roll this year), but seriously ... she must love to cook for her family ;) It's great that your entire extended family is so considerate of everyone's dietary preferences to prepare such a beautiful meal that includes everyone. Sounds like you had a great time together ... do they mind you snapping pictures at the dinner table?! My family would groan ;) Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is a wonderful mother-in-law for sure! She is also passionate about cooking, which works out well for the rest of us. Everybody is used to me taking photos now. The kids used to look at me strange but now they know what I'm doing. My sister-in-law even acts as my "stylist" sometimes, adding herbs, etc. to beautify the food. :)

      Delete
  3. This is the second time in a week that I have given someone an idea for a post!!! Thanks, again - oh, I made an apple crisp for dessert!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, then I know who to come to next time I need an idea Jill! :) Apple crisp - yum!

      Delete
  4. What a feast! Love the look of the roast! Good to see Johnson Brothers again too :) My sister bought me a lot of the set for my birthday, she found it in a country op shop but refused to tell me how much it cost ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so great that your sister bought you more of the dishes!!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful feast! I have to say that Thanksgiving is probably one of my least favorite holidays, simply because it tends to revolve around turkey. More recently though, I have more family members that eat seafood but not meat or have other dietary reatrictions- so my family has been way better about giving me a delicious meal. We never get a veggie roast though, ooh la la! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. Not usually a fave for me either! But I like it with the roast and veggies. :)

      Delete
  6. Everything looks amazing Joann! ;)
    Love that roast - but I'll bet it's with wheat - I gave up even looking at that section of the store...

    But anyway that is a fabulous feast!!! ;)

    We had T-Day at my FIL's and as he's a single man who prepped a meal for a family of 16 I didn't want to be picky ;)
    We came an hour earlier and helped with the side dishes and I brought a spaghetti squash dish, vegan pumpkin cheesecake and a bean salad..... (mind you there was so much meat on the table I didn't make a peep).
    It was nice to see the family that I haven't seen in ages, so much cooking and serving (I was the busy T-day elf) that I didn't even reach for my camera once during the whole dinner.
    + the lighting was so bad in that room that I pretty much just scrapped the whole thing - now I really regret it because I think it's nice to take pics of family gatherings.
    And usually no one else bothers.. ;)
    But it was very nice and this is a really great time for a holiday - great spacing till Christmas ;)
    Sending big hugs!!!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Ella. It's a problem if you can't eat wheat. A lot of the meat alternatives are wheat-based eh?

      The dishes you prepared sound amazing! But I agree it's hard to get decent photos at night and in bad lighting!

      Delete
  7. This was a very helpful post for when I have my niece over for dinner. Beautiful food photo shots too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was of help Wendy! Thanks! :)

      Delete
  8. it looks so (surprisingly?) delicious! i wanna try it!

    the-sprouted-bean.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surprising...yes! Delicious...yes! ;)

      Delete
  9. That looks like an amazing feast! :) Happy belated Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh so many yums! I adore veggie roast (or field roast) with gravy-- so delish!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you for eating a variety, not just meat. :)

      Delete
  11. Oh yum! My tummy is rumbling looking at all these tasty dishes!! I love Thanksgiving, even though we Americans have another month to wait...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something to look forward to huh Ruthie? :)

      Delete
  12. As usual, your photos make me ravenous. :) Happy Thanksgiving (belatedly)!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Everything looks delicious! Of course I will be having a vegan Thanksgiving here in the USA in about 3 weeks from now.

    Be careful using margarine because it is not better than butter. Margarine is "crack" as far as I am concerned. I LOVE vegan mashed potatoes. I use almond milk when I make it and it tastes great.

    ReplyDelete


 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye