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Vegetarian/Vegan Thanksgiving Plans

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  • littlechiaseedlittlechiaseed Member Posts: 491 Member Member Posts: 491 Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    I always think Thanksgiving is easy as a vegetarian -- there are some many dishes, and only one of them is turkey! Trying to not think of them as "sides" but as simply delicious foods to eat, and maybe that will help?

    That's what I would have thought. But OP has digestive issues with dairy and eggs, so that eliminates a bunch of common sides. Pretty much everything we serve for Thanksgiving has at least a good dose of butter. Most has butter and eggs or milk/cream.

    At my family's Thanksgiving, poor OP would be stuck with just a side salad, cranberry sauce, and rolls!

    Oh, and apple pie if we make one that year.

    Butter is okay with me but it's like the straight up milk/cream or really soft cheese that cause issues.

    I decided to do some things with butternut squash or acorn squash, those are in season now and wouldn't really clash with other dishes. Just hope I don't mess it up.

  • AmandaDanceMoreAmandaDanceMore Member Posts: 298 Member Member Posts: 298 Member
    Even when I still ate meat, I only really ever took turkey at Thanksgiving out of good manners and tradition. The highlight of a Thanksgiving dinner IS the sides for me, since I don't typically eat stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole!

    Sadly, I'll be working over Thanksgiving, so I won't be with my family, particularly my vegan brother who is an excellent cook and makes a killer mushroom gravy. If I was going to a dinner with friends and was worried there wouldn't be something appropriate for me, I would offer to bring one or two things to share. If I was good friends with the host and they were aware of my dietary choices, I would talk to them about either making veggie friendly versions of the old standbys (veg stock in the stuffing, almond milk in the potatoes if you're vegan). If you're set on a main attraction type food, tofurkey or Field Roast (I prefer the Field Roast. SO good!). And there is no written rule that says it has to be "traditional" Thanksgiving fare. If I wasn't sure and had an inkling my choices might be limited, I'd take a veggie lasagna. I know very few people who won't eat lasagna no matter the occasion :)
  • littlechiaseedlittlechiaseed Member Posts: 491 Member Member Posts: 491 Member
    Even when I still ate meat, I only really ever took turkey at Thanksgiving out of good manners and tradition. The highlight of a Thanksgiving dinner IS the sides for me, since I don't typically eat stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole!

    Sadly, I'll be working over Thanksgiving, so I won't be with my family, particularly my vegan brother who is an excellent cook and makes a killer mushroom gravy. If I was going to a dinner with friends and was worried there wouldn't be something appropriate for me, I would offer to bring one or two things to share. If I was good friends with the host and they were aware of my dietary choices, I would talk to them about either making veggie friendly versions of the old standbys (veg stock in the stuffing, almond milk in the potatoes if you're vegan). If you're set on a main attraction type food, tofurkey or Field Roast (I prefer the Field Roast. SO good!). And there is no written rule that says it has to be "traditional" Thanksgiving fare. If I wasn't sure and had an inkling my choices might be limited, I'd take a veggie lasagna. I know very few people who won't eat lasagna no matter the occasion :)

    I never liked the turkey either my mom would always put a tiny bit on my plate and get mad when I didn't eat it or picked at it. So my thanksgivings were usually eating about 10 rolls, mashed potatoes and green beans. My mom is making a gluten free pecan pie and I tried about 1000 times to tell her that gluten wasn't the problem, it's the eggs but she won't listen and my gma likes to bring nasty walmart bakery stuff she finds on sale, but we are having a vegan brownies from the tofurky kit.

    It's just non-immediate fam thanksgivings I have issues with because I don't want to be a pest but I don't want to look like a jerk for not eating much, but I'm not going to make myself sick for the sake of not looking like a jerk anymore.
    edited November 2016
  • robininflrobininfl Member Posts: 1,137 Member Member Posts: 1,137 Member
    We have served vegetarians for years, and what our circle does is just NOT PUT MEAT IN THE SIDES. So big whompin' turkey, yes. Turkey gravy, yes. Also:

    Veg gravy
    Mashed potatoes
    Green beans
    Stuffing
    Sweet Potatoes
    Brussel Sprouts
    Desserts
    Whatever else you want, just don't put bacon, or chicken broth, into things that could otherwise BE deliciously vegetarian so freaking easily.

    We are not as good at accomodating vegans. We just do not hide meat in things, we leave it in the turkey and turkey gravy, and maybe oyster dressing, but not in anything that can reasonably be vegetarian.

    Why wouldn't you want to make a meal out of sides? Thanksgiving is almost entirely made up of side dishes, the ONLY thing you aren't eating is the turkey. That never bothered me and does not bother any of our vegetarians. It's the same thing I've always done at celebrations where there is ham as a main dish because ham is disgusting to me. Just eat everything else.
    edited November 2016
  • cee134cee134 Member Posts: 33,764 Member Member Posts: 33,764 Member
    I like quorn turkey which is easy and filling. I also like vegetable medleys.
  • pomegranatecloudpomegranatecloud Member Posts: 812 Member Member Posts: 812 Member
    In addition to meat my family always has: vegetarian stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, roasted carrots, citrus and beet salad, leafy green salad, quinoa salad, roasted brussel sprouts, mac and cheese, stuffed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, roasted string beans, bread, cheese and crackers, cookies, and pies.

    I don't really get comments about not eating meat, except the occasional in good humor teasing from family. Everyone who knows I'm vegetarian is always very accommodating for dinner parties and the like, but I never bring it up as an issue to be honest. Nearly all my friend and family are very health conscious and always have plenty of vegetarian dishes.
  • misskariwmisskariw Member Posts: 175 Member Member Posts: 175 Member
    Even when I still ate meat, I only really ever took turkey at Thanksgiving out of good manners and tradition. The highlight of a Thanksgiving dinner IS the sides for me, since I don't typically eat stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole!

    Sadly, I'll be working over Thanksgiving, so I won't be with my family, particularly my vegan brother who is an excellent cook and makes a killer mushroom gravy. If I was going to a dinner with friends and was worried there wouldn't be something appropriate for me, I would offer to bring one or two things to share. If I was good friends with the host and they were aware of my dietary choices, I would talk to them about either making veggie friendly versions of the old standbys (veg stock in the stuffing, almond milk in the potatoes if you're vegan). If you're set on a main attraction type food, tofurkey or Field Roast (I prefer the Field Roast. SO good!). And there is no written rule that says it has to be "traditional" Thanksgiving fare. If I wasn't sure and had an inkling my choices might be limited, I'd take a veggie lasagna. I know very few people who won't eat lasagna no matter the occasion :)

    I never liked the turkey either my mom would always put a tiny bit on my plate and get mad when I didn't eat it or picked at it. So my thanksgivings were usually eating about 10 rolls, mashed potatoes and green beans. My mom is making a gluten free pecan pie and I tried about 1000 times to tell her that gluten wasn't the problem, it's the eggs but she won't listen and my gma likes to bring nasty walmart bakery stuff she finds on sale, but we are having a vegan brownies from the tofurky kit.

    It's just non-immediate fam thanksgivings I have issues with because I don't want to be a pest but I don't want to look like a jerk for not eating much, but I'm not going to make myself sick for the sake of not looking like a jerk anymore.

    ...Just say that you've had so much rich holiday food you've made a resolution to only have little bits of the best everywhere you go so that you don't end the holidays feeling terrible...most people are understanding.
  • rainbowbowrainbowbow Member Posts: 7,492 Member Member Posts: 7,492 Member
    I've been a vegetarian my entire life (25 years now) and I have attended thanksgiving with my entire family, my loved ones family, my office, etc. and not once have i EVER been accommodated for. And by this i mean the "main" dish.

    I have always eaten sides and I don't feel i've missed out even a little bit. ;)

    Stuffing
    Mashed Potatoes
    Green Bean Casserole
    sweet potatoes (the kind with marshmallow and brown sugar)
    Hawaiin Bread Rolls
    Deviled eggs
    Salads, pasta salads, potato salads, and more
    Corn
    Pies (Pumpkin, Pecan, Peanut Butter)
    Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers



    I could go on, but essentially i've never ever felt hungry or unsatisfied after a thanksgiving meal. EVER. I am lactose intolerant and I go ahead and take a lactocare enzyme about 30 minutes before eating and go to town!

    I guess my point is, it's easier on me and everyone else if i just eat what has been prepared or bring some of my own dishes like the above. In general people atleast try to accommodate not using bacon in the green beans so i'm grateful enough with that.

    I have never had someone grill me about not eating meat, i think that'd be pretty pathetic. Also, I have hosted three thanksgivings and all three someone else brought the turkey and i provided ALL of the sides and desserts. They got the easier end of the deal I think. ;)
  • AmandaDanceMoreAmandaDanceMore Member Posts: 298 Member Member Posts: 298 Member
    I will still never forget the kind hearted but absolutely clueless girlfriend of my uncle, who made some side that she said she made vegan for my brother. "It just has chicken stock! It's fine!" She could not seem to grasp that chickens still had to die to make the stock, so it wasn't, in fact, something my brother would eat. Lol....thankfully we had planned accordingly and had made a variety of things that he could eat. Lol
  • littlechiaseedlittlechiaseed Member Posts: 491 Member Member Posts: 491 Member
    I will still never forget the kind hearted but absolutely clueless girlfriend of my uncle, who made some side that she said she made vegan for my brother. "It just has chicken stock! It's fine!" She could not seem to grasp that chickens still had to die to make the stock, so it wasn't, in fact, something my brother would eat. Lol....thankfully we had planned accordingly and had made a variety of things that he could eat. Lol

    Oh yeah a lot of people don't realize that vegetarian doesn't mean just not eating meat. Chicken stock is used in a lot of stuffing reciepe and most gravy isn't vegetarian nor is ceasar dressing for salads. I've a lot gotten some people thinking that it was more of a "health diet" and that I could "cheat" and have alittle of whatever but it doesn't work that way lol
  • Colt1835Colt1835 Member Posts: 447 Member Member Posts: 447 Member
    I'm pretty sure there is not one vegan dish at my family's thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. Even the vegetables are covered in animal fat.
  • thomasjohnlynchthomasjohnlynch Member, Premium Posts: 97 Member Member, Premium Posts: 97 Member
    =======================================
    robininfl wrote: »
    We have served vegetarians for years, and what our circle does is just NOT PUT MEAT IN THE SIDES. So big whompin' turkey, yes. Turkey gravy, yes. Also:

    Veg gravy
    Mashed potatoes
    Green beans
    Stuffing
    Sweet Potatoes
    Brussel Sprouts
    Desserts
    Whatever else you want, just don't put bacon, or chicken broth, into things that could otherwise BE deliciously vegetarian so freaking easily.

    We are not as good at accommodating vegans. We just do not hide meat in things, we leave it in the turkey and turkey gravy, and maybe oyster dressing, but not in anything that can reasonably be vegetarian.

    Why wouldn't you want to make a meal out of sides? Thanksgiving is almost entirely made up of side dishes, the ONLY thing you aren't eating is the turkey. That never bothered me and does not bother any of our vegetarians. It's the same thing I've always done at celebrations where there is ham as a main dish because ham is disgusting to me. Just eat everything else.
    =========================================


    THIS is what my wife and our friends do exactly.......they sorta put up with me.

    I am basically an "unethical selfish vegan with some infrequent pescetarian cheating" and when out in "the wild" (traveling and at other people's homes and not in my home jungle) I need to adapt and improvise and sometime break rank from my 99% of the time course of veggies and no animal stuff. ;-)

    Our neighbors for Thanksgiving at our house are vegetarian and she is Korean and violently against the dog exploitation and killings in Korea and here in the USA, etc. This does not have anything to do with my eating direction and mantra - i am selfish - its about my health and not about the 3 billion animals killed in the USA for food or the dogs in there as well........okay I feel good that maybe 1 or 2 may not get killed but not sure my diet has much of an impact.

    I don't do dairy or cheese not because it exploits animals, but because its gross and as my wife prefers to call it "titty juice" (her name because I called it critter secretions and she thinks that is worse as she LOVES cheese and "that is all she has to say about that") with blood platelets, antibiotics, fecal matter, and had GMO matter and roundup in the producing cattle's meat and bloodstream, etc. However pasteurized make it all go away as not a worry on the US shelves? NOT. http://www.naturalnews.com/035039_raw_milk_pasteurized_CDC.html

    Medically if you must, cow urine (unless the cow has a bladder infection which is unlikely because 85% of the US antibiotics goes to our livestock because of the production/living environment) would be much better since it is sterile. There is a visual???

    Same with honey, if its in something I am fine, not worried about the bees, I am watching total sugar intake with all the HFCS, and hidden sugars amping up our hormones and addicting us and making us hungry, etc.

    So in the end. We will have three "buckets" of feed for the humans at most meals and Thanksgiving/holidays.

    1) SAD: affluent, std American diet, metabolic syndrome Western Dietary Pattern - full on. https://draxe.com/charts-american-diet/

    2) VEGGIE: vegetarian sides with egg and dairy products and dressings,

    3) VEGAN: vegan entree/stuff, and/or vegan sides

    If a side of butter sneaks into the green beans, I'm good. no therapy session needed. I might go for the out of bird stuffing but since I am supposed to avoid gluten (not Celiac but ALCAT etc tested 'sensitive" and 3 hospital stays for diverticulitis '08 '09 '10 so I have chopped it way down as well.)

    Vegan is NOT a philosophy for me and so I prefer to instead say I am on the gorilla diet. no dairy, unlikely honey, no animal products or meats but when traveling I might have sashimi or something just the gorilla's who eat termites and larvae if nothing else is available/offered.

    OK, full nut-burger mode now off! Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!!

    ~ Thomas ~

    edited November 2016
  • littlechiaseedlittlechiaseed Member Posts: 491 Member Member Posts: 491 Member
    Colt1835 wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure there is not one vegan dish at my family's thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. Even the vegetables are covered in animal fat.

    One thing that gets me at potlucks and some resteraunts is the green beans sometimes have bacon in them and it's like REALLY? lol
  • Colt1835Colt1835 Member Posts: 447 Member Member Posts: 447 Member
    Colt1835 wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure there is not one vegan dish at my family's thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. Even the vegetablesy are covered in animal fat.

    One thing that gets me at potlucks and some resteraunts is the green beans sometimes have bacon in them and it's like REALLY? lol
    I see that all the time too. I think it's gross and I eat meat almost every day. I want my vegetables to taste like vegetables haha.
  • Mary_AnastasiaMary_Anastasia Member Posts: 267 Member Member Posts: 267 Member
    Hey, here is my menu plan. I'm vegetarian, but my family (2) are not, and only 1 other guest is- everyone else loves their meat. To be honest the menu is mostly based on "what I can I use that I already have a lot of?" (almonds, cranberries, juniper berries etc). Maybe nobody will notice that the turkey is the only real meat!

    P.S. At our holidays guests typically will bring items, too, normally someone brings chicken casserole, another brings green bean casserole, another brings salad, another brings sparkling juice, another brings cheesecake, etc. So, nobody has ever complained about the food choices :)

    P.P.S. I've bought the holiday loaf from Whole Foods before....it's was pretty disappointing, way too rubbery.

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    edited November 2016
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,585 Member Member Posts: 39,585 Member
    I'm only a part timer so I will be having turkey as usual but all of my sides are vegetarian and I'm also making a lentil shepherds pie as a "main" for one of my vegetarian friends who is coming over.
  • Mary_AnastasiaMary_Anastasia Member Posts: 267 Member Member Posts: 267 Member
    Also, I think a lot of people don't realize how many animal products make their way into things like boxed stuffing.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,585 Member Member Posts: 39,585 Member
    Also, I think a lot of people don't realize how many animal products make their way into things like boxed stuffing.

    If you're using boxed stuffing, you're doing it wrong...very wrong.
  • Mary_AnastasiaMary_Anastasia Member Posts: 267 Member Member Posts: 267 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Also, I think a lot of people don't realize how many animal products make their way into things like boxed stuffing.

    If you're using boxed stuffing, you're doing it wrong...very wrong.

    I don't use boxed stuffing (see above, where I outlined a very nice stuffing recipe in my menu), but many people do and I don't judge them for it - some people have busy lives and if you want to use boxed stuffing go for it; in fact, my mom prefers boxed stuffing, I made a giant homemade baked apple walnut sage stuffing once and she brought over 4 boxes of stovetop for herself. Different strokes for different folks. I was just saying not everyone realizes that most of them are not vegetarian.
    edited November 2016
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 25,873 Member Member Posts: 25,873 Member
    I usually do a Field Roast Celebration roast, a bunch of mashed potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, homemade cranberry relish, and a pie. But this year I've got to travel for work the day after Thanksgiving so I won't be able to eat the leftovers over the next few days, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I will probably skip the roast and just do something like a mashed potato bowl with roasted brussels spouts and a dessert that makes a small amount.
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