Thanksgiving for vegetarians? Absurd! Thanksgiving must include a turkey, right? Wrong. Historically, Thanksgiving was a Harvest festival. And what do we harvest? Grains and vegetables. Here are tips and recipes for a vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving.
Harvest Vegetable Recipes: Since vegetables are the basis of the harvest (ergo Thanksgiving), vegetarians and pescetarians can feast at Thanksgiving. I like to include at least five different vegetable dishes (not including potatoes). Root vegetables, beans and corn are prominent October harvest vegetables. Harvesting also involves nuts, berries and fruits, too. When baking your harvest pumpkin and squash pies and casseroles, add a handful or two of fresh walnuts hazelnuts or pecan nutmeats. Those are grown locally on the eastern seaboard.
When baking your sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie, try a garnish of walnuts and cranberries (grown in bogs along the east coast). I also love to garish with piquant dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries. Dry your own apples and berries this way. Arrange on a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil. Bake on low oven 200 degree until dehydrated. Times vary depending up ripeness and size of fruit.
For non-pescetarian vegetarians (those who don’t eat meat), make a delicious Thanksgiving 15 bean soup for your main dish. Hambeens sells an inexpensive 15 bean soup blend (I toss out the seasoning and make my own). Rinse and sort beans. Soak beans over night. Simmer for two hours in a stock pot with several quarts of vegetable broth. You can save money on vegetable broth by using Superior Touch Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon is a vegetarian and vegan chef’s best friend. Most varieties are organic, kosher, preservative free, MSG free. Add your pick of harvest vegetables: carrots, potatoes, cabbage, leeks, onions, mushrooms, celery, sweet potatoes, winter squash, corn, rutabaga, turnips, pumpkin. Add bay (laurel) leaf for flavor, but be sure to remove bay leaves before serving. They don’t cook down. My husband (very much a carnivore) fell madly in love with my 15 bean cabbage and rutabaga vegetarian chowder.
For more great holiday tips and recipes, visit the linked blogs.