Planning a vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many wonderful options that veg-eaters can enjoy, and it goes well beyond Tofurky!
Plus, your vegetarian thanksgiving can be healthy and nutritious. So go ahead and grab seconds, even thirds.
Cultural norms of Thanksgiving
You may have many cultural norms and traditions with Thanksgiving that you are accustomed to. But you can go ahead and throw those out the window because your vegetarian Thanksgiving can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t be afraid to make your own traditions and put your own culture into the day.
If you still want a traditional “turkey” style Thanksgiving meal, there are many meat substitutes that you can swap. However, this is totally optional. Don’t focus so much on the bird, let each dish be a star and have its own special qualities.
At my house, we often do quinoa chili, with “cheesy” mashed potatoes, wild rice casserole, roasted portobello mushrooms, and some type of salad.
Inviting others to your vegetarian Thanksgiving
Hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving can actually be easier in some ways because it’s your house. You can cook on your own turf and play by your own rules. Of course hosting any dinner can be stressful, whether it’s plant based or not. But, you can always invite or even challenge your friends and family to bring their best plant-based cooking. If they’re bad cooks just tell them to bring the drinks.
Your friends and family may be excited to help out and try new recipes and cooking techniques. If they’re not into it, they don’t have to come. No more passive aggressive remarks from your conservative uncle about bacon and steak, or showing of “concern” for your “protein deficiency.”
Again, it’s your house, your rules. Your guests may even discover a new holiday favorite.
Attending a Non-Vegetarian Thanksgiving?
This one can be tricky, but there is also much room for opportunity.
Some people have big family get-togethers over the holidays. It may be a bit unrealistic to expect everyone to stick to your vegetarian criteria. However, it always helps to let people know in advance. If you’ve been vegetarian for a longer time, people just know to expect it. Friends and family are usually happy to make at least a couple of purely vegetarian or vegan options.
Thanksgiving is about being thankful
The key to living your best vegetarian life is being generous and gracious with your cooking. And, to show gratitude towards others for incorporating vegetarian cooking into their lives and sharing with others.
Eating tasty, nutritious plant-based food, and spending time with others can make Thanksgiving a truly wonderful holiday for everyone.