Thanksgiving is all about spending time with loved ones, acknowledging your gratitude for all that you have, and of course eating delicious food. While some people insist that the turkey is the centerpiece of an amazing Thanksgiving day feast, vegetarians see the holiday a little bit differently. There are always plenty of delicious side dishes and alternative meal staples for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy, and if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, there is always a way to make this food-centered holiday vegetarian friendly.
Keep the meat-free conversation to a minimum- For many vegetarians, Thanksgiving can mean endless questions and comments about their lifestyle. Make your vegetarian guests feel welcome and comfortable by keeping the focus of conversation away from their meatless lifestyle choice.
Easy substitutions- Swapping in some healthy alternatives to traditional dishes can instantly make Thanksgiving day dishes more vegetarian friendly. Allow everyone (vegetarian guests included) to enjoy your side dishes by choosing to use vegetable sock instead of chicken stock in staples like stuffing and gravy.
Be aware- There are certain ingredients that vegetarians don’t eat that aren’t necessarily meat based. Be conscious of some hidden ingredients that may not be vegetarian friendly. For example, vegetarians don’t eat gelatin which is used in marshmallows, so decide to leave them off as a topping for sweet potatoes so everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving dish without worry.
No Need for Replacement Turkey- Unless a vegetarian guest asks for it, don’t make a fake-meat dish to satisfy their lack of turkey. Vegetarians don’t have to have anything like Tofurky to feel satisfied at Thanksgiving dinner. Even though meat lovers see the large bird as the main staple of Thanksgiving dinner, vegetarians will do just fine with you making a fake tofu shaped turkey specifically for them or not
Make a simple meatless entree- If you decide to make an entree that is vegetarian friendly, use few simple ingredients. Rather than filling a dish with a ton of different vegetables that would make having the other side dishes a little redundant, cook a main dish with ingredients and flavors that are somewhat basic.
Be Careful- Make sure that you know which dishes contain anything that includes ingredients that are not meat-less. Ensure your vegetarian guests will enjoy your Thanksgiving day meal by having most dishes be vegetarian friendly. Also, be careful not to contaminate dishes with the juices from the turkey.
There are a number of great food websites to utilize, where you can find a variety of different meatless dishes to have at your Thanksgiving day feast. By serving a large spread of different dishes that are vegetarian friendly, you can show your creative side as well as your desire to make everyone feel comfortable. You never know, some of the vegetarian meal staples might become some favorites at your Thanksgiving feast.