by Brittanie in Faves / 11.17.08
Even though the main entrée is void, you can still have a traditional-style Thanksgiving dinner without the turkey. Sort of like walking through Luby’s and immediately piling on the side dishes, by the time you get to the main course your tray is already full. But you’re not mad because you have so many delicious goodies in front of you that how could you possibly be missing out, right? I had to convince myself of this recently when I started dating a vegetarian; interesting outlook on preserving life, but deficient in protein and overzealous towards tofu.
I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case. With just a few adjustments, there are plenty of nutritious bites that can be made without using tofu and still give you your protein fix. Just remember to leave out the meat stocks, bacon bits, and other ingredients that are not vegetarian-friendly. Listed below are some of my favorites recipes (especially the creamed corn!). And don’t worry, not having a main entrée while overdoing it on the side dishes gives everyone options and makes every guest happy, even the dog, as long as you give him the leftover table scraps.
Hot rolls are great to make from scratch but if you’re in a pinch for time the Pillsbury dough boy has an excellent pre-made version.
These beats are delicious and pair well as the topping to a mixed green salad.
What Thanksgiving menu wouldn’t be complete without cranberry sauce to drizzle over everything?
Instead of pairing mashed potatoes with gravy make them extra creamy and flavorful by adding more milk, kosher salt, and garlic.
You don’t have to stuff the Turkey with stuffing to make great dressing. Baking the dressing outside of the turkey in a casserole pan works just as well and makes the crust extra crispy and delicious.
Sweet potatoe casserole (without the non-veg friendly marshmallows), or simply baked, these always turn out to be the dinner favorite.
Grandma loves to put ham in everything but for our dinner party we have to put Grandma’s green bean recipe aside and opt for a low fat, no-animal product variation we call “special” green beans.
Probably the easiest of all the listed recipes, these make a delicious and colorful addition to your buffet table. Add a few extra cloves to the mix to really enjoy the smells of the holidays.
No butter needed! Acorn squash are similar to sweet potatoes in terms of texture and flavor. This recipe calls for butter, but once baked these are delicious, as-is, and even more so if you add a dash of Very, Very Teriyaki sauce.
Corn is assumed to be one of the cornerstone ingredients that the Native Americans brought to the dinner party back in the day. Mix some creamy corn with a lil’ bit o’ mashed potatoes and you’ll get a little piece of starch heaven on your plate.
There is potential to have an amazing main course and such recipes are scattered over the internet. Tofurky is a popular substitute to the traditional turkey. This recipe has a nice mixture of flavors and you could easily substitute the cherry relish with cranberry sauce.
Combine all of your favorite winter fruit into a bowl, add some sugar, add some lemon, some vanilla extract and a little dash of cinnamon. Pair it with a bowl of vanilla yogurt and your favorite nuts as a topping. Perfect for a lite dessert.
If you have a sweet tooth, then it’s not hard to be a vegetarian because desserts are absolutely meat-free! You will never be lacking on the dessert menu (that is unless you’re a vegan). If you have a great vegan recipe please feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Enjoy these eats and don’t forget to post your favorite holiday recipes in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you’re cooking up this November, whether it be a feast for vegetarians or a Turducken, any recipe that’s worth re-eating would be a great asset to our MindBites community.