Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving: The Veg Entree Dilemma

In large part, I can't complain about holiday meals - especially Thanksgiving - even though I'm vegetarian. Rolls, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. On Christmas, add in cookies of many varieties. All vegetarian, all things I love.

However, even if it's just a handful of days a year, it's not exactly ideal to have a meal totally comprised of refined carbs. So what to bring as an alternative to the main dish?

For a while, I always brought Tofurkey. My mom always had some, and even my dad would put some on his plate and at least pretend to tolerate it; but the extended family was significantly less enthusiastic. I'm actually not a a huge fan of it myself - I mean, it's ok, especially with ketchup, but it's by no means the most delicious thing ever.

I also really don't like the idea of pretending to eat meat, or something that's overtly trying to take the place of meat. I want a less-carby entree, sure, but utilizing products like a Tofurkey just makes you a party to reinforcing the concept that a main dish is "supposed" to be meat-based. I'd also really like to introduce the omnivores I love to meatless entrees that don't scream that they're vegetarian, so eventually I started branching out into other dishes to bring for my veggie contribution.

2011: A rice-stuffed squash. I can't find the exact recipe I used, but it was less a recipe than just instructions to assemble a boxed rice mix into a scooped out squash. 

2012: Maple coconut baked tofu

2013: My contribution was in desserts (nanaimo bars), but we had Thanksgiving day with Abe's family which mostly leans at least flexitarian, so there was actually a Tofurkey as a main part of the meal, which more than just me partook in!

2014: We're planning to make this kale salad. I think the cranberries will make it nice and festive, and despite being kale I think most of the relatives there will at least be willing to try it. :)

What's your favorite non-meat holiday dish?

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