This is the November 2005 issue of the Low Budget Vegetarian newsletter.

This issue includes:
- making a Thanksgiving meal vegetarian friendly
- all-vegetarian Thanksgiving meal ideas
- Coming up in the next issue


This issue is a little bit different and shorter than planned. I have been dealing with a family medical emergency this month, and haven't had much time to think of anything else.

Also, it occurred to me that this is a good time of year to discuss vegetarian issues with holiday meals.

I haven't had time to put new recipes out on the site, so if you have recipe questions about any of the meal suggestions I make here, feel free to email me and I'll see what I can do.


This is some advice for the meat cook preparing a turkey-based Thanksgiving meal, who is having a vegetarian guest and wants them to feel at home. (Feel free to print out and share this section with friends and relatives if you think it would be useful.)

First and most important - watch for the meat garnishes in the side dishes and eliminate them where you can. This usually includes things like bacon bits or ham in with string beans, potatoes or wild rice casserole, or meat garnishes on a salad. If you want, compensate by adding a bit more salt, or some soy sauce, and maybe some lemon juice or red wine vinegar for a little bit of a sour bite.

Do this one thing and you will have greatly increased the number of dishes your vegetarian guest can eat. Wild rice casserole, sweet potatoes, salad, string bean casserole, would make a feast for a vegetarian.

At the risk of overstating, remember that ANY animal flesh based product is meat. This includes boullion, and gelatin, meat drippings and animal fat. This includes fish. This also includes any product with, say, 'beef flavoring'. Also, once a dish has been cooked with meat, just taking out the pieces of meat does not make it a vegetarian dish. (If this is overly obvious I apologize, but I have seen well-meaning cooks do all these things and think they were preparing vegetarian food.)

With the stuffing, leave some out of the bird. (Be sure to leave out the giblets; they are meat.) It will be excellent mixed in with some onions sauteed in butter or a rich oil like sesame oil, with maybe some soy sauce and a touch of medium-dry sherry for a bit of richness. Consider using a good hefty whole grain bread rather than white bread or boxed croutons since this is a stand-alone dish for your guest, who will probably not be able to use the gravy, assuming you use the drippings from the bird to make it.

And finally, don't bother making a veggie burger. Despite what you may see in magazines, veggie burgers are what vegetarians eat when they're around meat eaters, so the meat eaters don't feel left out.


Notes on a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast

It has been over 15 years since we have had any kind of bird with our Thanksgiving meal. For a couple of years we did replacement foods like Tofurkey (which is fun, and good), and then decided it just wasn't necessary.

Baked squash is good, but not rich or complex enough to serve as a meal center.

A wild rice and long grain brown rice casserole makes a very good center dish. Have some baked squash or sweet potatoes on the side, and a green vegetable dish or a salad. Add some cranberries and you're set for the meal.

With apple or pumpkin pie for dessert, you've got a thanksgiving feast that will satisfy almost anyone , except for that one relative who insists on sighing that it's just Not The Same Without the Turkey. Relax; there is probably nothing you could do to satisfy them anyway.

Good eating and Happy Thanksgiving.


- Coming up in the next issue

In the December newsletter I want to talk about the food topic that's been on my mind for the last month - Cooking for a Convalescent.


And that is all for this month.

Happy and healthy eating to you.

Charlie Obert


- A Request

One of my goals this coming year, is to find good, high-quality sites on whole foods vegetarian and vegan cooking, to trade links with. I am going to be nosing around a lot on my own. It will also be very helpful to me to get suggestions from you.

Any ideas on good vegetarian cooking websites to link to? Any mailing lists, journals or blogs you like to hang out at that you think might be interested?  Any sites you think I should know about, or you think should know about me? Please, let me know. (

Thanks in advance.


Low Budget Vegetarian Survival