This is the November 2005 issue of the Low Budget Vegetarian
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
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
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
Baked squash is good, but not rich or complex enough to serve as a meal
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.
- 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