Vegetarian, Vegan Thanksgiving Menus|Recipes|Advice

Savvy Vegetarian News, 11.14.10: Vegetarian or Vegan Thanksgiving: Light & Traditional Thanksgiving Menu Ideas & Recipes, Thanksgiving Advice

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Delicious vegetarian and vegan thanksgiving menu ideas without the tofurkey! Low fat vegan, lacto ovo vegetarian and traditional thanksgiving menus & recipes for a successful family Thanksgiving.

What can vegans or vegetarians eat on a holiday that is so firmly tied to turkey? And what can you do when you’re eating with people who range from carnivore to vegan?

It’s liberating to realize that veg Thanksgiving menus don’t have to be traditional, as in replacing the turkey with tofurkey, and otherwise following the usual plan.


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All you really need for a wonderful Thanksgiving is plenty of delicious food and good company, no matter who eats what. We’ve had Indian, Italian, and anything-goes-pot-luck Thanksgiving, all with great success.

Try our light or traditional thanksgiving menu ideas, and advice for a truly bountiful, delicious and harmonious vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Lite Menu Ideas (Vegan)

Cranberry Sauce

Our light Thanksgiving menu has traditional overtones, plenty of variety and all the flavor you need to make anybody happy.

This low fat vegan menu will give you a feeling of abundance, and fill you up nicely. But it won’t leave you feeling like you should fast for a week.

The best part is that these are quick & easy recipes, so you don’thave to spend all day in the kitchen!

Appetizers include low fat spicy bean dip,  toasted French Bread, and a relish tray of pickled and raw veggies.

Poached Pears

The main dish is baked tofu, substantial without added fat and perfect with thanksgiving side dishes of baked cranberry sauce flavored with orange peel, aromatic basmati rice, robust chickpea gravy, naturally sweet baked butternut squash, crisp spinach salad, with fat-free creamy cauliflower dressing, easy dinner rolls and festive poached pears!


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Nutrition Data for the meal, 1 serving of each dish:

 889 calories, 151 g carbohydrate (43% RDV), 16 g fat (14% RDV), 1290 mg sodium (50% RDV), 14 g dietary fiber (63% RDV), 34 g protein. Estimated glycemic load: 81.

Vegetarian and Vegan Light Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Traditional Vegetarian or Vegan Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Nut Loaf in Pastry

Our traditional thanksgiving menu has many choices, including lacto-ovo vegetarian options, and no calorie restrictions.

Most of the recipes serve 4 – 6 hungry people, with left-overs in mind.

Depending on how many people are eating, choose 2- 4 appetizers, 1 or 2 main dishes, 2 – 4 side dishes, 1 – 3  drinks, and 1 – 3 desserts for your menu. Double or triple the recipes to feed more people.

Pumpkin Pie

Many hands make light work, so if you’re hosting, don’t stress yourself. Have your guests contribute an assigned dish or one that will fit your menu.

Or gather friends and family, put on some music, and have a Thanksgiving cook-fest.

See all the traditional vegetarian thanksgiving menu options

Vegetarian Refuses to Eat Meat at Family Thanksgiving

Dinner Rolls

I have been married for 2 1/2 years and we rotate Thanksgiving visits to our families.

I am the only vegetarian in both families and have difficulty eating anything at the Thanksgiving meal.

I’m concerned as to how to (politely) tell hubby’s family why I’m not eating anything (besides rolls) at their Thanksgiving table. Please help as Thanksgiving dinner is quickly approaching!

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

This is one of the toughest situations that vegetarians face: Traditional family dinners where the menu is set in stone, and so are the relatives!

You’ll have to do some tactical planning to get what you need. To the rest of the family,  you’re the one who’s being unreasonable (can’t she just pick out the meat?) for stubbornly insisting on following your vegetarian diet on Thanksgiving.

The harder you push to have food included that you can eat, the more resistance you’ll encounter.  They’re trying to ignore you into submission.

You have a few choices. . .

Find out what happens next – read the whole advice letter

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Judith Kingsbury,  Savvy Vegetarian

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4 Responses to “Vegetarian, Vegan Thanksgiving Menus|Recipes|Advice”

  1. Savvy Veg says:

    OK, fatlossblogger, I’ll bite! What went wrong with Thanksgiving for you?

  2. FAIL. Thanksgiving didn’t go as planned this year… it’s definitely a serious challenge for me!

  3. I just wanted to say thanks for your information on egg substitutes for baking. We aren’t vegan in our family, but we do have milk and egg allergies, so a good pumpkin pie is hard to come by. Your info on a good egg replacer in pumpkin pie for thickening is a life saver. We’ll actually get to have pumpkin pie this year. we didn’t last year, and I refused to miss out on my pumpkin pie this year because of our dumb food allergies. lol Thanks again. I’m headed to the store right now. :)

  4. Diet Minded says:

    Great ideas I always find it difficult during the holidays, especially when you have to go to other people’s homes. One solution is to bring some food of your own and also something others would like so it doesn’t make them feel like you are trying to make them eat vegetarian. This way you both are happy!

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