I Eat Plants: Choosing a Vegan Thanksgiving Dish

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When meat is your thing, for most people, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey.  When you don’t eat meat, you have all kinds of choices when it comes to Thanksgiving.  The holiday was originally about celebrating the harvest, and vegetables have traditionally played a large role in the celebration.

If you are hosting a plant-based eater this Thanksgiving or you are one yourself, you always have the option of a Tofurky, a Celebration Roast, a Gardein Roast or that crazy looking thing you might see at Whole Foods that disturbingly looks like a turkey.  I’ve had the first 3, and I like them all.  I can’t speak for the weirdly-turkey looking one myself, but I have heard a few good things about it.

Your vegan guest will be grateful that you thought enough of them to have one of these available.  Really.

You have other options, though.  You don’t have to recreate the turkey as above for your vegan Thanksgiving dish.  You can go with dishes that are primarily vegetables or grains, or yes, “vegan proteins” such as tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

How's that for a vegan Thanksgiving dish?

How’s that for a vegan Thanksgiving dish?

This Seitan Pot Pie makes for a different kind of main dish on Thanksgiving.  You can actually make it with tofu or tempeh or even beans if you don’t want to use seitan.  I know, you’re thinking pie is for the dessert when it comes to Thanksgiving, but why not at the meal?

If you’re making a pie for a vegan or vegetarian guest, you will probably want to skip the store-bought crust that you can get in the refrigerator section, as they contain lard.  If you don’t want to make your own crust, the frozen section at both Mrs. Green’s and Whole Foods carry vegan pie crusts.  I personally like a whole wheat crust for a pot pie.

The recipe is flexible; as I said, you can use seitan or tempeh or tofu or beans in the pie, and really, any sturdy vegetable like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips or squash would work well in place of or in addition to the peas and carrots.  I hate mushrooms, but I imagine that for those of you who like them, they’d be nice in a pot pie!

Whatever you chose for your Thanksgiving menu, I hope that your holiday finds you healthy and happy and full of thanks!

 

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About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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