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Nov 9, 2006 11:00 PM

Vegan/Wheat(gluten)Free Thanksgiving main course

Hi All,

I will be doing a big turkey for our 12 'regular' eaters, but we will also have two vegans and two gluten-free (celiac) eaters at our Thanksgiving table. One of the vegans is also one of the gluten free... so
I was thinking of something like a lentil 'loaf' of some kind that I can make the day before then reheat after the turkey comes out of the oven. It should also be wheat free, therefore no bread crumbs, crackers, bulgar, seiten,etc... Quinoa is OK and rice and veggies, and no eggs or dairy.

I can find lots of recipes on-line (at recipesource, for example), but thought I would ask here for any 'tried-and-true' and/or chowhound-worthy recipes.


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  1. One Thanksgiving when I was serving vegetarians I made the real bird, and for a joke shaped the lentil loaf into a very cute roast turkey look alike. It consisted of said lentils - mashed, minced mushrooms, celery and shallots fried in margarine and soy sauce, short grain brown rice, poultry seasoning. Delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: niki rothman

      What recipe did you use for this? I have made veggie loaf from TVP but not lentils. It sounds yummy. Cheers!

    2. I would roast butternut squash or a pumpkin and fill with a stuffing made of quinoa, dried fruits and nuts

      2 Replies
      1. re: nycgirl

        I did something similar but with a lentil stuffing (a little protein to limit the carb coma afterwards). I used Indian-style seasonings.

        But I could see it working with a Southwest spin, too - black beans, chilies, corn, etc. YUM.

        1. re: nycgirl

          I second this, as a former vegetarian and cook for vegans and other restrictive diets. I would also add some onions browned slowly in a dry pan. And toast some spices such as ground cumin, coriander, paprika, mustard seeds, etc.

        2. You could do something that is crockpottable... so as not to use the oven.

          look here

          1. I would second the stuffed squash - we do this with acorn squash or delicata and I love it. You can eat the skin of more delicate squashes too, so it is easier to eat (although my husband doesn't like to eat it). We do it with a southwest spin, Indian or with apples and chard it it. Try adding pomogranite molasses to a lentil dish - one of my favorite things... (and gluten-free!)

            Personally, as a celiac who eats vegetarian often (but am not vegetarian and certainly not vegan), I dislike "look-alike" or "meat-substitute" things, or for that matter most "gluten-substitute" things. I think it is better to do things that are naturally meat and gluten free and let the flavors shine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jsaimd

              Thanks to all for the ideas so far... I do like the stuffed squash or pumpkin idea, but whatever I choose has to be made the day before, then reheat and I am afraid that wouldn't work so well with a stuffed squash. Don't you think it might fall apart?
              Last night I saw a butternut squash and quinoa savory pie in the Nov issue of Martha Stewart Living, of all places, that looked good. Quinoa is one of the highest protien grains, but I still might be tempted to add some lentils too.

              1. re: PamelaD

                I think a stuffed squash would work better than a pumpkin since it's flatter and less bulky (so it'll take less time to reheat, thus avoiding overcooking).

                Or, you could turn the idea into a casserole, layering slices squash with the filling into a deep dish. You could partially cook it ahead then reheat.

            2. I know this is an old post, but it's also the first hit that comes up when you google "vegan gluten-free thanksgiving" so I wanted to add my thoughts here. As a long-time vegetarian who now eats gluten-free and usually vegan, I want to weigh in strongly *against* both stuffed squash/pumpkin and lentil loaf. Unless you are a pro at these dishes they usually come out dry and heavy, and I've felt sad at many a holiday dinner when stuck with one of these two options.

              Instead, I want to recommend a recipe that I've converted to vegan and gluten-free. It take a bit of time and love, but you can make it a day ahead and reheat it right before serving, and it is so incredible the vegans and celiac folks at your table will feel anything but short-changed. Find the recipe and detailed instructions for Celery Root and Squash Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Streusel here: (You'll need to scroll down a bit to find the recipe.)

              Last year we hosted an entirely vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving. Our meat-and-bread-eating friends and family were nervous, but by the end of the meal everyone agreed it was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners they'd ever had. The whole menu with photos and links to all the recipes is on my blog: