Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 31, 2008 09:05 AM

complicated Thanksgiving

Help! My daughter is a no-meat/poultry person and 2 of our friends are vegan. The rest of us will eat anything that doesn't move. Last year I made a cold poached salmon along with the turkey and sides,but this year I need a vegan main dish too, one that isn't too obviously "just" for them. I would make enough of whatever for everyone. Any thoughts? I don't want them to feel like they can only have sides. All sides are, except for the dressing, vegan friendly.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is our exact dilemma... well almost. We have 3 people who eat anything that doesn't move, 2 no meat/poultry, 1 vegetarian, and 1 vegan. We've found it really difficult to make vegan main dishes that aren't obviously just for my brother. Usually my mom will just substitute or remove the cream/eggs/etc in the vegetarian dishes to make them vegan. For example, every year my brother gets a mini apple pie with no butter in the crust.

    But thanks for this great question, and I look forward to other people's responses.

    1. I am not sure if I can help you, but 101 Cookbooks is an excellent resource for vegan/vegetarian recipes. Definitely check back in as I am sure Heidi will be posting Thanksgiving-specific recipes!

      For now, here is a link to her vegan recipes:

      1. To avoid any redundancy, what sides are you serving?

        1. I'd think squash in this situation: maybe small squash stuffed with wild rice or farro, hazelnuts, sage and maybe some dried cranberries. You could assemble them in advance and let them warm in the oven while the turkey rests.

          For vegetarian rather than vegan, there are more options, and I'd probably do the squash and hazelnut lasagna on epicurious. I don't know if there's a way to replace the bechamel in that recipe with a vegan alternative. Maybe you could just layer noodles and a squash puree with another diced veggie and nuts?

          1 Reply
          1. re: cyberroo

            I think baked squash with a wild rice, cranberry and nut stuffing with-maybe with bits of tofu or veggie sausage crumblers-would be awesome. I would use a few acorn squash as the shape is lovely for presentation. Make one for each vegan and a few more for everyone else to share.

            Or--you could get vegan phyllo dough (i find mine at a grocery store that carries lots of kosher items) and make turnovers (or strudel) with a vegan filling like spinach or or another vegetable. You can also use it to make a pot pie top that is filled with lovely veggies in a nice sauce. Another option would be shepard's pie since you already have the mashies--just make extra.

          2. I've made this Root Vegetable Cobbler as a vegetarian main course with good success at Thanksgivings with vegetarians in attendance:


            Note that the biscuit topping calls for butter, milk and eggs, so you'd have to find an alternate topping, since those ingredients make the bisuits non-vegan. You could serve it as a root veggie stew instead without the topping, or figure out a vegan-friendly dough mix.

            Other alternatives would be to do a dish featuring butternut squash or another winter squash -- maybe stuffed? It's seasonal, and with some creativity, it would be an attractive veggie main. Here's a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin, for instance, which could easily be made vegan by subbing olive oil for the butter in the sauce: