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Nov 20, 2008 11:53 PM

Tall order: Any suggestions for a diabetic-friendly vegetarian Thanksgiving entree?

I'm trying to figure out a main course for a friend who will be at my dinner. I'm thinking tomato/spinach or other veggie quiche, wild rice casserole with cashews, or grilled cheesy polenta served with a protein of some sort -- but these are still a bit more side dishy than I'd like. Any other ideas? I'd love to hear 'em!

(He probably wouldn't like tofurky or faux meats -- and unfortunately also doesn't like mushrooms.... or tofu of any sort... picky picky!)

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  1. I hate most tofu delivery methods, but plain firm tofu cubed, tossed in cornstarch skewered and grilled or fried and drizzled in a teriyaki like sauce, mmm.

    Tofu-Tots. try it as a side ahead of the day. I don't like the faux meat as well, but when it's not pretending...that's another issue.

    I'd still be happy with your first options frankly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hill food

      he's an avowed tofu detester, unfortunately! (i've tried many and sundry delivery methods.) but those sound good enough to try for myself. they sound a bit like certain thai fried tofu triangles i really like. thanks!!

    2. To have something impressive looking, I'd go w/a stuffed squash or pumpkin. The filling could be a mixture of veggies, beans, etc. And easy protein if you go w/any of your above of ideas is 2 cans of cannelli (small white) beans, (rinsed of course)....saute some olive oil and minced garlic and finely chopped rosemary....throw the beans in and heat through - it's one in 5 mins, and so delish I suggested 2 cans because everyone will want some.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JaneRI

        I love the pumpkin idea. Did you see the recipe posted on Gourmet Magazine's website? It is a stunner for sure. I was originally steering away from that recipe because there is too little protein, but it's a great idea to see if I can add beans or other legumes of some sort.... Or nuts maybe?

      2. I think anytime you take anything "side-dishy" and stuff it into a vegetable--this time of year any kind of squash would be lovely--it elevates it into something more main-dish-like. I love acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, for instance...


        8 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I once had a friend who prepared a polenta an roasted vegetables dish. It was a slab of polenta with roasted veg on top of it, it had a cheese, either goat or parm I cannot remember. It was fantastic, and definitely a meal. If you would like me to contact my friend and find the recipe let me know.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            yummy. my sister and i actually make this for ourselves pretty regularly. i love it. do you think the cheese by itself would provide enough protein? (t-giving sides aren't very rich in protein!)

            1. re: cimui

              serve this as their main course and then have a side dish for every one, such as a salad that is high in protein. A quinoa cous cous or lentil salad or mixed bean salad.

              1. re: cleopatra999

                not a bad idea. other question, if you know: does polenta digest too quickly to be kosher for diabetics?

                1. re: cimui

                  I wouldn't think so as long as it is being eaten with other food. corn is fairly high on the GI scale though....perhaps ask your guest if polenta is okay, or you can check on a diabetes site. your guest probably manages with the amount of carbs that they eat in one meal.

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    polenta recipes show up on a lot of diabetic recipe sites, apparently. i think this might be my solution. thanks so much, again, cleopatra999.

                    1. re: cimui

                      no problem, glad to help, if you want the exact recipe let me know and I will search it out for you.

                      this actually reminded me how yummy this dish was, I have a pot luck coming up for my book club, and there are a couple of vegetarians, I think I will make this dish for it :)

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            ah, acorn squash might be a more realistically sized option for a single entree. good idea.

          3. I agree that anything stuffed in a squash or pumpkin makes a hearty and pretty main dish. The same is generally also true of things wrapped in Phyllo sheets. You could make a delicious veggie filling (it could include a yummy collection of whatever veggies this person will eat), wrap it up in either indiviual phyllo packets or in one large strudel, and bake to golden. It is pretty when it comes out of the oven and mine have always been delicious! It also makes a good side dish for the turkey-eaters at the gathering.

            As an aside, when we, vegetarians, attend a meal like this at someone else's home who is not vegetarian we always bring a dish with us. This is something that can be a main course for us, and also a complementary side dish for everyone else. I think most people would be happy to do that, and are even accustomed to doing so. We know that if we don't bring a main dish we can eat, then there might not be anything for us at the table.

            1 Reply
            1. re: laurachow

              I was considering spinach and feta stuffed phyllo triangles, but wasn't really clear on whether that might trigger any diabetes concerns (the unprocessed white flour in the phyllo and all...). agree that they are attractive and delicious.

              [with a quiche, i could make a homemade crust out of oats and whole wheat flour and roll it very thin, so as not to add a lot of fast-digesting carbs.]

            2. Eggs, the miracle food.

              Frittata (be sure to cook the vegetables separately before adding).

              Hey, while I enjoy turkey, a frittata is better eats. (Since the main dish of Thanksgiving is stuffing, not the turkey, anyway).