Thanksgiving Dinner for 8 - Vegans, Vegetarians and Carnivores Included
Any menu suggestions. I would like to make this as simple as possible and use dishes that all can eat when I can. Traditional Southern cook hosting - husband is a meat-eater but not very adventurous when it comes to vegetables. I can do things like mashed potatoes using vegan substitutes for milk and butter. Any ideas appreciated!
There was a discussion about this earlier. There seem to be two schools of thought. One is to use dairy-like substitutions for butter, cream etc. so you come as close to the dairy as possible. The second, and I personal favorite, is to go in a non-dairy direction but use the same main ingredients--going Italian means subbing olive oil for lots of the "dairy." That would mean potatoes whipped with olive oil and garlic, other vegetables roasted in olive oil. If people are not very interested in vegetables, there may be no reason to make ones the "meat eater" will love since I assume he'll be focused on the turkey. You can also do a roasted mushrooms with lots of fresh herbs as a hearty side dish for vegans and vegetarians.
Vegans like to suffer and feel superior about their martyrdom, so just make your regular recipes and let them enjoy not eating it. Don't kill me, I'm joking.
Escondido is right, much can be done with olive oil that will taste better than margarine. Also nut oils add good flavor, like if you have steamed green beans with hazelnut oil ( & maybe a little sherry vinegar) and toasted hazelnuts. Just pass bowls of butter, sour cream and bacon bits to go on top of anything appropriate. For dessert, baked apples with maple syrup and pecans as one option, and you should be able to find an ice cream substitute.
This is common at my Thanksgiving table and solved by the help of Eve. Eve is the first vegan to join our feast and she and I work together to finish dishes. As the steamed beans come off the stove, we divide them. She puts some almost butter on one dish, I put butter on the other. Same with the squash and potatoes. Eve makes a tofu pumpkin pie the night before [and doesn't do a great job at the cleaning up after herself.] For years, I did both a traditional baked bean pot and a vegan one, but have given in and just do the vegan version.
Additionally, I make a vegan soup [mushroom has been a favorite] for a starter and always make sure to have vegan roasted nuts on the "nibbles" table. With a cooperative kitchen helper, it has never felt too difficult to have vegans around the table.
Field Roast Celebration Roast is vegan and very tasty, and a snap to prepare. Compose a vegan gravy and you have lovely foundations for a plush Thanksgiving feast. There are, of course, vegetable options galore.