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How to: Have a very vegetarian Thanksgiving

It’s no surprise that it can be difficult for vegetarians to feel included in the turkey feast. After all, what other day does every American eat the exact same meal, on the exact same day, year after year? GL editor (and resident vegetarian) Jessica shows ya with a little elbow grease and planning, your vegetarian Thanksgiving meal can be just as comforting, delicious and meatless as ever.
 

Going to Grandma’s?
Before you trek to a relative’s house, make sure your host knows that you’re vegetarian and make the offer to bring a meatless side dish with you. To the unknowing host, there’s nothing worse than unexpected dietary restrictions after a busy day in the kitchen, so don’t be shy about voicing your herbivore tastes.

Side Dish Feast
Luckily, there’s a plethora of things to eat on Thanksgiving besides turkey. Don’t just overload on mashed potatoes, though. Try to fill your plate with as many different colored foods as possible to ensure that you’re getting a good mix of vegetables and starches. Bring along your own hearty side dish to share that can double as a vegetarian main course. I love fall favorites like stuffed squashes, nut roasts, or filling quinoa dishes. Check your local library for a good vegetarian cookbook, or look online for recipes at health-conscious sites like 101cookbooks.com or wholefoodsmarket.com, which are chock-full of veggie meal ideas.


Watch Out!
Because many families prepare the same dishes in different ways, it’s difficult to tell if some of the old standbys are hiding meat. Gravy and stuffing are often made using chicken broth and/or turkey giblets, so if these are a must for you, bring along a mushroom gravy or make a smaller pot of stuffing without any meat products.

Around the Table
Be open to friendly discussions about your food choices, but if your sarcastic uncle is giving you a hard time about not partaking in the turkey, be polite and don’t let it turn into an argument. Generally, meat eaters don’t feel the need to try to see things from your point of view, and there’s no point in alienating or offending anyone on this day of thanks.
 
 

BY JESSICA D’ARGENIO ON 11/13/2013 12:00:00 AM

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