Tell VT: What’s your signature Thanksgiving dish, and why is it special? Share your answer below and see what others have to say. Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.
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Spinach spoon bread...Lovely! It is simply creamed pearl onions and chopped spinach mixed into a basic corn bread recipe. When it comes out of the oven there is a sweet grainy corn bread with a somewhat custardy texture. The spinach and pearl onions in the mix add interesting texture, and the flavor is divine! Our family favorite :-)
The parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme gravy is the best gravy I tasted. Can't wait to have it for thanksgiving.
This one got rave reviews last year!
This is an interesting question as even my American friends will ask what our vegetarian family eats for Thanksgiving. Now that we are living in Germany and hosting an "American Thanksgiving" for our German friends this adds a new layer of interest from a cultural perspective. We have many favorites, but as the only vegetarian family in our extended family gatherings, I always bring a soup, hot vegetable dish and a green salad. Our favorites are primarily VT recipes and include: Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Soup with White Beans and Swiss Chard, Roasted Root Vegetables, Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry and Walnuts, stuffed acorn squash (there was a beautiful new Wild Rice-Stuffed Pumpkin recipe VT Oct. 2012 that I can't wait to serve) and a sweet potato, butternut squash with fresh ginger "mashed potato" recipe that we make every year. There are very rarely left-overs!
Our signature dish is our tofu "turkey". It really is divine. The recipe we use involves pressing the tofu against a strainer, filling with stuffing and spices, and then.... flipping it over! The reason it's so special is because each year my now 5 year old daughter and I work closely together to make it, ending with literally holding our breath, crossing our fingers and toes while turning it over, each time hoping it "stays together" - then jumping up and down with joy when it actually does what it's supposed to!
Even before I went vegetarian at the age of 11, my favourite dish on the Thanksgiving table was always my mom's fluffy, creamy turnip and apple bake, with its unusual flavour combination balancing tangy and sweet apples with earthy, slightly bitter turnip. An unusual kid who loved vegetables, I looked forward to that dish every year. It was never the most popular dish on the table and I usually got most of it to myself, but whenever my mom said she might not bother with it this time I'd insist that she had to - it wasn't Thanksgiving without the turnip and apple bake! Eventually I learned to make it myself, and it was one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook. It became my regular contribution to the Thanksgiving table after that. I still make it every year.
I became a vegetarian when I was 12, and my parents thought it was a phase. I survived on cheese sandwiches and side dishes for awhile before my Dad got worried about my nutrition and subscribed to VT. After that we spent each Thanksgiving picking out a special recipe to cook together so that I always had a special meal too. We quickly learned to make a lot and make sure I got my share first, because my family usually enjoyed my veggie dish too!
My Dad's roasted brussels sprouts slathered in a white cheddar cream sauce. My sister and I demand them annually and even though my mom hates brussels sprouts, she eats them with a smile in the spirit of the holidays.
The new favorite is Tempeh smeared and sautee'd with Coconut Cream and Fennel -- a recipe from Chef Raghavan Iyer. Seasoning includes garlic, dried red Thai chilies, fennel seed, salt, black mustard seed, cardamom seed, canola oil, coconut milk and cilantro. It's brings heat and comfort together with little effort, and the tremendous flavors easily define a Thanksgiving centerpiece around which pumpkin bread with dates and pecans, chestnut soup, mashed Yukon potatoes,green beans with almonds and more are stand outs.
Homemade seitan in mushroom gravy--it is hearty, filling, and takes much less time than cooking a turkey! Even the carnivores like it.
Mustacholis - it's actually not easy to find the mustacholi noodle any more, but a noodle w/ a hole will work as long as I make my 1/2 Italian grandmother's tomato sauce using olive oil instead of bacon grease. Growing up, we always knew it was Thanksgiving when we smelled the sauce and it's one item I make sure to include each year.
Since it just my husband and kids every year, I try to make some special foods to make the day, and meal, memorable. A few years ago I started making mashed potatoes with carmelized onions and sage that is just so delicious. I also make cranberry dressing from fresh cranberries and Grand Marnier. Now I cannot wait until Thanksgiving!
Cheryl Kay, you do know that jello is an animal product, made from animal hooves and bones, right?
Stuffing! I start saving ends of loaves of bread in August, tossing them in a bag in the freezer. Rye, sourdough, multigrain, cracked wheat, it all goes in together to be used on Thanksgiving. I use "Scarborough Faire" herbs-all fresh and organic-parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I saute chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced celery, and one finely minced carrot with an Earth Balance buttery stick, then add the minced herbs when the kitchen smells wonderful. While they cook, I slice the thawed breads in my largest pan. Pour the veggies over the bread, add some veg broth, and bake for an hour, covered except for the last 15 minutes.
It's so good that people start asking if I'll be making it in September. I now bring a batch into work the last day before Thanksgiving vacation. It's just a wonderful dish, and very traditional.
My fave Thanksgiving dish is the "Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepherd's Pies" from the Nov/Dec 2010 VT issue. I veganized it by substituting soy milk for the cream, Smart Balance for the butter, leaving out the parmesan cheese (or maybe I added a little PARMA) and replacing the grated Asiago cheese w/a little shredded vegan cheese. I purchased small baking rings just for this. It is so incredibly "special" looking. Talk about presentation! I served it with the "Mushroom-Pinot Noir Sauce," veganizing that recipe as well. My foodie daughter/son-in-law were very impressed!
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