Vegetarian options for Thanksgiving

When people think of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, the first thing that comes to mind is the turkey. However, there are many people out there, more specifically vegans or vegetarians, that cannot participate in the consumption of the festive bird. Because of this, vegetarian and vegan-friendly products are becoming more common in grocery stores nationwide, and will be found on many tables in America this Thanksgiving. “I think my mom’s actually pretty excited to cook some vegetarian things for Thanksgiving,” says senior vegetarian Katrina Henderson. Perhaps the most well-known option is Tofurkey. The main ingredient in Tofurky is soy, which is organic and safe for vegetarians and vegans to eat. One of the main goals when making Tofurkey is trying to get it to taste like turkey, which is achieved through the addition of yeasts. Most of the time, it is stuffed with bread cubes, brown rice, and celery. Another option is Celebration Roast. It is similar to Tofurkey, but resembles a roast asopposed to a turkey. It’s also made from soy and is flavored using yeasts. However, it is not stuffed with as many vegetables. Casseroles are a simple and delicious alternatives to turkey as well. Sweet potatoes, already a Thanksgiving staple, is an easy choice. Using mashed potatoes as a main course would also be effective, considering that it is also very common to find this during Thanksgiving. “I’m thinking mushroom loaf? Supa tasty,” says senior vegan Chloe Carson. Acorn squash and pumpkin can be great bases to work with when cooking for the holidays, since both are easy to find during this season. Hollow one out and then stuff it with quinoa, a nutty-tasting grain, and other vegetables to get a great, unique flavor. In addition to these, it’s also easy to make the traditional side dishes meat-free. “Honestly, there’s usually so much other than meat that we cook that I’m not concerned at all,” says Henderson. The stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and other sides can be made using tofu or other meat replacement products. All in all, these changes are relatively easy to make for the annual feast. “The hardest thing is when people think cheese pizza is vegan, and I’m stuck at some homestyle restaurant watching old people eat.” says Carson. These are just a few ideas, but any meal can easily be made vegetarian. There are a multitude of non-meat options out there, so get out there and start cooking.