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An Alternative Meal Plan for Thanksgiving

As an ovo-vegetarian (no meat or dairy, but I do eat eggs) trying to transition into full on veganism this upcoming Thanksgiving could seem intimidating. Thankfully, with the help of the internet and an increasingly expanding vegan food industry there are plenty of alternatives to your Turkey Day favorites.

  1. Turkey

The turkey is probably the most difficult to try and recreate using plant-based ingredients. So, I’ve accepted the fact that while I will not have the classic Thanksgiving turkey experience, there are still a wide variety of available entrees. This is a course I’d probably buy over cook myself, as there are so many great options on the market right now. You can try the classic Tofurky Feast or go with Field Roast’s very fancy looking Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute.

2. Stuffing

While a traditional stuffing is vegetarian in nature, it is normally cooked with some kind of butter. Thus, pretty much any stuffing recipe can be made dairy free by just using a vegan butter substitute, or even coconut oil. Minimalist Baker has the best, most simple recipe out there.

3. Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Another Thanksgiving classic that can easily be made meat-and-dairy free. For the mashed potatoes, just try replacing the milk/cream and butter with non-dairy substitutes such a coconut cream and vegan butter. The gravy is slightly different are you’re going to want to try and opt for a flour-based gravy rather than one using animal broth/drippings and butter. Minimalist Baker (can you tell I’m a big fan?) has a great, slightly healthier, recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy. Hopefully this slightly healthier recipe will help mitigate the post-thanksgiving food coma.

4. Cranberry Sauce

While I assumed that no one actually likes cranberry sauce and thus was planning on bypassing it, a quick debrief with my friend proved that I was sorely mistaken. Cranberry sauce has an incredibly underrated fan club. While cranberry sauce is vegan, I think everyone can do better than the canned variety. Try these varieties from Saveur.

5. Parker House Rolls

There is no denying that Parker House rolls are hands down iconic. Perfectly squishy, butter-y and downright delicious- I look forward to them every year. However, this year I’m going to need an alternative. If you’re feeling ambitious, try baking your own. If you’re realistic, just go to the grocery store (Whole Foods and similar stores will probably have better options) and see what you can find.

A simple sophomore pretending to still be a freshman.
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