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Thankful for Thanksgiving Options


Holidays are a feat within themselves, but spice it up with a preferred dietary restriction and the result is chaos. You come home apologizing about how you can’t eat majority of what is served and immediately you’re ambushed. In comes the bombardment of family members questioning your decision, critiquing your reasoning, and leaving you to feel as though your diet is a burden on the holiday spirit. You may even second guess your personal decision, but it doesn’t help that your sense of smell causes you to unwillingly admit that you miss the food you grew up on. Hopefully this article will help prevent that outcome by providing vegetarian and vegan options and substitutes for you to make, or suggest, during this holiday season.

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

This vegetarian dish is full of flavorful goodness with its use of sage leaves, onions, and red peppers. The diced up squash mixed into the creamy smoothness of the risotto creates a mouthwatering combination. This recipe has no meat substitutes, its main ingredients consisting of vegetables and brown rice.  With a serving size of four, it is perfect to make and share with the family as a side dish. It also only requires discarding the parmesan cheese and using vegan butter to create a vegan dish.


Quinoa, Mushroom, and Zucchini Veggie Burgers

This next option is intended to be made from scratch and thanks to the the recipe’s leniency, the dish can be so much more tasty.  During one of the first steps of sauteing the mushroom and zucchini, feel free to spice it up by adding some of your favorite seasonings. There’s also no set standards or suggestions for the toppings you wish to add to your veggie masterpiece. Another perk is that, Texan chef and owner of the recipe, Elizabeth, has a secret technique on how to prevent the patties from falling apart. By first frying the patties and then cooking them more thoroughly in the oven. Also, a personal suggestion from me, is pairing the veggie burger with some meatless mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce; an essential that all Thanksgiving meals must have.


Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole & Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Of course, we still need the Thanksgiving classics and thankfully, these are vegan-friendly options. This green bean casserole has savory flavors of garlic and shallots soaked into the mushrooms which accent the green beans perfectly. Topped with with crispy fried onions, this meal of deliciousness sadly only serves four. However, doubling the ingredients will increase the portion size and can create a side dish that everyone will enjoy. Now obviously the same needs to be said for these lovely mashed potatoes. Their tasty garlic flavor, accented by the rosemary, creates a necessary zest for this dish. Their original serving size is six, but then again, Thanksgiving is truly all about the leftovers.


Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

And of course, a meal would be incomplete without dessert. This vegan pie is a delicious slice of heaven and a great way to end dinner. The spice of cinnamon and ginger combined with the sugary hints of brown sugar and sweet potatoes creates a perfect holiday treat. However, the recipe calls for pecans so a caution to those with peanut allergies. Another personal suggestion from me, having a slice with a glass of milk or coffee, paired with a seat by the fire, would makeup for any holiday catastrophe that may have occurred.


Hopefully these Thanksgiving options make your holiday a bit easier to deal with. Remember, just because every family is a disaster, doesn’t mean the food has to be. Also, you never know, maybe you’ll be able to convert some family members into joining your crazed dietary habits. Enjoy your holiday season!


Jollan Franco

Seattle U '22

English Major Lacrosse Player
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