When you think Thanksgiving what do you think of? Most people’s first thought is of that iconic bird that is the main dish on many Thanksgiving tables: turkey. According to The Vegetarian Times, there are currently 7.3 million people in the United States that follow a vegetarian diet. So, what do these 7.3 people eat on this American holiday if they cannot (or choose not to) eat the turkey?
I have been a vegetarian for eight years now, so this will be my eighth year without turkey on my plate on Thanksgiving Day. Every year around this time, all the people around me ask, “What do you eat on Thanksgiving if you don’t eat turkey!?” My response is always the same: I eat what I did before I was a vegetarian. There are so many more options on Thanksgiving than just the turkey! Some would even say the sides are the best part. This holiday meal is all about eating your weight in food, so why just limit your choice to turkey? The sides are the shining stars on my family’s Thanksgiving table. You name it, we have it: mac’n’cheese, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, corn, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.
There are many good food blogs and chefs that have vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes. If you ever need any inspiration on what to cook for your vegetarian friends, family members, or even just yourself, you can search through many websites. Food Network has a gallery of vegetarian dishes that you can make, as well as Food and Wine Magazine and Bon Appetit. I usually try to make one dish every Thanksgiving to take the pressure off of my family and to make something delicious and meat-free!
Eating vegetarian on Thanksgiving is a lot easier than most people seem to think it is! I still prepare myself for a feast on the third Thursday in November as I always plan to gorge down all the mac’n’cheese, biscuits, green beans, and every dessert ever that I possibly can.