Whether we're ready to kick off the holiday season or not, it's upon us. Thanksgiving is one week, or 168 hours, away - however you want to look at it. I spent a good portion of the day yesterday thinking about the dishes I want to make, what ingredients I will need, and where I need to go to get them. So I made my lists and checked them twice (it was actually more like 5 or 6 times) and I think I'm ready to get my shopping done this week.
My Thanksgiving menu consists of a Quorn Turk'y Roast (vegetarian), Better Than Gravy Turkey Gravy (vegan), green chile gravy (vegan), mashed potatoes (vegetarian), mushroom walnut stuffing (vegan), green chile stuffing (vegan), green bean casserole (vegetarian), candied sweet potatoes (vegan), dinner rolls (vegetarian), and for dessert, some yummy pumpkin pie (vegetarian), apple pie (vegetarian) and homemade whipped cream (vegetarian).
Pretty traditional, but that's what I love about it. These are the same dishes my family has been enjoying for Thanksgiving my entire life. It brings back all the warm, sweet memories of past holidays with my family, hanging out in the kitchen with my mom helping prepare the food, and watching football with the family all afternoon. And of course, the left-over turkey sandwiches the next day! Oh how I have missed the turkey sandwiches since becoming a vegetarian. I haven't tried the vegetarian Turk'y Roast before (or any other brand) because for the past two holidays, I waited too long to get it, and the stores around me were sold out. But this year I planned ahead and I bought mine this week, and it's now sitting in my freezer. I can't wait! Especially for the turk'y sandwich! YUM! That has always been my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Call me crazy, but even with all the beautiful, delicious dishes made that day, I always anticipated the turkey sandwich the next day.
Now, you might be asking about the green chile stuffing and green chile gravy. Well, I grew up in New Mexico, and we put chile in literally EVERYTHING. It's delicious! If you want to give it a try, but don't want to make the entire dish in case you don't like it, make a little extra stuffing, mix in some roasted, chopped green chile, and bake it as usual in a small baking dish. You can choose how spicy you want it by which chile you use. You can do the same for your gravy, just take a portion of the gravy you've already made, put it in your blender or food processor and puree it with some chopped green chile (or a little red chile sauce). Then return it to the stove to simmer for about 5 or 10 minutes to develop the flavors.
Whether you want to keep your holiday meal strictly traditional, or if you want to get creative by trying some new dishes or just re-inventing some old ones, be sure to start your shopping early. This way, you'll have all week to make those short trips to the stores to pick up those items you forgot and you won't be rushed and stressed out at the last minute.
I think I'll go check my lists again, just to be sure I have everything. I hope you all have a terrific Thursday!
- Cari Ann
- Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
- I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.