Outside The Box Vegan Holiday Dinners

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: ThanksLiving

ThanksLiving mini series, post #2.

In the previous post, I shared my exact menu and how to respond to *that* relative (or anyone who is grilling you on your choices) with my goldstar response (steal it!)

In this post, you’ll learn how to serve an impressive Thanksgiving dinner (customized entirely to your unique family).

A Wild Idea That Leads to a Harmonious Meal 

Here’s the deal: “Vegan food” is weird and scary to most folks. 

Heck, I’ve been vegan for 11 years and I still won’t try Tofurkey. 


Faux turkey does not taste THE SAME. 

Let’s stop trying to pretend it does. 

While there are a number of traditional dishes that can be recreated to look and taste very similarly (i.e. cornbread, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie…) some don’t translate.

Let that turkey go.

If you want to serve an impressive Thanksgiving dinner…

...that won’t undergo hard knocks for being “fake”

…that’s plant-centered in all the right ways…

...AND won’t scare away skeptics or cause complaining….

Think outside the box!

Instead of trying to “compete” with “traditional” Thanksgiving dishes…

Reinvent your traditions!

#1 Serve an International dish:

Toasted Israeli Couscous Pilaf
Toasted Israeli Couscous Pilaf

Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt & Hazelnut Spread
Roasted Pumpkin

Basmati Rice Pilaf
Basmati Rice Pilaf

Stuffed EggplantStuffed Eggplant

*Use Tofu Feta

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

Zucchini Spaghetti with Wild Garlic Pesto 

Root Vegetable Curry
Root Vegetable Curry

Tapas: Fried Chickpeas, Spiced Nuts, Olives & Radishes
Tapas Fried Chickpeas
*Bake chickpeas in the oven at 350F for a healthier option.

This Pear Chai Cake is so cool too!
Pear Chai Cake
*Use pumpkin puree or applesauce instead of oil! 

And for those who are really good at “adapting” recipes, I think this Kimchi Stuffing would be amazing with oyster mushrooms! 

If you’re member of Meal Mentor, here are some other ideas: 
All of these meals have been massive hits with omnivores :)

  • Slow Cooker Red Bean & Coconut Curry -Slow Cooker Cookbook 
  • Palestinian-Israeli Pasta -(7/19/2016 Meal Plan)  
  • Moroccan Shepherd’s Pie -(12/21/2016 Meal Plan) 

OR if you’re family is not all that adventurous, baby step like this:

#2 Add a new spin on a traditional meal:

Parmesan and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
Parmesan and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes with nutritional yeast and wasabi? Sounds awesome! 

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate and Jalapeno (spicy!)
Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wild Rice Stuffing
Wild Rice Stuffing

Chipotle and Coca-Cola Braised Sweet Potatoes

*I’m sure you can use one of those natural sodas… this sounds really cool TBH. My extended family would love this

Pesto Mashed Potatoes (add pesto to mashed potatoes) 

These Miso Collard Greens look amazing! (I might save this one for New Years!)

#3  Serve a main course that’s classically vegetarian (aka all vegetables and not pretending to be something else) and beautiful:

Celeriac Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce (Austrian)
Celeriac Schnitzel

Cauliflower Parmesan (Italian)

Roasted Squash with Shallots, Grapes, and Sage (Restaurant fancy) 

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew (casual vibes) 
Chickpea and Butternut Squash

Orange-Glazed Brussel Sprouts & Butternut Squash Casserole (hippie-ish)
Orange-Glazed Brussel Sprouts


Thanksgiving can start to feel stale year after year, so even if you are a long-time vegan like me, these ideas will keep 2017 Thanksgiving feeling fresh!

Thanksgiving is about abundance and GRATITUDE. 

Showcase that abundance with an array of delicious vegetable dishes and you’ll blow away family and friends. 

Next up:  We’ll dive deeper into the topic of FOMO (fear of missing out). I’ll give you helpful tips on how to focus on feelings of gratitude and what I like to call JOMO (joy of missing out)! 

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