Outside The Box Vegan Holiday Dinners

by Lindsay S. Nixon

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.

....CAN WE GET REAL?

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


Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt & Hazelnut Spread


Basmati Rice Pilaf


Stuffed Eggplant

*Use Tofu Feta

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas


Zucchini Spaghetti with Wild Garlic Pesto


Root Vegetable Curry


Tapas: Fried Chickpeas, Spiced Nuts, Olives & Radishes

*Bake chickpeas in the oven at 350F for a healthier option.

This Pear Chai Cake is so cool too!

*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 :)

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

Mashed potatoes with nutritional yeast and wasabi? Sounds awesome!

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate and Jalapeno (spicy!)


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)


Cauliflower Parmesan (Italian)


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


Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew (casual vibes)


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


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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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