As un-American as it sounds, some of us just don’t care for turkey. Nope, not even on Thanksgiving. But don’t tell that to the Pilgrims (though it’s likely the bird wasn’t part of their first feast).
There aren’t many ideas in this month’s food and cooking magazines that buck the traditional holiday meal. That is unless you’re a vegetarian. Nearly all of the menus involve turkey–or no meat at all. Good news if you fall at either of those extremes.
But what about the rest of us? A few years ago, the band of non-turkey lovers beseeched Bon Appétit columnist and restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton to suggest a tastier alternative to the bird. (Like them, he didn’t want to talk turkey either.)
The general consensus was that it doesn’t matter what you serve for Thanksgiving, so long as everyone is thankful for it. Some folks opted for a vegetarian meal with delicious “sides” and desserts. Others responded that they served steaks and prepared everyone’s favorite veggies. Or still others had several entrees, including turkey, on their menus.
If you can’t stomach the thought of turkey, here’s four sources for vegetarian holiday feasts. Or you can always reach for those go-to recipes you’re grateful for.
- Martha Stewart Living: She’s not abandoning the turkey and all the trimmings, but this seasonal menu pulls double duty as colorful veggies like cabbages and Brussels sprouts serve as hearty entrees and all-natural–and functional–pieces for the tablescape.
- Whole Living: This Martha Stewart sister publication serves up six sides (in both vegetarian and vegan and gluten-free forms) that can act as main courses or complements. Included are new takes on traditional components like sweet potatoes, green beans and cornbread, and non-traditional dishes like Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios.
- Saveur: No surprise that this vegetarian menu delved into the history of how the dietary lifestyle and the holiday fit together. The author’s menu didn’t mirror the first known meat-free Thanksgiving meal served in 1895, but it was inspired by traditional flavors and family favorites with a nod to history. Autumn Vegetable Patties were served as the centerpiece of the meal, which was accompanied by beer rather than wine since that’s what the Pilgrims brought with them.
- Cooking Light: If you really want to throw tradition–and meat–to the wind, look to this “Meatless Holiday Mains” in the regular Everyday Vegetarian feature. These unexpected holiday recipes include Wild Mushroom Pastitsio, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tamales with Tomatillo Sauce, and Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Spinach Lasagna.