Three Vegetarian Alternatives to Turkey on Thanksgiving
In the past, families with vegetarian eaters did not know what to serve at Thanksgiving as an entree. Turkey and ham were ubiquitous at every dinner table. Most vegetarians simply chose side items to appease their appetites. With the vegetarian and vegan market booming, new foods are available as turkey substitutes that even meat-lovers enjoy.
Food manufacturers created mock meats to make the dishes appear like meat. In essence, the vegetarian food fits in with the other items on the table. Each manufacturer has a different proprietary recipe, but may use a combination of soy, pea and wheat proteins. It is critical to have ample protein in any diet to keep muscles healthy and strong. Along with plant-based proteins are grains. Quinoa and millet are two common grain choices in many mock meats. Completing the ingredient mixture is mixed vegetables, giving the mock meat a rich taste. Mock meats are often sold like meat fillets, but the Thanksgiving holiday prompts manufacturers to include stuffed mock meats with cranberries and other complementing fruits.
Tofu to the Rescue
If you are a soy-based food lover, several food manufacturers create tofu-based roasts as turkey substitutes. With almost the same texture as turkey, tofu roasts use proteins from wheat and soybeans to create a Thanksgiving feast. Stuffed inside the tofu mixture is bread and wild rice stuffing. Other manufacturers add cranberries and other fruits or vegetables. These roasts typically heat up alongside the traditional turkey so everyone can feast together at the table.
Unique Turkey Substitutes
- Stuffed Squash
If you have vegetarian guests that are not appeased by fake meat recipes, rely on basic vegetable and grain recipes that are sure to please everyone’s palate. For example, bake some acorn squashes in your manufactured home oven. Cut them in half and fill them with quinoa, toasted hazelnuts, sauteed onions and Swiss chard. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Everyone can scoop out the squash and tasty food mixture for a healthy turkey substitute.
- Mushrooms And Eggplants
Portobello mushrooms or eggplants are other turkey substitutes that you can stuff as well. Choose your favorite cheese, kale and polenta to fill either of these foods. Both mushrooms and eggplants create a full feeling, along with the stuffed ingredients. Your vegetarian guests will not leave hungry.
- Sweet Roast
If your vegetarian guests prefer a sweet entree rather than a fake meat, try a cranberry and hazelnut roast. Often found in specialty grocers around Thanksgiving, these roasts do not provide a protein meal like the other choices, but offer a sweet and satisfying taste alongside salty side dishes. You easily cut slices off the roast and fill everyone’s plates with samples of all the vegetarian-friendly foods.
Appealing to everyone’s tastes at Thanksgiving takes consideration of lifestyle and personal choices. Ask any vegetarians about their favorite foods. With so many choices, each vegetarian has different dietary needs. Allergies may be an issue as well. By communicating with your guests before the big holiday, your dinner table should shine with tasty foods for everyone.