A Vegetarian Thanksgiving
by Caroline Hayes

Thanksgiving is a time of year when friends and families come together to get some serious eating done. As a vegetarian of five years, I find that my plate piled with green beans and potatoes looks very boring compared to the meat eaters in my family. This year I am taking a stand as a non-meat eater by creating a veggie-friendly menu with enough variety that everyone will enjoy it.

A 10-pound turkey won’t be sitting on my table this year but that doesn’t mean that my family is going to walk away from Thanksgiving dinner hungry. Who does? Vegetarian recipes can be just as filling as those that contain meat and animal by-products.

A few suggestions:

v     Appetizer: A pumpkin or potato soup and leafy green salad for the appetizer. Use vegetarian broth in the soup, even if the recipe calls for chicken or beef broth.

v     Sides: A lot of traditional Thanksgiving food items are veggie-friendly, such as mashed or sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and asparagus.

v     Entree:  A dish such as ratatouille, which is a vegetable casserole containing zucchini, squash, bell peppers and much more. Emeril has a great recipe for this on The Cooking Channel’s Web site (go to www.thefoodnetwork.com and type in “Emeril ratatouille”). Something simpler would be pasta with vegetables sautéed the sauce.

v     Dessert: Pumpkin pie is appropriate or for more fun, have the family make caramel apples.



 Be aware that some of the appetizers can be served as sides and vice versa.

Veggie-friendly recipes are plentiful online. Make sure to tell the cook in advance that you would prefer a vegetarian dish or bring your own.

Here are a few Web sites with vegetarian and vegan recipes:

www.theveggietable.com; www.boutell.com/vegetarian/thanksgiving/html; www.fabulousfoods.com/holidays/thanksgiving/vegetarian.hmtl.

The Fabulous Foods Web page has a section for diabetic and problematic heart patients. The World Wide Web provides alternatives to the standard Thanksgiving turkey dinner and I encourage all readers to try a new dish this holiday.

        Note: Most of the Web sites I found include vegan recipes for the ultimate non-meat eater.


Squash or Pumpkin Soup



Chop the onion coarsely. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Stir the onion into the melted margarine, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper (optional), and cook until the onion is very brown but not burned, about 30 minutes, on low to medium heat. Stir frequently and keep covered.

Add the cooked squash and stir in the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 45 minutes, covered, on low to medium heat.

If the soup seems too watery, simmer uncovered until it reduces. Serve hot, topped with cilantro or parsley (optional).


This soup takes at least an hour and a half to prepare. The longer it simmers, the better its flavor.

As shown, recipe makes roughly four servings.

This is a great way to use up extra pumpkin from the pumpkin pie recipe. It also works with yellow squash.

Vegetable stock is often available in concentrate or as bouillon cubes, in health-food stores and in general grocery stores. If you really can't find it, use water.

This soup refrigerates and freezes well. The soup should be brought to a boil in a saucepan when re-heating.

When preparing this recipe and any other food you enjoy, please use organically-grown vegetables, fruits, grains, and flavorings. The Earth you save may be your own.

Found at www.boutell.com