Thanksgiving?

Posting from the Droid again.

I’ve had a lot of time to think over the last few days. Sitting in a car for hours can get boring, but it certainly gives you time to be contemplative.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is Thanksgiving and food. In my family it’s not unusual for several family members to avoid meat. My sister is vegan, my brother is vegetarian, and my mom and I don’t eat much meat either (I’ve been eating more recently but that’s a story for a different time).

What about veggies who have meat eating families? How do they handle Thanksgiving? Here’s what I would do…

-Offer to bring a Tofurkey. I’ve had one every year for the last 5 years or so and now everyone (meat people included) looks forward to having a piece. We especially enjoy the veggies that bake with it. You can get just the Tofurkey for about $10 on its own, or you can get the feast for a little more.
-Double up on the veggie dishes. It’s not difficult to find enough food; you might just have to eat more in volume to get enough (always fine with me).
-Bring an extra veggie dish if you don’t think there will be enough there.
-Don’t bring your own separate food (that is just for you). The holiday is about spending time and sharing with your family… not being anal and making people feel guilty and/or awkward.
-Don’t make a big deal about it. I usually don’t even tell people that I don’t really eat meat because I don’t want them to feel stressed (or make something special that I don’t like).
-Don’t feel bad and don’t take crap for it. Your choice is your choice and you shouldn’t have to justify it to anyone. Be strong in your convictions. I am so serious about this.

My favorite Thanksgiving veggie dishes are: veggified scalloped potatoes, any and all squash, sweet potatoes (my dad makes awesome whipped ones), green beans, Brussels sprouts with pureed chestnuts, and cranberry sauce.

Bottom line: it’s not that difficult to be a veg-head on Thanksgiving, so go for it!

How do you eat on Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite dish?

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22 Comments on Thanksgiving?

  1. VeggieGirl
    12 November, 2009 at 6:01 pm (4 years ago)

    Favorite Thanksgiving dish = homemade chunky cranberry sauce :)

  2. Christina
    12 November, 2009 at 6:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Growing up we cooked a traditional Italian family Thanksgiving where you eat all day – antipasto trays, ham, lasagna, soups, etc. There were some of the traditional Turkey Day items, but I’m not a fan of plain white meat, stuffing, white potatoes, etc. so I usually filled up on the other stuff and veggies!

  3. Julia
    12 November, 2009 at 6:14 pm (4 years ago)

    This is a great post. I always stress about eating over the holidays. When I go home for xmas I’m going to try to make sure there are lots of healthy options on the table, because I know no one in my family wants to go overboard.
    Thanksgiving will be a little more difficult, because I’m going to a friend’s Thanksgiving with her, so I want to be polite, but she is also a healthy eater and doesn’t eat much meat, so I think there will be lots of good options.
    My fave Thanksgiving dish is definitely stuffing – it never tastes as good as it does at Thanksgiving!

  4. Meghan
    12 November, 2009 at 6:21 pm (4 years ago)

    Like Veggie Girl, I love homemade chunky cranberry sauce. I can remember standing on a stool in my nana’s kitchen rinsing bowls of cranberries :)

  5. Dori
    12 November, 2009 at 6:39 pm (4 years ago)

    Even before I stopped eating meat, all I ever wanted to eat/cared about eating/ate on Thanksgiving was sweet potato mush! I crave it and look forward to Thanksgiving specifically for that, so I am totally fine eating nothing else!

    We used to have a family friend who made this amazing cauliflower. Not sure how she made it but it was so great.

  6. Lindsay
    12 November, 2009 at 6:46 pm (4 years ago)

    Good tips! I eat meat but my favorite Thanksgiving foods aren’t meat. My favorite is mashed potatoes. Yum!

  7. Anne K.
    12 November, 2009 at 7:16 pm (4 years ago)

    All my extended family goes to my uncle’s house, who is a really good chef. There are a handful of us who don’t eat meat, so he usually has peirogies or something in addition to turkey. I’ve had tofurkey before for a New Years dinner though, and I really like it! One of my favorite thanksgiving dishes is roasted root veggies :)

  8. A
    12 November, 2009 at 7:51 pm (4 years ago)

    There is a meat ( turkey sometimes ham as well ) at my family’s thanksgiving, I get more excited about all the veggies and sides. My mom and I make an effort to present the veggies in different and new ways so people will try them and of course fill up on them instead of 3/4 of a plate of meat , gravy and stuffing.
    Loved this post by the way.
    p/s The Droid sounds like a scary name for a phone.

  9. Dara
    12 November, 2009 at 7:52 pm (4 years ago)

    THanks so much for the t-day tips! It is always hard when people look at you like, why are you eating ____?? And analyzing if you have an eating problem or whatever!! Do you have any brussel sprout recipes to share?! I do love them, but if I were to bring them to a family event I would want to make sure OTHERS liked them too, cuz i eat em plain!

    Thanks again for the tips!!
    <3Dara

  10. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    12 November, 2009 at 9:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Glad you’re still safe and sound Maggie. I wonder what state you’re in right now.

    Great tips for the veggies out there. My favorite Thanksgiving dish is the stuffing. I actually prefer vegetarian versions. I also love sweet potatoes – your Dad’s sound great, and any kind of roasted vegetables.
    OK, so the pumpkin cream cheese cake rolls are pretty kick a$$.

  11. Bekah
    12 November, 2009 at 9:49 pm (4 years ago)

    Lovee stuffing and any form of sweet potatoes. I NEVER eat food like stuffing, so its the one day to indulge a little. And of course pie. yum yum yum.

    and I thoroughly agree with your “don’t take crap” philosophy. although I’m not a vegetarian, I constantly get flack for eating healthy/not eating “that dessert”/not trying someone else’s food/foregoing the bread basket, etc, and its like WTF? I eat, what I wanna eat, thank you! haha. :)

  12. Gaby
    12 November, 2009 at 10:07 pm (4 years ago)

    Hay Maggie! Glad you’re having a good/ safe drive! You’ve actually really made me crave some cheap diner oatmeal lol, I usually hate most food at places like denny’s and ihop but they always have the greatest oatmeal! Why is that?
    While I do have to deal with my large traditional Argentinean family ( land of steak), one of my cousin’s is veg too so we usually discuss what we’re contributing beforehand. But really, there’s so much food, there’s no way anyone could go hungry no matter what their diet was. Last year I made a wild rice stuffing and baked them in mini pumpkins. I’m all about presentation! and they were yummy too of course. There’s always a big salad. My mom likes to make the traditional sweet potato casserole with marshmallows but I also sometimes make these great mashed sweet potatoes with pecans, orange juice and dried apricots. My cousin has her signature sweet and sour brussel sprouts and also loves doing things with spaghetti squash.
    And since I love baking I usually bring along a dessert too.

    I agree with Bekah, and I also need to work on the “not taking any crap” attitude. Thanksgiving is usually too busy for anyone to notice what I’m eating, but on any normal day I have to deal with my family judging me or trying to get me to eat more unhealthy food or even meat on a regular basis and it still sometimes gets to me :\

    Hope the rest of your drive goes well and I can’t wait to hear about NY when you arrive!

  13. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    12 November, 2009 at 10:35 pm (4 years ago)

    How true:
    because I don’t want them to feel stressed (or make something special that I don’t like).

    Nothing worse than someone finding out I was vegetarian, now vegan, and making something laden with say bread crumbs. Cuz I’m gluten free too. Or they season it in a way that is yuck to me. I hear ya! And it’s one meal. No one’s gonna starve to death so I just say roll with it best you can and enjoy the company of others.

  14. Shelby
    13 November, 2009 at 4:14 am (4 years ago)

    Sweet Potatoes of course are my favorite!

  15. Lara (Thinspired)
    13 November, 2009 at 5:05 am (4 years ago)

    I think these are some great tips whether you are a vegetarian or not! Doubling up on veggies and bringing a veggie dish are both great tips for anyone. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Thanks for the reminder ;)

    Favorite Thanksgiving dish is probably sweet potatoes + cranberry sacuce!

  16. Kimberly@Living Free
    13 November, 2009 at 6:33 am (4 years ago)

    My favorite dish is sweet potato casserole! I think I will take some roasted brussel sprouts this year too. I don’t know if anyone else likes them-but I LOVE them! I have had issues with being veg. on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t bother me to be different, but I can get a lot of flack from a certain family member(a.k.a. mom). She thinks it’s impossible to be veg. and healthy, so she pushes me pretty hard to eat meat. Holiday meals can be pretty stressful for me because of that, on top of being gluten (and lots of other things) free. But, I do love spending the day with my family and that’s what counts anyway:)

  17. Light Delight with TouTou
    13 November, 2009 at 7:48 am (4 years ago)

    I am so much looking forward to see those : Tofuerkey!!! Please post the recipe before the thanksgiving:-)
    I am not a big fan of Turkey neither, plus, it really makes me feel drosy…
    This year would be the fourth thanksgiving I spend in my life (we don’t celebrate them in China:-p). The first year is totally about turkey and cranberry sauce from the generosity of university, 2nd year, we replace turkey with pure chinese dish feast. 3rd, still, no turkey! it just give us a reason to potluck tons of Chinese food!!!
    If I can make some tofurkey this year, our thanksgiving gather may finally have a bit real thankgiving flavor!!

  18. (A Nutritionist Eats)
    13 November, 2009 at 8:29 am (4 years ago)

    While I’m not a vegetarian I’m not huge on turkey so I stick to the sides – my faves are squash, green beans and salads!

  19. Amber
    13 November, 2009 at 8:56 am (4 years ago)

    I am planning an all veggie, mostly vegan menu for my family. I am so pleased to see blog work taking responsibility and standing up to the poor conditions of factory farm animals! LOVE IT!

  20. Justine
    13 November, 2009 at 9:34 am (4 years ago)

    Great tips Mag! I avoid things that I can eat everyday like mashed potatoes or rolls and go for the dishes that only get made once a years like the sweet potato casserole or the squash casserole :)

    ~Justine

  21. Cindy
    13 November, 2009 at 12:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Hey Maggie
    I agree with you completely…. I drink a big green juice or smoothie before get togethers too so I feel nourished..that way if there is not too many choices for me (or if I cheat) I feel good.

    it IS all about being together …love it!

  22. Pure2Raw Twins
    14 November, 2009 at 5:17 am (4 years ago)

    My mom makes a really good and healthy vegetarian stuffing that is really go. And all the girls in my family eat mostly vegetarian… while the sis and I are vegans.. and since we are the cooks for the day… we make a ton of veggies dishes for everyone! :) Can’t get enough in my opinion. Favorites our roasted veggies- all kinds!