An animal-friendly Thanksgiving

(Graphic by Lena Yang)
(Graphic by Lena Yang)

Thanksgiving is a time for families to catch up and give thanks over a delicious home-cooked meal. However, not everyone can bite into that delicious turkey leg. Being a vegetarian myself, I can understand the difficulties surrounding holiday dinners for those with food restrictions.

I am lucky enough that I can usually fill up on side dishes such as mashed potatoes, corn and dinner rolls, but someone who is a vegan does not have this option. Veganism is a practice in which one not only disallows meat in their diet, but all animal by-products. This means that any Thanksgiving platter that includes dairy, eggs or meat is a definite no-no. So for all the vegans out there, here are a couple ideas to make your Thanksgiving dinner just as delicious as everyone else’s.

I understand that not everyone has the time to make a giant elaborate meal. By adding some spices to your side dishes, you add a little bit more flavour to a boring dish. Try adding some lemon juice to your green beans, or perhaps some Cajun spices to go with your corn.

Tofurky is a product that tries to capture the taste of turkey in a meatless product. I find that meatless substitutes can taste pretty bland and boring by themselves, so I like to add sauces or flavouring to them. Some spices such as sage, thyme or rosemary would go nicely with Thanksgiving dinner.

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner would have to be the mashed potatoes, and they can easily be turned into an option for vegans. By substituting the milk in mashed potatoes with flavourless almond milk, you can create those same fluffy, creamy potatoes while using zero animal by-products.

Even the most common Thanksgiving dessert, pumpkin pie, can be made vegan. By substituting unbleached flour and soy milk, you can make any pumpkin pie vegan.

In today’s society, since so many people have food allergies or dietary restrictions, grocery stores have started carrying a lot of vegan substitutes for meat and dairy products. I can’t guarantee that these will taste just as good, but at least everyone can enjoy the classic Thanksgiving meal, even if it has a slight spin on it.

Whether you’re enjoying your turkey or your tofurky, I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Want to have more vegan options for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Try this tofurky roast recipe over the holiday weekend:

For this recipe to work, you will need:

One Tofurky Roast (Found at Most Health/Natural Food Stores)
One Apple (Cut into slices)
2 cups of Apple Cider
½ Teaspoon of Sage
½ Teaspoon of Thyme
½ Teaspoon of Rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350⁰ and cut 6 slices into the Tofurky Roast and insert an apple slice into each one. In a separate medium sized dish, mix together the apple cider, sage, thyme and rosemary. After mixing, pour the sauce generously over the roast. Place aluminum foil over the entire dish and cook for about 1 ½ hours. Once cooked, uncover the Tofurky and continue to bake for about 15-20 minutes. Once fully cooked, you are free to enjoy!

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