Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

What are you thankful for this year? I am thankful for my good health, the master’s degree that I recently achieved, all my beloved family members and friends, and the nice little traffic I got to this website. This year, believe it or not, I decided to have a vegetarian Thanksgiving. My Thanksgiving menu will be quite simple (I am the queen of simplified recipes), yet marvelously delicious.

vegetarian thanksgiving recipe

But first, let me tell you this: I won’t use tofu or any wheat products to try to imitate turkey. Vegetarian food will never taste like meat. Why bother? Vegetarian dishes can be very tasty in their own veggies way. I don’t believe in faux turkey in much the same way atheists don’t believe in God.

So anyway, here are the meatless dishes I am going to prepare for my Thanksgiving dinner:

Appetizers: Vegetable Salad With Honey Dressing, Rainbow Guacamole

Main Courses: Stuffed Acorn Squash, Mushroom Pie in Cracker Pie Crust

Side Dishes: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk, Baked Zucchini

Dessert: Pumpkin-Cranberry Cake

 

Appetizers

The idea of Thanksgiving dinner is to have abundant food to enjoy. However, I won’t have any helper to assist me in the kitchen and I’ve got only two hands. These two easy-to-make starters, therefore, are perfect for my Thanksgiving menu. The salad dressing and guacamole can be made the day before Thanksgiving and kept refrigerated. When the big dinner time arrives, all I have to do is put vegetables and corn chips on the plates.

Vegetable Salad With Honey Dressing

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 1 Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red apple, cubed
  • 1/3 cup roasted almonds

For the dressing

  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. minced onion

Preparation

  • Combine lettuce, celery, apple, and almond in a large bowl.
  • To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together, stir well and refrigerate until cold.
  • Serve the salad with the cold dressing.

Rainbow Guacamole

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • corn chips in various colors

Preparation

  • Mash avocados until smooth.
  • Add the other ingredients. Mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve with colorful corn chips.

Main Courses

The stuffed acorn squash will be the star of my vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. It tastes nothing like a stuffed turkey, of course. But its unique savoriness surely won’t let my Thanksgiving appetite down. My other main course will be a mushroom pie, a tasty blend of cottage cheese, and mushrooms in a thin pie crust.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 3 medium-size acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups cornbread stuffing
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion and celery. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and pecans. Cook for another 5 – 7 minutes or until mushrooms is soft.
  • Add cranberries, ground ginger, salt, and pepper.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Mix the vegetable mixture with the dry stuffing. Gradually add hot water while stirring. The mixture should turn out moist, not soggy. Set aside.
  • Place squash, cut side up, in a large roasting pan.
  • Generously fill each slice with the stuffing.
  • Fill the bottom of the roasting pan (about an inch or two) with hot water to prevent the squash from sticking to the pan.
  • Press the stuffing firmly before baking.
  • Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 40 – 55 minutes or until the squash is tender and the stuffing is completely cooked.

Mushroom Pie in a Cracker Pie Crust

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • ½ cup crushed unsalted whole wheat crackers
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2/3 cup green onion
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • dash of paprika

Preparation

  • Melt 2 tbsps. butter over medium heat. Stir in cracker crumbs.
  • Press this mixture into a 9-inch oiled pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onion, and salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft. Set aside.
  • Blend cottage cheese and eggs in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the mushroom mixture, basil, and thyme.
  • Pour the filling into the pie crust. Dust with paprika. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.

Side Dishes

A Thanksgiving dinner, no matter how terrific the main courses are, cannot be considered “complete” without delicious side dishes. This year I chose to make mashed sweet potatoes and baked zucchini for my Thanksgiving side dishes. The coconut milk nicely adds an exotic taste to the creamy mashed sweet potatoes while the baked zucchini does not need much extra seasoning, as its natural savory flavor comes forth in the process of roasting.

Baked Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsps. grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  • Mix all the ingredients together. Every zucchini slice should be evenly coated with egg and bread crumbs.
  • Spread the mixture on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 25 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 4 sweet potatoes, skinned and cubed
  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsps. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Preparation

  • Boil sweet potatoes and simmer until very tender.
  • Drain. Add butter, sugar, and salt.
  • Slowly stir in coconut milk. Beat together well with a whisk until potatoes are smooth and creamy.

Dessert

And finally, the sweet decadence! I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie, so I decided to substitute the traditional pumpkin pie with this aromatic and moist pumpkin-cranberry cake instead. Have a yummy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Cake

Ingredients (for about 4 servings)

  • 3 cups sifted wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil

Preparation

  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together. Set aside.
  • Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, honey, vanilla, and oil together with an electric mixer until well blended.
  • Add the dry mixture and continue mixing on low speed until smooth.
  • Fold in cranberries. Pour the cake batter into a baking dish and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 50 – 60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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