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Recipes: Vegan Thanksgiving

November 10, 2010

With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, our thoughts turn to all the incredible food we can’t wait to enjoy with family and friends that day. Of course, the larger the crowd, the more people there are to please—including those with dietary restrictions. So over the next two weeks, we will share healthy recipes in various categories (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.) and provide some food for thought about expanding traditions at the holiday table.


Spice up brussels sprouts for a meat-free holiday dish.


There are lots of reasons why some people choose to reduce or completely cut out meat from their diets. For some, it’s a health choice: Reducing meat consumption can lower your risk for a variety of health issues, such as heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. For others, it’s a moral choice: Some cite animal welfare as a reason to go meat-free, or practice meatlessness as an interpretation of the yogic philosophy called ahimsa, which means means to do no harm.

Veganism goes beyond vegetarianism, in that adherents seek not to use or consume animal products of any kind. This translates as no meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or dairy, of course, but also no honey, beeswax, gelatin, whey, fur, leather, wool or silk. That might seem severe to carnivores, but it doesn’t have to be—think of vegan cooking and baking as expanding your creativity and palate rather than limiting what you can eat. A recent article in the New York Times health blog Well interviewed vegan superstar chef Chloe Coscarelli about the vegan Thanksgiving meals she’s served in the past:

“I have served an all-vegan Thanksgiving to the most die-hard carnivores and no one misses the meat,” she says. “You don’t need animal products to capture the spirit and savory flavors of Thanksgiving on your table. I personally think that a vegan Thanksgiving is more exciting than a regular one — there’s always something new and it’s not just the same old spread. The plates are pretty darn clean when we get up from the table.”

Whether you’re vegan, have vegan friends or family, or just would like to introduce a delicious new dish at your Thanksgiving, check out the following links to vegan Thanksgiving recipe round-ups: Award-winning vegetarian blogger, photographer and cookbook author Heidi Swanson compiles some of her favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes here, including Thai-spiced pumpkin soup, maple grilled tempeh, and shredded brussels sprouts with apples. Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli shares two savory recipes and one dessert recipe for the Well blog’s Eat Well Vegetarian Thanksgiving series. (The chocolate pumpkin bread pudding is definitely on our list to try.) Browse the “vegan” category of this popular vegetarian magazine’s extensive online recipe database for all kinds of great seasonal dish ideas, including pear tarte tatin, maple bundt cake, rosemary sweet potato chips, and stuffed cauliflower.

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