Quick Recipes and Easy

Cooking for Vegetarians at Thanksgiving

Many people worry about having vegetarian guests over for Thanksgiving, especially as the Thanksgiving dinner is a traditional meat eater’s feast.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year remember that most vegetarians do not need a ‘meat equivalent’ at Thanksgiving. Traditionally Thanksgiving has been mostly about the food, but more importantly it’s about families, friends, togetherness, happiness and peace.

If this is your first time hosting a vegetarian for Thanksgiving or if you have just recently become a vegetarian yourself, then have a read of these 10 tips for ensuring that your vegetarian guests, and you as host, will be thankful for this Thanksgiving:

(1) Be sure to check exactly what your vegetarian guest does and does not eat. Some vegetarians are pleased to eat animal products such as milk and eggs, whereas others are not.

(2) Keep cooking utensils separate to prevent “cross-contamination” between meat foods and vegetarian foods – this is something that many non vegetarians overlook, but something which is very vital to vegetarians.

(3) Bake a part of stuffing outside of the turkey.

(4) Make a small part of vegetarian gravy.

(5) Check the marks of the food your are preparing for the vegetarian guests to ensure that they do not contain any less obvious meat products e.g. gelatin.

(6) Prepare lots of side dishes of vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, green beans and so on, but leave them plain.

(7) Use vegetable oils instead of animal fats for frying, and vegetable shortening like Crisco for pie crust.

(8) Offer plenty of breads, beverages, fresh fruits, and non-gelatin desserts, which are suitable without modification for most vegetarians.

(9) Invite your vegetarian guest to prepare a “Tofurky” or vegetarian ‘turkey equivalent’ entrée to share with you the rest of your guests, or if you’re hosting Thanksgiving, prepare a small one. Your meat-eating guests might just be curious enough to want to try it!

(10) Question your vegetarian guest for some tips or recipes to complement their vegetarian choice. You may even find that your guest is pleased to help out in the kitchen or bring a dish that they have prepared themselves. You shouldn’t reckon that a dish from home as an insult to your cooking; seem it as a desire to share traditions at Thanksgiving. Even meat-eating homes can benefit from a healthy vegetarian recipe.

For more vegetarian tips, thoughts and recipes visit the

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