Vegan options for Thanksgiving sounds great if you're a restaurant or a caterer, but what we are finding today is more meat eaters are scrambling to find some vegan options for the 'outlier' vegan guest.
A perfect example is my brother. He recently got married and now that the wedding party is over, he is gearing up to cook and host his first Thanksgiving dinner as a Dad with an official family. Needless to say, he's very excited. Instead of going to someone's house, my brother get's to have everything his way - pretty awesome right?....Wrong!
But why? He's the king of his castle and get's to cook anything he wants this Thanksgiving whether he chooses Turkey, Ham, a Duck, a Goose, Hen, or Tofu...totally up to him - it's his house, his first Thanksgiving as the king of his castle and he can cook anything he wants right?
But why? Because his brother will be stopping by this Thanksgiving and he's a strict Vegetarian and Vegan and this creates a big problem with normal cooks having to cook Thanksgiving dinner because the Turkey or Ham or other is the center piece of the meal and everything else either has butter, dairy, cheese or something else the vegans won't eat.
So how is my brother going to create his perfect Thanksgiving Dinner for his family without having to essentially become two cooks and cook two Thanksgiving Dinners, one Vegan and one normal.
Sounds like a pain in the ass and it is, but it get's even worse - my brother doesn't know how to cook food - most non-vegans do not know how to cook vegan food very well because there are different ingredients, flavors and techniques to getting vegan food to be other than bland.
So now my brother has to learn how to cook vegan food just for Thanksgiving Dinner. Wait, where's he going to find the ingredients...oh boy this is turning into a can of recipes he wasn't expecting.
This is a reality many families are facing that they didn't have to face only a few years back.
Many families and traditional meat-eating cooks are facing situations where they have to accommodate a different cooking and ingredient style because of social and health trends as well as greater awareness of the dangers of mass farmed and toxic non-organic food.
Before the internet it was easier for big food companies to hide how dangerous their food was, but now the masses are becoming more educated into what is and is not healthy for them. This becomes an issue when the food producers food is what is unhealthy and as people become more aware, there is a greater interest in clean, organic, pesticide free, non-gmo, food from local organic farmers.
So what's my brother's solution to his Thanksgiving Day Recipe problem? The "Wellington" from Native Foods. The Wellington is a Vegan version of the classic Wellington baked pastry, except the Native Food's version has no meat. They sell them frozen and with sites as well, so when Thanksgiving day arrives, all you have to do is pop it in the oven for an hour and you have a delicious vegan Thanksgiving meal (and not a side dish).
This is an easy, but rather generic (and very delicious) way for a meat eater to accomodate their Vegan guest this Thanksgiving.
Be aware though that the hard-core Healthy Vegans maybe pull the junk food card because there are healthier options than a yummy baked semi mass produced Thanksgiving pastry...and for those vegans, offer them salad with no dressing and lots of fresh organic fruit and nuts - they will be thrilled.
Bring in some sprouted bread and raw appetizers and even the healthiest vegans will be impressed and won't give you as much flak when your chomping away on your turkey or hen or ham.
I suggested my bro do a cauliflower bake with some broccoli, onions, organic raw unfiltered cold-pressed coconut oil and some spices - throw that in the oven for 45 with some cajun seasoning and now you have a home-made vegan organic & healthy (but not raw) side-dish that you can offer your vegan guest in addition to the vegan semi-junk food but extra tasty Wellington.
If you're vegan relative is a wine drinker, offer them some local organic wine and watch them squirm in their seats with holiday delight and anticipation of the taste bud dance of fine wine flavors and gourmet holiday creations - home made and slapped together with love, family and friends.
Now my brother's the type of wouldn't loves things like deep frying turkeys, grilling, bbq's - real guy stuff, so we can sympathize with the challenge many face with satisfying the one or two outlying vegan guests they may have at their event - this is more common than we think.
Seems like everyone I've talked to so far asking about holiday plans or thanksgiving plans specifically, it's clear the consideration of the vegan is apparent - much more now than even 5 years ago.
To make things a little more complicated this Thanksgiving is that my brothers baby is only 2 months old, so I'm guessing he'll be on formula or mom's chest and we'll be eating between naps or he'll be eating between naps - actually all of us will be eating between naps so maybe having an infant at Thanksgiving is really inline with the Thanksgiving energy of eating and napping because that's what babies do.
Going off on a fun tangent, since dogs and cats love to eat and nap, seems like Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday for our furry friends and babies too because all of them, and us on Thanksgiving like to eat and nap, so it could be a very nice time with the whole entire extended family of animals and babies this Thanksgiving...not excluding the Vegans and Meat-lovers, hunters and raw vegan purest alike -
If there truly is a way to serve everyone and meet every quirky appetite this Thanksgiving or any holiday party you might be hosting, we hope this article helps and we hope you find it.
LA Wine Expert "RG"
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