A Thanksgiving for the Vegetarians

Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners tend to focus on the meat of the matter. Both holidays are centered on the traditional meal, which in the USA and other countries means meat, specifically Turkey. Even if you don’t have a vegetarian in your family, you may have friends that are. Don’t leave them out of a celebration which traditionally focuses on the meal.

A vegetarian as a guest for a “traditional holiday meal” does not have to be a sacrifice, or a guilt trip.  Just have a variety of foods, both meat and meatless to satisfy everyone’s appetite. A typical holiday table is enhanced with side dishes, and a good sideboard of tasty and well prepared dishes can even make the Turkey seem like a side dish, and not the main course.

The trick is to serve something else besides mashed potatoes, corn bread and string beans. Go online to find some recipes for meatless side dishes and even alternative main dishes that even non-vegetarians will enjoy.

In a “meat and potatoes” culture, the thought of combining traditional meat dishes with vegetarian dishes may seem a bit like heresy to many, but actually, the First Thanksgiving was a not all meat and potatoes either.  According to historians, the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of “fish, shellfish. ducks, geese, swans, venison as s well as turkey;  and also served berries and fruit, vegetables, harvest grains, beans, corn, and squash”.

Now, it’s doubtful that anyone today, vegetarian or not, would care to have a feast of “ducks and swans”, but if the first Thanksgiving  also had a menu of  traditional “vegetarian” foods like “fruit, vegetables, harvest grains, beans, corn, and squash” — we would hardly be breaking with tradition.