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Five Meat-Free Mains for Thanksgiving

Posted Nov 19 2009 12:00am


Will anyone at your table be passing on the turkey this Thanksgiving? Save them from another rice-stuffed acorn squash (or worse–fake turkey!) with one of these vegetarian main dishes:

  1. Mushroom strudel. Saute sliced mushrooms with plenty of olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme, and—if your guests do dairy—a splash of cream. Place the mixture running down the center of a large rectangle of phyllo dough, then fold dough over and crimp shut. Cut into slices and bake until dough is golden brown. Serve with a meat-free gravy.
  2. Squash and mushroom lasagna. Just like regular lasagna, but replace layers of red sauce with sauteed winter squash and shiitake mushrooms. You can even make the dish vegan by making a tofu ricotta (whiz 2 lbs. firm tofu in your food processor with a few tablespoons olive oil, some salt, basil, oregano, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice).
  3. Winter veggie potpie. Roast onions, carrots, squash, and potatoes until caramelized. Then, make an easy cream sauce with a few tablespoons each butter (or non-hydrogenated buttery spread) and flour, plus milk (or unsweetened soymilk). Combine the veggies and sauce in a baking dish, then top with rounds of puff pastry. Bake until pastry is golden.
  4. Mushroom bourguignon. Just like the French classic, but made with earthy portobello mushrooms instead of meat (and vegetable stock rather than the traditional beef). The best recipe I’ve found is right here.
  5. Kale, sweet potato, and chickpea gratin. Toss chopped kale, thinly sliced sweet potato rounds, and chickpeas in plenty of olive oil, seasoned breadcrumbs, minced garlic, and salt to taste. Bake in a foil-covered casserole dish until potatoes are tender, then top with Parmesan cheese (if desired) and bake uncovered until cheese is melted.

-Marygrace, KIWI staff writer

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