When most people think of Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and all the trimmings are what come to mind. But for vegetarians and vegans, the only visions of turkeys are the live birds running around the fields. Thanksgiving dinners looks quite different: since turkey drippings usually flavor the gravy and the stuffing (if not, it's sausage!), butter flavors the mashed potatoes (not to mention the crust for the pumpkin pie) and the biscuits, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is not something vegetarians and vegans will want to eat.
But that doesn't mean they can't have an absolutely delicious feast. Fall brings a bounty of deep-flavored root vegetables; paired with beans and grains, you can come up with some really delicious vegetarian and vegan courses. Whole Foods has some great vegan holiday options, from whole meal packages down to individual dishes. Here's a run-down of what Whole Foods has to offer:
Vegan Holiday Dinner: $79.99, serves 4
Anyone who thinks they’re missing out on holiday feasting by sticking to plant foods hasn’t tried our vegan dinner. This meal is healthy and full of great, seasonal flavor. If you’re sharing the holidays with omnivores or hosting vegan loved ones this meal makes it easy to take care of everyone’s needs.
- Field Roast Stuffed en Croûte – rich grain meat seasoned with toasted hazelnuts and rosemary stuffed with a sausage style mixture of field roast, cranberries, apples and crystallized ginger wrapped en croûte with a vegan puff pastry. 2 lbs
Stuffed Acorn Squash, 2(Health Starts Here item) Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes, 2 lbs Mushroom Gravy, 1 pt Classic Cranberry Relish, 1pt Dinner Rolls, 6 Baked Apples, 4 (Health Starts Here item)
You can also purchase the field roast en croute on its own, without the side dishes, for $25. Other vegan options on the Whole Foods Holiday Menu include:
Butternut Collard Pozole Brussels Sprouts with Shallots & Pecans No Salt, No Oil Mashed Potatoes Roasted Butternut Squash Salad Roasted Root Vegetables Field Greens Salad Applesauce Vegan Pumpkin Pie Vegan Pecan Pie
Alfie and I went absolutely wild about the Field Roast Stuffed En Croute, and I will definitely purchase that dish again. We're not vegan or vegetarian, but we've limited our meat consumption to once or twice per week -- and we don't miss eating meat at ALL with this dish. It has a very satisfying, meaty taste, kind of like a vegan meatloaf, but the concoction of cranberries and apples in the center give it a wonderfully sweet burst of flavor! Just one tip: when you heat this dish in the oven, make sure you line your pan with parchment paper or foil -- and drizzle the bottom with a bit of oil, otherwise the puff pastry will stick to your pan/paper/foil.
The Butternut Collard Pozole is a thick, hearty soup with butternut squash, hominy, and collard greens. The deep orange squash and dark green collards give this soup a beautiful, appetizing color, and it has a healthy, fresh taste. If you're not watching your sodium, I would recommend sprinkling a dash of salt or paprika into your soup bowl to give it a bit of a boost (it's cooked in a low-sodium broth).
You can see the full Whole Foods Holiday Menu here (or pick up a menu at your local Whole Foods). To place an order, go online at wholefoods.com/shop (by November 22 to get it in time for Thanksgiving, and December 22 to get it in time for Christmas), or at in-store Holiday Tables (48 hours notice).
Win a turkey dinner from Whole Foods
Northern California residents, follow @WFMNorCal on Twitter and tag #WholeForTheHolidays for a chance to win a turkey dinner! For more information, along with recipes, tips and guidelines, visit holidayworthsharing.com.
Disclosure: I received assprted samples from the Whole Foods Holiday Menu to facilitate my review. Menu descriptions, in italics, were provided by Whole Foods. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.