Eating plant-based on any day can be a challenge. But what the heck do you do for holiday meals that packed with family favorites and traditional dishes?
Aside from figuring out the food, there’s dealing with family and friends who might question why you’re only eating plants.
Here are a few tips to get through it:
1. BYO. Rather than hoping there are plant-based options or trying to convince someone else to make plant-based food for you, cook the foods you’re most excited for and bring them along with you.
2. Don’t tell others it’s vegan. This might feel sneaky or deceptive, but there’s no requirement to tell others a dish is 100% plants. For veggie recipes, making a few substitutions is easy and tough for even hard-core meat-eaters to detect. Of course, it often is fun to tell others the food is plant-based after they tell you how delicious it was.
3. Avoid arguments. I’m always happy to discuss why I’m eating Tofurky and veggie sides, and most of my conversations are fun and informative. But there are always people who make jokes, challenge me, and try to make me feel bad about not eating meat. My advice: don’t engage. You don’t need to justify your choice to eat plant-based foods to anyone. Taking the high road and avoiding a heated discussion makes me feel better too.
For more like these, check out 12 tips for surviving your first vegan Thanksgiving from Cadry’s Kitchen.
This week, I’ve included a sampling of holiday dishes that are enough to fill up your plate along with plenty of leftovers.
Here are some of my favorite holiday foods. Don’t forget: you can make a plant-based version of nearly everything these days.
Note that I’ve included several oil-free options, which are often (but not always) healthier choices.
If you’re like me, missing out on the turkey without something in its place isn’t so fun. Thankfully, there a plenty of great plant-based options.
The store-bought vegan roast is likely the easiest option (and my go-to). You’ve probably heard of Tofurky, but many others now give you more options. (My favorite is the Gardein Holiday Roast).
If protein is still on your mind, virtually all of these options are packed with it. Tofurky clocks in at 34g protein per serving.
VegNews has a roundup of the most common and popular roasts.
11 Roasts for the Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving from VegNews
If you’re feeling adventurous or want a potentially healthier option, you can make your own vegan roast, like one of these:
Vegan Wellington from The Beet
Vegan Nut Roast from Loving It Vegan
Lentil Quinoa Loaf from Vegan Richa
Vegan Turkey Roast (Shreddable Seitan With Skin) from My Quiet Kitchen
Most vegan sides with veggies come down to a few, simple substitutions for dairy, like butter, milk, or cream (check out this simple guide from the Spruce Eats). So, feel free to adapt your own favorite recipes, or use one below for some inspiration.
Easy Vegan Mashed Potatoes in 20 Minutes from Vegan Runner Eats
5 Minute Vegan Creamed Corn from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Gluten-Free Vegan Stuffing (with oil-free option) from Veggies Don’t Bite
Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole from Elavegan
Vegan Country Gravy Mix (Oil-free) from A Plantiful Path
Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole from A Mind “Full” Mom
Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Nora Cooks
Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe from Jessica in the Kitchen
Delivery and take out
Don’t feel like cooking from scratch? Check out these Thanksgiving delivery options compiled by VegNews.
Don’t want to cook at all? Look for local vegan options (HappyCow is a great place to start) or check out what Whole Foods has to offer.