23 November 2010

Last minute Thanksgiving cooking conundrums solved the veggie way

Practically one month left in the year and all beaks are pointing toward Thanksgiving, the hotly anticipated autumnal feast that human families across the nation flock to. Initially launched to commemorate the positive relationship that was solidified between Native Americans and British colonists, the edible festival was also a way to give thanks for the bountiful crops that sustained them. While most of us consider Thanksgiving to be a somewhat warm and fuzzy holiday complete with intoxicated relatives and self-imposed recipe one-upmanship, it's another story altogether for the 45 million turkeys that are served up on platters in America each year, the equivalent of an astounding six hundred seventy-five million pounds of white and dark meat.

What most revelers don't realize while they happily stuff themselves with the traditional trimmings of this festive occasion is that the original colonists' celebration (circa 1621) didn't consist of such modern-day favorites as roasted root veggies, cranberries, bread of any type, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. Our predecessors weren't even blessed with the convenience of ovens, plus flour and sugar were incredibly hard to come by, so the bulk of their meal was actually meat and fish-based since those resources were most plentiful. Anyone joining in on the feast was lucky enough to have dodged starvation, the pox and the plague, so their high fat and cholesterol laden meal, while perhaps not terribly healthy, was a welcome indulgence that they hardly fretted over.

Fast forward to 2010 and most of us -- when faced with the task of hosting our very own Thanksgiving Day meal -- experience a certain degree of panic revolving around such questions as, "What menu will I serve?" and "How will I prevent Uncle Barney from ransacking the cupboards in search of extra booze?" The average host-to-be has probably been searching for simple, straightforward solutions to their Thanksgiving cooking conundrums since the beginning of the month, but if you're a procrastinator of the highest order, have no fear. There's no need to shake down the internet for answers -- feast your eyes on these veggie-friendly Thanksgiving-inspired videos and blogs (plus don't forget to pore over the New York Times' fantastic vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe collection for even further culinary inspiration):


Crispy Sourdough Stuffing With Porcini & Chestnuts

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pepitas and Cider Vinegar

Celery Root, Potato & Apple Mash

Warm Wild Rice Root Vegetable Salad With Maple-Sage Vinaigrette

Feta, Peppadew Pepper and Thyme Quiche

Wild Mushroom Strudel With Braised Root Vegetables

Roast Cabbage With Grains, Caramelized Root Vegetables & Vegetable Coulis

Cream of Butternut Squash & Ginger Pressure Cooker Soup

The Ultimate Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Yams, and Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Rosemary

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole with a Pecan and Gingersnap Praline Topping

Pumpkin Seed Flatbread with Feta and Sweet Onions

Savory Zucchini Wraps with Squash, Craisins and Sage "Cream"

Root Vegetable Au Gratin


How To Make Hard Apple Cider

Organic African Ginger Beer Cocktail

How To Make Eggnog

Chai Tea Syrup Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Wayyyy Better Than What Is Served At Javabuck$)


Carved Butternut Squash 'Flower' Centerpiece

DIY Sustainable Thanksgiving Placemats

Recycled DIY Placemat With Built-In Silverware Pocket

DIY Recycled Patchwork Autumn Leaf Trivet

Placecards Galore For Your Thanksgiving Table

Martha Stewart's Napkin Folding Ideas For Your Holiday Table

Carve A Pumpkin Into An Autumn Flower Pot

10 Different Things You Can Do With A Pumpkin


Smoky Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus Dip

Stuffed Savory Pumpkin

Easy No-Knead Holiday Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Nutella Snack Cake

Multiple Ways To Prepare Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Spiced Pumpkin Pots de Crème With Sautéed Apples and Pistachio

Chipotle Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin Risotto with Pumpkin Butter

Roasted Pumpkin and Asparagus Lasagna


Pie Crusts Five Different Ways

Apple-Ginger Stack Cake

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake with Walnuts & Red Currant Jelly

Individual Upside Down Pear & Apple Gingerbread Cakelets

Apple Butter Pie

Chocolate-Covered Pumpkin Seed Brittle & "Grown Up" Candy Apples

Gingered Pear Crisp

Ancho Chili-Cinnamon Chocolate Bark

Simple Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee

Cranberry Persimmon Lime Galette

Chai Bread Pudding with Frothy Ginger Creme


How to Make Vegetarian Gravy

Homemade Tofurky

Pomegranate Cornbread Stuffing

Homemade Cranberry Sauce With Port Wine

Multiple Recipes For Vegetable Latkes

Grilled Romaine & Cauliflower 'Steak'

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Walnut-Tofu Veggie Loaf

Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

Wild Mushroom Strudel With Braised Root Vegetables

Vegetarian Harvest Stuffed Pumpkin

Hippy Gourmet Makes Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms!

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/paullew