A friend of mine once said that being a vegetarian at Thanksgiving must be like being a Jew at Christmas. Funny, but not necessarily accurate. You see, being a vegetarian at Thanksgiving is pretty easy. Most of the side dishes are perfectly suitable for me. Sweet potatoes? Check. Brussels sprouts? Check. Corn? Cranberry sauce? Stuffed mushrooms? Done, done, and done. When it comes to my family, the only side that's ever really up for debate is the stuffing (we're Italian, so that means sausage), but I could skip that entirely or make bread stuffing if I was really up for it. So you see, there's plenty of stuff out there for me to eat at Thanksgiving.
Just not, you know, the turkey.
I could have tofurky, I guess. But like most of you out there, the thought of eating tofurky pretty much makes me want to throw up and never eat anything else ever again. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 6 years now, and only once have I forced myself to chomp down on that rubbery meat substitute. It was gross.
I do have some substitutions that have worked, like the pretty killer Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie I suggested this time last November. Though this tends to do the trick when it comes to a main course, I want something different this year. I'm currently between these three recipes from Food & Wine:
Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples, and Leeks. On presentation alone, this takes the win. The half squash slices make the perfect single-serving size. Plus, the mix of sweet and savory sounds devine.
Barley Risotto with Garlicky Mushrooms. Risotto can be a tough thing to make this time of year. It involves a lot of stirring and circling, and when there's already a bunch of activity going on in the kitchen, you can't always give it the attention it needs. Still, if you have time, this looks awesome.
Baked Polenta with Mushrooms. Polenta, Fontina, Parmesan, and mushrooms, baked into a bubbly good time. OMFG GET INSIDE ME.
Don't those recipes sound bananas?
Are there any other vegetarian main courses out there that I should consider? Any tired and true plans? Let's brainstorm!