Vegan 101: What You Need to Know
There’s no right or wrong way to Thanksgiving. That’s why we’re giving you the 101 on special diets. Everyone should have something to eat at the Thanksgiving dinner table — whether it’s meat, beans or something else entirely (a whole plate of sweet potatoes, anyone?).
It’s all about the plants. When you’re eating vegan, you know you’ve got to avoid meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy and honey — plus other animal-based ingredients (like whey, lactose or gelatin). A well-planned vegan diet is based on whole plant foods — like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
And sure, Thanksgiving is known for turkey, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should be left out. But if you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner at someone else’s home, consider bringing an entrée dish or dessert so you know you’ll have a dish to enjoy. A quinoa and nut pilaf or lentil loaf are delicious protein-rich dishes. Or, opt for roasted vegetables, vegan mashed potatoes, chocolate-dipped pears or a vegan pecan pie. Don’t be scared of telling your host that you eat a vegan diet! It could be a chance for them to finesse their side dish skills.
Hosting Someone on a Vegan Diet? What You Should Know
It’s easy and delicious to whip up vegan dishes that all of your guests will enjoy, whether they strictly adhere to a vegan diet or they’re flexitarians zeroing in on plants for the time being. Focus on roasted fresh vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter, vegetable or fruit salads with no dairy or honey, grain salads or stuffing with nuts and mushrooms and dried fruit (no meat, seafood or dairy) and rolls or pies using plant-based alternatives to butter. And for the yams? Hold the marshmallows, unless you get vegan marshmallows. Yes, they do exist.
Easy Vegan Swaps for Thanksgiving
- Top whole grain crackers with Miyoko’s Organic Vegan Cheese Wheel, figs and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for an appetizer.
- Serve a vegetarian grain–based protein like Field Roast Celebration Roast.
- Add Tofurky Plant-Based Crumbles to your dairy-free corn stuffing.
- Make a vegan stuffing with 365 Everyday Value Organic Multigrain Stuffing Mix, celery, onion, mushrooms, pecans, dried cranberries and vegetable stock.
- Roast fresh vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, or serve a fresh fruit salad topped with nuts and pomegranate seeds.
What to Stock up On
- Lots of fresh produce
- Miyoko’s Vegan Cheese Wheel
- Field Roast Celebration Roast
- Tofurky Plant-Based Crumbles
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Multigrain Stuffing Mix
- Raw nuts
- Plenty of legumes