I bet I have a lot of you agreeing with me that 2020 has been an awful year. I'm not going to dwell on it. There are other highly qualified places where you can read about it, and debate all its merits - or lack of them.
So let's focus on finding things to be thankful for, as we greet this Thanksgiving season. Anything qualifies.
Maybe it's finding a new TV show that makes you laugh. Or you're spending more time with close family - assuming this is a good thing, LOL.
For me, I had back surgery in May and am now pain free, for which I'm profoundly grateful. Carnivorous Maximus (the husband) and Carnivorous Minimous (the dog) are healthy, as is our extended family. These are all things to be thankful in these strange times.
You may be staying home for Thanksgiving this year for a quieter dinner. Or if you're going out, it might be a much smaller gathering this year. Either way, when we're trying to stick to a particular way of eating, sometimes it's best if we bring a dish to share that's geared towards our diet.
Every year I do a new round up of vegetarian main dishes for Thanksgiving. Here are some of my favorites for you to consider this year.
Hasselback Butternut Squash with a Pomegranate Glaze
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE DAIRY-FREE 15-MINUTE PREP
Get the recipe here => Hasselback Butternut Squash + Pomegranate
Butternut squash can bring drama to any table. It's the right size for a centerpiece, and if you hasselback it, like you see in the below photo, you'll wow everyone.
The recipe includes photos and step-by-step explanations for hasselbacking with success. And I'm telling you, it's easier than it looks.
Arrange it how you like, but I settle it on a bed of sautéed Brussels sprouts and apple slices.
Roast Butternut Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Apples and Figs
EASILY MADE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE DAIRY-FREE 1-DISH MEAL
Get the recipe here => Butternut Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Apples & figs
This dish is another example of the drama of butternut squash. The prep is a little longer - 25 minutes, but that includes making the stuffing from scratch while the butternut roasts in the oven.
Shortcut: If you use pre-cooked quinoa purchased frozen from the market, or have a batch already made, the stuffing comes together in about 10 -15 minutes.
Stuffed Delicata Squash
EASILY MADE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE 1-DISH MEAL
Get the recipe here => Stuffed Delicata Squash
The scooped shape of many winter squash are perfect for stuffing. Delicata is my favorite, I admit, because you don't need to peel it. The skin is thin and completely edible.
Smaller squash like delicata create ready-made serving portions if you're cooking for a crowd too.
Spiced Acorn Squash with Charred Poblano Pepper & Chickpea Cornbread Stuffing
EASILY MADE VEGAN 1-DISH MEAL
Get the recipe here => Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a perfect bowl to hold stuffing once the seeds and pulp are hollowed out.
Shortcut: Char the poblano peppers and make the stuff ahead of time.
Want to move to a more vegetarian diet, but not sure where to start? Join my Monthly Vegetarian Meals Challenge to get monthly tips. For example, great plant protein sources, must-haves for the vegetarian pantry, ways to build flavor in vegetarian dishes, and more.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Pears and Sage
GLUTEN-FREE 1-DISH MEAL
Get the recipe here => Butternut Squash Risotto with Pears & Sage
Feel free to tend your risotto carefully on the stove, or follow these instructions and make it in your electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot.
The butternut squash, pears and sage are cooked separately and are folded into the risotto at the end before serving. So, no need to worry about over-cooking them in the pressure cooker.
Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers with Cornbread
EASILY MADE VEGAN 1-DISH MEAL 15-MINUTE PREP
Get the recipe here => Jambalaya Stuffed Peppers + Cornbread
This may sound like a non-traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I see no reason to follow the rules when I love Cajun food so much.
Baked Falafel in a Spicy Moroccan Sauce
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE DAIRY-FREE MAKE AHEAD
Get the recipe here => Baked Falafel in a Spicy Moroccan Sauce
Shortcut: Make the sauce ahead of time and keep in a jar in the refrigerator. You can even form the falafel balls ahead of time, wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Spicy Delicata Squash + Fruity Quinoa Pilaf
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE DAIRY-FREE MAKE AHEAD
Get the recipe here => Spicy Delicata Squash + Fruity Quinoa Pilaf
Here's another recipe for stuffing delicata squash to give you another choice!
Shortcut: Make the pilaf ahead of time.
Roasted Portabella Mushrooms + Cabernet Onions & Gorgonzola
GLUTEN-FREE 15-MINUTE PREP
Get the recipe here => Roasted Portabellas + Cabernet Onions
Portabella mushrooms are crowd-pleasers since they offer a robust umami (meaty) flavor. For something more filling, add some wild rice to the onions, spinach and gorgonzola.
Mujadara with Roasted Tomatoes & Greens
VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE 15-MINUTE PREP MAKE-AHEAD
Get the recipe here => Mujadara with Roasted Tomatoes + Greens
I like to dress Mujadara up with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes and greens for a festive look. While it's not a traditional vegetarian main dish for Thanksgiving, it's a great complement to any table. And hello, it can be made ahead!
Whichever of these vegetarian main dishes for Thanksgiving that you choose, have a very happy and safe holiday.
(And really, although this post is focused on Thanksgiving, you can eat any of these dishes all winter!)
If you try any of them, I’d love to hear about it. And if you’re on Instagram, snap a photo and post it there. Just don’t forget to tag me @wimpyvegetarian!!
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Weekly Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Monthly Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle, and unsubscribe at any time. The last thing any of us needs, is more emails that don't help us in some way.