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Thanksgiving Main Dish Ideas

In my house, it’s not Thanksgiving without a stuffed seitan roast in the center of the table.  But there are lots of other great ideas for a main dish that also goes well with all the classic T’day side dishes.  Here are some suggestions:

A Vegan Loaf:  use your favorite vegan meatloaf recipes (such as the Comfort Loaf in Vegan on the Cheap or the Mom-Style Vegan Meatloaf in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker). To give them a more Thanksgiving flavor, add some ground thyme and sage or your favorite poultry seasoning blend.  Then serve with your favorite gravy.

Instead of shaping your loaf into a loaf, press the mixture into a couple large squash halves (my FAVORITE winter squash is kabocha squash).  That’s what I did in the photo above.  The loaf-filling contains white beans, tvp, chestnuts, Brazil nuts, and oats, for a hearty protein-rich main dish.  It’s pictured with cranberry sauce and some cored apple slices that I sauteed in cranberry juice. (they can be fun to serve filled with a little cranberry sauce — easy, but good.)

Another easy option is to buy a package of Matchmeat (chicken-style) and roll it out flat (after thawing).  You can then spread any kind of stuffing you like (show here with a spinach-mushroom stuffing), roll it up, and bake.  I wrapped it in a piece of yuba before baking.  I chose not to brown it in a skillet in oil first, but if I were serving it for company, I would do so because it would turn a deeper brown color on the outside. It was still crispy and delicious this way, though.

Other great main dishes that are easy to make ahead are a Shepherd’s pie or a pot pie. If traditional dishes aren’t your thing, lasagna is a great make-ahead dish for a crowd.  It travels well, too.  If your oven is going to be busy with other foods, you can even make your lasagna in a slow cooker:

Tune in again tomorrow when I will announce the TWO winners from my consecutive Party Vegan Giveaways.  And if you haven’t entered both of them yet, you need to do it — Party Vegan isn’t just about parties — it is filled with lots of great everyday recipes too, to help you eat deliciously vegan throughout the year.



{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Sandi Hemming, RD LD November 17, 2012, 10:18 am

    I would tell them not to worry about me, that I LOVE to eat and that I am happy to fill my plate with sidedishes and will ENJOY every bite! I would try to steer the conversation away from what I don’t eat and toward what we all have to be grateful for.

  • Michaelyn C. November 17, 2012, 11:54 am

    It was surprisingly easy to just ask my family to use vegan margarine and non-dairy milk in their Thanksgiving recipes… by doing this, just about everything on the table became vegan! I always contribute as much of my own cooking as I can, too… both to make sure I have something to eat, but also to share how awesome vegan cooking is with the rest of my family and friends.

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