Vegetarian Thanksgiving Guests?
Every year I hear about people who go nuts because they have vegetarian guests coming for Thanksgiving dinner and they don’t know what to cook for them.
Maybe they’re truly flustered. Or maybe they’re actually upset that their teenager, who, like all other teenagers is otherwise the model of good manners and propriety, has just given up meat. Or they’re annoyed because their daughter-in-law (of course) has “turned” vegetarian on them.
Or something like that.
But really. I know change is difficult for most of us and the Thanksgiving turkey dinner seems almost sacrosanct, but there is always so much food on the table, most of it meatless, that a vegetarian can skip the meat and eat everything else, right?
It’s not as if you have to make an entire extra dinner.
All you have to do is heavy up on the sides. That means the usual mashed potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, plus a bunch of vegetables. And if you add a rice or pasta recipe or a recipe for a whole grain casserole that should do it.
Then everyone is happy. The turkey lovers (I confess to be that) can have their turkey and the vegetarians can be satisfied too.
Suggestions for recipe that make good side dishes and that will also nourish and please vegetarians: Spinach Pie, Mujadarah (a bulgur wheat/lentil dish), brown rice and mushroom pilaf, eggplant Parmesan, Bulgur Wheat Casserole with Dried Apricots and Pistachios, Macaroni and Cheese. Dozens of others.
And try this one, for Vegetarians. Meat eaters will love it too.
Farro Pilaf with Winter Squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
1 cup diced winter squash (such as butternut)
1 cup farro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-3/4 cups vegetable stock
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until the onion has softened slightly. Add the garlic, ginger and squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for another minute. Stir in the farro, parsley and thyme. Season with some salt and pepper. Pour in the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Boil for one minute. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook for about 25 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Makes 6 servings