Vegetarians can enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving too

Thanksgiving may be a very meat-centric celebration, but the seasonal flavors of this fall holiday lend themselves well to healthy, hearty, and wholesome vegetarian – and even gluten free! – dishes. Ditch the tofurkey and plan a menu with comfort at the core.

For appetizers, try things like potato croquettes – they’re savory, small and simple to make and are a nice way to modernize traditional Thanksgiving fare. Balance the starchiness of the croquettes with roasted asparagus drizzled with olive oil and rosemary.

When planning a main dish, kick pasta dishes to the curb and delight your guests’ palates with something a little more unique like lentil-stuffed peppers. It’s a nice play on the concept of stuffing, and much healthier with an opportunity to really experiment with flavors and spices. Eggplants, acorn squash, and tomatoes are also well suited for stuffing.

If you’re looking for a hearty main course, opt for a vegetarian casserole of layered potatoes, eggplant, and roasted vegetables. It packs serious flavor into one no-fuss entree.

The best part about planning a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast is that out of all the new dishes you might introduce, the side dishes often go unchanged. Steamed string beans with slivered almondsmashed sweet potatoes with brown butter and roasted brussel sprouts are all great meal additions that don’t call for reinventing the wheel.

For more menu ideas, check out recipes from Food and WineMartha Stewart and Cooking Light.

As a Healthy Blue Xtras member, you can save big on Thanksgiving staples from retailers across the state. For more on making the holiday season healthy, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.

Photo credit: elana’s pantry

 

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