New Zealand doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but no excuse is needed to gather friends and family and enjoy a special meal together. If you like the idea of an impromptu feast (or are pre-gaming for Christmas), Thanksgiving is the perfect time and can be done entirely vegetarian with great success. In the United States, it takes place on the fourth Thursday in November – this is marked with a public holiday, so those without this luxury may find it easier to hold it over the weekend instead. It can take some time to prepare the food – but it helps if everyone invited brings their own dish to share. The following recipes are all vegetarian, which will give turkeys something to be thankful about too.
Vegetarian Stuffing. Stuffing is one of the truest holiday traditions, and you absolutely do not need to encase it in a bird carcass in order for it to be enjoyed. This stuffing can be served entirely on its own, and is made of bread, cream of mushroom soup, vegetable broth and your choice of additional ingredients.
Maple-Apple Cider Tofu. Taking place in autumn, Maple Syrup is a traditional flavour of the American thanksgiving, and here it’s used to flavour tofu to make it more paletable. Accompanied by an Apple Cranberry chutney – another Thanksgiving staple – that can be used for multiple dishes or as a side for guests to help themselves.
Sweet Potato Casserole. Many traditional American thanksgiving meals offer an odd combination of savoury and sweet, and this sweet potato casserole is one example. Using vanilla extract, brown sugar and milk, some might find it too bizarre a taste range. However those feeling adventurous may find something they really enjoy.
Fluffy Vegan Mashed Potatoes. Mashed potatoes are perfect as a side or as a base for other offerings. Though they’re easy to make vegetarian, getting a perfectly fluffy and light mash without milk can be harder. This recipe is easy to get right, and can be served with savoury mushroom gravy for added flavour.
Potato and Portobello Mushroom Gratin. This gratin is easy to make and bake and forget, and the Portobello mushrooms provide extra texture and flavour. Add spices to your taste.
Thanksgiving might not have any historical significance in New Zealand, but it’s a great reason to get friends and family together and indulge in some fantastic vegetarian recipes.
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