Let's face it, the very idea of a vegan-friendly Thanksgiving is oxymoronic. Every year, vegans face the dilemma of sitting down to a dinner that's basically centered around a slayed bird. So, you just found out you're hosting a vegan... Now what? Aaron Adams, vegan chef at Farm Spirit in Buckman, shares his tips for how to accommodate a vegan for Thanksgiving.
On being hospitable to vegans:
"Hospitality is the most important ingredient to a successful dinner party," says Adams.
On the easy route:
"Right off the bat, why not just make all-vegan side dishes?" While many Thanksgiving fixings are already vegetarian, such as mashed potatoes and oven-roasted rutabagas, Adams recommends making them vegan by replacing butter with a plant-based fat, whether olive oil, grapeseed oil, or Earth Balance, the "buttery" spread.
On what meat eaters do with stuffing:
Be aware that, while shoving stuffing up the turkey's ass might seem appetizing to some, vegans find it appalling. So, if you're stuffing the bird, Adams suggests setting a portion aside and baking it separately.
On offering soup:
Adams recommends making a hearty vegan pumpkin soup, with spices, fresh herbs, vegetable broth, and filbert milk, which can be made at home with a little advance preparation. Make sure not to use animal-based stock: Chicken juice is simply not going to fly.
For the Tofurky replacement:
"Get a large Cinderella pumpkin; cut it open; fill with vegan stuffing; douse with vegetable fat; cover with foil; and put in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until a knife pierces it well. Then, take the foil off and let it blister."
On limited space:
"Even more fun than making a centerpiece is making a bunch of little dishes, such as stuffed acorn squash, quinoa pilaf, and roasted parsnips with apple sauce," Adams proposes. "Just cook a bunch of awesome vegetables in a creative way." Which pretty much brings us back to Thanksgiving side dishes.
Have more questions? Ask them in the comments and we'll track down the answers.