A vegan Thanksgiving

Surprise! My daughter Skatje decided to join us for Thanksgiving on the spur of the moment, so she’s in town with plans for dinner tomorrow, which makes this cartoon particularly appropriate.

Except, unlike Lio’s dad, I’m not at all glum about this — vegetarian food is really good, and she mentioned a few of the things she’s planning to fix, so I’m looking forward to it.

She also promised to conjure up Ol’ Scratch, Satan, himself. Or was it that she was going to show us how to make saitan, from scratch? Either way, it works.


  1. Audley Z Darkheart says

    Just yesterday, my primary care doc asked me how vegetarians “do” Thanksgiving. “Tofu just doesn’t sound that appealing.”

    I was planning on making a mushroom and nut loaf with mushroom gravy, but I’m wicked sick (hence the trip to the doctor), so I’m just stuffing some acorn squash and saying to hell with everything else.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    gluten-free Saitan is impossible?
    My bet is Whole Foods will have gluten-free Saitan for the “ultra low price of $99.99/lb” /snark

  3. Dunc says

    Why do people assume that all vegeterian food is based on tofu? I’m not currently vegetarian, but I was for many years, and I don’t think I ate tofu once during that time. I’ve never really been a fan of the stuff.

  4. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Hm, I should try seitan again. I only tried it twice and experiences were totally opposite (from Delicious to Gotta get rid of this sorry excuse for food before i throw up)

  5. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    a) they don’t know about things like seitan
    and b) they forget that things like vegetables and nuts are totally legitimate food even when they don’t accompany meat.

  6. Audley Z Darkheart says

    For the record, I enjoy tofu and much of the pre-made vegetarian foods are made of soy. But, yeah. I don’t eat it all the time and I’d really rather not try to sculpt meat out of it.

  7. Becca Stareyes says

    It can take some getting used to; I know one year my dad tried to make us a vegetarian Christmas dinner. Unfortunately:
    1. The rest of the family didn’t like spicy food; Dad does. (This has changed, but I still can’t eat as spicy of food as Dad.)
    2. The kids were at the age of maximum pickiness when it came to food. Basically us kids wanted to eat the same things all the time. (All of us got better as we got older.)
    3. This wasn’t just a ‘replace turkey with stuffed acorn squash*’ deal, this was a whole list of non-traditional dishes.

    Ironically, around Christmas a few years later, my sister decided she was going to be vegetarian (and Mom added a baked pasta dish to the traditional menu). Dad, meanwhile, has given it up.

    * Actually, I still don’t care much for winter squash. It’s edible to me, but I don’t cook it myself.

  8. says

    Well, this is one way to make sure you don’t have any right wing knuckle draggers at your Thanksgiving Dinner!

    I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, but they do have some fine alternative “meats.”

  9. says

    Ah, how nice for you that Skatje is going to be home, and doing the cooking, too! I hope you all have a terrific time. I don’t celebrate thanksgivin’ myself, so there’s no particular menu change. Right now, I’m going to go attack some grapes.

  10. says

    The idea that vegetarian or vegan food has to be bland and awful is such a strange and tired idea, and one that I am amazed still hangs around. Yes, I’ve had some pretty awful vegetarian dishes, but I have sat through plenty of mediocre Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as well. I have a hard time getting excited for most turkeys, they are often poorly prepared and pretty damn boring. And a well cooked one is hardly the most exciting addition to a meal. How someone could judge a meal simply by whether it includes meat is beyond me.

    While I do eat meat occasionally, I make far more meals using tofu, chickpeas, beans and lots of lentils. I do think vegetarian food often fails when people try to replicate a meat filled dish, and have the expectation it will be the same. I’ve tried making chili using lentils on many occasions, and while it has been an enjoyable, it just is not quite the same, missing some of the flavour, and especially the texture. I find it is better to innovate, not replicate.

  11. jrkrideau says

    Vegetarian food is bland?

    Baljekar, M. (2011). Vegetarian Cooking of India: Traditions, ingredients, tastes, techniques and 80 classic recipes. London: Anness.

  12. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    Our Thanksgiving dinner includes a turkey, but it also includes an assortment of roasted vegetables, cranberry-orange relish, marinated mushrooms, olives, and an apple-pear crisp, all of which are vegan. (The original recipe for the crisp was dairy, but margarine works as well as butter here.)

    I do like tofu, but it’s not relevant here.

  13. Derek Vandivere says

    Eet smakkelijk!

    I was going to ask if she was going to separate out the gluten herself – here in Holland they call the powder and the fake meat seitan. Good stuff, with a bit more chewiness than plain old tofu. The Vegan Dad site has some really good Thanksgiving-y recipes, by the way.

    Guess it’s a sign that I’m really not really American any more – I didn’t realize until late this morning that today’s Thanksgiving.

  14. biogeo says

    A few years ago I made seitan for Thanksgiving. My normally mild-mannered but food obsessed cat stole a piece off the plate and proceeded to carry it around the house, growling at us when we tried to take it away from him. Guess it really is a good turkey substitute!