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 Thanksgiving - vegetarian sides
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Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  03:17:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
For the first time in 5 years we're going to my in laws for Thanksgiving. I'm not going to get into all the stories but they don't "Understand" vegitarianism. Needless to say there will be a small plate of vegies, a small bowl of potatoes, a small bowl of squash and a giant dead bird.

When asked what to bring they say nothing or bread. Sometimes they'll say desert. Over time I've learned that they don't compensate for the fact that I don't eat meat. Well, one time when going there for a family dinner, my MIL made chicken legs for me insisting it's not meat. See what I mean about not understanding? Actually I've explained "meat" to her a couple of times. She's a smart woman but this concept isn't sinking in.

oops - there I go complaining, can you see I dread dinners there?

I have some side dishes that include protein soy subsitute but I'm wondering what your favorites might be. I feel the need to bring something other than a PB sandwich eaten on the ride there. I'm hoping to make something that "fakes" them out as to it's lack of meaty content.

amy
http://theboogerblog.blogspot.com
http://www.spunkyhats.com

eclair
Chatty Knitter

New Zealand
320 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  04:34:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit eclair's Homepage Send eclair a Private Message
My partner is a vegetarian and we face the same sort of problem when we dine with family. While our relatives understand that he doesn't eat anything that once walked, swam, flew or had a face, they are a little panicked at the thought of providing him with a decent meal without the meat. My family was brought up on the meat=and-two-veg diet and they worry that he will fade away without a slice of something juicy and covered in gravy.

We have found it saves stress all round if we offer to bring the stuffing which can be served as a side dish. It's baked in the ceramic pie plate that transports it, so now worries for the catering relative. It never goes into the bird, or anywhere near it, so it stays vegetarian. As it is prepared at home my partner does not need to worry about it containing meat juices or meat fat. I make it from breadcrumbs, butter (can use vegetarian substitute if you don't eat dairy) onions, celery, nuts, herbs, the list is endless. He particularly likes my blue cheese and walnut variation. You just bung it in the oven for 20 minutes before serving. As it is put on the table in a dish it seems more like it is something for everyone to share rather than the 'weird vegetarian food' that is a little estranging if it is just for him. He just has to make sure he serves himself from it first before someone else dives in with the wrong spoon and gets gravy all over it!

So far, this has always worked with hot dinner scenarios. For cold buffets I usually bring along a quiche. As long as there are vegetables (or if we are going to particulary carnivorous relatives I make a LARGE amount of stuffing as there will be fewer veg side dishes), he hasn't gone hungry yet. Actually, nowadays I have to make quite large amounts as it is rather popular with the meat eaters too.

Eclair
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  05:37:39 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
ROFL........I have those "poultry isn't meat" relatives too.

I recommend that you forget what your relatives want and take a dish that your partner would like to eat, but do take enough to pass at the table. They need to find out that vegetarian dishes are not "weird", they are delicious.

fran

http://www.geocities.com/martian_mischief/
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pieheart
Permanent Resident

1872 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  06:08:38 AM  Show Profile Send pieheart a Private Message
How about a stuffed winter squash dish? Or a wild rice dish? Something that doesn't scream "vegetarian" so the non-veges would eat it too? I am not a vegetarian but I often think the side dishes are better than the meat anyway. And the side dishes don't usually have any meat or even animal products in them. If you can get your hands on Crocket's Victory Garden Cookbook you will see a lot of creative recipes that would appeal to anyone without a veggie-phobia (like my kids. Sometimes I wonder where they came from. I prefer to use meat as a garnish as opposed to the main deal, if they had their way, they would rather eat a cow than let anything green pass their lips. Hoping they'll grow up!)

Oh, just remembered, I was in Borders last week and they had a whole display of vegetarian cookbooks, not old-fashioned "hippie" recipes (tofu in the shape of turkey, etc), but real food. I had a roommate who used to live on "wham" (soy"ham"). I used to wonder why she bothered, there's so much good whole foods out there, why eat that?

pieheart

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WendyB
Permanent Resident

3262 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  07:04:10 AM  Show Profile Send WendyB a Private Message
I agree that you should just bring your own to share, like cauliflower with cheese, a parmesan or spinach dip, vegetarian lasagna, salad with artichoke hearts, something you like. You might just broaden their horizons!

WendyB
Knit to your heart's delight.
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  07:57:38 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message
Eat in the car going then sit with an empty plate looking upset. That might get the message acroos. If you`re the hosts, you should be hospitable, you know? And if that includes you cooking in any sort of way alien to your own habits, then you do it or don`t ask them.

(Yes, I`m feeling grumpy today......!)

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  08:06:19 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
I would bring something that would "blow their socks off" just to show them that there is a life outside of "meat". Serve it in a beautiful container to boot. Garnish the Hell out of it- create a special top for it. Do the Martha thing and put them to shame. and it doesn't have to be the dessert. Do a fabulous Chutney for a condiment for their bird, A vegetable souffle, my mom's Cheese Onion Pie,a Holiday braided bread, individual veggie tartlettes; and make sure it is something that YOU like to eat! KL
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Monkachia
Permanent Resident

USA
1224 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  08:44:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Monkachia's Homepage Send Monkachia a Private Message
Oven roasted root vegetables with grilled firm tofu. Try parsnips, new potatoes, sweet potatoes (I prefer the Korean variety if you can get it, the flesh is a pale yellow, sweet and mealy), carrot, whatever herbs you like, olive oil and throw in the tofu at the last minute.
You could get thin beancurd sheets/skin, soak in water until soft, then fill with chopped mushroom, onion, maybe cheese, whatever. Make an egg roll type shape out of it and bake or deep fry.
I think the quiche is a great idea. It'll be something recognizable. How about spinach and cheese pie (Greek style)? Add some pine nuts to make it more hearty.
Chia
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  09:34:23 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
You can buy or make all sorts of great lasagne(use the ready to bake noodles)dishes. If you don't want to cook, buy the ready made lasagne at the grocers.

If there is no time/space to reheat, I adore goat cheese and lentil salad. If you don't eat dairy, use soy feta.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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MoBarger
Chatty Knitter

311 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  09:38:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit MoBarger's Homepage Send MoBarger a Private Message
I'm lacto-ovo so all my recommendations have dairy!
Vegetarian Times always has a full TG issue. Look for it in bookstores, or search their online recipe database: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/

Not sure how long your ride is. This is a wonderful dish but might be difficult to transport. I love stuffed winter squash. Get some acorn squash and slice off top to be used as lid later, and hollow them out. Bake in oven until halfway done. Prepare a stuffing of bread, garlic, butter, sharp cheddar, rest of squash, onions, peppers, eggplant cut fine. Fill squashes and insert in oven to bake again. Remember to bake the lids too!

OR

Easy casserole dish is chopped broccoli, brown rice, grated cheddar, can of cream soup and some milk. Prepare rice. Chop broccoli in bite sized pieces. Grate the cheddar. Add rice, broccoli, cheddar, and can of cream soup to casserole dish. Add about 1/2C milk. Combine in dish. Add black pepper to taste (the soup usually covers the salt requirement fully!) Breadcrumbs on top optional.
Bake about 30 minutes, until broccoli looks done.

OR
I have a wonderful cauliflower recipe I just got last night, not even digitized yet. Similar to the above, it requires cooked cauliflower in bite sized pieces, asiago cheese, light cream and bread crumbs. Basically you mix the bread crumbs and asiago cheese together, set aside. Mix cauliflower and cream with half of bread/asiago mix. Place in 9x13 pan -- those pyrex dishes work wonderfully. Add remaining bread/asiago mix to top. Bake til done, about 30-40 minutes.



Mo Barger, close to Ithaca, NY
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  10:30:17 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
Another on of my favourites is to make "neatballs" in sauce. Yves Veggie Cuisine has a fake meatball called "neatballs" which I just heat in my favourite sauce, which is usually HP sauce with something sweet like maple syrup.

"An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Martin Luther King Jr.
www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  10:41:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
I disagree with Val. I am a vegetarian and my being a good host does not mean cooking a dead animal for my meat-eating friends. If you know these people are rude, you bring a decent side dish and eat the sides and just suck it up. Then again, according to my friends, I'm the easiest vegetarian they've dined with because I'm not rude about it. Sitting there, eating nothing, is rude.

Also, has your husband made it quite clear to them what you can and can't eat? That's his job, and if they still ignore it, then at least you know they're disrespecting their own son.

Amanda

"Is that my Not-Mine Sweater? Whoever gets that Not-Mine Sweater is very lucky."
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minh
Permanent Resident and Destasher Extraordinnaire

USA
3457 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  10:45:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit minh's Homepage Send minh a Private Message
I second the quiche or lasagna ideas --- Broccoli/cheddar quiche, eggplant or spinach lasagna.
Or some Italian-themed appetizer could be good too: sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, mozzarella, stuffed mushrooms with polenta (that is *really* filling and yummy),...

When we have vegetarians friends over, we usually make a pasta salad (meat-eaters can add bacon or prosciutto) or a rice salad (you can add tuna later on). Less work for us and everybody is happy.

Edited to add: I have a wonderful French recipe for a tomato/mustard quiche. PM me if you want it :)

--Minh
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mamid
Permanent Resident

Canada
1568 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  11:10:13 AM  Show Profile  Send mamid a Yahoo! Message Send mamid a Private Message
I have a couscous recipe that if I change two ingredients or omit one of the two instead, I can make it vegetarian vs meat lovers. I change the chicken soup broth to vegetarian soup broth and either change the chicken to tofu or remove it all together. Most people don't care one way or the other if it is vegetarian or not, they just eat it up cause its delish. Even my kids love it.

Sorry, I don't really have a recipe. Its one of those ones I know by throwing x,y and z together and it makes a wonderful meal.

Craftiness is Sanity
The Last Thread
"Knitting is indeed manly. After all you spend a long time poking a rigid object through a flexible opening!" - Mokey
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Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  11:18:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Valk_scot

Eat in the car going then sit with an empty plate looking upset. That might get the message acroos. If you`re the hosts, you should be hospitable, you know? And if that includes you cooking in any sort of way alien to your own habits, then you do it or don`t ask them.

(Yes, I`m feeling grumpy today......!)

Val.

[img]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/26/26_9_21.gif[/img]



Sad as it is Val, I've done that and it doesn't work (well I ust ate the side dishes). They don't notice squat obviously. They never make enough vegies for everyone let alone for one person to make half a meal out of. They almost never eat anything I cook (they're just not vegie loving people) so I'm not concerned with making anything they will eat. I just want something good and new for me to eat.

thank you all for the great ideas

amy
http://theboogerblog.blogspot.com
http://www.spunkyhats.com
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Chayah
Permanent Resident

1926 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  12:07:36 PM  Show Profile Send Chayah a Private Message
We like eggplant parmigian, you could substitute soy cheese if you wish. I served this at a family occasion where no one ate meat, and everyone seemed to like it. You can even get it at a deli if you don't want to cook.
Best of luck, Chayah
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Inkmama
Seriously Hooked

891 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  12:48:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Inkmama's Homepage Send Inkmama a Private Message
I've been a vegetarian since the early 80s. I make a really great tofu turkey (which should really be called "tofu helmet" because of it's shaped. It's essentially pressed tofu stuffed with the stuffing of your choice, basted with tamari and sesame oil. It's great--even some turkey eaters love it. If you want the recipe, I'll send it to you.

Barbara

Writing blog: http://penonfire.blogspot.com

Knitting blog: http://knittingonfire.blogspot.com
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booglass
Permanent Resident

Costa Rica
1987 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  4:13:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit booglass's Homepage Send booglass a Private Message
My mother-in-law made sweet potatoes or yams (don't know the difference....the orangey potato things in the produce section) with brown sugar, butter, marshmallows, nutmeg and poured bourbon all over them. They were delish!!!!

bonnie

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Susan T-O
Permanent Resident

USA
2481 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  7:00:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Susan T-O's Homepage Send Susan T-O a Private Message
I have a friend whose former in-laws could NOT comprehend "vegetarian." They would add bacon to every vegetable, chicken broth to the mashed potatoes, and then wonder why she didn't eat anything except rolls.


EDIT: IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THAT MY "VEGETARIAN" DISH ISN'T REALLY VEGETARIAN; SO SORRY!!!
If you eat eggs & dairy, I have a good corn casserole that's really easy (taken from the wallpaper on above friend's kitchen): mix together 1 can each regular & creamed corn (do not drain), 2 eggs, and one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix (EDIT: I HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT THIS BRAND CONTAINS LARD . Do not substitute any other brand--I have, and it never works out. Anyway, pour that into a 13 x 9 pan, then top it with a small, chopped onion that has been sauteed in 1/4 cup butter, top that with 2 cups grated cheddar, then dollop one cup sour cream all over the top of that. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Delicious hot or cold!

--Susan T-O in Long Beach CA

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the
most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny.'" --Isaac Asimov
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mwyn
Permanent Resident

USA
1419 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  8:39:48 PM  Show Profile Send mwyn a Private Message
One of my favorites is a sweet potato/cranberry quiche. Not quite sweet, not quite savory. And very thanksgivingingly ;}. PM if you want the recipe.

I usually make pieroski's too. Time intensive but oh so worth it.
mwyn

One who works with his hands is a laborer. With hands & head; a craftsman. With hands, head & heart an artist. (Paraphrase St. Francis of Assissi)
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2005 :  8:48:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I like the winter squash medley thing. Lots of harvest-y looking foods. I bet most of the vegetarian dishes they have are things like macaroni and cheese. And while I could live off of that quite happily, I think you're best off bringing some nice roasted veggie-type dishes. Just in case they cook like we do down in the south, where you don't really know if lard or bacon was used to flavor those green beans.

I once went to a wedding with a boyfriend that, when I informed them that I was a vegetarian, his relatives told me that if I cut the chicken filet at an angle it would be okay to eat.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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