Monday, July 23The Voice of London

No Turkey No Problem- Thanksgiving Meals For Vegetarians

Who says Thanksgiving has to be about the turkey? In the end, it is all about celebrating and being thankful for what you have with the people that you love. And yet, on a day that emphasises indulgence to the point of bellyache; the ones who choose to avoid meat are always seen as the odd ones out. Not so true this year. Here is our suggestions for meat-free dishes.

Words: Lyubomira Ivanova, Subeditor: Toni Hart

Our choices are quite varied and yet all of them are yum. They are not only far from tasteless and boring, but they will also fill you up. A meal without meat could be as rich and tasty as any traditional Thanksgiving meal. Without more waffling, here are the suggestions.

  1. Vegan oven roasted pumpkin wedges with cranberry, pecan and chile pesto
Roasted Pumpkin, Photo Source: Flickr
Roasted Pumpkin, Photo Source: Flickr

If you always perceive the pumpkin as the ultimate dessert for the thanksgiving table, think twice. Certainly, you might serve the food in whichever way you want, but this is our suggestion for a healthy, veggie-rich dish that combines sweet and savoury tastes and must be put on the table this year.

The ingredients for the roasted pumpkin wedges with cranberry, pecan and chile pesto:

  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup natural orange juice
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil, divided
  • 5 cups whole unsalted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt
  • 4 ½ to 5 pound pumpkin

The method is pretty simple.

For the pesto you have to combine the orange juice, the cranberries and ½ cup of grapeseed oil and leave them to soak while you are preparing the other components. Dry roast the pecans for 3-4 minutes. Then toast the chilli flakes for 1 minute. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set the sauce aside or refrigerate.

For the pumpkin preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Then slice the pumpkin into thick wedges. Brush them with oil and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. Then put them in the oven.

  1. Chickpea and chilli salad

    Chickpea salad, Photo Source: Tumblr
    Chickpea salad, Photo Source: Tumblr

You might think that salad will never make you full, but our option is definitely not the case. Simple, fresh and vibrant, the chickpea and chilli salad is big on flavours and once you try it, it’s hard to give up on it.

So here are the ingredients for the salad:

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 3tbsp harissa paste
  • 3 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 300g feta, thinly sliced to serve

For the dressing:

  • 200g whole milk
  • 1tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp chopped coriander leaves

The method for making the salad is as simple and easy as the recipe itself. Leave the chilli and feta aside for now. Firstly, combine all the other ingredients in a bowl- properly mix them. In another bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients. Once you have done that, pour the salad on a large serving plate and dot the dressing all over. Finally, add the chilli and feta on the top and serve straight away.