Tara, over at An Apple A Day, recently contacted me about having one of their writers, who are also passionate about health, share a guest post. (Check out Jasmine’s interesting post, A Look At International Vegetarianism By Religion). Thanks, to Andrew for the festive recipe!
Thanksgiving can be excruciating as a vegetarian or vegan, especially when you’re not in charge of dinner. You can be left to pick at a handful of sides (or maybe one) while everyone around you gorges themselves on meat and animal-product rich sides (which can, really, be just about everything on a Thanksgiving table, even the often miscooked, unloved, unfairly represented Brussels sprouts, which deserve far better than the reputation they ended up saddled with) and asks you what’s wrong with either their cooking or you as a person for not wanting to eat it.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though; there are plenty of quality vegetarian and completely vegan Thanksgiving-appropriate dishes you can make, and if you have like-minded friends, you can get together and put together a meal that you’ll all enjoy without having to deal with a crowd that won’t shut up about your decision not to eat its turkey. If you’re not doing something like an UnTurkey, here’s one to consider, written by Chloe Coscarelli for the New York Times:
Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
This hearty Thanksgiving entrée is made of savory lentil cashew stuffing baked in juicy Portobello mushrooms infused with aromatic herbs. It’s topped off with a sliver of sweet tomato and fresh thyme leaves. This dish is packed with protein and fiber and will hold its own on the Thanksgiving table.
1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 Portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Ina large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.
3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)
4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)
5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.
Yield: Serves 6.