Happy Thanksgiving – Vegetarian Style

I’ve been a vegetarian for two months now.  Why did I suddenly give up my meat-eating ways?  Disgust.  I am so angry at what we’ve collectively done to the environment that this is my means of protest.  I began with Meat Free Mondays and after 8 months I made the total shift.  Honestly, being a vegetarian is something I’d wanted to do since I was a teen.  It seemed bohemian.  I am an Aquarian – ’nuff said.   At any rate, the deed has been done.  So….this Thanksgiving was my first vegetarian holiday celebration.  What used to be a joy, with the cooking and fussing over the bird, became a scene from a horror flick.  I looked at the turkey that had been hermetically sealed in a plastic bag, and noticed things I really paid no attention to before – like the fact that it was a dead animal dripping with blood.    I rinsed the body and peered into the cavity for there rested the neck and giblets.   It’s funny, what I used to do without a thought now suddenly seemed obscene – a desecration to the already desecrated animal.  But, I am the cook of the house so I had to do what needed to be done – retrieve the heart, liver, giblets and neck from deep within the dead bird.

Dead bird

Dead bird

Once I’d cleaned and stuffed the turkey, feeling rather like a mortician of sorts, I went on to cook my own meal.  A lovely tomato pie, noodles, Brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and stuffing.  It was great!  And my greatest success was thinking of a way to keep the stuffing moist (like it would be inside the turkey) by using a squash.

I made my stuffing exactly like the regular stuffing, except I used veggie sausage and vegetable broth.

I made my stuffing exactly like the regular stuffing, except I used veggie sausage and vegetable broth.

I’ve found Allrecipes.com to be a great help in finding really tasty vegetarian meals.  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-pie-ii/detail.aspx  And while it is difficult fixing both vegetarian and meat-eater holiday meals, it’s not impossible.  I just try to keep things streamlined.  Cook what everyone else is having – just with modifications.  I must say my noodles were delicious – even without the base of turkey broth that’s normally used.  Vegetable broth worked great!

YUM

My veggie dinner!

Lesson Learned:  Once on the path to vegetarianism you become more thoughtful with regards to food and things you used to do with meat now seem wrong or gross – or both. 

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