What "traditional" food will you have on Thanksgiving?

“Traditionally” We have had

mashed potatos (with lumps)
green bean casserole
sweet potato pie
cranberry “jelly”
pumpkin pie
pecan pie

But this year my daughter is coming for dinner and she is a Vegan. She refuses to walk into a house if she smells meat cooking so bah hum bug on “tradtional” food this year.

I am getting a Tofu Turkey from Whole Foods tomorrow.
not sure what else…looking to steal some ideas from others.
So tell me what “traditional” food you eat.

Assuming your daughter is an adult, why would you coddle her so?

I have a twofold response to this:

  1. I don’t mind cooking for any vegan or vegetarian. Vegan is a bit trickier and requires a lot more planning/creativity sometimes.
    I am assuming that she is abiding by the traditional definition of vegan, and thereby ingesting NO animal derived products whatsoever. No honey, no milk, no butter, no cheese, no eggs- and this is a holiday dinner. Like I said, tricky.

Instead of green bean cassarole, just do normal green beans. I usually put a dash of vegetable oil in mine to give it that faux greasy look that is usually achieved by putting bacon in them. I have also made a very elegant green bean ‘cassarole’ that involved soy ‘bacon’, whole green beans, margarine, and soy sauce. Take the green beans and make little bundles, wrap them with the soy ‘bacon’, and put in a cassarole dish. Melt the margarine and soy sauce together and drizzle over beans, then broil until ‘bacon’ is cooked.
2) While I am loathe to agree with milroyj;), I would like to express my distaste for your daughter’s attitude. She is perfectly within her rights to be a vegan. She has every right to expect there to be food she can consume at this event. The food should indeed be vegan with no attempt to trick or hide anything. BUT, she shouldn’t hold you hostage by saying she won’t attend if there is even a whiff of meat. Other folks (and I am assuming that your family includes such folks) like meat. Love it, even, and find that a Thanksgiving without turkey is a travesty.
If you make every effort to accomodate her diet, she should return the favor by making the effort to be less childish about it.


Thanks for that helpful hint on the greenbeans. How much soy do I use? I have never seen “fake” bacon. What does it look like? I guess the Whole Foods store will have it.

Yes she is very strict Vegan. I don’t think she is holding us hostage. We just know from past experience that she holds her nose & then walks out if she comes in and smells burgers or other meat products and we dont want her to feel uncomfortable smelling turkey.

We all are willing to forgo meat on this day for her because well…we love her and don’t get to see her that often. Just like your mom might make your favorite pie or favorite type of mashed potatos. We do it just cause… I am not complaining.

I am looking for a site on the web for Vegan stuff but gosh the recipes all seem so complicated. It would just be easier if she would join in the fun and eat flesh like the rest of us.

Well, my family is Sicilian and Calabrian, so our traditional foods differ somewhat from most families, but most of them can be adapted to a vegan diet.

Pasta (natch) w/ red sauce and meatballs.
Baked artichoke stuffed with breadcrumbs and cheese.
Sardine bread and onion bread, which are just thick white bread baked with large amounts of onions and sardines on top. The sardine bread also has sardines mixed into the bread itself.
Fried cardoni (a fennel-like vegetable, may be hard to find).
Lots of pickled olives.
Green beans baked with breadcrumbs, cheese, and lots of garlic.
Raw fennel with oil and vinegar.
Pignolata (sweet pellets of dough fried and then covered with caramel).
Various cookies, all very hard, with fillings such as sesame seeds and dried figs.

The artichoke and green beans would probably taste fine without the parmesan, and most of the other stuff is perfectly vegan.

These are the things my Mommy makes (ranked by “essentialness”)

Macaroni and cheese
Collard greens
Sweet potato souffle
Baked beans
Roast beef
Pork roast
dinner rolls
apple pie

I’m sad because this will be the first Thanksgiving that my mother isn’t cooking (none of her children will be around). She’s happy since she gets the day off, but that means me and you with the face have to pull something off. I’m making my own version of macaroni and cheese and a sweet potato souffle recipe I got from the internet. I’m going to miss my mother’s collards and baked beans, but at least we’re not going to starve.

Isabelle, We usually have all the same things on your list plus, cheesecake and cinnamon raisin bread.

I’m not so sure that’ll be the case this year though.

No stuffing, Isabelle? That’s the best part!

Undertaking a vegan Thanksgiving dinner with less than a week before Thanksgiving is going to be challenging. Has your daughter, since she refuses to eat or even be in the same house as meat or animal products, offered to help cook at all? I mean, she is the one used to cooking vegan dishes, and if she wants an all vegan meal (as opposed to her own “Tofurky”* and other meat-free, dairy-free, etc. etc. dishes on the side, along with traditional dishes for everyone else), she should help cook it. I find it incredibly obnoxious if she’s not helping, since you are changing the entire dinner for her. (I also find it incredibly obnoxious that she’ll hold her nose and walk out, but maybe it’s not as obnoxious as it sounds, if the smell actually makes her sick and she’s not just being difficult.)

  • This has to be ne of the most unappetizing names for a food product.

We always have the following (all homemade, 100% from scratch):

Turkey (bought from a farm down the road)
cranberry sauce
green beans (fresh, not in a disgusting slimy casserole, just plain)
candied sweet potatoes

at least one of the following: mashed potatoes, 60 minute rolls, acorn squash

three pies: pumpkin with whipped cream, apple, pecan (sometimes regular, sometimes Derby)

I think your daughter is acting like a spoiled brat, but if you want to indulge her, that’s your business. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday simply because of the food. We have:
[li]Turkey and gravy[/li][li]Dressing/stuffing[/li][li]Cranberry jelly[/li][li]Mashed potatoes[/li][li]Twice-baked potatoes[/li][li]Green bean casserole[/li][li]Broccoli rice casserole[/li][li]Rolls[/li][li]Pumpkin pie[/li][li]Apple pie[/li][li]Some sort of chocolate cake[/li][li]Some choice of cookies[/li][/ul]

I new thing I want to try this year is a tart cranberry dipping sauce (courtesy of Good Eats). The only problem is I have yet to find frozen cranberries in this city.

Everything on my list, with the exception cranberry dipping sauce, would not be acceptable by your daughter, Isabelle. Everything is either meat or contains cream, butter, cheese, eggs, and milk.

I wish you luck on trying to get a Vegan Thanksgiving dinner whipped together. Just from a couple times looking at the restrictions that Vegans adhere to in there food I know that trying to please your daughter is going to be tough.

I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup soy and a half stick of butter for a normal size cassarole dish. The fake bacon (Fakin’ Bacon, I think it’s called) isn’t all that hard to find. I’m pretty sure our local Wal-Mart has it over by the ‘Boca Burgers’.
I was also reminded about my carrot recipe. It calls for honey, but I have left it out and found it pretty tasty, still.
1 bag baby carrots…boil until tender (but not mushy) add lots of margarine, nutmeg, ginger and a dash of sugar ( since you can’t use honey). Pretty yummy.


Sheesh. I meant margarine.


Well, I’ll leave my comments on the vegan thing to saying the daughter is showing a shocking lack of manners by demanding that all the other guests and her hosts obey her diet whims(family or not, after you move out, you’re a guest when you visit the 'rents).

I’m cooking most of the Thanksgiving dinner this year, sharing duties with my boyfriend’s mother (or mother-in-law [MIL] as I think of her). We’re having

Roast turkey flavored with sage, onion, and rosemary (me)
Turkey gravy (me)
Cranberry sauce made from whole cranberries, oranges, and ginger (me)
Sweet potato casserole (me)
Cornbread and sausage stuffing (me)
Asparagus (MIL)
Broccoli (MIL)
Biscuits (MIL)
Pumpkin pie topped with vanilla ice cream (me)
Chocolate brownies (MIL)

I understand why you’d want to prepare something special for your daughter, especially if you don’t see her often.

Here’s a website with some vegan Thanksgiving suggestions.


Hope this helps! Enjoy your day with your family.

Quite often, my traditional American* Thanksgiving food is birthday cake. Like this year. (My birthday is the 27th.)
*Canadian Thanksgiving is in October.

Clearly, you’re not familiar with Isabelle’s family. She mollycoddles all her kids and lets them manipulate her like this.

And yes, this is manipulation. She’s using the fact that you guys want to see her to make everyone play by her rules, instead of sucking it up and dealing with the meat smell because she wants to see you. Holding one’s nose and walking out of the house because of someone else’s diet is rude, childish, sanctimonious crap.

What am I having for Thanksgiving? I’m having turkey (real turkey, since I’ve yet to see the dogs get snitty about me cooking meat in the house), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, green beans cooked with bacon, and a green salad, followed by pumpkin cheesecake.

I don’t want to make this a pile-on, Isabelle, but if any guests walked into my house, held her nose, and walked out again, I’d figure she’d be happier with a peanut butter sandwich at her own damn house. And she wouldn’t be invited back quickly.

Yes, she’s faaamily. But she’s an adult, and living on her own, and when she comes to your house she is a guest, and the social rules for guests and hosts still largely apply. The number one rule for a guest is Don’t Be A Jerk, and making a scene like that is being a jerk. Your obligation as host is to provide food that she can eat - not to eliminate any food that she cannot, or chooses not to, eat. I can’t stand the smell of cauliflower cooking, but if you’re cooking it when I’m a guest in your house, I’ll grin and bear it.

Making her a tofurkey is being a good hostess and a loving mom. Making everyone eat tofurkey because she won’t come into the house otherwise is being a doormat.

But to answer your question, we’re having turkey with stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, tossed salad, and a few warm vegetable dishes that I haven’t decided on yet. Probably carrots and something green, at a minimum. (I have until Saturday, since Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday here and we always have the big meal the following weekend.) For dessert, I’ll be making shoo-fly pie and my famous pumpkin cheesecake.

Pumpkin pie. And lots of it. I’ve been waiting all year for pumpkin pie season!

Well, this will be my first Thanksgiving eating sugar-white flour-white potato-white rice free. Since I cook, I get to do it my way. Hubby follows this diet as well. Our only guests will by hubby’s parents, and FIL is diabetic, so everything ought to suit him perfectly. We will be having:

Roast Turkey
Stuffing made from whole-wheat bread (I put sausage in mine)
Mashed sweet potatoes
Instant mashed potatoes (at the request of my middle daughter, who doesn’t like sweet potatoes)
Creamed spinach
Buttered peas
Glazed carrots (Splenda is such a wonderful thing!)
Whole-wheat biscuits
Sugar-free pumpkin pie with whole-wheat crust
No Sugar Added ice cream with sugar-free chocolate sauce