As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving is never about the turkey for me. Fortunately, the friends’ I go to every year are vegetarians as well so I don’t have a problem having to turn down meat dishes. If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, you may have two dietary restrictions to consider….the vegetarians as well the Jews.
For the record, I am not a cook nor do I pretend to be one on this blog. Just click on the links to grab the recipes listed here. Alls I did was research the internets.
Let’s start with latkes. THE traditional Hanukkah dish is the potato pancake. Latkes are indeed vegetarian but if you want to go vegan, you can substitute the egg whites with a product called “Egg Replacer“. Alternatively, blending flax seeds with water will do the same trick.
Chopped liver is not necessarily a Hanukkah food, maybe more of a Passover dish. But what Jewish vegetarian wouldn’t be impressed with an attempt at Grandma’s chopped liver minus the liver? Here are 22 different recipes for the famous dish. It’s more of an appetizer. Think fois gras. Speaking of….you can always pick up some containers of Faux Gras and save yourself the trouble.
Soup time! Both matzoh ball soup and hot borscht will go over well for the double holiday. I just want y’all to know that my mother bought borscht from a jar. Yeah, the ones you see at the supermarket. And you wonder why I don’t cook?
Another food that may not be associated with Hanukkah…ok, I have to admit something here. I don’t know my Hanukkah dishes. I’m the worst Jew ever. We never celebrated Hanukkah. We celebrated Christmas by going out to a Chinese restaurant and a move. So, let’s just say these are “Jewish” foods and not “Hanukkah”.
What about the main course? The turkey substitute? You can go with a nut roast or pastry dish. Here’s a homemade tofurkey recipe. Make sure you’re not dealing with any celiacs on that one as it’s made from wheat gluten.
Dessert? I just learned over the weekend from my goy friend that there is a Hanukkah donut called sufganiot! Who knew? Apparently everyone but me. It’s kind of like a jelly donut (Blech!) but you can do pumpkin or something equally disgusting.
Any traditional Thanksgiving dish other than the turkey is easy to make as a vegetarian dish and Jews like to eat, so no problem there. Stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, veggies. Never underestimate the power of the side dish as long as there are enough of them.
Oh, while we’re on this subject, if you are entertaining vegetarian friends, beware the cheese! FYI, not all cheese are vegetarian. Look at the label for “rennet” which is the lining of a calf’s stomach. Yup. Microbial enzymes and vegetable rennet are cool. All kosher cheeses are fine because kosher folks don’t mix meat with dairy, so if it’s a dairy product, it won’t contain any dead animal. Look for the kosher “U” or “K” on the package and you’re good to go. You learn something new every day.