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    Posted November 19, 2009 by
    Los Angeles, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    A vegetarian Thanksgiving

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    Is it possible? A Vegetarian Thanksgiving?? Yes, it is!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     melmel21 said Thanksgiving is the best holiday for her family to put together an eclectic menu - MparkCNN, CNN iReport producer

    It starts around mid-November and continues until about two weeks after Thanksgiving--and it has been happening for almost 19 years.


    What is "it" you ask?  The big question, of course:

    "WHAT do you eat on Thanksgiving??!!"


    The truth is, I welcome this question!  As a long-time vegetarian, I thoroughly enjoy setting the record straight--we vegetarians do appreciate a delicious Thanksgiving meal sans the turkey.  Turkey has tryptophan anyhow, so the good news is that those of us who don't consume the bird can actually stay awake for dessert!


    In my family, our Thanksgiving menu changes yearly.  I come from a long line of foodies and it seems as though we discuss this meal at least twenty times before we are satisfied with our menu.  The meal always includes a number of staples--homemade cranberry apple sauce, an incredible squash and corn dish, and mashed potatoes.  The other dishes are usually up for experimentation--which main course should we make?  What recipe should we use for the stuffing? 


    ...And should we have rice?  Side note on this--does anyone else eat rice on Thanksgiving?  My dad is consistently adamant that since his grandparents served rice, we should too.  Last year we tried a delicious cranberry and pecan wild rice pilaf, but apparently this was not like the rice my dad's grandparents served; we are back to the drawing board.


    For the main course, my mom and I usually make a loaf of sorts--could be a lentil loaf, could be a loaf made from tofu or seitan (wheat protein).  Last year we served something called 'field roast' from Whole Foods to make the cooking less intense for my mom.  It was fine, but I am more of a sides girl anyhow.


    Bottom line, I LOVE Thanksgiving.  As a foodie, I appreciate the whole process from the menu development to the grocery shopping, to the actual eating (of course!).  But, at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is less about the turkey (or tofu loaf) and is more about family and being grateful that we have the choice to eat what we would like.


    It's also about pumpkin pie, let's not kid ourselves.


    Happy Holidays!

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