5 Tips for a Plant-Forward Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is all about comfort foods, and they don’t need to come at the cost of you or your guests’ dietary choices. If you’re hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving, just leaning more into plant-based dishes this year, or accommodating a wide range of dietary needs, here are some tips for making sure it’s a festive and filling occasion. With these simple ideas, we promise no one will miss the turkey!
1. Have a focal point to the meal.
Keeping things centered around an abundant cornucopia, a fall display, or an impressively arranged main dish will add a sense of excitement to your Thanksgiving buffet and help tie everything together in lieu of a turkey.
2. Initiate an open line of dialogue.
Thanksgiving is a personal holiday for many, so it’s always a nice touch to ask if guests have a favorite nostalgic dish they’d like to honor their family tradition, or dietary needs to accommodate. The nice thing about a potluck is that there will be lots for them to choose from, but if someone has a nut allergy, for instance, leaving the pecans off one of the pies will be greatly appreciated.
3. Make sure there’s ample protein.
Rich braised beans, a hearty lentil stew, butternut squash and black bean salad—whatever you’re serving, make sure there’s plenty of protein to help balance out the holiday meal in place of meat. Adding Kibo Chickpea Chips and Kibo Lentil Chips can help. With 6 grams of plant-based, gluten-free protein in every bag, they add savory crunch and flavor to your pumpkin hummus or spinach artichoke dip and are perfect to crumble on top of your green bean casserole, plant-based mac and cheese, squash soup, twice baked potatoes, roasted carrots, or any casserole you can name.
4. Use American ingredients.
One of the cherished things about Thanksgiving is that it’s traditionally a time to celebrate the American harvest. In this spirit, featuring native ingredients will help preserve a sense of continuity in a plant-based or gluten-free Thanksgiving. Pumpkins and other winter squash, beans, cranberries, heirloom cornmeal, amaranth, wild rice, pecans, and potatoes are all perfect for the Thanksgiving table.
5. Key word: comfort.
Just because you’re putting an emphasis on plant-based or other dietary needs doesn’t mean the feast needs to taste restrictive! Rich, comforting dishes like a cashew potato gratin, white bean bake, butternut squash lasagna, gluten-free dinner rolls, fried apples, mulled wine, and pumpkin bread will help achieve that cozy feeling we’re all after. Take note of which dishes are a hit and you’ve got yourself some new Thanksgiving traditions.
We hope these tips will help you plan the perfect plant-forward holiday this season. Enjoy creating new memories and don’t forget to send people home with leftovers!