Monday, November 22, 2010

Pass the Veggies

It's heresy to think about Thanksgiving without turkey, but vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli of Los Angeles and most of her family have had a turkey-free Thanksgiving for the past 10 years. Every fall, she and her mother experiment with new meat-free dishes and work to “veganize” some of the traditional family favorites.

“My family decided it wouldn’t make Thanksgiving any better tasting to have turkey on the table,” said Ms. Coscarelli, whose holiday recipes include maple-roasted brussels sprouts and portobello mushrooms filled with savory lentil-cashew stuffing. “I have served an all-vegan Thanksgiving to the most diehard carnivores, and no one misses the meat.”

Writer Tara Parker-Pope reflects, "Although I’m not a vegetarian, I stopped eating turkey two years ago, mostly because it’s not a meat I enjoy preparing or eating. But that small decision has also changed the way I cook and eat during the fall and winter holiday food season."

"I returned from a shopping trip with more than a week’s worth of food. Except for a single package of chicken breasts, my bags were filled mostly with produce and grains. So far, my daughter and I have feasted on a delicious skillet mac-and-cheese dish packed with broccoli, onions and mushrooms; roasted brussels sprouts; a caramelized onion tart; and parsnip-and-apple soup. We still have plans to make an Indian-spiced sweet-and-sour butternut squash; zucchini boats with herbed ricotta; and an unusual buckwheat-and-black-kale dish created by Mr. Anthony. The chicken is now in the freezer because I haven’t gotten around to cooking with it."

The article in the NYT entitled 'A Vegetarian Thanksgiving, Even for Carnivores' encourages one to think about how one can reduce meat consumption and glorify the garden.