Eco-Thanksgiving, what to eat, what not to eat. Part 1: The turkey

Another Thanksgiving is upon us, and so too, the endless quibbling about the gobbler, and other food matters.

Does the big meal require a big roast beast? That is one central question. But not the only one. In today’s foodie world, navigating the eco opportunities of both the carnivorous and vegan/vegetarian pathways to celebrating this most traditional of holidays is an adventure that could leave you scratching your head in the pantry instead of chopping celery at 7 a.m., as you must if dinner is to be ready by 2 p.m..

Five vegetarian entrees for the Thanksgiving table

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The Thanksgiving feast. It evokes such fond food memories. Even vegetarians and vegans are often pleased with the variety of veggie sides that cover their plate on this commemoration. (Not to mention the pumpkin or pecan pie that precedes the well-deserved, holiday nap.)

Still, this is a meal firmly and conspicuously arranged around a meat. Vegetarians aren’t necessarily getting a well-rounded dinner. Not to carb about it. Chances are they like whipped potatoes as much as the next person. But there’s a lot more a home chef can do to accommodate non-meat diners at the holidays by simply putting a veggie dish on the table that packs more heft, and a little more protein (not that we want to resurrect any debates over protein at this time).

So to accommodate the vegetarians and/or vegans at your holiday buffet, here are five hearty, seasonal dishes that rely on locally grown veggies gathered from real chefs around the country. (The first four are vegan.)

Don’t run afoul on Thanksgiving, buy humanely raised, veg-fed turkeys

By Barbara Kessler
If you’re planning a traditional Thanksgiving, you’ll be needing a bird. This year, organic and pastured turkeys are more available than ever. Check your local grocery now, and get on a list if need be.

Here are some places to look for a turkey that’s been raised on organic feed, and allowed a more humane existence.

  • Local Harvest — If you’re into local heirloom turkeys or other pedigree varieties you may already be too late! But don’t beat yourself up over it, local farmers in Texas have told us that many connoisseurs place their orders months ahead of time. Still, there’s a flock of healthier birds waiting.