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Veggie options give turkey some competition

November 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Thanksgiving is all about the bird, right? Well, not for everyone -- your vegetarian friends and family quite simply don't talk turkey. But there's plenty of satisfying foods for your bird-free buddies.Even though most of us get enough protein in our day, vegetarians want and need more than starch to feel satisfied. Potatoes, rolls and some vegetables aren't going to cut it.

"Vegetarians sometimes feel left out on Thanksgiving," said Bon Appetit contributing chef Jeanne Kelley. "They feel like all they get are a bunch of side dishes."

Kelley created a dish that could easily give the turkey a contest for the center of the table.

"So we have a wonderful bread pudding that's got butternut squash, cheddar cheese and kale in it," said Kelley. "It's delicious."

The dish contains a hearty dose of eggs, milk, and cheese (which offers plenty of protein), along with wine, mustard, spices, hearty bread and two bunches of greens.

The dish can be prepped a day out and popped into the oven to finish while the cooked turkey is resting prior to carving.

"People who aren't vegetarians, people who just don't like turkey, would love this dish too," said Kelley.

Kelley adds a cross between a salad and a side dish with blanched green beans, toasted walnuts and a great vinaigrette that you can do a day ahead, along with roasted Braeburn apples and onions with fresh thyme.

"The apples really compliment the butternut squash casserole dish really well," explained Kelley.

The end result is plenty of protein, produce, and palate-pleasing flavor for most anyone.

"I would think those three dishes together would make a very simple, very elegant vegetarian Thanksgiving," said Kelley.


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