Thanksgiving: An Herbivore’s Struggle

Devin Mottier, Entertainment Editor

    Stress levels are always high around the holidays, especially during Thanksgiving. Preparing ridiculous amounts of food, avoiding crazy relatives, and trying not to burn the turkey leave people spread too thin during a holiday solely about slowing down and giving thanks for the little things.

What people often forget in the midst of this chaos, however, is how those who leave meat off of their plates are feeling. Many times, those who don’t eat meat are left to come up with their own ideas for their selective diets. As fun as it is to carbo-load, only eating mashed potatoes and vegetables causes vegetarians to feel left out of the holiday fun.

In order to avoid this all-too-common occurrence, Mirador’s own in-house vegetarian guru, Devin Mottier, has compiled a Thanksgiving recipe list that will make any veggie-eater feel included with the holiday festivities.


This recipe covers two holiday classics: turkey and mashed potatoes, and replaces them with vegetarian alternatives. The kumara – also known as the sweet potato – is nutrient packed and goes perfectly with the protein-dense tofu.

Braised Tofu:


  • 295g (10½ oz) firm hand pressed organic tofu, cubed

  • ¼ cup cornflour (corn starch)

  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 lemon

  • 1¼ cups weak vegetable stock

  • 250g (½ pound) cherry tomatoes

  • ¼ cup sultanas (raisins)

  • 3 cups baby spinach


Combine the cornflour, powdered stock, paprika, cayenne and a little salt and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl. Toss the cubed tofu until well coated on all sides.

Heat about 1 tbs of vegetable or rice bran oil in a large heavy based fry pan, add the cubed tofu and a good squeeze of lemon juice; toss browning over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining juice from one lemon and cherry tomatoes and sultanas.

Continue to cook over a medium heat adding 1-2 tablespoons of stock at a time, allowing it to reduce before adding more. The cornflour will begin to create a thick almost gravy like sauce as you add the stock a little at a time, continue to cook until all the stock has been added, tofu is nicely browned and cherry tomatoes soft and wilted. Just before serving toss through the baby spinach, combine well.

Serve the braised tofu atop of the kumara mash and accompanied with steamed brown rice if desired.

Kumara Mash

  • 600g (1.3 pounds) Kumara (sweet potato)

  • 2-3 tbs natural set plain yogurt or soy cream

  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F. Prick each whole kumara with a fork several times and wrap in foil. Bake in the hot oven for 30-45 minutes (depending on their size) until soft.

Remove from the foil and add to a large bowl, add the yogurt or soy cream, maple syrup and salt to taste, smash and/or mash and stir until well combined. Serve while still warm.

Many stuffings are high sodium and filled with beef broth. This vegan stuffing option is delectable, light, and packed with vegetables.


Bread Stuffing Casserole


  • 4 cups whole grain bread cubes

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground rosemary,

  • or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions

  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, dried cranberries, seedless raisins,

  • or chopped dried fruit (such as apricots, apples, or prunes)

  • 1/2 cup boiling vegetable broth or water

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a two-quart casserole dish (that has a tight-fitting lid) or mist it with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the bread cubes in a very large bowl. Combine the parsley, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Sprinkle over the bread cubes and toss with a fork or wooden spoon until evenly distributed. Add the walnuts, onions, mushrooms, celery, and dried cherries. Toss again gently but thoroughly

Stir the soy sauce and olive oil into the boiling broth and pour over the bread cube mixture to moisten it. Again, toss gently but thoroughly. Add a little additional broth or water if the mixture appears too dry. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, cover, and bake for 20 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.


Salad is always a must for Thanksgiving.


Jicama and Pomelo Salad with Spicy Thai Dressing


  • 2 tablespoons juice from about 2 limes, plus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons palm or brown sugar, plus more to taste

  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1 small red Thai bird chili, finely sliced (optional)

  • Thai-style dried crushed red pepper, or red pepper flakes, to taste, plus 3 to 4 whole dried red chilies, if desired

  • 1 pomelo, segments removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 jicama bulb, peeled and cut into 1/2- by 1/2- by 2-inch batons

  • 2 cups shredded napa cabbage

  • 1 cup picked mung bean sprouts

  • 1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts

  • 1/2 cups roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade Thai-style fried shallots


And, of course, you can’t have Thanksgiving without pie.

Suzanne’s Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie


  • 2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest

  • 1 good crust


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.

Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Serve with whipped cream.