RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Making Thanksgiving a special experience for vegetarians involves more than making sure there are plenty of veggie side dishes. It's the holiday season, after all, when the right Thanksgiving recipes will let vegetarians at your table feel that same sense of abundance and tradition that meat eaters do. So whether you're a vegetarian yourself or you just cook for one, it's time to tailor Thanksgiving dinner to everyone, not just the carnivores. And if you're considering skipping the turkey this year and crossing meat off your menu permanently, the following findings may encourage you down that path: Reducing or eliminating meat from your diet lowers your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, and it's healthier for the environment. Cutting back on factory-farmed meat is a particularly good idea, as a 2006 United Nations report showed that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all vehicles combined.
Read on for Rodale Recipe Finder recipes that vegetarians' dietary needs into consideration, providing plenty of whole grains, legumes, dairy, and nuts. They're also special enough to deserve a prime spot on the Thanksgiving table.
#1: Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash. Vegetarians deserve a show-stopping entrée, too. Stuffed, baked squash serves as a beautiful, protein-rich main dish for vegetarians. It also allows them to enjoy their very own meatless bread stuffing. This version's stuffing is filled with sage, mushrooms, and almonds. Or try this nutmeg-scented version made with cornbread; ¼ cup of chopped, toasted walnuts adds protein.