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Updated on November 26, 2009

Who knew it would taste this good?

So I did not think I would be writing about my Thanksgiving meal the "day of," but after I spent quite a few hours cooking today I decided to write! Since we ate a bit earlier then usual because the kids were getting a bit too "hungry," it worked out for the best because we were able to have a nice "walk" with our dog after our "middle of the day" meal and now I am home. This is my "relaxing" time after devouring plenty of good food and I always love to write after a good time! Infact I feel quite energized!

One of the reasons I decided to write was that it was our first Vegetarian Thanksgiving EVER. My favorite store Trader Joes in California came through on this with "flying colors." Not only did they have the Tofurky (our turkey substitute), but they had other "great tasting" vegetarian food to try on the kids. I also made vegetarian sausages just incase the kids would not eat any of this odd looking but "tasty" main dish. The best vegetarian sausages I have tasted so far are Trader Joes Italian Sausage-less sausage made from soy. 

Tofurky is made out of organic tofu, soy beans, garbanzo bean flour and wheat. There are other ingredients like corn starch and white bean flour in it also as well as various seasonings. A one pound Tofurky roast has stuffing in it already and 1/5 of it only has 6 grams of fat, 250 calories and a whopping 34 grams of protein! The stuffing contains organic brown and wild rice and bread crumbs with vegetarian seasonings.

When I first started out planning this venture, I was a bit worried about the little things. I am an excellent cook and I do love to please at a main meal. Although I have always done a few standard gravy recipes with turkey, I wanted to really try to make a great vegetarian gravy. Well that hurdle was easy to jump over because Tofurky provided a fantastic Mushroom Gravy recipe on the side of the box. Infact I will be making this gravy from now on because it was really tasty! There is also a recipe for a Creamy Country Gravy that I want to try also.

As a family we have never been big "meat eaters," but because my husband is really sensitive to hormones and antibiotics that they put in the meat he decided to become a vegetarian six months ago. Since he is British, he likes to call it the "Paul McCartney Diet" because Paul is a vegetarian and talks about it a lot. Sounds like a bestseller to me! Have you ever seen Paul McCartney make mashed potatoes on the web? Very entertaining! I have provided the video below.

My son has never been a big meat eater and only likes to eat roasted chicken once in a while. Most of the time he likes to eat pasta, lasagna, eggs and fish. My daughter was into steak when she was younger but she slowly gravitated away from it and now only has turkey sandwiches for lunch sometimes. They both rarely ever eat hamburgers and have never been to a McDonalds in their entire lives. Really! No other fast food places either except for a mexican restaurant once in a while for a good bean and cheese burrito. Since my return from England and all of the overload on meat and potatoes, kidney pie and whatever else I ate there, I sort of lost my taste for beef over a year ago. I do love salmon and indian curry dishes so I gravitate towards a more vegetarian based diet anyway.

For now we no longer buy beef and we eat a lot more fish and vegetarian meals at home like curried vegetables, quiche, pasta dishes and salads. I do see a time in the future where we will all be following a "no meat" lifestyle. There is too many strange things happening with the food supply and this concerns me.

I'm going to list the recipe for Mushroom Gravy here because it would be good for other dishes too even if they are not vegetarian. Enjoy!   

Mushroom Gravy

Yield: about 5 1/2 cups

8 oz. mushrooms (Shiitake, Portabello or regular), sliced

1/4 cup sliced  onions, 1 1/2 tbsps. oil, 1/2 cup unbleached white flour, 2 tbsp. oil, 4 cups stock, vegetable bouillon, or soymilk (I used vegetable broth), 1 tbsp. soy sauce (I used low sodium), 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Lightly saute the sliced mushrooms and onions in the 1 1/2 Tbsps. oil. In another pan, combine and bubble the flour and 2 Tbsp. oil together over low heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, bouillon or soymilk along with the soy sauce and black pepper. Cook until thickened, whisking out any lumps. Stir in the mushrooms and onions and serve.

From Tofu Cookery, Louise Hagler, Book Publishing Company, Summertown, Tenn.

Paul McCartney Makes Mashed Potatoes


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    • GPAGE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      The Rope......I'm glad this gave you some inspiration to cut back on meat. My husband has not eaten meat in 6 months and he feels amazing! He sleeps better and has more energy....I have cut down a lot, but not able to do it completely. Let me know how the "Tofurky" is and make sure you make the gravy on the box.....yummy! Best, GPAGE

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      9 years ago from SE US

      I'm too much of a meat eater and trying to cut back. I'm going on your recommendation and will try this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    • GPAGE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      ladolcevitainc... son was always a "natural" vegetarian when he was younger. He never wanted meat...always ate pasta, lasagna and other "non" meat dishes. He actually used to eat fishfingers and now he dislikes those. Trader Joes has these soy nuggets that he likes a lot. Anyway, I'm working on the kids becoming vegetarian now. My little one is seven, so will slowly get her off meat. Thanks for stopping in! Best, GPAGE

    • ladolcevitainc profile image


      9 years ago

      Paul - many talants, who would have known, I can watch him cook all day :)What a great hub, How interesting, I have just discovered my son who is six may also become a vegetarian, he has refused anything from the turkey this holiday, no stuffing from in the cavity, no meat... hummm, I look forward to some "meatless" meals here in our home also. I'm going to get the book also. The mushroom gravy sounds wonderful!

    • GPAGE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      Jess...I'm going to get that book! There are a lot of great tasting vegetarian products available now. Best, G

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 

      9 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      We recently saw Jonathan Safran Foer speak about his book, "Eating Animals," and we are moving in a direction away from eating meat as a result. It's just a good idea. Thanks for these meatless food ideas!

    • James McV Sailor profile image

      James J Mills 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Great hub, G. I really enjoyed the McCartney video.... just like me old Mom used to do..... But REALLY... Thanksgiving without turkey??? JM

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      HI GPAGE, I have always wondered about Tofurkey and am so excited now to try it! I eat very little meat - maybe some turkey or chicken once in a while! So, I love these tasty alternatives! And, I also want to try the sausage. This year, I went to some friends who had a vegan option and turkey (organic everything). It was so good! I did have some turkey! But the lentil loaf was good too! Glad you had such a nice dinner with family! Best, Kartika

    • GPAGE profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      jacobkuttyta! thanks for stopping by! Best, GPAGE

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      Siny J 

      9 years ago from Delhi, India

      Nice hub, well written.


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