The holidays are coming, and that means a gigantic meal of delicious sides and a hefty protein portion for many. For vegans and those observing a plant-based diet, it’s the latter that can pose an issue—what to have instead of turkey?
Well, aside from the store-bought tofu turkey substitute, there are lots of yummy and inventive ways you can add protein to your plate. You can also add all of those aromatic, seasonal herbs, such as rosemary and sage to make sure your taste buds know it’s the holidays.
Have fun with some of these awesome dishes that will work beautifully on your, and your guest’s Thanksgiving dinner plate.
1. Holiday Loaf with Mushroom Gravy
This is a seriously protein-packed dish for your celebrations. Check out Lena Novak‘s Holiday Loaf with Mushroom Gravy if you are looking for something delicious and festive. This loaf has walnuts, chickpeas, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds for protein and bite, and it’s seasoned with rosemary, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Get yourself a slice and smother it in rich, homemade Mushroom gravy.
2. Pineapple Baked Ham
This Pineapple Baked Ham by Robin Asbell would make the most stunning centerpiece at any dinner table. This is a seitan-based ‘meat’ flavored with liquid smoke and a medley of perfect herbs and spices. Bake a sweet pineapple glaze on your ham and adorn it with pineapple rings.
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3. High Protein Spinach and Rice Balls
These High Protein Spinach and Rice Balls by Philipp Ertl are a wonderful way to get in some extra sneaky greens. They are packed with protein and iron and would make a great savory addition to your holiday dinner. You can make a bunch of them and freeze them for later use if you wish.
4. Lentil Patties With Lemon Tahini Dip
Here is a great protein-rich dish to add to your dinner. These Lentil Patties With Lemon Tahini Dip by Mitch and Justine Chapman are filled with beautiful herbs and veggie seasoning. As yummy as it is, if you aren’t sure about the lemon tahini dip for Thanksgiving, save that for another time and get dunking in some mushroom gravy instead.
5. Peppered Tofu Steaks
With some really simple seasoning ingredients and some firm tofu, you can have yourself a really ‘meaty’ treat for Thanksgiving. These Peppered Tofu Steaks by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer would make a wonderful part of the meal, and plant and meat-eaters alike will be quite satisfied.
6. Plant-Based Meat
Here is a great option if you are just looking for a blank canvas to add all of your favorite holiday herbs and spices. This Plant-Based Meat by Rhea Parsons is very versatile with options for making it soy-free as well as gluten-free, too. You can serve this up with some sage seasoning and douse it in gravy.
7. Chickpea Cutlets with Savory Mustard Sauce
These Chickpea Cutlets with Savory Mustard Sauce by Denise Perrault would make a very welcomed addition to your Thanksgiving meal. They are hearty, ‘meaty’, packed with protein, and pretty versatile. Again, if the mustard sauce isn’t your thing for the holidays, save it for another time and slather your cutlet with gravy instead!
8. Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Burgers
Packed with protein, and filled with holiday-inspired flavors, these Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Burgers by Becky Cotter are perfect for your Thanksgiving feast. Don’t overcook your lentils. Keep them tender, and you’ll have a burger with a wonderful bite.
9. Sausage Rolls with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion
These Sausage Rolls with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion by Harriet Porterfield make it onto this Thanksgiving list for being protein-rich, filled with sweet potato and a bunch of seasonal herbs and spices, and for, well, just being fun. These would look very at home on your dinner plate, and guests will love the twist.
10. Seitan Steak With Peppercorn Sauce
This Seitan Steak With Peppercorn Sauce by Stephanie Davies will do the trick as the protein portion of your meal. This recipe has you making your own seitan which you can flavor with as many holiday herbs as you like. With that nip of brandy, the peppercorn sauce will surely go down well, too.
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