Last updated 8:50 a.m. ET on 11 November 1999.

1996 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

For Thanksgiving dinner in 1996, we had two family members who eat no animal flesh, including fish (though they do eat milk and eggs). We also hosted one mother-in-law who is allergic to all milk products and one father-in-law who has had major heart surgery and is consequently on a low-fat, low-cholesterol, no-salt diet. As chief cook and bottle-washer, my goal was to prepare a meal in which everyone present was able to eat everything on the table. (Notice that I didn't say that they would eat everything on the table. My children aren't that good.)

We try to include the "three sisters" of corn, squash, and beans each year in our Thanksgiving menu. This particular menu developed because of the various dietary constraints, but there are several dishes that we either eat often during the year or make specifically for Thanksgiving every year.

Salsa, Guacamole, Corn chips, Raw vegetables, Eggplant bourrekas, Barbeque Tofu
Garlicky "Cream" of Celery Soup
Main Course Dishes
Pinto Beans, Cranberry Relish, Wilted Spinach Salad, Maple Tarragon Sweet Potatoes
Corn bread, Pumpkin biscuits (with and without cranberries and pecans)
Rum balls, Chocolate mousse with non-dairy whipped cream
GS Apple/Strawberry Crumble, Tofutti (soy-based ice-cream imitation)

Interested in recipes for this meal?

As you may be able to tell, we put out lots of stuff to munch on while we stood around and schmoozed and we had one very rich dessert. These compromises allowed us to field a relatively simple, but filling, main meal. Trust me, no one went away hungry or ungrateful. (Except, perhaps, for the child who is kitchen helper on Thursday.)

SPECIAL DIETS NOTE:With the exception of the mousse, I used egg substitutes and soy milk when milk and eggs were called for. The mousse was non-dairy, but does contain eggs.