Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

It's not the first Thanksgiving, but it's your first Thanksgiving together, and you want it to be very special.

To make life a little more challenging, you're both vegetarians, and you intend that somewhere, because of you, a turkey is going to have a good day as well.

Well, it may not be a Norman Rockwell cover, with Mom serving that big roast bird to a table of admiring, hungry kin, but you and your new partner are going to dine in the royal style for this, your first holiday banquet for two.

Many of the dishes here are variations on traditional ones. 

One year, when my Grandmother was still here, we molded the (artificially) turkey flavored white bean protein loaf in the shape of the big bird, stuffed it with dressing made with Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast links, and served it up with the traditional stuff, and Grandma loved it.  Also, since she had dentures, it was easy for her to chew.  When you think about it, the only things we really need to find substitutes for are the turkey and the sausage, and for the latter, Morningstar and BOCA have a delicious veggie product that would even deceive a carnivorous guest.

If you really want to have some fun, Do a little sculpting, and make your protein loaf in the shape of the turkey, as we did,   Make your traditional dressing, using one of the veggie "sausages"   The trick is to use plenty of artificially flavored turkey gravy.

And while we are giving thanks, don't forget to give thanks for the microwave!

Vegetarian Turkey Loaf

  • One and a half cups artificially flavored turkey gravy
  • 1 cup milk
  • Egg substitute (equivalent of 1 egg)
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2lbs canned white beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped or diced, however you like it
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder or garlic flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. sage
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mash the beans into a smooth paste.  Using a slow speed on your blender, thoroughly mix in the milk, egg substitute, and 1/4 cup of turkey gravy.  When you have a smooth mixture, add Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, pepper, salt, sage, onion, and garlic.

Slowly mix in the breadcrumbs until you have a workable paste.  Add breadcrumbs if you need to make it firmer. 

Set it in a microwave casserole, and set it aside. *See below. Dressing and potatoes to follow.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Vegetarian "Sausage" Dressing
  • 1/2 lb of Morningstar Farms or BOCA veggie sausage breakfast links, broken up
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 1 cup artificially flavored chicken broth, hot
  • 2 cups cornbread stuffing mix
  • vegetable oil
  • paprika

Combine veggie sausage, onion, and celery in a 3-qt microwave proof bowl.  Stir to make sure sausage is broken up.  Stir in cashews.  Add broth and stir to mix. Add stuffing mix and stir to mix.  Add more broth if mixture is too dry.

*Now take the loaf mix that you prepared before, and shape if roughly into a roasting turkey.  Leave a depression in the top to fill with the dressing

mix. Fill the cavity with dressing. Make sure that you use a microwave pan that is large enough.  Pour enough turkey gravy over the loaf with the dressing to cover it.  Put a cover over this to keep it from drying out, and set aside. **See Holiday potatoes, below.

  • Yields: Enough for your loaf with some extra for snacking.
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Turkey Patties

  • 1/2 lb. chopped canned white beans
  • 1 finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Egg substitute (equivalent 1 egg) lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1/4 cup turkey flavored gravy mix
  • 1/4 cup turkey flavored gravy

Combine white beans, chopped onion, turkey flavored gravy mix, in a medium bowl.  Mix well and form into patties.  Dip patties into egg substitute, then into bread crumbs.  Place margarine in a pre-heated browning dish.  Add patties and cook on HI 2 minutes.

Turn patties over, and cook another 2 minutes.  Place on platter, and top with white sauce. 

White Sauce for Turkey Patties
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • dash white pepper
  • dash nutmeg

Place margarine in 4-cup glass measuring cup and cook on HI one minute.  Stir flour into margarine until smooth.  Whisk in milk, pepper, nutmeg, blending well.  Cook on HI 3 minutes, stirring once.  Whisk until smooth.  Cook on HI 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, until well thickened.

  • Yields: However many patties you made, that's how many people you can feed.  Unless they want seconds!
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Herbed Rice

  • 2 cups artificially flavored chicken broth
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley

Combine broth, rice, onion and parsley in a 1 qt microwave casserole.  Cover and cook on HI 10 to 14 minutes.

Remove from microwave, and let stand 10 minutes.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Pan Baked Holiday Potatoes

  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes (4 to 5 oz each)
  • Paprika

Place margarine in a shallow microwave casserole dish and cook on HI 45 seconds.  Set aside.  Stir together cheeses, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and brush with margarine.  Dip them in the cheese mixture.  Place potatoes cut side up in same shallow microwave casserole pan.  **Or place in the pan with your bean loaf and dressing. Cook on HI for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with paprika before serving. Don't forget plenty of that artificial turkey gravy.  I learned this from reading old cookbooks.  Always have plenty of gravy.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

The rest of the dinner is pretty standard.  You just include microwave versions of your own holiday favorites.  We prepare the individual dishes beforehand, freeze them, and then on Thanksgiving Day, we set up plates and re-heat them in the microwave.  Fast, simple, minimal clean up.   Much better than a Norman Rockwell cover....

One more special dish....  For some very special friends.....

Vegetarian Holiday Lasagna

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • Egg substitute (equivalent 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 10 oz pkgs frozen, chopped spinach (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 pound of peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 8 oz cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Place onions in 1 qt microwave casserole.  Cover with casserole lid and cook on HI for 10 minutes.  Spread out on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.  Place carrots in same casserole.  Cover and cook on HI for 2 1/2 minutes.  Spread out on paper towel.  Repeat with the mushrooms.  In the same casserole, stir together ricotta, egg substitutes, and parmesan cheese.  Set aside.

Spoon spaghetti sauce into a 12x7" microwave casserole pan.  Add remaining ingredients in layers, as follows:

  • Form the first layer with three lasagna noodles, spinach, onions, and a half of the ricotta mixture. 
  • Form the second layer with three lasagna noodles, carrots, mushrooms, and the remaining ricotta mixture.
  • Top with tomatoes, mozzarella. 

Double wrap casserole tightly with plastic wrap.   Refrigerate 6 to 12 hours.

Remove casserole from refrigerator and let stand for 1 hour.  Cook on HI for 8 minutes.  Rotate dish 1/2 turn and cook on 50 for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This is for my doctor, who's Italian, and a newlywed!  Happy Holidays, Brunella and David!

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes