Friday, May 24, 2019 -
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Turkey-less Thanksgiving

A turkey-less Turkey Day. It seems wrong, but for vegetarians, Thanksgiving isn’t about the main act but all about the sideshow.

And it’s still one of our favorite holidays, because the produce this time of year is just so good and fits so perfectly to the season.

So we’re not even going to try and produce a turkey recipe, but instead share some of our tried-and-true side dishes that even the meat eaters among you will enjoy.

Not Buttery-But-Still-Rich Mashed Potatoes

Make sure to fry the leeks according to the instructions. It’s what gives these mashed potatoes their creaminess. You’ll find our Brussels Sprouts recipe here, although beware, this one really isn’t the same in its parve variant.


  • 1 ½ lb potatoes, Finnish or Yukon Gold
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB fresh rosemary or thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 TB butter, or margarine for parve
  • ¼ quarter cup of cream, or soy milk for parve
  • Salt, pepper to taste


  1. Boil the potatoes in their skin together with the garlic cloves. Drain the potatoes and peel. Don’t worry if bits of peel stay on the potato, it will add a nice texture and color.

  2. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté/cook the leek in olive oil together with salt, freshly ground pepper and rosemary, until softened – around 10 minutes.

  3. When the leeks have cooled, gently warm them and then mash together with the potatoes, garlic cloves and remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Glazed Chestnuts

These are a wonderful (and easy) addition to Thanksgiving, the meatiness of the chestnuts combining perfectly with crunchy sweetness of the raw sugar. They also match perfectly with any number of dishes, including Brussels sprouts, braised red cabbage with apples, cranberry sauce…you get the idea!


  • 2 TB butter or margarine
  • 8.5 oz. whole cooked chestnuts, usually sold vacuum-packed
  • 2 tsp Turbinado sugar


  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a good quality, thick-bottomed sauté pan. Add chestnuts and a couple sprinklings of sugar and cook on medium-high for 5-7 minutes or until the chestnuts have a beautiful sheen and your kitchen is wonderfully aromatic. Make sure to stir the chestnuts to prevent burning.

Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples & Leeks

For the past two years, our vegetarian main course came to us courtesy of Martha Stewart. This roasted squash recipes ticks all the boxes when it comes to Thanksgiving flavors: chestnuts, celery, apples and squash of course!


  • 4 acorn squash, halved & seeded
  • 3 TB extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 TB unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 ½ cups diced celery
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise ¼" thick
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled & diced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 10 oz. day-old rustic bread, cut into ½" dice (crusts removed)
  • 7 oz. vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts
  • ½ C chopped parsley
  • C heavy cream or soy milk
  • C vegetable stock, plus more to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on baking sheets and roast for about 25 minutes, until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter/margarine in 3 TB of olive oil. Add celery, leeks and about ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and cook until the apples just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the bread, chestnuts, parsley, cream/soy milk and stock and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. If dry, add more stock by the tablespoon.
  3. Turn the squash cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and bake until the squash are tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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