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Vegetarian options for a meat-free Thanksgiving

While a perfectly browned turkey has traditionally been the center piece of a Thanksgiving dinner table, more and more people are turning to vegetarian-based meals. Preparing a meatless Thanksgiving feast is a great way to take advantage of the bountiful fall harvest and purchase locally grown produce, here are just a few a few ideas to get you started on planning your own vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms have a satisfying meat-like texture and earthy flavor that makes them a great meat alternative.  For those living in warmer climates, Portobello caps are great on the grill. They can also be stuffed with a variety of grains and cheeses or even a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing and baked in the oven.

Hubbard Squash

A Hubbard squash makes a beautiful table center piece and can create the same visual impact as a roasted turkey. This large grey squash can be hollowed out and filled with stuffing just like a bird and then sliced at the table.

Roasted Vegetables

Take advantage of your local farmers market and load up on a colorful variety of root vegetable for a healthy and hearty turkey alternative. Brussell sprouts, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, beets and parsnips tossed in olive oil with a little garlic, salt and pepper makes for a beautiful centerpiece and a flavorful alternative to the traditional turkey.

French Pumpkins

With their brilliant red color and pleasing shape, a French pumpkin can make for a beautiful vessel for serving up a Thanksgiving soup or stew. Just cut off the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the seeds, fill with your favorite vegetarian soup and remove once the flesh of the pumpkin is soft. The pumpkin will add a rich flavor to your entrée and make a great table centerpiece.

Tofurkey

The name is less than appetizing but meat alternatives have come a long way. Many companies offer meat alternative that can still be stuffed and roasted for a holiday feast without the meat.

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