I had to laugh when I read Thanksgiving Cooking advice from Sam Sifton, The New York Times Food editor. The answer to "How does one cook a tofurkey?" was this:
"One does not. The point of vegetarian food is not to make meat out of vegetables."
As a mostly-vegetarian, I couldn’t agree more. It causes not only stress but also poor-tasting food when we try to “meat-ify” a vegetable.
Rule one for cooking for a vegetarian: don’t stress about it. They will enjoy your awesome side dishes and probably have more room for pie. You can always ask them to bring their own main, especially if they are known to be a phenomenal cook.
If you decide to try a new veggie-friendly dish, here are some of my tried and true favorites, created by amazing food bloggers who can make carnivores come back for seconds.
Sweet potatoes taste so decadent, it is easy to forget that they are good for you. Angela Liddon of the extremely popular blog Oh She Glows cookbooks and blog jazzes up the staple with vegan butter and coconut oil, then tops it with a sweet pecan crumble. Delicious.
Add a smattering of vibrant jeweled cranberries to a dish, and it screams festivity. This simple dish by Gena Hamshaw of The Full Helping requires simple ingredients for a delightful sweet and savory side.
Make it more main-worthy by roasting the cauliflower whole in large slices for a plant-based turkey substitute.
As a kid, I found the turkey to be the afterthought and the stuffing to be the main event. Making a vegan stuffing will include more of the dietary restrictions of your whole table.