WHY BOTHER?

blank WHY BOTHER?

Article about how to make food for vegans at Thanksgiving.

Sorry, but the pilgrims weren’t sitting around eating tofu and soy beans.

And the author smacks of another liberal asshole propagating the myth that colonists purposely passed out blankets carrying smallpox.

Stupid fuck.

As a carnivore whose foodie philosophy is “make things as delicious as possible, whatever it takes,” I used to see vegan dinner guests as something I had to workaround, and for that, I apologize. Vegan foodies can go on about how delicious soy bacon is, but as a cook who eats meat, I tended to think they were using a different measurement stick for “delicious.” I was selfishly aggravated at having to “dumb down” dishes and sacrifice taste for accommodation.

So you’ve decided you’d like to become a vegetarian, or maybe you already are. Welcome…

But I was wrong, my friends. I was SO wrong. A few alterations is all it takes to make my vegan friends look forward to dinner at my home, and given all we have to work with today, there’s no sacrifice. Swearsies. To make room at your Thanksgiving table for your vegan friends, survey your sides and decide if they can be split—to make half vegan and half non—or just veganize the whole pan. It’s not as hard as you think; in most cases it’s simply a matter of replacing one or two items.

Embrace Coconut Oil

If there is one ingredient I wish I had seized on earlier in my life, it’s coconut oil. I just refused to accept the truth of its awesomeness (probably because butter is my reason for being), but now it’s in my regular rotation. It’s so full of flavor, it’s become my go-to for popping popcorn, sauteing vegetables, even for searing meat. Rub coconut oil under raw chicken skin before cooking it and tell me I’m wrong. Veggie side dishes you were planning to prepare with butter can be made with coconut oil to fantastically delicious, vegan-friendly results. Perhaps your pan of stuffing can use coconut oil to saute instead of butter. Coconut oil doesn’t have the baking qualities of butter, but for stovetop dishes, it’s ideal.

Accept Veggie Stock Into Your Heart

As always, the Better than Bouillon folks have come to our rescue. Their dark, rich and not overly salty vegetable stock is so good it’s a seamless replacement for blond or dark meat stocks. For soups, for stuffing, for gravy, it’s a great consideration. I promise, you’re not losing anything. I use it voluntarily all the time, even though the beef and chicken stock sits next to it in the fridge. It has a distinctly rich, roasted veggie flavor that everyone will love.

Roast Your Nuts

Incorporating nuts into your cooking solves so many problems, and doing so can add protein to dishes that wouldn’t otherwise have it. Pecans can create a fulfilling, hearty crust in pies both sweet and savory, and they’ll most likely taste better than a vegan crust recipe that tries to replicate pastry. Pistachios can replace breadcrumbs to create breaded, crunchy coatings, and soaked, blended cashews can create creaminess instead of, you know,cream.

Caramelize to Create Richness

A well roasted root vegetable is a glorious and unique taste you can’t reproduce with meat. Its savory and sweet. Dehydrating or roasting concentrates flavors down to a truly intense tasting delight—try dehydrating plum or cherry tomato halves; they’re candy. If you feel like vegetables can’t shine on their own the same way as a roast, you’re wrong. Give them the same attention you would give meat and they’ll stand up for you.

Vegan Cheese Doesn’t Suck

I’m not a fan of frankenmeats or soy products, and I’ve never met a Tofurky I didn’t despise. Too often they just remind me of the food they’re poorly imitating. I’d rather find ways to let vegetables shine, but vegan cheese might be the exception. I particularly like the offerings at Trader Joe’s, and when whipped into something like mashed potatoes, or as melty cap atop a soup or a roasted tomato, shredded vegan cheese is almost perfect.

I am not vegan by any stretch of the definition, but living in Portland, Oregon has made me a bit…

Thanksgiving is our holiday, and it shouldn’t be about glorifying a bunch of lost white dudes with a penchant for handing out smallpox blankets. It should be about creating a family around you, embracing every stupid thing about them, and celebrating them with grotesque amounts of overeating. Of all the wacky and ridiculous quirks you have in your chosen family, choosing to forgo the most tasteless meat bird ever put on a plate surely can’t the weirdest, and it’s definitely easy to accommodate.

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