Dietitian's Corner: Give Thanks for Plant-Based Eating

Quinoa bowls with avocado on a wooden table

Created by: Molly McBride, RD, LD – Kroger Corporate Dietitian

It’s autumn, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Have you started thinking about what kinds of plants you can incorporate in or around the center of your plate this holiday season?

Here are some tips for making your Thanksgiving meal something to share with (all your?) friends and family, including any vegan company who may stop in:

  • Many times eggs are used in baking for binding ingredients. Instead try flax “eggs” (one part ground flax with three parts water), mashed bananas (½ banana for one egg), or cornstarch (one part cornstarch with two parts water). These swaps do particularly well in muffins, cupcakes and breads.
  • Tofu is a great ingredient that picks up flavors of a dish seamlessly! Try blending silken tofu into puddings, mousses, smoothies and creamy desserts. Cut extra-firm tofu into cubes and incorporate into stuffing or even marinate with a favorite dressing.
  • Consider mushroom gravies over beef or chicken gravies to be veg friendly. Mushrooms impart a savory flavor, making them a terrific substitution. Consider making your own mock beef stock as a foundation: combine equal parts mace spice, nutritional yeast, onion, celery seed and garlic powder; mix into boiling water.
  • Take advantage of hearty grains and legumes. Lentils, brown rice, black beans, quinoa and couscous can be cooked up and made into dishes like lentil “loaves”, rice puddings or as a great casserole base.
  • No one wants to waste food, and certainly not when you’ve spent all that time making a meal for the group! Think through how to extend the use of your prepared dishes. Might extra cranberry relish do well on a sandwich over the next few days? How about using those extra dinner rolls and sauces towards a yummy biscuits ’n gravy the next morning?
  • Thank goodness the flavors of the season, like pumpkin, cranberry, apples and squash, are vegan and that dishes using these foods can be easily veganized!