When Maria Marlowe, a New York resident, switched to a vegan diet eight years ago for health reasons, she tried to persuade her family to do the same.
“When someone converts to vegan eating they preach a lot, and I preached,” she said. “I was like the food police. I made people feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t effective.”
But this year, Ms. Marlowe’s family will celebrate its first all-vegan Thanksgiving. How did she persuade her meat-loving family to go vegan?
“I decided to show — not tell — how good vegan food actually tastes,” she said. “I lightened up a bit.”
This spring, Ms. Marlowe visited her sister in Miami and prepared most meals, offering her sister vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes based on foods purchased at the local farmers market. She also took her sister to vegan restaurants. When Ms. Marlowe left, her sister decided to keep eating a plant-based diet and has since lost 70 pounds. Impressed by the results, their father switched to vegan eating and lost 20 pounds.
At the Marlowe family Thanksgiving this year, no turkey will be served, and vegan dishes will be the main course, including this stuffed acorn squash recipe Ms. Marlowe calls “Three Sisters Squash.” (The sisters in the recipe are the Native American staples beans, corn and squash.)
“It has a little bit of everything,” she says. “It’s filling and satisfying, and the garlic melts into the crust of the squash, and it’s so amazing. It will be the star of our first official, completely vegan, Thanksgiving table.”
Three Sisters Squash: The sisters in this recipe are the native American staples beans, corn and squash, which together offer a delicious main course for vegan diners.
More reader-submitted recipes from Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2014:
Panzanella of Plenty: A reworking of a traditional Italian summer bread salad, adding fall produce so that it resembles a traditional American Thanksgiving stuffing.
Brussels Sprouts Sliders: A creative and fun way to enjoy a great fall and winter vegetable: crunchy “buns” of roasted brussels sprouts with a tasty middle of caramelized onions and tempeh that makes for “dreamy bites of pure umami goodness.”
Black Rice, Beet and Kale Salad With Cider Flax Dressing: This delicious salad resulted from an effort to create a hearty vegetarian dish while at the same time offering a delicious gluten-free option.
Really Big Beets: A show-stopping main course for the vegans at your dinner table — and one that even meat-eaters will want to eat.