Who says you have to have turkey at Thanksgiving? If you are already trying to live a zero waste lifestyle, you may well have started the journey towards a more sustainable way of life and started to grow at least some of your own food. You might have a range of exciting home-grown produce in store that could be used to cook up a Thanksgiving feast.
You might also be thinking more about where your food comes from and what it really costs. You might be exploring vegan or vegetarian options, and reducing the amount of meat and perhaps dairy in your diet. Along with growing your own, reducing meat consumption is another great way to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
So to help you enjoy an eco-friendly, sustainable, zero waste Thanksgiving, here are a few plant-based and easy zero waste thanksgiving recipe ideas you might like to consider:
Zero Waste Thanksgiving Dinner
By carefully planning a meal based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients that are available at this time of the year, you can reduce waste whether you buy them or grow them yourself.
Starter – Mixed Vegetable Soup and Homemade Bread
The great thing about a mixed vegetable soup is that you can customise it to use up whatever fresh vegetables are available. You can add some root crops like carrots and parsnips, leafy greens like kale, and perhaps some winter squash or pumpkin too. Onions and garlic will add some flavour, and you can also experiment with a range of perennial herbs to create the flavor combinations you and your family enjoy.
A silicon baking mat will make it easier to shape and bake a loaf, and helps to avoid it sticking to a tray. Depending on how adventurous you are feeling, you could shape dough into a simple rustic boule, or get creative with a wheat sheaf or braid effect, which will look amazing on the Thanksgiving table.
Main Course – Roasted Butternut Squash With Herb Oat Stuffing and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
You could actually use any stuffed squash to make an amazing centrepiece for a Thanksgiving table that is entirely meat and dairy free. Halve squash and remove the seeds (keeping these to one side, as you will roast them later).
Roast squash, then scoop out the centres and combine the flesh with oats, vegan butter/ margarine, fresh or dried herbs and seasoning to taste. Return this mix to the oven and bake until bubbling and browned on top.
Toss the seeds to coat them lightly with olive oil, then put them on a silicon baking mat and roast until they are golden brown. Add these on top of the dish.
Drizzle with an apple cider vinaigrette and serve alongside vegetable side dishes such as a green salad, and hasselback sweet potatoes.
Dessert - Individual Apple Upside Down Cakes with Blackberry Sauce
Silicon baking cups will really come in handy for this recipe. Into the base of each cup, add some slices of cooking apples and a drizzle of honey or agave syrup. Make up a cake batter (vegan sponge recipes call for vegan margarine, dairy free milk, self-raising flour, sugar (or honey/agave) baking soda, and apple cider vinegar.
Pour the cake batter over the apples in the base of each cup, then bake in your oven until the sponge is risen and golden. Make a blackberry and honey/agave syrup to drizzle over your cakes (sweetening to taste).
Once baked, turn the cakes out of the cups so the apple is on the top, then drizzle over the blackberry sauce, and serve.