Please don’t pass the turkey

When thinking of Thanksgiving, the first things that may come to mind are turkey, bread and pies. However, this just won’t do for people who are vegetarian, gluten-free or have diabetes. What then, can these people do for Thanksgiving?

Vegetarian options

Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily mean loading up on tofurky. There are lots of other tasty options for vegetarians.


  • Samosas – Think outside the box and try a Punjabi samosa recipe. Even though this isn’t a classic Thanksgiving fare, it’s got potatoes and a flakey dough so it’ll fit right in at the table. Look for the New York Time’s Aloo Samosas (Potato Samosas) recipe. 
  • Fancy carrots – Just because carrots are healthy doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Try adding flavor to carrots and spice things up with garlic, ginger, fennel seeds, anise, clove, cinnamon or Szechuan peppercorns. Alternatively, just buy Chinese five-spice powder and follow the recipe for Five-Spice Roasted Carrots With Toasted Almonds found on the New York Times website.

Main Course

  • Stuffed squash – Consider substituting meat for a healthy and hearty stuffed squash or pepper. Stuff the squash with quinoa, apples, kale, pomegranates or whatever else is fresh at the farmer’s market. The internet is filled with stuffed squash recipes. One particularly yummy looking one is the Quinoa Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash featured on the vegetarian cooking site Love & Lemons.
  • Fancy hummus – Dress up hummus for the holidays with roasted pumpkin. Look for Spiced Roasted Pumpkin with Farro and Hummus on the “minimalist vegan” website.

Gluten-free options

Just because people with gluten allergies can’t eat bread doesn’t mean they have to skip appetizers and dessert.


  • Lentil flour muffins – While white bread rolls are probably out of the question, there are a lot of fun and healthier substitutions. One such recipe is for Banana Date and Honey Muffins with Lentil Flour on the “Healthy Home Cafe” website.
  • Artichoke dip – Technically artichokes are sold alongside vegetables, but they sure don’t taste like it, especially when sour cream is mixed in. Try a spinach and artichoke dip paired with tortilla chips for a delicious and gluten-free appetizer. There are dozens of recipes online, but “Cooking Classy” has a top-rated one on their website.


Just because gluten free means no pumpkin and apple pie doesn’t mean dessert is off the table.

Low-sugar options

Typically, dessert is the most anticipated part of Thanksgiving, but for people trying to cut their sugar or suffering from diabetes, this may not be the case. However, dessert can still be possible with some alterations.


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