Thanksgiving is this week and perhaps you would like some last-minute ideas for the big meal on Thursday with as you give thanks to what is good in your life. When people think of Thanksgiving, they most often think of eating turkey. Even the president of the United States pardons a turkey, putting this bird, typically eaten for Thanksgiving, in the spotlight.

But not everyone eats turkey or meat for that matter. November is also World Vegan Month and 2019 marks 75 years since the foundation of The Vegan Society. World Vegan Month is celebrated around the world highlighting how accessible and beneficial a vegan lifestyle is, sharing advice, recipes and ideas with anyone interested. People around the world choose to mark World Vegan Month in a variety of ways. According to The Vegan Society, “You could host a vegan lunch at work or a vegan dinner party with friends; commit to taking part in vegan outreach in your local community; share your favorite vegan recipes on social media or even challenge your friends, family or work colleagues to go vegan for 30 days.” 

Despite not being personally a vegan or vegetarian, I often think of Thanksgiving along with a vegan meal. One of my most memorable Thanksgivings was eating Tofurkey with my late friend Jodi Corley, whom I lived with in college. Jodi was a vegetarian, and Tofurkey is fully vegan, a blend of wheat and tofu. I’ll never forget being served fake steak in stroganoff not knowing it wasn’t meat and loving it. In addition to Jodi and her then-husband, a handful of my friends have been practicing vegetarians or vegans for several years, and I have enjoyed meatless meals with them.

Whether or not you enjoy eating turkey or other meat, or are vegetarian or vegan, Salina Public Library has books and DVDs for you, as well as the database Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, that include recipes for both meat and plant eaters. Even if you are not a strict plant eater but friends or family members are, you may be as surprised as I was to enjoy a new holiday dish. 

A Thanksgiving recipe book that has a picture of the typical recognizable dish of a turkey is “Thanksgiving: Festive Recipes For The Holiday Table” by Kristine Kidd. The book includes traditional as well as adventurous fare. 

For simply learning how to cook a turkey, as well as the trimmings and side dishes to serve along with the traditional bird, check out “How to Cook a Turkey: And All the Other Trimmings”. It also has a section with tips on how to survive Thanksgiving by mapping out fridge space, last-minute shopping, taking time to plan and more. Paging through the book, I noticed lots of pictures and chapters for appetizers; soups, salads, and cranberry sauce; turkey, stuffing, and gravy; vegetables; potatoes and grains; pies and tarts; desserts; and continuing the feast with leftovers.

If you want to serve a meal this Thursday with an Italian flair, check out the Thanksgiving section starting on page 93 in “Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays: 130 Classic Holiday Recipes from Italian Grandmothers” by Rossella Rago. The list of recipes in this section includes butternut squash lasagna; rice and meat stuffing; Parmigiano roasted vegetables; Thanksgiving citrus turkey; pumpkin risotto; Sicilian potato pie; honey-sweet potatoes; cranberry sauce with limoncello; pumpkin tiramisu; and more. 

The Pioneer Woman is a well-known chef, and there are multiple copies to check out of “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-By-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations” by Ree Drummond. This book includes a Thanksgiving section, which consists of two parts: Thanksgiving Feast and Turkey Day Leftovers. There are lots of pictures in this book because every single step in each recipe has a small photo, which is quite helpful. The Thanksgiving feast includes roasted turkey, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, oyster dressing, pumpkin smoothies, rolls, pies and more. The leftover recipes include turkey pot pie, leftover Thanksgiving panini, turkey spring rolls and turkey tetrazzini. 

Specifically for children, a couple of Thanksgiving books that include several recipes are “Thanksgiving” by Ellyn Sanna from the American Regional Cooking Library series, which includes food and holiday history, and “My Very Own Thanksgiving: A Book Of Cooking And Crafts” by Robin West, which includes crafts, such as paper dolls and centerpieces for kids to make. 

“Friendsgiving: Celebrate Your Family of Friends” by Alexandra Shytsman may be a good Thanksgiving recipe book for people who will be celebrating friendship this week. The description says that it includes diverse recipes, from classic turkey and stuffing to modern global-inspired menus and vegan, gluten-free options, including timelines, shopping tips, leftover strategies, music suggestions and party games. 

Salina Public Library also has a couple of videos that include Thanksgiving recipes. Rachael Ray’s holiday collection includes a disc titled “Thanksgiving in 60 and 30 minutes Meals: Holiday Maneuvers.” The DVD label says that the DVD can be played on your computer in order to print out recipes. Recipes include green beans with apple cider; pumpkin soup with cran-apple relish; autumn potato gratin; herb-roasted turkey breast with pan gravy; and more. Another DVD with recipes is “What’s Cooking?” which is about the lives of four ethnically diverse families — black, Latino, Jewish, and Asian — during one frantic Thanksgiving in Los Angeles. Although it is a movie, the DVD includes recipes as part of its special features. 

For vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, there are multiple shelves at the library. There are a few that stuck out to me regarding Thanksgiving. In “Entertaining for a Veggie Planet: 250 Down-to-Earth Recipes” by Didi Emmons, the author includes a couple of anecdotes regarding Thanksgiving. On page 311, there is a section titled “Vegetarian Strategies for Turkey Day,” which includes a list of recipes from savory hubbard squash pudding to wild rice curry in sugar pumpkins. 

The book “Plant-Based Meats: Hearty, High-Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores” by Robin Asbell includes a recipe that looks very much like the Tofurkey I had with my college best friend during the Thanksgiving we shared together. On page 90 of this book, you can learn how to make your own turkey roll with stuffing and on page 92, you can learn how to make creamy mushroom gravy for your turkey roll! The sauce also includes non-dairy milk, which makes those dishes good candidates for Thanksgiving as well as World Vegan Month. 

“But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner” by Kristy Turner includes a chapter titled “I Don’t Want To Be Left Out at Potlucks and Family Get-togethers.” This chapter perfectly combines Thanksgiving and World Vegan Month to showcase dishes that are delicious for holidays but do not include dairy or meat. Recipes in this section include pan-fried gnocchi and acorn squash with hazelnut-sage pesto; seitan-mushroom roast with wild rice stuffing; and more. The pictures of the seitan-mushroom roast with wild rice stuffing looked like a superior Tofurkey to me!

Kids can also help with vegetarian-cooking in easy-to-read recipe books in the children’s section such as “The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook” by Judi Gillies and “Vegetarian Food” by Susannah Blake. These books include easy recipes for kids, such as garlic bread, mushroom gravy, couscous salad, tricolored salad, vegetables and potatoes, to help complement a traditional or nontraditional Thanksgiving meal. 

If some or all of these books are checked out or if you prefer digital books, you have options via Hoopla and the Sunflower eLibrary.

On Hoopla, if you type “thanksgiving recipes” in the search box, you’ll find several books with Thanksgiving recipes to inspire you for your own dinner. Hoopla has books such as “Good Eating’s Thanksgiving Recipes,” which compiles the best Thanksgiving recipes as collected by the Chicago Tribune, “Hometown Recipes for the Holidays,” and “Thanksgiving: Recipes for a Holiday Meal” by Lou Pappas, which includes traditional and contemporary dishes for a Thanksgiving meal. For Thanksgiving with a vegan twist, Hoopla has “Easy As Vegan Pie: One-of-a-Kind Sweet and Savory Slices” by Hannah Kaminsky, which includes a recipe for a vegan Thanksgiving quiche. Another book of holiday plant-based recipes in Hoopla is “Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings” by Lindsay S. Nixon.  This book includes a Thanksgiving planning guide and several Thanksgiving recipes such as Thanksgiving loaf, Thanksgiving gravy, cranberry sauce and much more.  

A particular book on Hoopla with recipes that caught my eye is “Cooking For Two – Your Cat & You!” by Brandon Schultz and Lucy Schultz-Osenlund. The pictures in the book are funny, and there is a recipe titled Thanksgiving Dinner. The recipe details what both human and cat can have together for dinner, just for humans and what to do special for cats. In addition to the turkey, cranberry sauce and corn, the book contains other recipes to share with your cat that could be side dishes, appetizers and desserts, such as fruit salad, deli roll-ups, apple cobbler and more.

In the Sunflower eLibrary, there are are a few e-books to check out containing Thanksgiving recipes. “A Catered Thanksgiving: Mystery With Recipes” by Isis Crawford includes instructions on how to make a couple of types of stuffing and pecan pie, after the story. For more pie recipes, you can check out “America’s Best Harvest Pies: Apple, Pumpkin, Berry, and More!”, which the library has a physical copy of as well. Also in Sunflower eLibrary, you can check out “Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays” by Jennifer Katzinger, which includes a special chapter on Thanksgiving. Various seasonal menu items in this chapter include autumn spinach salad; acorn squash with porcini mushroom filling; herbed fresh bread stuffing with golden raisins; acorn squash and sweet potato pie; cranberry relish; gravy; and more. 

A new resource from Salina Public Library that you can find recipes for Thanksgiving recipes, without even checking anything out, is the database Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center. Once you enter the database, you can browse the different categories. To find how to make various dishes for Thursday, type “Thanksgiving recipes” in the box and click Search. Several results appear with recipes, including vegetarian recipes from various magazine articles. You can click on the headline, HTML Full Text or PDF Full text to view the recipes. PDF Full text allows you to view the recipes just as how they appeared on the magazine pages. The top result with this search is the best Thanksgiving recipes from a readers contest for Vegetarian Times and further down on the list you’ll find the article “Thanksgiving Gone Deliciously Vegan” from Vegetarian Journal which includes several recipes. You’ll also find recipes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians in the article “Thanksgiving: Bringing Everyone to the Table” from Vegetarian Times and several recipes in “25 Ways To Reinvent Your Thanksgiving” from Bon Appetit. This is just a small sample of recipes you can find using this database.

I hope you have discovered some new recipes to check out for Thanksgiving for this year or next, whether it be physical books, digital books, videos, or via our database Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center. Happy Thanksgiving and World Vegan Month! No matter what you like or need to eat, you will find several recipes via Salina Public Library!