If Margie Garrett had her wish, she'd be having a turkey at her Thanksgiving dinner.But this turkey wouldn't be roasted, fried or stuffed. It would be a guest."I'd love to invite one to dinner," said Garrett, who has worked at Good Health grocery store for 10 years. "I would love to have one as a pet turkey some day."Each year, Garrett hosts a Thanksgiving spread that features enough food to make anyone forget about turkey. She's been a vegetarian since 1972 and, more recently, is a vegan, a lifestyle that avoids using or consuming all animal products.
"I'm telling you, by the time you finish dinner, you don't even miss the gobble gobble," she said. "I have all the trimmings."Garrett's Thanksgiving menu includes homemade vegetarian stuffing covered with mushroom gravy, cranberries, salads, mashed potatoes, creamed peas, and baked squash stuffed with wild rice. Dessert features homemade pumpkin pie with organic whipping cream."People always ask me, 'Well, what do you eat?' But look at all this," she said. "The stuffing is so good when you make it from scratch."For a turkey alternative, vegetarian-friendly stores such as Good Health sells Tofurkey, an organic, meatless tofu product that can be served alongside traditional Thanksgiving recipes. Tempe and tofu can also be substituted as Thursday's main course."If you're looking for a fake meat-type thing, one of the dishes I make - and I raised my family on it - is tempe or tofu diced up, sautéd in olive oil and coated with nutritional yeast on it," she said. "It makes a crispy brown coating that is almost like fried chicken."
Garrett has so many recipes for a vegetarian Thanksgiving, she doesn't even miss the leftover turkey sandwiches."I'm so determined for my love for the little animals, I don't miss the leftover turkey sandwiches," she said.Being thankful doesn't require a turkey on a platter, Garret said."We're thankful, right, that we live in this valley," she said. "There's much to be thankful for, and it doesn't have to involve a poor little turkey."Unless, of course, it's sitting at the kid's table enjoying a home-cooked meal.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO