Los Angeles vegan, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly restaurants have been serving up wonderful vegan Thanksgiving-style meals this month. I sampled a couple:
When I first tried the Happy Happy Holiday Feast at Hugo's (from the menu: Two New American Veggie patties (or turkey breast, chicken breast or grilled Organic tofu) with our vegan, gluten-free mushroom gravy. Served with mixed seasonal vegetables, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. (Vegans should substitute rice or roasted potatoes for mashed potatoes)), it was pre-movie take-out. The New American patties were the star of the show, absolutely delicious and the perfect texture. While the side of brown rice, steamed veggies, gravy, and cranberry sauce were good, this meal would be nothing special without those patties.
The Happy Happy Holiday Feast in the restaurant. Since this is a November special, there's still time for you to try it, too, if you are in the L.A. area.
Tonight, one of the most important people in my life, for whom I'm eternally grateful, and I had the Thanksgiving meal at Follow Your Heart. Their seitan turkey is unmatched, in my humble opinion, and paired beautifully with well-prepared mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, roasted green beans, and baked, spiced sweet potatoes (I definitely detected cinnamon). While I didn't care for the stuffing (it was a bit gummy) or the cranberry sauce (surprisingly lacking in flavor), the meal as a whole was extremely comforting and satisfying.
I've also enjoyed several other November specials at Hugo's and they were all great.
My very favorite Hippie Hemp Seed Salad that I wish were a permanent menu item (from the menu: Chopped leafy greens, tossed with Forbidden Rice (the same black heirloom rice that was once grown exclusively for the Emperors of China), carrots, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, dried cherries, mango, celery and a hemp seed dressing. Topped with dry-roasted almonds.).
This Moroccan-Style Stew (from the menu: Butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, green beans, garbanzo beans, garlic and raisins in a slightly spicy, exotically full-flavored Moroccan sauce. Served with a choice of Organic quinoa or brown rice, fresh mint, a side of yogurt, cucumbers and a slightly spicy harissa sauce.) was mildly spiced and hearty without being heavy. Order it without yogurt to ensure it's vegan.
The Mixed Vegetable Curry (from the menu: A blend of peppers, onions, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, squash and celery in a light coconut-mango curry sauce. Served over a blend of Forbidden Black Rice blended with baby spinach.) was perfect in every way.
May your Thanksgiving be full of joy, laughter, warmth, and the comfort of those you love.