Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving, the British Vegetarian Way

My husband is British. And a vegetarian. Every year he is asked something like, "But you eat turkey, right? I mean this is Thanksgiving we're talking about."

And he replies with something like, "Yeah, but I'm British. And a vegetarian."

And they reply with something like, "Yeah, but it's THANKSGIVING."

And he replies with something like, "Yeah, but I'm BRITISH. And a VEGETARIAN."

And then begins another round of food-related questions, such as, "So... if you don't eat turkey for Thanksgiving, do you at least eat chicken?"

I am not making this up!!!

(Not everyone 'round these here parts seems to get being vegetarian)

(Especially not when good ole Texas BBQ is concerned)

So, what do British vegetarians living in America eat come Thanksgiving time? Well, okay, I can't speak for all, but I can speak for our resident Brit:


Let me just say, I'm about to share a delicious recipe. Let me also just say that when our first Thanksgiving came around and I had to find something to prepare for my hubs that would make this meal as special and delicious and once-a-year as Thanksgiving is for me and my family, I had no idea where to start.

And then I stumbled across a recipe for a cashew nut roast on the Co-Op's website (think: British version of 7-11) and I knew I just HAD to make it. Because I am easily amused and found the idea of a convenience store fancy meal absolutely hilarious.

Unfortunately, I can't find the original link, but I wrote the recipe down. My hubs LOVES it much more than any other nut roast he ate growing up... Convenience store recipe For The Win!

Also, I probably could have shared this recipe a little sooner, considering you'll all have to wait a good 364 days to enjoy a British vegetarian Thanksgiving of your own... but this makes a lovely Christmas dinner as well, so here we go.


  • 1 med onion, finely chopped
  • 1 and a half cups hot water or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon yeast extract (I use Marmite because *cringe* we always have the gnarly stuff on hand - but look in the specialty/import section of your grocery store for this one)
  • 3 cups ground roasted cashews (actually, I just crush them a little)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons fresh herbs. (I use thyme because I have no clue what Winter Savoury is and that's what the original recipe called for)
  • 3 cups white bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 oz butter/margarine
  • 2 chopped celery sticks
  • mushrooms (optional)

(Note - sometimes, when I'm feeling cheap and cashews cost a fortune, I half the cashews and double the bread. Cashews are expensive, yo! And no one notices.)


Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the celery and onion for a few minutes. Mix the Marmite into the hot water or vegetable stock, and add this to the onion and celery.

Stir in the flour, nuts, herbs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well. Allow to cool slightly while you grease a loaf tin.

Place the mixture in the tin and press down well. Bake in the oven at 360 degrees for 40 minutes. To remove from the pan from the loaf pan, put a plate over it, then turn it upside down. Or else, you can just leave it in the pan. It is a bit crumbly, so I just leave it.

I add an optional layer of chopped mushrooms that have been grilled in olive oil and garlic to the middle of the loaf for my mushroom-loving husband. I don't eat mushrooms, but everyone else I know prefers this roast. Also, I reserve some of the mushrooms for the gravy, dicing them up and mixing in veggie stock, flour and herbs.

Slice and eat!

Also, this recipe is loved by more in my family than just my hubs, so I always make two!

Aaaaaaand..... Speaking of Thanksgiving and food..... here we have, as a special bonus: a funny sketch featuring my SUPER RAD friend Holly Medell as the brunette Salad.

(the party was obviously missing nut roast)

I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday. Enjoy your weekend!

And if you're all about Black Friday sales, don't forget to shop handmade!



Cathy said...

Wow, that's sounds...interesting! Not sure I would choose it over turkey but if you say it's delicious, it must be. And how lovely of you to find a special recipe just for Will. Happy Thanksgiving guys!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Cathy!! (p.s. I wouldn't choose it over turkey, either - but it makes a yummy side dish, too!)

mshatch said...

I'll have to copy that down for my son's gf who is a vegetarian. Thanks!

Crystal Cook said...

I have never heard of anything like this! And you're talking to the girl who subscribed to both Bon Apetit and Gourmet for about five years! But it does sound good, and interesting for sure. Grilled mushrooms and roasted cashews, what's not to love. :)

So glad you had a great Thanksgiving. :))))

Meeling said...

That sounds so good Marisa!! Yummo!

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving...I'm finally getting back to reading blogs and catching up! :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...