Thanksgiving is practically synonymous with turkey. But if you’ve committed to being plant-based, don’t give up on Thanksgiving just yet! I’ve got something that will make you win over the meat-eaters!
“T-day” as some call it, in my mind would look like a giant open field with turkeys running wild all over. An ode to turkeys, if you will.
Thanksgiving, in my mind is much more about gathering with loved ones, which could be your “family-by-choice” rather than “family-by-birth”, and being grateful for all that we have. See my recent post about gratitude here.
That said, it still brings up the question of what to eat on Thanksgiving if turkey is not your thing? One really great alternative is whole roasted cauliflower!
This idea seemed intimidating to me at first, because that’s a lot of pressure to make a cauliflower taste like a turkey! But, this recipe stands up to the challenge. And, though it’s not a turkey, it tastes great.
And it’s so easy to make, I made it live, on the air, for a recent nutrition segment.
Cauliflower is a vegetable that absorbs the flavors you choose to flavor it with. That makes it versatile enough to use your favorite herbs and spices. You could use parsley, lemon, garlic, and thyme for a more Mediterranean flavor profile or what I used for a more Asian flavor profile. Both of them taste great!
For my whole roasted cauliflower I used traditional turkey seasonings like thyme and rosemary and combined them with gluten-free low-sodium tamari (you can make this recipe soy-free by using coconut aminos instead of tamari) and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Besides adding flavor, the herbs and spices in this recipe add many powerful health benefits (no matter if they are dried or fresh).
Being plant-based doesn’t have to take away from having a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, as a matter of fact, it can help you create new healthy Thanksgiving day traditions.
If you’re not ready to replace your Thanksgiving day turkey with a roasted cauliflower, make this in addition to the turkey and add a new favorite to your sides and an option for those who choose to be plant-based.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
A plant-based option for Thanksgiving your guests will love and impress the meat-eaters.
- 1 small to medium head of cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce (gluten-free, low-sodium)
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (Grade B)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp paprika (smoky)
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2-3/4 cup vegetable broth (low-sodium)
- 3 potatoes cut into small wedges
- 2 cups carrots (cut)
- 2 tsp parsley, cilantro, basil, or other fresh herb for garnish (optional)
Wash cauliflower and cut out stem and outer leaves.
Make the marinade. Combine all ingredients from olive oil to cinnamon.
Turn the cauliflower upside down and drizzle 1/3 to 1/2 the marinade inside the cauliflower. Allow to marinade for 30 minutes upside down.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Turn cauliflower over into oven-safe dish. Place carrots and potatoes around cauliflower. Pour remaining marinade over the top of the cauliflower.
Pour 1/2 cup vegetable broth around cauliflower over carrots and potatoes.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Take out cauliflower from oven, uncover and baste with remaining vegetable broth or that from pan. Return to oven, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Sprinkle with your favorite fresh herb for garnish before serving.