print

A Bird Free Thanksgiving?: November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving feast without anything once feathered - can it be done? Absolutely, according to dietitian Jeanne Struve.

“It’s going to take a little bit of thought and a little bit of planning and experimentation, but you can definitely come up with a great feast that’s plant based,” says Jeanne Struve, registered dietitian with Lee Memorial Health System.

Sitting in for the guest of honor are several options.

“You can actually go to the grocery store around Thanksgiving and get something called a tofurky which is basically a soy turkey. It kind of looks like a turkey breast and it comes with gravy. Other people makes things like lentil loaf or veggies loaf, so it looks a little different but it still has some meatiness to it,” says Struve.

Plant-based eating is one of the top five health trends for 2013. As proof Google finds a huge jump in people searching the terms: vegan and plant-based diet. Feeding curiosity are meatless recipes, which are surprisingly suitable for Thanksgiving.

“One good thing about Thanksgiving is a lot of the food is vegetables. Whether it is sweet potatoes, which is extremely healthy for you. You can do pumpkin pies. I’m from the south, so green beans, mashed potatoes, you can have a big salad,” says Struve.

The taste for tofu is fueled in part by health benefits, most substantially, cardiovascular.

“For a lot of people going to a plant-based diet is driven by heart disease. You will find decreases in your bad cholesterol, your total cholesterol- your triglycerides,” says Struve.

Whether it’s one day, once a week or for a lifetime, you may find yourself digging the plant-based diet.