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Non Traditional Thanksgiving Dinners

Whether it be for dietary concerns or out of sheer boredom, there is really no reason why we have to make a Thanksgiving dinner a single traditional way. Especially here in California, we have access to so many more fresh and exotic ingredients than we did in the past. So why not be thankful for that and allow for new interpretations of our beloved turkey meal. Being a vegan, I've been doing a little digging around for some less traditional Thanksgiving meal inspiration. While not all vegan (I didn't want to exclude anyone), I put together a list of a few mouth-watering and, dare I say, exciting menus for the adventurous, the selective and the bored.

Vegan Thanksgiving by Veggies Don't Bite

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Photo courtesy of Veggies Don't Bite Website.

I love how vibrant this menu is and you won't find any kind of look-a-like turkey in it. A nice potato, veggie casserole is the main event. I also can't wait to try the quinoa and squash stuffing pictured above. The arugula white bean bruschetta and queso blanco dip will pick up your app game for sure for festive starters.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving By Love and Lemons

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Photo courtesy of Love and Lemons website

I just love Love and Lemons' website for fresh, light, BEAUTIFUL, mostly vegetarian and easy to make recipes. Sweet potato avocado tartar apps, Black Bean and squash enchiladas, twice baked sweet potatoes with broccoli, pumpkin pie parfait and more create an explosion of color and vegetarian deliciousness in this Thanksgiving menu. A few easy tweaks could make it completely vegan. Even non veggies are sure to enjoy it.

Indian Thanksgiving by Epicurious

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Photo by Ditte Isager via Epicurious

Indian is one of my favorites cuisines and not just because it offers a variety of vegan plates. It's just so darn flavorful and this menu is no different. How about tandoori turkey and chutney; an appetizer of homemade paneer, chewy warm naan, and creamy roasted eggplant dip scented with mint, cilantro, and garam masala; and why not scalloped potatoes with coconut and chilis. Yum!

Mexican Thanksgiving by Sunset Magazine

temp-post-imagePhoto by Shelly Strazis; styling by Valerie Aikman-Smith via Sunset Magazine

Chile and Spice Grilled Turkey with Mole Gravy, chorizo apple stuffing and cranberry, apple and orange relish figure into the main course of this Mexican Thanksgiving turkey dinner. With the roasted chili cornbread, pumpkin tacos and variety of salads, this menu offers a feast for many covering a variety of dietary needs.

Chinese Thanksgiving by Better Homes & Gardens

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Photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Mashed potatoes with shiitake mushroom gravy and honey hoisin sweet potatoes?!!! Yowza!! I'm good right there. Fill up my plate. But there is more including a sesame turkey and ginger pumpkin merengue pie to round out an asian inspired Thanksgiving meal.

You can't live in California without appreciating the bounty of food produced here and the diversity of cultures. And, if you were looking to do something a little different this Thanksgiving, I hope these menus have inspired you as they did me.

However you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope it is as nourishing and with people you love.

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