Whole Foods Pardons Turkeys for Its Vegan Holiday Dinner

Whole Foods Pardons Turkeys for Its Vegan Holiday Dinner
Courtesy of Whole Foods
Vegan meets Southern this winter at Whole Foods Market. The grocery chain is offering a Southern-inspired holiday menu designed by chef Jenné Claiborne, the Los Angeles-based author of the Sweet Potato Soul cookbook and blog.

Claiborne has selected dishes free of meat, dairy and eggs for Whole Foods shoppers who want to pre-order their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners (or simply enjoy a plant-based feast sometime in between). While time is running out for Turkey Day, you have through tomorrow (Tuesday, November 26), to contact a Whole Foods near you — the menu is being offered at all locations — and place your order.

“The dishes feel traditional, like classic Thanksgiving dishes, but they also celebrate vegetables, with a focus on seasonal mushrooms, black-eyed peas, fresh greens and peppers," says Amador Acosta, senior culinary team leader for the Whole Foods Rocky Mountain region.

The main dish is a roasted-mushroom étouffée, with a mix of oyster, cremini and beech mushrooms and a Creole trinity of onion, celery and green bell peppers. Side dishes include cornbread stuffing with jalapeño and fresh rosemary, black-eyed pea fritters, and braised collard greens with smoked paprika and tomatoes. For dessert, there's a vegan pumpkin pie available.

“This meal really focuses on comfort food for the holidays,” Acosta adds. “The food is warm, with a little heat from the spice and smokiness. Green peppers, celery and smoked paprika are used in a variety of the dishes to tie the meal together, yet each dish is unique.”

All of Claiborne's dishes are available online, and you can supplement them with additional vegan items — such as rosemary dinner rolls and mushroom gravy — that differ by store. While you only have one more day to order for Thanksgiving, you can choose from the same dishes in December, for pickup from December 19 to 31. Orders must be placed at least 48 hours before pickup.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering craft beer, food and travel. For Westword, she explores vegan dining and the state's artisan beverages, such as cider and mead.