Vegan Thanksgiving Options in Monmouth County
By: Angela Ciroalo
The Thanksgiving holiday is well-known for the turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and pies served each year among family, friends and football games. For most Americans the yearly Thanksgiving feast is anxiously anticipated. For those following an alternative diet the holiday may create disappointment and even frustration.
In America the Thanksgiving holiday originates back to 1620 when the Pilgrims celebrated thankfulness during an English festival. Today, the holiday is curtailed around turkey, football and family. On a holiday where the main attraction is food it can be difficult for those eating differently to enjoy the day. Particularly for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet the yearly Thanksgiving meal may present as a bit of a challenge.
Questions such as, “What will you eat,” or “Does this mean I have to make a special meal just for you,” or “Come on, it is just one day,” often arise among family members. Not to mention the possibility of not having anything eat while everyone around you is enjoying a delicious feast. In effort to cater to the needs of the vegetarian and vegan population local health food stores and restaurants have begun offering vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving menu options. Local restaurants including; Seed to Sprout in Fair Haven and Avon by the Sea, Good Karma in Red Bank, The Herd Juicery in Long Branch, and the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck in Red Bank are among the few restaurants offering vegan and vegetarian meals to order.
This will be the second year for The Herd Juicery in Long Branch to offer a vegan Thanksgiving menu to customers. Owner Jonathan Ferris chose to offer the menu as a result of his previous experienced during the holiday season. “Being vegan I know what Thanksgiving is like and sometimes these holidays can really be a hassle,” Ferris explained. “I thought of my own experiences and wanted people to be able to eat traditional type dishes just ‘veganized’ and with twists.” The term “veganized” relates to taking a standard meal and creating it with products that do not contain animal products, therefore making it vegan. Some examples of vegan Thanksgiving menu items offered at The Herd Juicery this year include; the lentil loaf made with walnuts apples and a maple glaze for $20, mashed sweet potatoes made with coconut milk and cinnamon maple pecans for $25, and the broccoli & kale casserole made with wild rice, mushrooms, onions and gluten-free bread for $28, to name a few. Ferris’ favorites include the broccoli and kale casserole along with the pumpkin cheesecake.
All orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 20. http://theherdjuicery.com/
The Cinnamon Snail Food Truck has become well-known for their weekly appearances at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market in The Galleria, in addition to their locations in Brooklyn and New York City. Owner Adam Sobel is offering catered Vegan Thanksgiving menu options to his Red Bank and Monmouth County customers for the 8th year in a row. Each year Sobel comes up with new and exciting menu items combining his ‘food truck style’ to each recipe. Of the new items this year’s menu includes gluten-free options, individual entrees, platters and holiday-inspired donuts. Full Thanksgiving dinners are offered for individuals for $23, two people for $74 and family style (4-6 people) for $184. Examples of popular menu items include; pumpkin seed roasted tofu with grilled mushroom gravy for $7.50, white truffle mac and cheese with a porcini breadcrumb topping for $8, maple butternut squash soup with coconut milk and ginger for $14 along with a variety of donuts, tarts pies and more. Orders must be placed online by Sunday, Nov. 19 and can be picked up in the Galleria parking lot on West Front Street in Red Bank between 12 and 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. http://cinnamonsnail.com/
The up-and-coming vegan restaurant with two locations and a newly opened vegan bakery Seed to Sprout is also offering a vegan Thanksgiving menu to their customers. Individual meals in addition to a la carte menu items will be offered. Examples include seared tempeh with rosemary gravy for $5, herb stuffing for $16, sweet potato mac and cheese for $16, cranberry apple roast for $8, along with a variety of baked good including carrot cake cupcakes from $18, a rosemary spelt baguette for $5, and raw pumpkin cream pie for $5 to name a few. All orders must be placed online, in person or by phone by Sunday, Nov. 19 and picked up on Wednesday Nov. 22 between 4 and 7 p.m.
Another great restaurant offering a vegan Thanksgiving menu to their customers is Good Karma Café in Red Bank, NJ. Good Karma, located at 17 East Front St., will be offering a variety of homemade, delicious holiday-inspired Thanksgiving meals. Each individual entrée order is $25 and includes creamy mashed potatoes, home-style gravy, savory apple chestnut stuffing, roasted root vegetables and cranberry relish.
Thanksgiving menu entrees include roasted acorn squash for $25, sliced herb tofu loaf for $25, rosemary and walnut crusted seitan for $25 and pumpkin mac and cheese for $25. Desserts are also available, including chocolate ganache cake and carrot cake and pumpkin cheesecake. All orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 20 and pick up is Wednesday, Nov. 22 from 12 – 9 p.m.
Thanksgiving is a time to come together amongst family and friends, enjoy one another’s company, recognize all that we are thankful for, and most importantly relax. The many options for plant-based Thanksgiving menu options in Monmouth County allows those following a vegetarian, or those who have vegetarian guest, to enjoy the holiday without any added stress or frustration.