A vegetarian Thanksgiving
November is here, and Thanksgiving is approaching. But Santa Monica College student Isadora Calella will not be having the traditional juicy turkey this year. Instead, her Dutch and Italian family has adapted a vegetarian lifestyle to fit an all-meat holiday.
Calella's father is a first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the United States from Sicily in the 1920s. Her mother came to the U.S. in 1989 and started a family.
Calella and her family cook stamppot — a traditional Dutch vegetable dish — green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, stuffing, mushroom gravy, salad and a vegetarian lasagna instead of the traditional turkey. For dessert, the Calellas bake Dutch apple and pumpkin pies. Calella has been eating these dishes all her life, as her family is vegetarian.
Lasagna is a celebration food in Italy, cooked for special occasions. The recipe, which Calella's family uses till this day, was passed on by her great grandmother.
Being vegetarian does not stop them from enjoying the holiday. It is a special treat for Calella's mother as she gets to bring some of her Dutch culture she grew up with into an American holiday, she says.
If you want to try and experience a taste of European cooking for yourself, follow the cooking instructions below.
5 large potatoes
1/2 stick of salted butter
1 cup of cream
1 bunch of kale
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the potatoes into cubes and steam them for 30 minutes until fully cooked. Transfer them into a large mixing bowl and begin to mash. Once mashed, mix in the cream, butter, and salt and pepper.
Wash then steam the kale for about 5-7 minutes until fully cooked. Cut or tear the kale into small pieces and mix into potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dutch Apple Pie:
5 large Granny Smith apples (about 2½ pounds)
4 large McIntosh apples (about 2 pounds)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For cooking instructions, visit boston.com/ae/food/cooks_illustrated/dutch_apple_pie/