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With its gleaming, golden skin and (let’s be honest) sheer size, the Thanksgiving turkey remains the holiday’s marquee attraction. But the bird is not the only draw. In fact, cobbling together a meal with many, many meatless options offers a more interesting approach to dinner.

Imagine your plate. Now, fill it with your favorites: mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, chunky cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, maple glazed carrots. You forgot about the turkey already, didn’t you?

Here are meatless suggestions, from D.C. bloggers, for the biggest food holiday of the year.

Honey, Agave, Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Rolls with Flax and Sesame Seeds
An Indian-Jewish-Israeli (and now D.C. resident) explains how she became “American” through Thanksgiving.
[Food Wanderings]

Apple, Mint, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (pictured)
Maybe if you start with a vibrant and filling salad, you’ll take it easy on the rest of the meal. Sure, that will happen.
[The Arugula Files]

Cauliflower Sformato
These gentlemen bloggers tested 16 recipes for their Thanksgiving 2010 collection. This was their favorite and even suggested it fill in for mashed potatoes. I’m not buying the latter statement, but I bet it is a fine, fine dish.
[The Bitten Word]

Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Ditch the marshmallows this year and instead top that dessert with pecans and brown sugar.
[Capital Cooking with Lauren DeSantis]

Calabaza En Tacha (Pumpkin in Piloncillo Syrup)
And for actual dessert, slow cook any leftover Halloween pumpkins for a sweet last bite. The best part: It’s a leftover lover’s dream as this will keep in the fridge for months. Unlike that dang bird.
[Pati’s Mexican Table]

Apple & Cinnamon Infused Vodka
No holiday is complete without an appropriately themed infused vodka.
[French Twist D.C.]

Photo courtesy of Arugula Files