Oh, I know, your relatives will howl. Then again, they probably will anyway once the wine starts flowing and some simmering family issue inevitably boils over.
Maybe this year you'll buck tradition with a centerpiece entrée that lets turkeys off the hook.
Last year, we looked at how to prepare a Tofurky (disclosure: Turtle Island is a sponsor of my podcast, Vegcast) and how to go a different route with Neal Barnard's "three sisters" smorgasbord. But vegan food options continue to spring up, and V for Veg continues to pass them on to you.
The buzz this year is from the vegan-friendly grocery chain Trader Joe's. In its large variety of store-brand products, T.J.'s tends to limit the ingredient list to what's really necessary.
Where another upscale chain offers "plain" marinara sauce containing cheese, TJ's variety is, well, plain marinara sauce. Fillers such as whey, casein and egg are rarely found in T.J. products.
Now T.J.'s has a new vegan Thanksgiving offering. The Trader Joe's Turkeyless Stuffed Roast with Gravy is a reformulated, relaunched product the company believes could win over those cranky turkey-lovin' relatives.
The website notes that "getting the uninitiated to taste [the old version] was - um - challenging. We love a good challenge." It describes the new version as "honestly attractive," going so far as to tug your sleeve with, "Seriously, it looks and tastes great!"
Since I never encountered the previous iteration, I can't speak comparatively, but this entrée does indeed satisfy.
It's pretty easy to make, following a process similar to that of the Tofurky: Put the loaf-shaped roast on a layer of potatoes, carrots, onions and the like, add marinade, cover with foil and bake.
With a relatively short cooking time of a little over an hour and a $10 retail price for a 2.5-pound roast and ample gravy, this is a breeze compared with a turkey.
Plus, as it's vegan, you can forget about food poisoning and instead concentrate on perfecting your marinade. I recommend garlic, sage, paprika, olive oil and a little Yuengling Premium.
Once roasted, the T.J.'s product looks nice and has a passable "mouth feel," though maybe a wee bit pliant for some turkey junkies. It's labeled to serve five or six, but three of us polished off the whole thing during a Thanksgiving-lite meal with a couple of sides and T.J.'s store-brand vegan ice creams for dessert.
Or - all right - even if you're going to ignore my sage advice and do the turkey, this roast or a Tofurky would make an easy-to-prepare alternative for that guest or guests (you know there will be some!) who want to eat animal-free.
They will thank you. And avoiding that particular family dispute will give you one more thing to be thankful for.
V for Victory: Congratulations to Joel Spivak, Takia McClendon and Dawn Carlock for their first-, second- and third-place wins in the Vegetarian Awareness Month Photo Contest. Via their contributions and others, our galleries of "Vegan" and "Vegetarian" signs around Greater Philadelphia more than doubled! We now have more than 100 spots pictured at philly.com/VforVeg.
Vance Lehmkuhl is a cartoonist, writer, musician and 10-year vegan. Send your vegtips to VforVeg@phillynews.com and follow @V4Veg on Twitter.