The Turkey Alternative

Help save the planet one meal at a time



Native Thanksgiving Wellington

Native Foods

 Ask most people about their favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner and they will tell you, it’s the sides. So says Tanya Petrovna, chef and founder of the popular and expanding group of vegan restaurants under the umbrella of Native Foods. “It’s Aunt Ida’s stuffing or mom’s yams, but it’s always the sides,” she continues, adding that in the culinary world, turkey is widely considered the most boring meat. That’s why people pour so much gravy on it.

To offset boredom and introduce a meatless tradition, Petrovna created the Native Thanksgiving Wellington: a puff pastry containing all the stuff (and stuffing) people crave this time of the year, including a meaty texture that may fool even the most committed carnivore.

Native wellingtons contain seitan (prepared Native Foods style), kale, portobello mushrooms, orange glazed yams, fabulous stuffing, caramelized onions, and shallot mushroom gravy on the side. Bake one of these organic concoctions, which come frozen, for about an hour and you’re ready to serve a party of six, while possibly leaving a smaller food print on the planet. (According to a study by Cornell University, vegetarians need less than a half acre of land per year to produce the food they need compared to 2.11 acres annually for those with a diet high in meat.)

“The benefits of turkey-free holiday dining is that you can enjoy the delicious flavors and textures and feel great after you eat. Plus you’ll save some turkeys and make a difference by not supporting factory farming,” Petrovna says. “Being thankful can be cruelty-free, extravagant, full-flavored, filling, and healthy.”

However, Petrovna is hardly militant when it comes to meat eaters. Eighty percent of diners at Native Foods Café, which Palm Springs Life readers recently voted Best of the Best Vegetarian Restaurant , are not vegan or even vegetarians. Icons on her menu help guide “first timers” to meaty entrées, such as the Chicago Dip Au Jus and the Chicken Run Ranch Burger. Her vision is “to share the flavor and love with the world — both vegans and nonvegans alike.”

Native Foods Café locally is closed on Thanksgiving, but you can order Thanksgiving Wellingtons online at www.nativefoods.com or at any Native Foods store, including the Palm Springs location in the Smoke Tree Village  shopping Center (1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. 135; 1-760-416-0070).

Veggie Variety By Donna Curran

Here are the valley’s most popular eateries for vegetarians, vegans, and those willing to try a meat-free meal. Ask your favorite high-end restaurant to make substitutions to accommodate vegetarians and vegans.

Luscious Lorraine’s  Owner and Executive Chef Lorraine Ornelas’ mantra is “You were born organic and free,” and she strives to provide the freshest ingredients in her organic menu of juices, smoothies, shakes, coffee, herb teas, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and homemade soup of the day. Inside Harvest Health Foods,
73910 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert. 1-760-862-1911;
www.lusciouslorraines.com

Nature’s Health Food and Café  Always busy, this one-stop shop offers organic groceries and a café with a 120-item menu. Many clients are not vegetarians but like the variety. Healthy eating is important to owner Jose Felix, and he ensures that every item is tasty as well as nutritious. The organic menu boasts breakfast all day, including a tofu scrambles with vegetables, brown rice, and toast. 555 S. Sunrise Way, 
Palm Springs. 1-760-323-9487; www.natureshealthfoodandcafe.com

Palms Greens Cafe  Owners Greg Schmitz and Jeff Huyett serve only organic foods with no additives, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup. Their distinctive menu uses flavors from around the world. Palm Greens Cafe also provides other restaurants with items such as vegan or vegetarian burgers and gluten-free foods. Desert Sun Center,
611 S. Palm Canyon Dr., 
Palm Springs. 1-760-864-9900; www.palmgreenscafe.com
 

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

The Real Thing

Coachella and Stageoach festivalgoers have no excuse not to sample some of the best Mexican food in the valley.

Best Bars Open for Late Night Owls

While many watering holes in Greater Palm Springs close their doors by 11 p.m., many go past midnight to wrap up the party.

I’ll Take Manhattan

Over the last 156 years the Manhattan has had myriad incarnations from the Dry Manhattan, the Rob Roy, the Metropolitan Manhattan and the Fourth Regiment.

Love Bites

Here’s where to fuel the passion with special Valentine’s Day menus.

Eat This Now

This 'best of' list fulfills its premise, but mostly it's about passing along a tasty morsel in the Coachella Valley that might be overlooked.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Celebrate the Coachella Valley’s most dynamic women in business at the May 12 luncheon featuring keynote speaker Laura Schwab, President, Aston Martin The Americas. The luncheon takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags