Tag Archives: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts Christmas Trees

Sometimes I get really ridiculous ideas for pictures like restaging an incident when my friends broke my dining room table, or the famous KFC bowl redone but this one in particular was a long time coming. I think it was two Christmases ago that I came up with the plan to form a tree out of mashed potatoes and Brussels Sprouts but I have yet to make it for the actual meal because I keep thinking of ways to make it more complicated; cranberry decorations! ravioli and beggar’s purses surrounding the tree like presents! a star anise topper! gravy whipped into a snow like foam! The possibilities are endless really but the problem is the more you add the more people think you are a lunatic. It is a fine line.

We did this simple test run to see if the tree would even hold up and it did quite well. First we made mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and herbs. Then sautéed the sprouts (cut in half) with onions and balsamic. Then formed a pyramid with the potatoes and pressed the sprouts into them. Next time we are going to make the potatoes a little thicker so that they hold together better and cook the brussels sprouts with a nice miso glaze so they aren’t so dry. I also think chilling them in the fridge would also be a good idea. Finally, we baked them in the oven about 5 minutes, just to make sure everything was toasty and warm and then plated them (carefully) with a spatula. Everyone gets their own tree! What could be better?

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Thanksgiving- the meal that, thank god, lives on as leftovers

Our Thanksgiving this year was pretty awesome. I decided to have it much later than usual which was a disaster because I was so hungry that I felt like I was going to pass out and it was dark so the pictures turned out terrible. But the eating….oh the eating…was amazing.

I made the vegan turkey roast from Everyday Dish first, I added some smoked paprika and basted it with soy sauce, liquid smoke, and oil which made a really nice coating. It was super easy and will be great for Thanksgiving sandwiches.

The Brussel Sprouts with chorizo were really tasty, but not as good as the sprouts we usually have. Next year it is back to tradition!

My favorite part was the Oaxacan Dressing but I didn’t take a picture! It looked just like the one from the recipe on Saveur so I am posting that, it had chiles, fennel, prunes, and cumin and was so delicious. The only thing I did was replace the eggs with ground flax seeds blended with water and it worked perfect.The Roasted Cranberry Sauce with cinnamon, cardamom and jalapeño was also a winner. It had port in it so it was sweet and delicious with a little bit of spicy. We all really enjoyed it.

And here is the shot of my full plate with the mushroom gravy, the mac daddy, and everything. As you can imagine I did not have seconds and we spent the rest of the night on the couch or the floor. It was perfect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Dumplings

We had the best Thanksgiving Dinner ever! I have been working on a recipe for seitan dumplings all week but they didn’t come together perfectly until the actual meal, they were awesome and everyone really liked them more than I thought possible! Here is a picture of one of the earlier versions before I realized that I should wrap them in cheesecloth.The version on thanksgiving was stuffed with a cornbread chorizo dressing that I just loved. I made the stock the day before I made the dumplings so that I would have more time and also because I learned that it is really important to use COLD stock when making seitan. If you want to make this recipe, you could use powdered broth cubes mixed with water but the roasted vegetable stock made a big difference in the final taste of the seitan. I made the dressing while I made the stock and refrigerated overnight. It is easy to make the dressing while stock is simmering because than you can easily add the liquid whatever amount of liquid you need.I didn’t put specific quantities of everything for the stock because I didn’t measure. It will work out regardless, you don’t need to add everything on this list if you don’t have it.
Roasted Vegetable Stock
2 leeks, edges cut off and split in half
2 onions, quartered
3 carrots, halved
3 parsnips, halved
4 stalks celery
bay leaves
thyme sprigs
sage leaves
peppercorns
white wine
soy sauce
water
parsley
vegetable odds and ends (onion skins, garlic tops etc)

Lay the vegetables on a greased cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil and top with thyme sprigs, salt, and sage leaves and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour until starting to brown. Put the vegetables in a pot along with the other ingredients and cover with water and add the other ingredients. Simmer for an hour and refrigerate over night.

If the cornbread isn’t a day old you can put the cubes in the oven and toast them for a half hour while roasting the vegetables

Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing
1 recipe of day old cornbread, cubed (I used a recipe from “The Dirty South” it was great!)
1 cup of vegan chorizo
1 TBSP oil
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 TBSP garlic
1 roasted skinned and seeded poblano, chopped
1 TBSP fresh cuban oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 TBSP ground flaxseed mixed with 3 TBSP water
~1/2 cup of vegetable stock

Saute the chorizo in a large saute pan and cook about five minutes, until it changes color. Add the oil, onion, and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and poblano and stir for about a minute and then add the cornbread, tossing the mixture to get it covered. Add stock if necessary to stop the cornbread from sticking and keep the whole thing from drying out. Once the mixture looks softened and like dressing add the herbs, salt if necessary, and the flax-egg.

Thanksgiving Dumplings
Yields 12 dumplings

3 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup almond meal
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 cups stock + 4 cups for baking
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil and 2 cups of stock and mix with your hands and knead until the gluten becomes activated and stringy. Separate into 12 small balls. Using either a tortilla press or two pieces of parchment paper and a rolling pin, squash the ball of gluten flat. This can be kind of difficult because the gluten isn’t going to want to stretch out. The best way I have found is to press it flat for a minute, and then put something heavy on top of it while you prepare the cheesecloth and the stuffing. Cut a square of cheesecloth that has at least two or three layers folded and is about 6X6 inches and lay it flat. Grab a handful of stuffing and roll it into a ball, about the size of a golf ball, and keep it in one hand when you remove the weight or tortilla press off the flattened gluten. Quickly place the stuffing in the middle of the round and grab the edges surrounding the stuffing with the gluten. Form a ball with your hand, part of the stuffing will probably be uncovered where the edges meet, but that is just fine. You don’t want overlap because than you will have a really thick piece of gluten. Put the opening side down on the square of cheesecloth grab the four corners and twist them together and tie off tightly with a piece of string. Place all 12 balls in a roasting pan, I squeezed them into an 9X9 pan, and cover them completely with stock. Cover with foil or a lid and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. Unwrap the dumplings and enjoy!

For the rest of the meal, we made jalapeno gravy with roasted poblanos, holiday cranberry sauce, and the mac daddy from the Veganomicon, roasted garlic mashed potatoes,  pumpernickle apple-sage dressing, agave-miso glazed brussels sprouts with red onions,

and my friend Andrea brought a Sri Lankan Sweet Potatoe casserole that was so good.

When we finally got everything to the table it seemed like more food than we could possibly eat, like a cartoon!

The dogs took their places under the table, ready to get any food that dropped to the floor.

and then I put way too much food on my plate

this is where I realized that I would never have to eat again

But then Giovanni busted out the garam masala pumpkin cupcakes while we were playing trivial pursuit and I spent the rest of the night laying around drinking cider. It was the perfect day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Miso Glazed Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels Sprouts. I think they would be more popular if they were called “petite cabbages” or maybe “tiny green balls”. Maybe then green balls would enter the vegan lexicon and could later be used in other ways like vegan slang for when you think a restaurant is going to have vegan options but really everything has animals in it and you leave unsatisfied. We could say things like “The Salt Lick gave me the worst green balls, my balls were so green you’d think my daddy was a leprechaun”. Well maybe that would be kind of horrible.

I usually eat Brussels Sprouts sliced and roasted but for Thanksgiving it is nice to serve them whole and sauced. This recipe doesn’t have to be exact because it will depend on how many sprouts you have, you can use more or less sprouts if necessary just increase the shallots too. If you are going to be using a whole stalk I would double the recipe for the sauce. If you like your sprouts cut in half you can get a nice sear if you lay them flat on the pan when you add them; just start the shallots first, lay them down and then don’t disturb them for 3-5 minutes. If you want them whole, here is the recipe

Miso Glazed Brussels Sprouts

2 shallots, sliced
about 30 Brussels Sprouts, outer leaves and stem trimmed
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon miso
1/2 cup white wine

Heat a skillet on medium high heat with a little bit of cooking oil. Saute the shallots and the Brussels Sprouts until the latter are brown, about five minutes. Separately, whisk together the agave, miso, and wine. Add to the pan, turn the temperature to low and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes stirring every now and then until the Brussels are done. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Leftovers: A slice of Thanksgiving

I don’t know if I made it very clear that I love Thanksgiving. Now that the big meal is over I keep having all these flashes of different things I could make with the core ingredients. As I side note, I think it is really weird that the internet at the papers are filled with “what to do with all this leftover turkey” I mean, how hard is it? It is roasted poultry, just cook anything? Since becoming vegan I realized that the turkey is not the flavor if Thanksgiving. The key, really, is the mix of gravy, potatoes and cranberries together that is so unique and representative of the meal. And stuffing. Oh I love stuffing. I love it and I am not afraid to admit it.

So I was thinking about eating the potatoes, roasted, for dinner (we had already had the leftover seitan for lunch) I wanted to slice them thin and utilize Brussels sprouts and then I starting thinking how nice it would be if they were roasted together on a pizza. When I thought of making a gravy as the base a lightbulb went off and I went to the kitchen to work on the pizza. First I used I made the dough using a standard recipe and adding chopped sage and rosemary into the crust. Next, I started to caramelize a sweet onion and sliced and prepared the rest of my toppings: potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pearl onions, garlic, pecans, and green beans. When the onion was finally done I added a dash of celery seeds and pinch of sage and then set it aside while I made a roux in the same pan with a little earth balance and flour. I added about a half a cup of stock, added the onions back in, and threw the whole mix in the food processor to blend it into a paste. I smoothed it out over the crust, topped it with the vegetables and put the whole shebang in the oven for about 20 minutes. When it came out, I topped it with dollops of leftover cranberry sauce and then enjoyed it to an extent that I can not convey to you. It was all the wonder of the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich but toasty, roasty, and better.

I was worried that the pizza was going to suffer from the absence of the stuffing element but I think the crust and the celery seeds in the gravy perfectly melded into the correct flavors and even a similar texture.