Usually I do tons of wrap ups about Thanksgiving but this year was just too busy. And by busy I mean that I accidentally slept until 1:30 pm and had to scramble to get dinner ready on time for maximum relaxing. Instead of making a homemade roast I did the Meet the Shannon’s Apple Sage Molasses Holiday Roast on a gardein roast. I got hooked on gardein in Vegas and this was so good and easy, I think I’ll buy one every year.
Like last year I made the Diner Dressing and Sage Pepper Gravy from Vegan Diner. I tried to make a super fancy gravy that had dried porcini’s and other mushrooms but it didn’t taste at all Thanksgiving-y so I whipped up this reliable one at the last second. I also veganized a Martha Stewart recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange-Butter Sauce because I had a ton of oranges and I loved it. Then made three pies over the weekend all from Vegan Pie in the Sky, pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding pie, and banana pudding pie. The latter was my favorite but they were all good. It was a good cheat day but now I’m back to taco cleansing and margaritas.
Why aren’t there more songs about Thanksgiving? Probably cause we were all too full to write them. I wish I could sing about it. Yesterday was a marathon of cooking, eating, and then watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 with my best beagles and my young man. I made the Unturkey Roast from Vegan Appetite and it was both easy & fabulous.
I realized at the last minute I didn’t have any miso so I made the garlic roasted Brussels from Vegan Diner, along with the Diner Dressing and Sage & White Pepper gravy from the same book. Julie Hasson’s recipes are a lot like my family recipes so it’s a great resource. I love that gravy. We doubled the recipe and hardly had any leftovers, we’re such gluttons! I felt like we didn’t have enough vegetables either so I made the Maple Citrus Glazed roasted carrots from Healthy Happy Life. This year I also used cashew cream with the mashed potatoes instead of almond milk and I thought it was perfect for thanksgiving. Finally, I picked up the almond cranberry sauce from Wheatsville because I love it and it did not disappoint. Usually I write this post about what I should remember to do differently next year but I can’t think of anything! It was kind of perfect. Maybe it was particularly great cause I was also drinking spiced hot apple cider with bourbon all day? It’s hard to say. Oh! I know, check your spices that you never use like parsley before you go shopping. That’s all I’ve got.
I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Mine was totally low key because it was just Dan, me, and the dogs. It was super nice out and I finished cooking way early so we got to eat outside. I made Isa’s seitan roast stuffed with shitakies and leeks for the first time. It was tasty and I loved the filling but it wasn’t as good as the roulade or the seitan dumplings we made in years past. The star of the show was, as in years past, the miso glazed brussels. We love these, they were the first thing we ran out of. We made the diner dressing like last year and tried the brown gravy from Vegan Diner. The dressing didn’t turn out as well as last year, I think my bread to liquid ratio was off and I didn’t love the brown gravy. For leftovers I made her sage gravy and I don’t know why I didn’t make it for thanksgiving because it is the best recipe ever.
We went traditional with the potatoes and made enough to last the century. Dan adds green onions into the potatoes and this is totally the way to go. We also roasted a ton of garlic and mashed it first with a bunch of melted earth balance.
We also picked up cranberry orange almond sauce from Wheatsville because I love it.
Here is the whole plate in all it’s glory.
Poor McPuppenstein was so jealous because he was all dressed up for the occasion with no where to sit. He looked the maître d.
We had a surprisingly good Thanksgiving considering half the dishes were store-bought. Since we live in Austin and have so many wonderful vegan friendly companies it shouldn’t have been so shocking. I mean, is there anything the Wheatsville co-op can’t do? The only real disappointment I had was the Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute which is made by Field Roast.
I love hazelnuts, cranberries, and filo dough but none of those tastes really came through for me in the roast. It just seemed like a giant seitan sausage which would have been fine except it was thanksgiving! Next time I will buy Mr. Natural’s roast or just get a tofurkey if I can’t make my own roast like I usually do. The star of our show is always the stuffing and this year was the best ever, I found this “Diner Dressing” recipe in Vegan Diner, I think on Thanksgiving day and it sounded a lot like my Mom’s so we tried it out (sans cranberries) it was absolute perfection and most of our dinner conversation was about why we only have stuffing once a year. The other big standout of the day was the cranberry orange dressing which I bought at Wheatsville. It had slices of almonds and was easily the best cranberry sauce I ever had. We both absolutely loved it. I’m glad I got the giant container!We also had the cauliflower mashed potatoes from “Appetite for Reduction” and though I usually adore these, for Thanksgiving I should have stuck with the traditional kind with a half cup of earth balance because they didn’t seem quite right. I can’t wait to make mashed potato pancakes with them though. We had gravy to go with them of course so I shouldn’t complain about the added health of the cauliflower! They were still really good!We also had miso glazed brussels sprouts, like we always do but with onions because I forgot shallots at the store. The were tasty as always. We are kind of Brussels sprouts fanatics in my house so I am glad there is some still leftover.Here is my plate in all it’s glory. I did not have any room left in my belly for pie, but I ate some anyway.We got out pie from Kristen of Sugar-Skull and it was so so good. I loved the crust, and the filling… and the whip cream. It went so well with coffee for breakfast the next day. It’s almost 24 hours later and I still don’t want to eat. Oh, Thanksgiving, how I love thee. This year I am especially thankful to Dan for putting everything together while I lounged in the hammock. Check out his plateHappy Thanksgiving!
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.
We braved the crowds and got everything we need (except fennel) for Thanksgiving tomorrow. One more trip and I can start cooking. Here is the final decisions on what we are having. Eveything changed again when I was reminded of last year’s Diana Kennedy’s Saveur spread. Then I remembered that we had homeade chorizo so I decided to use that for the Brussels Sprouts instead of my usual go to Thanksgiving recipe.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Sure New Years is a blast and we all love Casimir Pulaski Day day but Thanksgiving is the best. You don’t have to buy people presents or get dressed up or go “out”, you just stay in, feast, drink wine, and maybe watch a movie. I have spent so much time in the last week deciding what to make and really it is just silly. I can make those dishes any time if I want to, but I guess it is different; Thanksgiving should be crammed in with as much good food as you can figure out how to fit on your table.
I saw this beautiful page of vegetarian recipes on the New York Times the other day and I knew I had to make the pumpkin dumplings. I am kind of a dumpling fanatic and I had never thought or heard of a pumpkin dumplin, but it makes so much sense! And if you drop the ‘g’ they even rhyme. We did a couple of substitutions to the original recipe, regular flour instead of gluten-free, and ground flax instead of eggs and they worked beautifully and were very quick to make. The dumplings were very doughy and reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing; they were very similar in texture. We had the dumplings on top of Thanksgiving spiced rice (sage, celery, thyme, and onions) and it was a great little quick precursor to the feast.
I have so much to do this weekend! Tonight is Vegan Drinks at Cheer Up Charlies. I am excited to eat at Iggi’s Texitarian while I am there because somehow I still haven’t tried it.
It is supposed to be a great vegan food trailer and they have fried zucchini and buffalo wings on special!
Then I have to figure out what to make for Thanksgiving which will be a lot of fun because I love going through recipes. I will definitely be making the Miso Glazed Brussels Sprouts, because that is now a Thanksgiving tradition, along with mashed potatoes, cranberries, apple strudel, and stuffing. I also want to try one of Tofu & Sprouz’s Gravies but I might just go with my standard roux based gravy depending on the main dish. And that is the part I am having a hard time with. Last year I made seitan dumpling that we all loved.
but the year before that we had this fabulous seitan roulade that was beautiful and amazing.
I asked Mr. Smurf what he would prefer and he said “ooo those dumpings….or the roulade that was so good…or you could make something else” so that wasn’t very much help at all! Do you guys have any favorites?
I bet after all the Thanksgiving planning I am going to have to go back to Counter Culture Saturday (and maybe Sunday) for the Thanksgiving sandwich, it only happens once a year!
I am so excited because this is one of the best weeks of the year, plus it is getting cold enough that the dogs are demanding to wear their sweaters and next week is a three day work week! Do you all have exciting weekend plans?
I have been taking care of my Baba here in Merrillville Indiana outside of Chicago for the last few days. Growing up, I always thought “baba” meant grandma. It wasn’t until I went to visit family in the Croatia a few years ago that I learned that Baba actually means “old woman” to them. The funny thing is that all my American friends always called her Baba too, like it was her name, and I always thought it was silly that they were calling her Grandma, but really they have been calling her old woman! She has a giant dog named Bear and they are best friends.
So I have been here cooking and taking care of her. Usually when I come I have to make do with eating typical vegetables and grains but this time when we went to the store I found Earth Balance, Almond Milk, Silk Creamer, and a wide assortment of greens! It sure is exciting that vegan products are becoming more available along with healthy vegetables.
I have been looking through an old cookbook called Prijatno and writing down recipes that sound interesting. It is a cookbook written by St. Sava’s Serbian Sister’s Circle in the 1970s. My Baba and her family were a part of St. Elijah but my Dad’s family all went to St. Sava so some of my other Grandma’s recipes are in the book. It makes me feel like a part of a long tradition of writing down recipes and sharing them with friends and family.
I came across this recipe and though I haven’t tried it, I thought I would print it out because I think it would be a perfect holiday recipe and I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to make this year. It is freezing here so I already have winter on my mind. I will be happy to get back to warm weather!
Pumpkin Shell Casserole
1 small pumpkin, 7 inches in diameter
2 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash & dry pumpkin. Slice off the top for a lid. Scrape out the seeds. In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Fill the pumpkin and return the lid. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake until the apples are tender. Begin testing after 45 minutes. It may take as long as two hours. Serve from the shell, spooning some of the pumpkin with each portion.
I think when I make it I will add some figs too and maybe toast the seeds and add them back in as well.
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.