Oh, holidays! Hope everyone had a lovely day.
This was my first time trying to do a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving (apparently, chili and a cornbread boat aren't traditional for Thanksgiving. Who knew?). My family doesn't really have many traditions (the only thing that seems to happen with any regularity in my house around Thanksgiving is the basement flooding), so I stole some from my friends and the Internet (and my friends on the Internet). Here's what I came up with:
Clockwise, starting with the white casserole full of fluffy goodness, we have:
Cauliflower mashed potatoes (caulipots), Bajan salt bread, ginger mashed sweet potatoes and apples, cranberry relish, silky chickpea gravy, Almost All-American Seitan Potpie, garlicky roasted asparagus, chickpea cutlet roulade and green beans with carmelized onions and almonds.
But before all that, we started with the corn and edamame-sesame salad from Veganomicon. Here it is, served in a cabbage leaf and looking kind of like a water slide (that ends in your belly):
For dinner, I stole Madcap Cupcake's idea and made a roulade from Veganomicon chickpea cutlets and my friend Paula's dried fruit/pecan stuffing. Here's how it happened:
I followed the regular VCON instructions, but made the dough into two cutlets, instead of four, and pan fried them for just two minutes on each side.
foodloops just in case.
Over there on the left are green beans with caramelized onions and almonds, made from a recipe my friend Sharlene sent me in a recent recipe swap. Caramelized onions kind of make everything dreamy and toasted almonds (or any toasted nuts, really), turn everything up to eleven, so saying this dish was a winner is a wee bit of an understatement. Our staple garlicky asparagus is on the right.
The other centerpiece of our meal was the Almost All-American Seitan Potpie from Veganomicon.
Vegan Vegan! (Ooo! It's pre-orderable, hint hint!). I'm pretty sure steaming is my seitan making method of choice. Not only does it solve the broth problem, it comes out much firmer, and I like my seitan as firm as possible. The rest of the filling was peas, carrots, potatoes and all the rest of the goodness you'd expect from a potpie. Majorly comfort foody savory goodness.
Most of our sides were recipes I was testing for upcoming cookbooks.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz's upcoming whole foods cookbook. It only took about twenty minutes to make and was chock full of chickpea and thymey goodness, but the way it came out when I made it, I can't really call it silky. But since I can call it yummy, I don't really care. And, of course, you can't have gravy without rolls:
Vegan in the Sun. Have I mentioned that I'm excited about this book? I'm excited about this book. Like all raised rolls, these were somewhat time consuming, but not particularly complicated. They are so soft and just...comfy. I could have slept on one of them. Check out the inside:
Our other sides were caulipots (cauliflower mashed potatoes) and ginger mashed sweet potatoes and apples, both from Isa's upcoming book.
On the other hand, I hate sweet potatoes. I make them twice a year: Thanksgiving and when I'm trying to convince myself not to hate them. I think I've made a discovery, though: I may only hate sweet potatoes that other people make. Or, I hate sweet potatoes that don't come from a recipe Isa made up, because they four times I was cool with eating them were from her recipes (last Thanksgiving, we had the VCON tzimmes, there's a sweet potatoey recipe in Vegan Brunch and another in the upcoming book). Either way, this recipe is good. The apple isn't so overpowering it's like eating apple sauce, but it's definitely there, balancing out the sweet potato, and the agave is just right. It's not too sweet at all.
And we had cranberry, of course.
Vegan With a Vengeance cranberry relish, which is nice and orangey and I have to admit being kind of tempted to eat it for dessert.
I'm pleased to report that I lost track of the number of times variations on the sentence "If I could eat like this every day, I wouldn't need meat at all" were said during this meal. I consider that success.
Stay tuned for dessert, leftovers and assorted other shenanigans!
(Sorry about the unattractive photos. I didn't even realize how blurry they were until today. It's hard to remember to tidy everything up when a bunch of hungry people are clamoring for dinner - and the lighting was less than awesome.)