Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Okay so I know it's a little late but I couldn't NOT do a vegan thanksgiving post! (See what I did there? Double negative to distract you from how truly behind the times this post is. I mean it's almost CHRISTMAS)
A lot of vegans don't like thanksgiving because of the food culture and ideologies it represents but I LOVE it. In my opinion there is no better time to show off the versatility of vegan food and have an excuse to cook lots and lots of it than thanksgiving. Plus, because I insist on hosting and inviting lots of random people every year, I get to cook for people that wouldn't otherwise try vegan food and I will say (in my 3 years of vegan thanksgivings) I have yet to send anyone away hungry or dissatisfied :)

I cooked for 14 people this year! Phew! It was crazy but a total blast. Everyone brought a dish and a friend of the family's made some incredible vegan and non-vegan desserts.

I also got to shoot guns and hang out on a farm, feed horses and run around with my pups. It was an almost perfect day.

(That's me shooting a gun for the very first time!)

And more importantly:
The Spread (minus dessert!)

Field Roast!

Here's what was on the menu! (See: Top picture, clockwise starting at 12:00)
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Big Green salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Field Roast Celebration Loaf
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mojito Fruit Salad
  • Roasted Chestnut, Granny Smith Apple and Sage Stuffing
  • Rice Pilaf 
  • Rainbow Roasted Veggies with fresh Rosemary and Thyme
  • Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce (my own recipe - this was a total hit!)
And for dessert (not pictured unfortunately) was rum pecan pie! Absolutely incredible. I was blown away by this mans dessert making skills.

I'm not going to put recipes for everything up, but here is my acclaimed (by a total of 4 people, including myself) spiced cranberry sauce!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce
  • One bag/box of fresh cranberries (I don't know the exact weight but they come pretty standard)
  • 1 1/2 cups Concord Grape Juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp jamaican all spice (or regular if you don't have jamaican but try to get it!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 scant tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and then simmer for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes. I did mine for about an hour and it was totally worth it, the more time it simmers the more time the flavors have to combine and settle in. Add more grape juice if you need it.

 And every year I make Colin green bean casserole. The old fashioned kind. With french fried onions. I think it's kind of gross but it's the one thing he wants every year. Last year I used Imagine's portobello mushroom concentrate to make it but this year I tried a new recipe and it was so simple and so much better. Oh and I used fresh green beans instead of canned. I just could not bring myself to used canned green beans two years in a row. He was still happy :)

Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from The Vegan Stoner

  • 1 heaping Tbsp earth balance
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom broth
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 trader joes package button/crimini/baby portobello mushrooms (whatever look best)
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cup soy cream
  • 1 trader joes package fresh green beans, chopped into 1-2 inch segments
  • Fried onions (to taste/decor)
Melt the earth balance with the soy sauce and mushroom broth over low heat.

Add in the onions and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes.

Then add the mushrooms, flour and soy cream. Whisk together for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken.

Add in the green beans and stir the whole concoction constantly until nice and thick - the way grandma made it (not my grandma, but someone's grandma).

Add more mushroom broth as needed to keep the mixture from forming lumps/getting too thick.

After about 7-8 minutes, pour the mixture into a square baking dish, top with the fried onions and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350.

It tastes just like it was made with good ol' fashioned Campbell's cream of mushroom soup!
Mmm Mmm good!

I even made Colin leftovers for lunch the next day :) (Left - greenbean casserole, veggies and fieldroast, Middle - cranberries and stuffing, Right - mashed potatoes!)

See why I love thanksgiving?! So wonderful. Plus the whole "Ellen-Degeneres-save-a-turkey" movement has really caught on.


All right, live long and proper! And expect more posts to come now that finals are over and winter break is upon us!

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