Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Feast

Here's what you've all been waiting for (all 3 of you ;-) This was a very sad Thanksgiving for us but cooking was a distraction and we made a lot of good food. We rarely eat at our table but Thanksgiving is one of those occasions when we do and for the last 8 years, whenever we sat at the table Violet would invariably end up in one of our laps trying to sneak some food. Not so this year. And she missed a good spread:
  • Puff pastry turnovers filled with seitan and stuffing
  • More stuffing on the side
  • Whipped sweet potatoes and bananas
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Mushroom gravy
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cranberry conserve
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Apple cider cupcakes
We started cooking on Wednesday and like last year, everything was completely from scratch. For the turnovers, we used Emeril's recipe for the puff pastry dough, substituting Earth Balance margarine for the butter. We filled them with stuffing and turkey-style seitan (recipe from La Dolce Vegan). Once again the puff pastry came out completely awesome - not the best thing for you but hey, it's a holiday meal.

The stuffing I did just like last year (follow the link above, a basic recipe is there). It's so much better (and cheaper) if you can use homemade bread for your stuffing. This was fairly traditional with onions, celery and apples (though I forgot to add the walnuts) and it was seasoned with fresh sage, thyme and marjoram.

For the potatoes, we got some Ruby Crescent fingerlings and purple potatoes and roasted them with olive oil, salt & pepper and fresh rosemary and thyme.

We also decided to do some kind of sweet potato casserole this year and we had some ideas for coming up with our own recipe but then Darlene happened to catch Tyler Florence on the Food Network doing a sweet potato dish with bananas. It sounded good so we went with that recipe. We cut the recipe in half and used margarine instead of butter and agave instead of honey and it was amazingly good - we could've had it for dessert if we didn't already have other good stuff for that purpose.

The gravy was the Mushroom Sauce (made into a gravy by the addition of flour) from Vegan with a Vengeance and it was awesome. For the brussels sprouts we used a great sweet/sour recipe we found a while back on the Vegan Lunch Box. And we went back to the Food Network for the cranberry recipe. We always use fresh cranberries (I don't know why so many people use that canned stuff) but we usually keep it simple. This was slightly more involved but still easy to do and very tasty. It's one of the few times we've seen Emeril make something that's vegan.

And finally, dessert. You've already seen the cupcakes, and the cheesecake is very similar to the recipe that Darlene posted last year. I think the only difference this year is that we didn't make the topping and we used a whole can of pumpkin instead of using fresh pumpkin. We still don't have a pic of the cheesecake but maybe we'll get one before it's gone.


springsandwells said...

Cool! I don't know about the other 2 people, but you're right - I was waiting for this! :) I know that you two were really missing Violet... I'm glad that cooking could give you a nice activity to do. A big vegan thanksgiving feast is a nice way to honor a furry friend.

First of all, I think it's so cool that you two cook together. Musty never cooks with me... it's completely not an interest for him. Sigh! It sounds so fun to have a cooking buddy!

All the food you made just looks amazing. Homemade puff pastry! Wow! I made vegan croissants a few years ago, and once was enough. :) Also, the whole turnover is just a crazy-cool undertaking... homemade seitan, gravy... i'm getting hungry!

Thanks for sharing your great menu!!!

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

wow! double wow!

everything looks amazing!
i am constantly inspired by your willingness to make things yourself, right down to the breads. this is what i strive to do but just don't pull off often enough.

thanks for the inspiration. you two rock!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks delicious! I am impressed with the puff pastry. I made it once so I can appreciate the work you put into it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious and really creative. Glad to hear you two had a wonderful holiday.

The Reluctant Vegan said...

So many more than three of us love this blog.

Today is my first day returning to veganism, and this was a wonderful first post to read. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You had the same idea I had for the sweet potatoes! I saw Tyler Florence making this on TV and knew I could easily veganize it. However, I just roasted the sweet potatoes and bananas and omitted EVERYTHING else, including the Earth Balance and agave. It was truly sweet enough and tasty enough on its own. I wish I was brave enough to try working with puff pastry. Your meal looks amazing!

Danielle D. said...

Everything looks fantastic. I'm glad that you too were able to make the best of the holiday.

Anonymous said...

Looks like there were at least eight of us waiting.

And I have to admit, my first thought when I got to the computer was "Time to check the vegan blogs and see how Thanksgiving looked."

Anonymous said...

That looks like it was an awesome spread! Erin and I had a lot o' holiday food too, but the colors with your meal make your feast look so delectable!

-Doug ("Gearmaster") & Erin

Chris said...

Hey Doug! Thanks for stopping by! We're looking forward to hanging out with you and Erin again.

And thanks so much to all of you for the wonderful comments and support. That's what keeps us doing this. Like many of you I'm sure, our families think we're a little wacky for not having turkey on Thanksgiving, and for our eating habits in general. It's so nice to know that there are so many others out there who share our desire for a cruelty-free Thanksgiving (and every other day too!)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was anxiously waiting! I don't get to cook for Thanksgiving so I have to read about what everyone else has done. I also lost the best dog in the world several years ago 2 days before Thanksgiving and I was still just bawling at our family meal. So I understand about you being sad.

VERY impressive to take the time to make your own puff pastry dough! I would never have the patience for that. All the food looks beautiful and delicious.

Anonymous said...

Happy thanksgiving! all the food looks awesome