Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Feast 2007

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As has become our tradition, we cooked up a huge vegan feast just for the two of us (or two and a half of us now). If you include all the dish washing I spent close to 8 hours in the kitchen yesterday, but it was a fabulous meal and with all that's left over we probably won't be cooking for the rest of the weekend. The menu was very similar to our last two years' posts; the exception being that we didn't do the puff pastry thing this year. Instead we dusted off and updated an old roulade recipe that we hadn't made in several years. Here's the whole menu:

  • Red Lentil-Roasted Garlic Roulade with Mushroom-Red Pepper Filling
  • Apple-Walnut Stuffing
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Mushroom-Walnut Gravy
  • Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Cranberry Conserve
  • Pumpkin Pie
See our 2005 post for the roasted roots, stuffing and gravy recipes. Like last year, the sweet potatoes and cranberries are modified Food Network recipes. The brussels sprouts were just mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, agave, salt & pepper and roasted on a sheet pan. And the pie was a fairly standard (but oh so delicious) tofu-pumpkin pie recipe that we have in a back issue of Vegetarian Times. Speaking of that magazine, it was in another back issue that we found the roulade recipe. We used a different filling and updated the outer layer with the addition of roasted garlic. It was a little tricky to put together as the outer layer was a little crumbly, but in the end it came out good and sliced up pretty well (a picture is below, but first some other pics).

Here's the brussels sprouts about to go into the oven.

And the sweet potatoes coming out of the oven.

The roasted roots just out of the oven.

A couple slices of the roulade (see recipe below).

The whole spread on the table.

That's a full plate!

It took a while but finally we had room for dessert.

Red Lentil-Roasted Garlic Roulade with Mushroom-Red Pepper Filling

(adapted from Vegetarian Times and The Meatless Gourmet by Bobbie Hinman)

3/4 c. red lentils
1 1/4 c. water
1 whole bulb roasted garlic
1 c. bread crumbs
1-2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
olive oil

For the filling:
1 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. bread crumbs
1 roasted red pepper, chopped

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan and add lentils. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and water is absorbed. Allow lentils to cool slightly and add to a food processor along with roasted garlic, bread crumbs, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, salt & pepper. Process until a smooth dough is formed, scraping down the sides as necessary. Depending on how much moisture is left in the lentils, you may need to add more water. If the mixture seems to be too crumbly, add water (or more lemon juice) a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together well. Put in a bowl and set aside

For the filling, cook onions and mushrooms in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the mushrooms are getting soft, add garlic, thyme, salt & pepper and cook a couple minutes more. Put this mixture in a food processor with lemon juice and bread crumbs and process until well combined and very finely chopped. Add red pepper and pulse several times until the pepper is minced well.

Now press the lentil dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper so that it's a uniform thickness and about a 9" x 13" rectangle. Spread the mushroom filling over the top, leaving about a 1" gap at the borders. Using the plastic wrap or wax paper to help you, gently but tightly roll up the roulade starting from a short end. Once it's rolled up, you could store it in the fridge for a while if you need to. When ready to bake, brush the top liberally with olive oil and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Slice it up and serve with gravy.


bazu said...

happy thanksgiving! I love your tradition- that's what we do around here too, just the two of us. We love our families, but... I'm thankful we don't have to share thanksgiving with them, dead bird and all...
and doesn't it feel great not to cook for the next 2-3 days?

Mihl said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Your roulade looks divine. Thank you for posting the recipe, I think it's a great option for Christmas as well, I added it to my menu list.

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

That looks amazing! Happy Thanksgiving :)

Chris said...

My sentiments exactly Bazu.

Thanks Mihl & Lynn! I think we have done the roulade for Christmas in the past and it works equally well. In fact for a Christmas meal I might pulse in a little fresh parsley with the filling for some added color.

Johanna3 said...

usually thanksgiving at my house is just the 3 of us too!!!

the food looks great!!

Geraldine said...

Wow, that is a good looking spread C and D (and baby too!!!) Can we all join you next year???


Veg-a-Nut said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you! Your meal looks faboulous. I am so happy you shared the roulade recipe. I am going to make this for sure. I wish I had been at your house for dinner. We had sickness at our house and that definatly put a damper on the festivities.

Chris said...

Sure you can G but I suspect that with a baby in the house next year's Thanksgiving meal will be a lot simpler.

aTxVegn said...

What a great feast! It's all the best parts of the traditional fare.

I love that the roulade is not wrapped in puff pastry. I've had my eye on a spinach roulade, but can't figure out how to hold it together without eggs. I think I'll try your lentil layer with a spinach filling. What do you think?

Melody Polakow said...

looks fabulous! I love the lentil roulade.. fancy stuff!

springsandwells said...

wow what a feast!! the roulade looks so special. I love that you and darlene make a huge feast just for the two (2.5) of you... it's so sweet & festive...

I've been enjoying my leftovers a lot - especially with my chopped finger! ha ha. I had forgotten about your finger! The doctor told me that it can take up to 6 months for nerves t regenerate (or maybe it was even longer?). So we may need some patience on that front!

:) amey

Geraldine said...

PS: Forgot to mention first comment....Isn't it sad/silly to think how many meat-eaters envision holiday meals for vegans and vegetarians as tasteless, boring and bland. You certainly proved them wrong!!! I'm going to give that roulade a whirl, looks/sounds scrumptious. Well done C and D!!!!

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness gracious what a lovely feast you had!!! while I am in awe of everything that you served, I must admit that the brussels sprouts are my favorite (they're at the top of my 'favorite cruciferous vegetables' list! haha). mmm, and that Roulade sounds incredible as well - thanks for the recipe!! :0)

Chris said...

Sounds good atxvegn - just be patient while rolling it.

thanks melody!

Well that's good to know I guess Amey. The Dr. I saw thought it was unusual that I was having problems down my whole finger. Has the same thing happened to you or is it just in the tip? Maybe it's common and it's just that I saw a resident who didn't know any better?

That is silly G, and a ton of vegan blogs out there to prove it.

Thanks veggiegirl! I think I'm partial to the sweet potatoes myself...

Jon said...

Well done, I'm jealous! You should come up for the Poplar Springs giant vegan potluck the weekend before Thanksgiving some year. I've been the past 3 years, and there are usually 100-200 people with more food than you can possibly taste even if you take a tiny portion of each.

This year we didn't have the energy to cook, so did Ethiopian for Thanksgiving ;)

-Jon (from TNC)

Chris said...

Sounds awesome Jon! Thanks for the tip. Maybe next year...

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

what a beautiful spread!

lara said...

Hi from the south of england! I have just made the roulade in an attempt to find something special for christmas. We are new vegetarians and this will be our first christmas without meat. So far my daughter has hated everything we offered her. She LOVED the roulade. Thank you!

Chris said...

Thank you so much for sharing that Lara. I'm glad you and your daughter liked it!

Courtney Maum said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE brussel sprouts- and am sad that they have a bad rep because so many people don't know how to cook them. Did you know there's a brussel sprouts festival in England? Yum!