Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had vegetarian friends over for dinner so there was no pressure of answering the question "Where is the turkey?" Last week John bought me the latest version of my favorite magazine, Vegetarian Times, and they featured a vegetarian (very easily converted to vegan)Thanksgiving dinner that I copied exactly. We had Mushroom, Cheese, and Vegetable Strudel. This link takes you to a blog that shows excellent pictures of the process. I substituted vegan cream cheese and cheddar and it was my favorite part of the meal.

The salad is called a Beautiful Fall Salad. It included mixed field greens, beets, fennel, oranges, radicchio, red onion, and a lemon/olive oil dressing with a little bit of ground fennel seed, salt and pepper mixed in. Very tasty. Normally, I don't like oranges on salads because it makes it too sweet for my liking, but they really complimented the flavors this time.

On the side, Green Beans with Walnuts and Shallot Crisps. The walnuts were toasted and the shallots were fried in safflower oil making them 100x better than those fried onion pieces people normally put on green bean casseroles! After boiling the green beans for 5 minutes, I added 3 Tbsp each of apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and maple syrup.

The Garlicky Mashed Sweet Potatoes were really simple. 4 sweet potatoes and 2 diced apples boiled for about 10 minutes. After draining, a roasted head of garlic and rosemary were added along with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. More rosemary was sprinkled on top for a pretty look.

Double Cranberry Chutney, whoa was it powerful! It only took a tiny bit but was much nicer than that can of cranberries people crack open and dump out, then slice. Eww.

And for dessert, Triple Nut Chocolate Tart and Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream.

Our guests brought Pumpkin Risotto.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vegan Pancakes with Carmel Pecan Sauce

Bad blogger, I know. I really have been cooking lately, but many repeat recipes. We have also been eating out a lot because of ridiculously busy schedules. This morning, I had such a craving for pancakes. I wanted pancakes that taste like the real thing, not that the barley and whole wheat pancakes are not nutritiously delicious. It just wasn't what I had in mind today. If found the recipe at Recipe Zaar and was interested because they are called "5 Minute Vegan Pancakes." Ours took a bit longer because we were out of Almond Milk. I used King Arthur All Purpose Unbleached Flour. Instead of vegetable oil, I used Safflower. They were delicious! And to top it off, I made a pecan caramel sauce. I started with 2 tablespoon Earth Balance butter in a sauce pan to melt. I added a handful (maybe a 1/4 cup) of slightly broken pecans and cooked until the butter was brown and the pecans were toasted. I added 1/4 cup of sucanat, 1/2 cup Silk Soy Creamer, and a tablespoon arrowroot powder to thicken it a bit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Vegan Birthday!

I never posted a picture of the German Chocolate cake John bought me from Sweet Life for my birthday! Here it is, it was heavenly!

Because John's birthday falls on election day, we decided to have an Election Day/Birthday gathering. Our apartment is very small, so we had to keep the guest list limited. Lots of fabulous people showed up and I think everyone eventually found someplace to sit. I could kick myself for not taking a picture of the snack table. It was a really nice spread! For snacks, I made spinach dip and poured it into a bread bowl. The dip was tasty, although next time I will use fresh spinach instead of the frozen kind. I don't think it will effect the taste but I think it will make the color less green (and scary to some people!) I was finally able to break out my fondue pot for a "Miso Fondue" or so I called it. We dipped pretzels, rice crackers, and veggies. We also had chips and salsa to munch on. For dessert, I made awesome vegan cupcakes. John and I are getting married in March and have decided to serve cupcakes instead of a traditional cake. I have been making cupcakes for a few weeks now so we can select the flavors we would like made. We are settled on the Strawberry Mousse (pictured here with raspberries on top) but the other kind, Cookies and Cream, were just for fun.