Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Vegan Thanksgiving Feast!

Okay, Thanksgiving day did not turn out to be a breeze! But, I was thankful for all the work that I did ahead of time. Dinner was supposed to start at 7 but unfortunately our dinner guests got lost! So, we ended up eating around 9. Things were pretty well cooled off but we were all so hungry that we didn't let it bother us.

Harvest Canapés with Chipotle Cheese Topping
I had these little yummers set out when people arrived. I was not able to find chipotle chile in adobo sauce here so I used a mexican salsa instead. Not the same, but close enough. I also couldn't' find plain vegan cream cheese so I bought herb and garlic instead. I think it did a little something special! And, continuing the pattern of straying from the recipe, I garnished with carrots and cilantro. First, I don't like radishes, and secondly, I needed fresh cilantro for the salsa so, 2 birds, one stone.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Grapes
I just wanted to taste roasted grapes! Instead of pecorino cheese, thinly sliced, I used Sheese Cheshire crumbled. I picked it for no particular reason other than it seemed unique. I also used dried thyme instead of fresh in the dressing.

Poblano-Cucumber Salsa
Truly, I don't know why I am even calling it this. I didn't follow the recipe at all! I couldn't' find a poblano chile and I am allergic to cucumbers! I basically made a chunky guacamole.

Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin
I had to make some big substitutes in this recipe also! I wasn't able to find tomatillos or hominy. Instead, I used corn and beans, and a red, green, and yellow pepper. The stew was supposed to make 6 servings but I didn't feel like it was enough so I added more water, 6 potatoes and 4 carrots. I have only found one company that makes vegan cheese here and it is one I had heard about and wanted to try while living in America but never got around to. It is called Sheese. I bought the Smoked Cheddar to sprinkle in the bottom of each pumpkin before the final bake. I half pre-baked the pumpkins a day early to make it easier/faster. They only had to cook for about 45 minutes to melt the cheese and heat the pumpkin and soup before dinner.

Green Beans with Walnuts and Shallot Crisps
I made these last year. They are amazing but the shallots are a bit of a pain in the butt. Completely worth the effort though. The only change I made was using olive oil instead of vegetable. I also used my homemade "maple syrup" and it tasted wonderful!

Pomegranate and Maple-Glazed Beets
I am not a fan of cranberries but love beets so I strayed from the traditional route, but get points for similar color, right!? I was able to use my homemade "maple syrup" for this recipe also! I bought one pomegranate and decided to use my blender and make my own pomegranate juice because I knew one would be enough for the juice and the garnish (plus the juice is insanely expensive!). What a pain and a complete mess! I had to designate one sponge specifically for clean up duty. Juice was everywhere!!! I was washing parts of my kitchen that may have never been touched before.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
I am obsessed with Brussels Sprouts and have made this basic recipe hundreds of times (seriously). I always get the same response from guests, "I don't care for Brussels Sprouts." But, I have never had a person eat one and not love them when prepared correctly!

Cauliflower Purée
You have to scroll down pretty far to find this recipe but I loved it as a substitute for mashed potatoes. I found a vegan Parmazano cheese that worked well and again, used dried thyme instead of fresh.

Mexican Mocha Pudding with Pumpkin Cream

YUM!!! I was thinking of skimping out and buying some instant chocolate pudding and adding the spices and simplifying my life. But what fun would that have been? Needless to say, I am so glad I didn't. I used Sucanat for the sugar, as the recipe suggests. I found an egg replacement product called Substitut d'oeuf. The recipe calls for 1 large egg and 2 egg yolks. I basically used the equivalent of 2 eggs. The whipped pumpkin cream calls for 15 oz of canned pumpkin. I searched high and low and gave up on finding it! I ended up roasting my own pumpkin and it was delicious and easy.

Chai-Spiced Pistachio Brittle never happened. I ran out of time but did purchase all the spices and nuts, so maybe in a future post!

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