Life, infusions, recipe testing and an invitation to Vida Vegan’s Holiday Event this Saturday in Portland, OR. P.S. my blog is snowing. Continue reading
The past few weeks have been a blur of rain and sweaters, pumpkin beer and other fall-appropriate-Portland-ness. Snippets, ahoy. – - – = – - – - – - – - – - – – – - My feelings on … Continue reading
Yeah, you can correctly assume that this leftover-incorporation project was an experiment gone oh, so, tender and right. Being that J. Legume and I were opting for something different this past Thanksgiving, we decided to make what turned out to … Continue reading
Updated with prettier pictures of the finished projects & much blushing to see this included on the PPK 100 for 2012! If you’re looking to make your own syrups for drinks, per #52, check out my Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime … Continue reading
The first-ever Totsgiving™ (I’m hereby claiming it because page 1 of a recent google search has nothing but toys for tots, which seems to have nothing to do with potatoes, and my own related results) was simply epic.
I had the crazy realization afterwards that it was my first vegan Thanksgiving (or, as they’re saying these days, Thanksliving) potluck where the omnivores, including my brother from New York, equaled the vegans in numbers. And I’ll admit, the dinner was no where as disgusting as I feared!
We started with tots, incorporated tots into over half of the dishes, and ended with tot-crumbled dessert.
Without further adieu, I present the photo documentation from our very special Totsgiving™:
Let’s start out by rolling out some seitan.
The recipe is Chef Brian P. McCarthy’s and available on Everyday Dish. I incorporated pureed shallots, garlic and apple cider into the dough, and baked it, basting with beer, on both sides for 15 minutes at 400F.
Prepping the filling: sauteed shallots, chanterelles & cremini mushrooms in olive oil, white wine & tamari with lightly baked tots and steamed kale.
I bravely modeled my first roulade experiemnt after the inspiration of all inspirations on What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?
After rolling (in retrospect, I would have rolled it the other way, but we were so focused on these pretty rows), it was tied, seated with fingerlings potatoes and carrots, baked at 425F for 30 minutes, flipping once, and frequently basted with Name Tag Lager from Trader Joe’s.
My brother assembled our mom’s Sweet Potato Pie Casserole (without any fuss!)
First course: a combination of baked Trader Joe’s tator tots and Whole Foods tator puffs with cranberry-habañero BBQ sauce, Gabrielle-approved chanterelle & shallot gravy, white sage gravy and Earth Balance Mindful Mayo & Srichacha for dipping. The giant martini glass my sister sent me for christmas last year never fails to serve a purpose at my shindigs.
My brother and I based the cranberry habañero BBQ sauce on this recipe from Whole Foods, adding more fresh cranberries, subbing diced tomatoes for paste and adding a minced habañero for heat.
The contributions cometh. Chips & salsa left over from the pre-appetizer-we-should-have-some-type-of-food-while-not-eating-and-cooking course.
Ashly’s Crumbled-Tator Tot Apple Pie
Melissa’s Chorizo, Tot & Brocoli Strudel
Lucas’ Tot-topped Shepherd’s Pie
Pumpkin Pie from Sweetpea Baking Co.
Sweet Potato Pie Casserole (with extra pecans)
The pie aisle
This & that
Gravy row. The chanterelle & shallot gravy is based on the Sherried Leek and Wild Chanterelle gravy from PCC Natural Markets, with the substitution of minced shallots for leeks. As we all know, shallots are are undeniably fancier in gravy, not to mention seasonally appropriate here. The incredibly easy white sage gravy comes from Vegan Diner; I added a nice pinch of roasted garlic powder.
Bonus: crescent rolls, for sibling nostalgia’s sake.
Why I bought cheesecloth (which I didn’t use) and skipped on culinary string for the seitan is beyond me. Let’s blame last minute holiday-shopping anxiety brush-off.
Our feast also included Sweetpea dinner rolls, a Portland tradition, Earth Balance, and Ricemellow Fluff, for those who like to desecrate sweet potatoes.
Family traditions, upheld: Sweet Potato Pie Casserole & Jeff’s Three-Corn Casserole
OMNIS EATING VEGAN FOODZ.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving (or a tator-tot studded variation) without over-indulgent, grateful food moans.
And legitimate Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce, to boot.
Pie for breakfast for all!
The past few years have seen me making one or two dishes for Thanskgiving day vegan potlucks, where reclaiming the holiday with close friends with similar values and cruelty-free cuisine really does make it one of the better days of the year.
This year, my possible hosting of my baby brother and has turned into a definitive visit (he’s here!) from my now early-twentysomething year old sibling, and paired with the company of a few close friends who decided that spending the holiday together was better than any other affair, well, there’s a warm and fuzzy week unfolding, and one hell of a theme. Surely, my friends are attending thanks to the guaranteed creativity and awesomeness of our theme: Totsgiving. If only it could bring one Panda Cookie to town…..
Our tentative menu is set to feature:
- tator tot, greens & mushroom stuffed seitan roulade
- tator tot-topped shepherd’s pie
- three corn casserole [tots exempt due to tradition]
- dinner rolls [from Sweetpea, so tots exempt]
- pumpkin pie [ditto, cause my friend will be coming from work]
- apple tator tot crisp
- chorizo tot strudel [I don't know where my friend is going with this one, but I'm freaking intrigued]
- smokey & spiced cranberry bbq sauce [clearly, for the tots]
- gravy [ditto]
- roasted green beans with balsamic & garlic [to mix things up]
- sweet potato pie casserole [tots exempt due to tradition]
- 8 medium sized yams
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk, such as soy or almond (I’d recommend against coconut, because this is so decadent as is)
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup organic cane juice
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- optional: 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- optional: 1 tablespoon of bourbon
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/3 cups chopped (but not super crumbled) pecans
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4-6 tablespoons of melted earth balance
- optional: 1 cup of additional whole pecans
- Wash and peel the yams, boil for 25-30 minutes in a large pot of water and drain once incredibly pierceable with a fork.
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish.
- Add the nondairy milk, Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup or bourbon, if using, and incorporate. Continue mashing if needed and spoon into casserole dish.
- Stir the topping ingredients together, and distribute over the casserole. Consider making a design with whole pecans first, and then sprinkling on the sweetened topping.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden. If you notice the nuts browning, carefully lay a piece of foil on top for the remainder of baking.
- Spoon & enjoy!
I’ve also been throwing out the idea of adding a vegan version of this cocktail into our plans, however, I’m not a fan of vomit. We’ll stick to canned beer, water, and perhaps, cranberry old-fashioneds.
*Yam, baby, yam. The recipe was printed in New York, okay?
Tofu Omelette, Smoky Creminis and Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Vegan Brunch. The omelette itself was stuffed with the mushrooms, baby spinach and Wayfare Hickory-Smoked Cheddar-Style Spread.
Breaking in the new cast iron skillet on a holiday morning. I am so happy to have an omelette, pancake & crepe friendly pans again!
Hello! I revamped this recipe for an even better version of homemade coffee liqueur last year. Check it out here!
Somehow, I found a way to grumble a wee bit while making this. Office holiday gift exchange pressure!!! The rest of my mood was all smirky, caffeinated anticipation, with the buzz of Victrola beans from my Seattle adventure, clear grain alcohol, rich vanilla paste and a little fresh clementine zest, for good measure. I had sampled my friend Millie the mixtress’ homemade kahlua at a holiday cocktail party a couple of weeks ago, and it was totally a I have-to-make-this moment.
The internet seemed abundant with two varieties of recipes. One involved patient infusing (which is fine, because please), and the other was a matter of warming & mixing. Millie’s successful concoction followed the second route, and so did I, using the recipe posted last year on the Cupcake Project as a basis.
- Coconut White Russians with vodka, kahlua, ice and So Delicious Coconut Creamer.
- Black Russians: straight up vodka and kahlua over ice.
- Equal parts kahlua & vegan bailey’s irish cream, served over ice.
- Mocha Float with vegan ice cream.
I know there’s maybe two or three people out there who don’t enjoy this dynamic flavor duo, but I cherish it. They’re both quintessential holiday flavors of chocolate candies and candy canes and hot chocolate and all that literal sweetness. Now, around this time last year, I lamented my sadness over the sudden absence of my dear Chocolate Peppermint Vitasoy from the U.S. market (You lucky Canadians! ) Obviously, you can easily make chocolate peppermint milk at home with simple ingredients (hello, cocoa powder + nondairy milk + sweetener + peppermint extract), but I’m holding onto this seasonal convenience item purcashing. The Westsoy Chocolate Peppermint Soy beverage is certainly rich, creamy, and lovely, but I just don’t see it as often (though Food Fight! usually has it – so check there first if you’re on the lookout in PDX). Fortunately for my fellow chocolate peppermint nondairy milk enthusiasts, there’s a new indulgence on the market: Silk Mint Chocolate. I’ve been on the lookout since a friend mentioned it on twitter a few weeks ago, and I practically twirled when I saw it on sale (okay, 2 for $5) at Whole Foods a couple of days ago. Sidenote: I know, Silk and Whole Foods are both somewhat evil for various reasons, but they both offer and do some good, too – not to mention, offering affordable vegan items. I think the whole new Silk organic line separation is utterly ridiculous, but at least the rest is non-GMO. Alas, this is a whole other discussion.
Anyway, if you’re open to buying Silk, just once, I recommend trying this – it’s so smooth and the flavor is just right! Plus, Silk’s market domination hopefully makes this easier to find and enjoy.
If you’re open to mixing these with alcohol, the amateur mixologist in me would recommend bourbon with the creamy Westsoy and vodka with the silky…Silk. Holiday party time with mint chocolate cocktails, indeed. Don’t forget the candy cane stirrer for pure class.
Keeping with this theme, check out what Sweetpea had to offer on donut day:
P.S. The new Trader Joe’s Chocolate Peppermint mix is totally not vegan. Look away quickly or you’ll be just as depressed as I was. Like it’s so hard to make things creamy without dairy. Lame, TJ’s! At least we still have Candy Cane Jo Jo’s…
P.P.S. Now I want everything edible in my life today to bestow this flavor combination….
I may not really celebrate the holidays, but I do celebrate proudly made from scratch dishes, friends, wine, and the warm wonder that is a multi-course, cruelty-free thanksgiving dinner with said friends in a city we’ve made our home. Aww.
Commence warm and fuzzies and vegan food with part of the spread:
My contributions to the dinner were pies of both sweet and savoury varieties. This marked the production of my first-ever pot pie, so it’s time for a photo pictorial to capture my stirring hand’s excitement.
Sautéing the diced green beans, carrots, mushrooms, potato, baked tofu, and spices.
The savoury was a Smokey Kabocha Squash & Baked Tofu Pot Pie inspired by Karen from the Vegan Conversion Challenge’s recent Kabocha Pot Pie. She’s doing a month of chili-dominated dishes for VeganMoFo, and as soon as I saw her adorable baked-in-the-squash, smokey pot pies, I wanted to try them. Fatefully tying this plan together, I had roasted freaking kabocha squash the night before, so the question became – do I buy more squash (on the day before thanksgiving) or do I reach for a little more adventure? I chose the latter, following Karen’s recipe as closely as possible. There was no time for finding Soy Curls or big tvp chunks, so I decided to bake tofu cubes in a marinade of tamari, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, garlic, and herbs. As for squash, it seems to get saucey in Karen’s, so I figured simply adding chunks of roasted squash into the mix with the broth would work for my take. A squashy gravy, if you will. I went light on the chili peppers, and ended up adding quite a bit more of smoked paprika and hot cayenne before baking.
Things take a turn for the saucey and squashy:
Dished into a pie plate and ready for some puff pastry action.
The finished dish, with its learning-as-we-go puff pastry weave, from my camera phone:
Enough of my silly tales of pot pie production – Chelsea’s famous Gluten Roast, stuffing & itty bitty, adorable potatoes follows:
Knowing this would be there just may have pushed me out of the house.
Damn good pumpkin pie and damn fine pecan pie:
My friend veganized John Edwards’ secret family recipe for us and I’m still thinking about it:
Sweet, sweet pumpkin cheesecake!!
My second contribution – half of a vision come to life – Thai Iced Tea Pumpkin Pie.
Take Bryanna’s classic Vegan Pumpkin Pie, sub coconut milk for the soy, and add a ton of powdered cardamom and star anise along with the usual suspects. If there was Thai tea in my cabinets, it would have been involved. And one excuse short of my vision, I had just missed the stores closing on my way to dinner, or there would have been coconut flakes (or, in retrospect, dollops of coconut whipped cream) with the straws.
Note: I did not make people drink out of them.