No Harm, No Fowl: Vegan Thanksgiving 2011!

Last year I was an omnivore, and the centerpiece of my Thanksgiving table was a giant turkey breast. It was roasted over fennel, and had a bacon lattice over the top. It was decadent for sure, and fattening for certain. Never again! Bring on my all-vegan Thanksgiving, which was even better than last year: just as delicious, no one died, and it isn’t killing us from the inside, either.

Bacon Wrapped Torkey, from the Happy Herbivore. (Just assume when I say “bacon” it’s fake-bacon.)

Root Veggie Mash (potato, turnip and rutabaga), my idea!

Polenta Stuffing from Appetite for Reduction.

Honey Wheat Rolls (more hardcore vegans than me can use brown sugar rather than honey. Also, sub out the butter for applesauce! You’re welcome!) from November’s Vegetarian Times.

Everything together, including Cranberry Sauce, Green Beans with Almonds, Bacon, and Garlic, and Mushroom Gravy all over that mash!

Pumpkin Cheesecake from Happy Herbivore. I even made the pumpkin myself! And I topped it with a cream sauce made from 1/4 cup cashews, 2 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of rice milk. My husband took one bite of this and announced it to be “perfect.” It really was the best pumpkin dessert I’ve ever had, and I can’t believe it’s not terrible for you. Because it is just as amazing as any full-fat counterpart. Beautiful!

This year I’m so thankful for my family, friends, and of course, the decision we made to eat a plant-based diet. It’s given us back our health, and brought me happiness in so many different ways. Not only did I lose weight (and my husband, did, too) but we’re doing something great for our long-term health, for animals, and for the environment.

I know that this is just the beginning of the adventure, and I’m so excited for what next year will bring. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Cherry Sage Sausage Two Ways

Oh, Vegan Brunch! I love your sausages. And since I’ve figured out how to make them not so darn tough (secret: lower the vital wheat gluten to 3/4 of a cup) I’ll be making them all the time. ALL THE TIME. Sausagefest! (Someone is going to come here googling “sausagefest” and not like what they find).

So, I made the Cherry Sage Sausages the first time with Chickpea gravy (Appetite for Reduction), and they were pretty good. I think that sausage needs a little doctoring, because it was on the bland side. However, the next day, it tasted fantastic.

Then, I decided to try it with some spinach, onion, garlic and mushrooms over sliced polenta. So, so good. My husband smothered this in red pepper flakes, and announced it delicious.

This also makes a really pretty presentation, and polenta is so cheap, good for you, and low in fat and calories–it’s like the perfect food! I think if you had a little vegan parmesan it would go perfect on this. Also, easy. SO EASY.



Basil Bowl

Pesto Bowl? AMAZE-O BOWL? Who knows.

This was so, so delicious. And I feel extra proud, because it was sorta my own invention. Taking the formula (and edamame pesto recipe) from Appetite for Reduction, I have created my own spectacular bowl!

Here are the steps:

  1. Make corn grits/polenta. I use Bob’s Red Mill!
  2. Make the edamame pesto from AfR
  3. Add 1 can, or 2 cups, of navy beans
  4. Roast cauliflower and cherry tomatoes in a 400 degree oven for 30 mins
  5. Toast 2 T of pine nuts (or burn them, gently, like I did)
  6. Assemble bowl
  7. Eat bowl
  8. Love bowl

Just note, the texture is a little on the mushy side. I’ve been trying to think of an addition that would combat that, but so far haven’t thought up anything. Ideas?


Polenta and Chili!

Let me begin by stating that I think I made this wrong. Based on the photo in Vegan Brunch, I think this is supposed to mostly beans with a little topping of polenta. So why did I get ten tons of polenta, and just a smattering of beans? Let me also state, for the record, that apparently this recipe can be altered any number of ways with delicious results. Because this was awesome! Pretty much just like having chili with cornbread in it, except I really love the texture of the polenta. And I forgot to put the serrano peppers in (I accidentally threw them out–why?!) so I dumped hot sauce on at the end. Also, the avocado I was going to put on top went bad. And I forgot to take a picture of the cashew sour cream (which may be my new favorite thing in the universe).

So, 1,000 mistakes later, this still came out just as delicious. I don’t think I could have asked for more.




Epic Polenta Stuffing Fail

Let me start by saying that today has not been the best day. Nothing horrible happened, mind you, it was just one of those cotton-in-my-head days where nothing gets done but naps and cooking. I suppose that sounds awesome, but for me it means a missed opportunity to clean the house, or do something fun (other than cooking, which I do love), or get some well needed vitamin D. Also, this may be my shameful secret, but I absolutely hate to nap. I hate it. When I wake up from any length of nap, I feel groggy and weird and I don’t feel right the entire rest of the day. This may be why I had such a hard time with a newborn, I felt like this for two months solid.

Anywho, I was looking forward to one of my favorite Appetite for Reduction dinners, Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Polenta Stuffing. Last time I made the stuffing, it was perfect–little crispy browned squares, succulent sautéed veggies, the exact right amount of spices. It made me want to cry in its deliciousness. Cut to tonight–mushy, mushy polenta, undercooked veggies, bland as all get out. Boo! I think the problem was that I made my own polenta, and I made too much of it. And I didn’t cook it until it was SUPER FIRM. Next time, I am just buying that stupid $1 tube at the store and having a delicious dinner. So there!

The BBQ tempeh was still good, though I need to remember to cut the squares smaller, so I get less bitter flavor. Or I should just steam them first, but I am lazy. I so look forward to my Sunday dinners, and this was just…sad. Boo.