Vegan Thanksgiving 3.0: The Food

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. I hope you all had a good one! We decided to make our vegan Thanksgiving spread yesterday since we had family obligations all day on Thursday. I got a little bit of a late start yesterday, but it came together pretty quickly and turned out really well. I’d say, it took me about 3 hours total to make everything, and that’s with a crappy oven and hardly any counter space (one day I will have a new-ish, more spacious kitchen … one day).

While I still opted for a traditional spread this year, I did make a few changes from last year. For example, instead of making Sweet Potato Balls, I just made simple roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. Not only did it cut down on time, but the vegetables were a nice change in texture. I also changed up my Green Bean Casserole recipe from last year, and for the better.

But one major change from the past couple of years was that I made my own vegetable stock, and, wow, what a difference in flavor. I used the Simple Stock recipe from “Vegan Soul Kitchen,” and made it on Wednesday evening. (You can find the recipe here.) I poured the finished batch into large pitcher so it was ready to add to my dishes when needed. Prior to this, I had never made my own stock before, but I was so surprised at how easy (and cheap) it really is; I highly recommend it.

The Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes from “Vegan Soul Kitchen” were just as good as I remembered them. I had planned on making a mushroom gravy recipe, also from the same cookbook, but I ran out of mushrooms between the stock and the green beans. Instead, I just made a simple brown gravy that actually turned out really well.

I’ll post recipes for my gravy, along with my Green Bean Casserole, and Sage, Apple and Carrot Stuffing soon. I’ll also post dessert pictures.

I know it’s a little late, but I am so thankful for all of you coming to and reading my blog!

Vegan Weekly Roundup: Fall Soup, Halloween Treats and Musical Inspiration

I don’t know about you guys, but I am already dreaming of Thanksgiving food. Last year’s feast was a big success, and I’m already planning this year’s menu. In perusing the Web to find recipe ideas, I came across some vegan finds that I think you’ll enjoy. I hope you’re having a great Monday so far.

A simple, healthy fall soup.

A healthy alternative to a stuffed potato.

So happy to see that Lauren Ulm is back to posting on her fabulous site, Vegan Yum Yum.

Cannot wait to pick up Terry Hope Romero’s new cookbook, “Vegan Eats World” (as if I need another cookbook).

No-bake vegan Halloween treats.

Bryant Terry talks about the music that inspires him in the kitchen.

And, finally, here’s a little music to get your week started off right:

New Cookbooks: The Inspired Vegan, Chloe’s Kitchen, Quick-Fix Vegan

As an early birthday present to myself, I went ahead and picked up three new cookbooks that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection:

The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus
By: Bryant Terry

I had the chance to see Bryant Terry speak earlier this year and to sample a few recipes from his cookbooks. I have his first cookbook, “Vegan Soul Kitchen,” which I’ve only cooked from a few times, but everything has been wonderful. He’s a wonderful speaker and truly is inspiring, as his cookbook title says.

Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way
By: Chloe Coscarelli

I’ll be honest, the professionally posed photos of her scattered throughout the cookbook are a bit much, but what can I say? The actual food shots look incredible and I’ve heard good things about the recipes, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Quick-Fix Vegan: Healthy, Homestyle Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
By: Robin Robertson

My husband picked out this book. It’s gotten really good reviews and I’m always looking for a way to take shortcuts when I cook during the week.

I also picked up another copy of “Vegan Yum Yum” because I gave my copy to a friend who is interested in incorporating vegan meals into her family’s diet. It’s still one of my favorites.

I haven’t received the cookbooks yet, but I hope to have some reviews and recipes from each book posted soon.

Vegan Weekly Roundup

Hey there! I hope you all had a great week. This was yet another week of cheap and easy meals for us that weren’t really blog-worthy, so I apologize for the lack of posts. So, in lieu of any food posts and pics, I thought I’d offer a roundup of some of the vegan-related posts that piqued my interest this week.

Much-needed lunch ideas.

Interview with Bryant Terry, author of “Vegan Soul Kitchen” and “The Inspired Vegan.”

Helpful food storage and safety tips.

A review of the new Daiya Wedges (I haven’t seen them in Louisville yet).

A video recipe for Vietnamese Caramel Cooked Tofu. Yum.

A new vegan-friendly lunch spot if you’re in or around Louisville. Can’t wait to try it.

My idea of the perfect staycation.

Or if you want to get away, a vegan lodge in Grenada.

New Cookbook: Vegan Soul Kitchen

I had read great reviews of “Vegan Soul Kitchen” and even tried a recipe from the book — Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions — last Thanksgiving after reading about it in Vegetarian Times. After hearing that the book’s author, Bryant Terry, was paying a visit to my alma mater, the University of Louisville, we decided to pick up a copy to bring to the event.

While I wish that he could have spoken longer, his hour-long talk was very informative and eye-opening. You could tell that he is a genuinely nice person and obviously very passionate about food justice and about using urban farming to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to what he calls “food deserts.” These are typically poorer neighborhoods that lack any kind of access to fresh produce and therefore rely on packaged and highly processed foods. I highly recommend you check out his web series, “Urban Organic,” in which he discusses these issues in more detail.

Anyway, back to the food. We had a chance to sample a couple of his dishes at the event, including his Citrus Collards with Raisins and Blackened Tofu with Coconut Rice. Both were incredible. I made the Citrus Collards recipe at home and it turned out really well. I also tried to make the Black-Eyed Pea Fritters and, well, I definitely need some practice with those (as well as a proper deep-fryer). The flavor was excellent, but they kept falling apart on me. I’m determined to get them right, though.

I love that he includes a lot of drink recipes in the cookbook. My husband whipped up a batch of the Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Blackberry Limeade and it was incredible! So refreshing and the cayenne added a nice kick.

Finally, I also love that he adds a soundtrack for each recipe. Music and cooking go hand-in-hand for me, so it’s nice to explore new music and new recipes together.

He does have a new cookbook out, “The Inspired Vegan,” that I hope to add to my collection soon.

Have you made any recipes from “Vegan Soul Kitchen”? Any you’d like to recommend?