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!

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Tofu Scramble with Biscuits and Gravy

Well, it’s not the prettiest dish, but it sure is tasty! This tofu scramble recipe, taken from the wonderful Vegan Brunch book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, has become a weekend breakfast staple for us. It’s incredibly fast and easy to make, and allows for lots of variation. I typically make mine just as the book suggests: with cumin, thyme, turmeric, garlic, and grated carrots. I also like to make the scramble with a side of biscuits and gravy, and if I’m feeling really bad, hashbrowns.

The Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits are also taken directly from Vegan Brunch, so I’m not going to post them here. The gravy, however, is my own recipe. It’s reminiscent of a béchamel sauce, but I add lots of cracked pepper. It’s certainly not the healthiest gravy (is there such a thing as “healthy” gravy?), but it tastes just like the white gravy that was smothered over biscuits I had growing up. Today, I tried adding crumbled Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage to the gravy. It tasted good, but I actually prefer the gravy without it. Anyway, this is one gravy that you’ll want to use to smother everything on your plate.

White Gravy

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

2 tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
1/4 cup of white flour
4 cups almond or soy milk (unsweetened is ideal, but original works too — if you don’t mind a touch of sweetness)
1 tsp salt
Lots of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-high heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and whisk to incorporate (you’re making a roux). Cook the roux for about a minute to remove any raw flour taste, but be sure to stir constantly. It’ll bubble a little bit, but turn down the heat if it seems like it’s getting too hot. Add your milk and salt, and whisk constantly. If you turned down the heat for the roux, then turn it back up to medium-high. Stir constantly to avoid scorching the milk. After about 8  to 10 minutes, the gravy should start to thicken. If it doesn’t add a little more flour (not too much). Likewise, if it gets too thick, add a touch more milk. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Finally, add lots of cracked black pepper — you really want to see and taste it in the gravy. Remove from heat and smother all over your biscuits, scramble, hashbrowns, or whatever you’ve got.

Enjoy!