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 Thanksgiving 3.0: The Menu

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been excited for Thanksgiving for a few weeks now (I clearly need to find a hobby). But as excited as I’ve been, I’ve had a hard time getting my act together in terms of finalizing a menu and shopping for food. I think I’ve been too preoccupied by other cooking-related events leading up to Thanksgiving: We attended a Thanksgiving potluck with friends this past weekend, and I’ve got to make a couple of dishes for a meal my brother is hosting on Thanksgiving Day (this is why we’re pushing our vegan meal to Friday).

Last night, however, we finally made it to the grocery, list and menu in hand. After perusing the Web to find new recipes, I’ve decided to stick with what I know and have settled on a menu that is actually much simpler than what I’ve made in the past. I’m not making my Sweet Potato Balls since I made them for the potluck. In its place, I’m roasting butternut squash. And I’m using some help again for my stuffing. Overall, it’s going to be less fussy this year — I hope.

Here’s my finalized menu. I will post pictures and recipes (more detailed than last year) this weekend. I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving with lots of love and good food!

Dinner:

Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes (from “Vegan Soul Kitchen“)
Sage, Apple and Carrot Stuffing
Mushroom Gravy
Tofurky
Rolls
Cranberry Sauce (in a can, of course!)

Dessert:

Pumpkin Roll (from “Sweet Vegan“)

Vegan Food Happenings

Hey there. Sorry for the lack of posts. Work’s been, um, interesting. Sadly, it’s been zapping any extra energy I’ve had to cook/take pictures/blog. But I thought I’d share a few pictures of some dishes I’ve made the past week or so.

Maple-Almond Granola (from “Vegan Soul Kitchen”)

This recipe is super-easy to make and it makes a ton of granola. But it keeps for a month, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it on your yogurt and berries.

French Lentil Soup (from “Veganomicon”)

My husband started a new job this week (yay!) that has regular hours and he has access to a microwave. I can’t tell you how much this is going to help with our lunch planning. This week, I made this French Lentil Soup recipe, along with cornbread, for our lunches. It’s very filling, very healthy and easy on the budget (much cheaper than buying canned soups).

Also, we received our Vitamix a few days ago and are already in love. We’ve made a few smoothies from the included recipe book, but I’m looking forward to trying it for a vodka sauce recipe tonight. If it turns out well, I’ll have a post up on that this weekend.

I hope you all are well!

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?