Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Post

I recall when I went vegetarian someone asked me "you aren't even going to eat turkey for thanksgiving?!?!" Of all the things I would miss, turkey certainly wasn't one of them! And now, many years later, I don't like tofurkey either. However, I did miss the tom turkey tofu from Vegan Vittles this year, because I forgot my nutritional yeast and we were cooking in a non-vegan's kitchen. So I'm making it tonight, yay! I might bake it (its much better fried), but I'm feeling lazy.

I did make - from the Joy of Vegan Baking - the pumpkin pie recipe which is perfection. However, the crust didn't turn out so well for me. I used the spectrum spread as my fat, and even chunked and froze it according to the recipe, however once I got it out of the freezer I could hardly work with it. I didn't use my food processor (though the recipe calls for that), because I just was too worried about overmixing. The crust was non-workable, I had to add a lot of extra water to get it to roll out. Then it was too hard - it was crisp but not soft and flaky yet crispy. So not the worst crust I've ever had, I have had much much worse, but not ideal either. I think I will try the 50% marg. 50% spectrum spread option next time...I feel like I did that 2 thanksgivings ago and had great results. Since J. is a pecan pie fan, I made a pecan pie topping from Vegan Cookies Take over your Cookie Jar (used for the pecan bars), and after baking the pumpkin pie for about 20 mins placed the topping on, and baked another 28 minutes. Sadly we had to wait for it to set, because we really wanted to dig in immediately. I think next year I will go with apple pie because apple pie a la mode is really heavenly.

Thanksgiving Spread

You can kinda see the edge of a large white bowl with a salad consisting of: thinly sliced sunchokes, salad turnips, some fresh cranberry vinagrette, and lettuce. I highly reccomend salad turnips, they are awesome (even though turnips just sound gross, don't they?), but sunchokes aren't worth the 35 minutes it takes to peel those little bastards. They are like 25 individual pieces of ginger, and we've all been there peeling a fat load of ginger, and cursing.

I also made some dressing (I think that its called dressing when outside the turkey, stuffing when inside) with leeks, celery, bread, poultry seasoning, oil, vegetable broth, salt and pepper. It turned out okay, but I prefer the way my Mom makes it. We would have used onions but we had some leeks we wanted to get rid of. That was an issue and also I forgot to use margarine and instead used canola oil to fry up the leeks and celery. Other dishes included two type of greens from the farmers mkt, mashed sweet potatoes and mashed white potatoes.

J. made a badass butternut squash coconut curry soup. Yes, I'm finally posting an ACTUAL recipe on a food blog. Sorry its so rare but I can't bring myself to post cookbook authors recipes on the internet when they should be earning $$ for their hard work. This recipe was provided by J's coworker.


1 butternut squash
1 T vegetable oil
1 medium sweet onion
1 T fresh ginger grated
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp Thai red curry paste
4 cups veggie stock
2 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 to 1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 t salt
2 tsp brown sugar
14 oz can low fat or regular coconut milk

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place cut side down on oil baking
sheet. Bake at 375 F until tender, about 50 minutes. Once cool enough to
handle, scoop out flesh and set aside. Heat large soup pot to medium, add oil, sauté onion until tender. Add ginger and curry paste; sauté 1 min, stirring constantly. Add squash, stock, pears, apple, salt, cinnamon, and sugar, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. In blender or food processor, puree in batches. Return to soup pot, bring to a simmer, and stir in coconut milk. Cook until thoroughly heated. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

I think to save time you could easily sub pears canned in pear juice or water so save yourself having to peel the pears. We felt next time we'd use low fat coconut milk, the recipe was awesome but we'd like to try it lower fat. I have to warn you against purchasing a generic/store brand of coconut milk though. Just don't do it. I have learned from experience that a high quality brand of coconut milk is just one of those things worth paying a little bit more for, especially when you are talking about lower fat coconut milk.