Thursday, November 24, 2011

AHHH......Vegan Thanksgiving :)

So this is my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, and my family was supper supportive letting me make all of the sides vegan. Of course there was a turkey, but I didn't have to buy it or cook it. My daddy took care of the turkey, everyone said that it was good. I am proud to say I have no clue what it tasted like.

I made some awesome lentil loaf that I substituted for the turkey. I unfortunately don't have a picture of it, since I turned the leftovers into a shepherds pie. One thing that I am thankful for is that since going vegan (17 weeks ago) I have lost 38lbs. I am also grateful that I got to spend time with my family, especially my adorable neices that took a 2 mile walk with me after lunch. So I realize that the pictures are not the greatest, I am still looking for my camera. Hope I find it soon, I guess in the mean time you will have to settle for the pictures that I take with my phone. Now for the stars of the day, the sides:

Acorn Squash Casserole

So I was at the farmers market last weekend and decided to get some fresh veggies for Thanksgiving this week. I saw some beautiful acorn squash and couldn't resist. So I decided instead of sweet potatoes, why not have squash casserole. I will admit I didn have a recipe so I just kind of winged it, but the results were pretty awesome.
Here is what you need:

3 cooked acorn squash, cut in half seeds removed
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 cup of brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans

To cook the squash I cut in half and scoop out the seeds. I then pierce the inner flesh with a fork several times and microwave until tender, you could also bake them in the ovrn, but it takes a lot more energy and time. Scoop out the squash and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Top with the remaining brown sugar and bake for 30-45 minutes.

Honey Glazed Carrots

Now I know what you are thinking honey? I thought this girl was vegan, homey comes from bees. It is kind of controversial, honey, yes it comes from bees, but last I checked the bees are not harmed in the honey making process. So I use honey. I only buy local, and I check with the beekeeper to make sure that humane practices are used.

Here is what you need:

Earth Balance

Boil the carrots in water until tender. Stir in the honey and butter and heat thoroughly and serve

Broccoli Casserole

This is a staple in my family at holidays. I tried a few weeks ago to make a vegan version of this and it was not so good. Well I guess what I should say is that it did not taste so good, it was great learning experience. I must say that I think that in this case practice paid off, and Mackenzie even said that she like the vegan version better than the original. She loves me what can I say?

Here is what you need:

1 block of mori-nu tofu
8 oz mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of onions
1 bag of Diaya cheddar shreds
1 cup veganise
2-3 lbs broccoli, steamed
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the Earth Balance over medium high heat and saute the mushrooms, garlic and onions add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the block of mori-nu in the food processor and add the sauted mushrooms, garlic and onions. (This replaces the traditional cream of mushroom soup.) Pulse a few times. Add in the mayo to complete what we in my family call the goo.
Place the cooked broccoli in a baking dish, stir in the goo and top with Diaya cheddar shreds. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Cranberry Salad

So when Gram was alive we made cranberry salad one year for Thanksgiving, I have not stopped thinking about it, and wishing she was here each year to make it for me. I decided to take matters into my old hands and try to figure it out. I think that it was a little different than hers, but that may be a good thing it was delicious.

Here is what you need:

1 bag of cranberries

2 oranges, one with most of the peel

1 can of crushed pineapple, drained

2 apples cored and seeded

1 cup of organic cane sugar (or less if you want it more tart)

Place all of the ingredients minus the pineapple in the food processor and pulse a few times. Stir in the pineapple and refridgerate over night.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Apples and Walnuts

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks, called Vegetarian Celebrations by Nava Atlas. It was marked $3 at Angel Aid on one of my visits and the entire store was half off, so I got it for a whopping $1.50. How cool is that, even better is that I used this recipe and the lentil loaf recipe out of it for Thanksgiving this yeah, total score.

Here is what you need:

2 granny smith apples, cored and seeded

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups of wild and brown rice, cooked

1teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of Earth Balance

1/2 onion

2 celery stalks

1/2 cup of sliced scallions

Place the onion, celery, and apples in the food processor. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and melt the Earth Balance, mix in the onion, celery and apples and saute. Add the cooked rice and dried cranberries. Heat thoroughly. Top with scallions.

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