I skipped Thanksgiving this year. Not only was I sick with a bad cold, but more so, I have a hard time participating in a holiday that revolves around worshipping the consumption of a tortured, dead bird. The farther away I get from that heinous tradition, the less I am able to tolerate “celebrating” it with friends & family (instead of eating one, I become a foster parent to Eliza the turkey at Animal Place). That said, I have always loved all the other delicious foods that are part and parcel of the Thanksgiving package. I’d spent the entire month of November drooling over all the amazing veganized recipes that were showing up online, eventually I got the idea to have a vegan Thanksgiving-themed potluck because I really wanted to try my hand at some of these recipes, plus I wanted my friends to cook and feed me as well :) Thus, my vegan post-Thanksgiving dinner party was born.
We gathered at my place a week after the real Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as awesome as having a few of your most bitchin friends show up at your door bearing armloads full of homecooked food. I myself had been in the kitchen for the previous two days, I ended up breaking all kinds of personal records having cooked more food than I’ve ever cooked in my life… and I didn’t mess any of it up! Here’s a peek at just some of what we got to indulge in…
That there is just some of our epic feast. There was sooooo much food that it wouldn’t all fit on my kitchen table! The photo above and most of those you’ll see in this post are courtesy of the very talented Shawn Bannon (the blurry ones are by yours truly).
My favorite dish that I cooked was the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping which you can see in the picture above on the left. That’s the only picture of it, which is shame because I think it was the best thing I made. Somewhere between a sidedish and a dessert, this was some of the tastiest of the “candied yam” type dishes I’ve had yet, vegan or otherwise.
These are cheesy Daiya biscuits that I made. I love these little guys to bits and would have been in danger of consuming the entire tray of them had I not had others there to thankfully share them with.
My balsamic & maple syrup roasted brussels sprouts. These pretty much rule, 9 out of 10 brussels sprout haters agree.
I made stuffing too, another first! This was Apple Sage ‘Sausage’ Chestnut stuffing made with Field Roast and it was crazy delicious. I also made cranberry sauce for the first time, though, you guessed it, I unfortunately neglected to get a good picture of it. It was damn good too.
Will you just look at this gorgeous seitan loaf made by Miss Alix? I can’t imagine how much work went into creating such a beautiful crust but it was simply stunning.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole, and this veganized version lovingly provided by Miss Jenifaojennyjen ensured that our holiday was complete (and completely delicious). Trust me, there really are creamy & delicious green beans under all those crispy, fried onions! (Frying onions reduces the likehood that I’ll hate them)
Mmmmmushroom gravy, homemade from scratch by the one & only Mr. Havingmysay. This stuff was so yummy you could just eat it on it’s own by the spoonful… but that would have been foolish considering he also made some mighty tasty garlic mashed potatoes as the perfect accompaniment. No decent pics of the taters either but you can just barely see them in their fluffy awesomeness in the top right corner.
We also started out our meal with a spinach dip appetizer made by Quarrygirl, served with not one, but two different flavors of vegan Doritos. Yes, they do exist! I forgot to take a picture of the dip as well, darn it. Quarrygirl also provided us with an excellent spicy potato salad, which again, no good pictures exist of it other than in the background of the epic feast picture at the top. I loved this stuff and was happily still eating the leftovers days later. She was nice enough to make me a special portion without any dreaded onions, though it was so good I was eating it even with those nasty buggers mixed in!
I have no idea who’s plateful of deliciousness this is but it looks like they packed it in real good :) Seems like they managed to get a little bit of everything on there… including the aforementioned camera shy mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, as well as the salad I made of mixed greens, beets, candied walnuts and homemade orange vinaigrette.
Oh yeah, I made dessert too. You’re looking at yet another go at vegan pumpkin cheesecake. I can’t get enough of this stuff.
And finally, I also made these scrumptious apple tarts in puff pastry. Ridiculously easy to make, ridiculously easy to consume faster than you can say “powdered sugar”.
Wow, good times! Rad food, rad people… I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Now before we all get too sick of the holidays (ok, I’m totally over them already and have been since the day after my potluck), I’m also going to let you know about some baking I did for Christmas. I wanted to give out some holidays gifts this year that meant something rather than spending a bunch of money I don’t have on crappy gifts that nobody wants or needs. I decided to go back into the kitchen to try something else I’d never done before- make cookies. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a weirdo for having never made cookies before, but I’m slowly but surely teaching myself how to make all the things that normal people have known how to do all along, so get excited people… it’s a big deal. COOKIES!
Even though I’d never made them before, I didn’t want to start out with common, everyday cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal, as tasty as they are, that’s kinda boring. I needed a challenge. After searching through all my cookbooks and about 10,000 websites, I finally settled on two very different recipes from my ever-trusty Veganomicon cookbook.
First I made Persian inspired Pistachio-Rosewater Cookies. I knew that making rose flavored treats was kinda risky because not everyone likes the perfumey rose flavor, but to me these sounded incredibly delicious so I had to give them a shot. I couldn’t have been more pleased with how they turned out. The rosewater flavor is definitely there but I don’t think it was too overpowering. Combined with the pistachios and the light, chewy on the inside but crunchy on the outside texture, it was love at first bite.
These cookies were so good that I baked approximately 900 of them. Not really, but close.
The other kind I made were the Japanese inspired Peanut-Ginger-Sesame Cookies. These were a more subtly flavored cookie, the peanut flavor is pretty mild while there’s a slightly spicy bite from the candied ginger and earthy nuttiness from the sesame seeds. These were a bit more complicated for a novice like myself to make, but I think it was worth the effort because I really liked them. I’m not sure how well they went over with my recipients as they’re kind of an unusual cookie, but I’ve received at least one request for more, so I’m calling the venture a success.
Phew… that’s a whole lotta cooking as far as I’m concerned! I sure had fun making and eating it all :)
I hope that each and every one of you has been having a fantastic holiday season, regardless of what you do or don’t celebrate. Thanks for continuing to visit and support my little blog… this is all here for YOU.
Below are links to some of the recipes featured above… enjoy!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
Vegan Cheddar Biscuits
Roasted Brussles Sprouts (my recipe, updated better version coming soon!)
Apple Sage ‘Sausage’ Chestnut Stuffing
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pistachio Rosewater Cookies
Peanut Ginger Sesame Cookies
- Thanksgiving, vegan style.
- Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner = YUM!
- My first vegan Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving puff pastry leftover handhelds.
- That’s the way the cookie crumbles…