Saturday, November 28, 2009


Hello everyone!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and great company and food.

This week is a very busy one, and lots of feasts! I've had two already, and I've got another one tomorrow. On Thanksgiving I went to a friend's house to celebrate there. Then we celebrated at our house with family, and a couple friends, and tomorrow, some of my vegan friends are throwing a vegan thanksgiving/vegan anniversary feast. It's not all vegans though. Omnivores are also invited, as long as they don't bring any non-vegan food, obviously, and no disrespecting the cooks and hosts by adding cheese, butter, et cetera to your food. This is the 2nd annual event, and last year it was great! I can't really remember what we had last year, but I know this year I'll be making a pumpkin cheesecake, oven roasted veggies, and mushroom gravy. The host will be making a Tofurkey or two, cranberry sauce, and I believe a salad, and maybe something else. Another guest will bring stuffing, and a pie. And another guest will bring some kind of dessert. There will probably be even more than that, but who knows.

Anyway! No point in guessing what will happen, when I can find out and write about it tomorrow. Instead I can write about what has already happened, yesterday and the day before.
I suppose I don't have a lot to talk about Thanksgiving day, I was with friends, we had lots of food, not a huge amount of vegan food, but a reasonable amount, and I was still well fed. I had mushroom soup, an attempt at wonton soup, that sort of didn't work and turned into dumpling soup, cashew rice, salad, cornbread muffins, and roasted veggies. There may have been more, but that's all I remember. We all talked, hung out, ate lots of food, etc. It was really fun, and I got to catch up with a couple friends who I don't get to see often.

Then yesterday, our Thanksgiving with my mom, dad, brother, grandma, grandpa, and two friends, we had LOTS of food. We were trying to have a fairly small Thanksgiving feast this year, but really, we should have known that just would not work.
Mom made the turkey, turkey gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple pie, and pumpkin bread. (Yes, she goes a little crazy in the kitchen)
My grandma made fruit salad, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and roasted yams with marshmallow.
I made Oven roasted veggies, stuffed acorn squash, mushroom gravy, and pumpkin cheesecake.
I may have forgotten some, but can you really blame me with ALL of that food?
I did not get many pictures. But they were of very tasty, pretty things.
Everything was vegan but the turkey, (Obviously) turkey gravy, some of the stuffing, pumpkin pie, plain cheesecake, and roasted yams with marshmallow. Still plenty for a feast for the vegan.

Here's my mushroom gravy. It was really, really good. I loved it, the pescatarians loved it, and at least some of the omnivores loved it. The only feedback I heard of it (Which was quite a bit) was love of it.
Just saute some mushrooms, onions, and garlic, I like lots, but some people might not want so much. add as much as you think looks good. Keep in mind it'll cook down though. Once they're nice and cooked, maybe browning a little here, caramelizing there, start seasoning them with a bunch of herbs, I used sage, thyme, oregano, basil, and I think a little rosemary, and pepper. Then add a bunch of water (Or vegetable broth), mix it around, then add some vegetable bouillon to taste, some flour (Start with a little, you can easily add more, but it's more of a hassle to add more water, bouillon, and herbs) Keep in mind that as the gravy cooks, it will thicken more. I like a pretty thin, chunky gravy, but if you like a thick gravy, add more flour, if you like a smooth gravy, you should be able to blend the gravy with a handheld blender until the consistency you like. Serve over biscuits, mashed potatoes, over fake or real turkey (For those omnis reading) or whatever else you like gravy on.

Then I made a bunch of stuffed acorn squash. I was planning on stuffed pumpkin, but the stores have not had any since Halloween, and since I was in DC at that time, I don't get to enjoy any non pureed pumpkins this year, which I'm a little annoyed about. But I'll get over it. I can at least eat lots of other Winter squash.
There's a picture of the lot of them at the top of the post.
The stuffing is fairly similar to the stuffing in my zucchinis, but slightly different. Mainly wild rice.
This filled four acorn squash with a bit extra, so I think you could do a half batch and probably fill about three.

1/2 cup wild rice
2 cups long-grain brown rice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bell pepper (I used red. I prefer the taste to most colors, and the color looked really nice)
1/2 a large zucchini
3 small carrots
1 small onion
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup pasta sauce
Probably about six acorn squash (Unless you want extra stuffing)
Whatever seasonings you have on hand (I used sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, cayenne, nutritional yeast, and cinnamon)
A little panko

Rinse your wild rice a few times in warm water, add it to a medium pot, add your brown rice, vegetable broth, and three cups of water, bring to a boil, then simmer, and let it simmer, stirring occasionally until the water and broth are absorbed, and tender.
While that cooks, you can chop your veggies (bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, onion). Once that's done, drizzle your oil into a pan, heat up to medium-high heat, and then saute your veggies, until almost tender. Meanwhile you can cut your acorn squash in half, and scoop out all the seeds and fibery stuff. Then your veggies and rice should be done about now, add them to a big bowl, add your pasta sauce, seasonings to taste, and mix it all up. Adjust seasonings if you'd like. Oil the inside of your squash slightly. Then scoop your rice mixture into the acorn squash, heaping it a bit, and then sprinkle with panko, and a little nutritional yeast. Put them in a pan (I think a lasagna pan would be best, but any high rimmed pan should do. and add about an inch of water in the pan. Careful not to get it on the inside of the squash, and put it in a 400 degree oven, until the squash is tender, and the panko is slightly browned. If you're stuffing is getting browned faster than your squash is cooking, turn the heat down a little, if your squash is getting tender faster than the stuffing is getting browned, turn the heat up a little.

And a note about the pumpkin cheesecake, with many recipes from that blog, the photos look GORGEOUS, and then I make them, and they're pretty but not as beautiful as in the picture, but this cheesecake really is as pretty and delicious as it looks. I make it for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, basically whenever I'd want to make a cheesecake or a pie. It's really really good.

By the way, I think yesterday was my second year vegan anniversary! I have been a vegan for over two years now! Hooray! That's definitely something to be thankful for.

I'll be posting about the vegan event in a few days! Sorry for the lack of photos, I'll try to make up for it with lots of photos of the event tomorrow.

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