Thanksgiving 2012

Even though it was a few weeks ago, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! I know we did. Below is our oh so formally set table:

Thanksgiving Table

We had sliced Tofurky roast.

Plated tofurkeyFirehouse cornbread, veganized by using soymilk, margarine, and an Ener-G egg.

Bisquick cornbread

Roasted balsamic zucchini and onionsroasted zucchini

Mashed potatoes
Mashed tatersGreen bean casserole

Green bean casseroleCampbell’s accidentally vegan mushroom gravy, for the mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce for the Tofurky.

Gravy and cranberryAnd lastly, a cinnamon pumpkin pie brought by our friend Kyle.

Cinnamon pumpkin pie

Recipe – “Chicken” and Sage Dressing

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, our house is filled with a wonderful scent. It’s from the chicken and sage dressing my mom always makes us. Her mother made it for her, she made it for me and my sister, and now I’m veganizing it.

I wasn’t too sure how the recipe would turn out, because I was struggling to figure out how to replace two cans of Campbell’s cream of celery soup and one small can of condensed milk. After some trial and error, I finally came up with this recipe. It tastes exactly the same as my mom’s, and it makes the house smell just as nice as before.

Sorry for the crappy picture, it was taken with no natural light available.

“Chicken” and Sage Dressing

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked and chopped faux chicken (I used 4 pieces of Gardein Chick’n scallopini )

8 cups of cooked cornbread (this is roughly 3 pans of cornbread)

1 small yellow onion

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup flour

2 cups vegetable broth

1 & 1/4 cups plain soymilk

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 tbsps rubbed sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

If you have not already, bake the cornbread, then cook and chop the faux chicken. Set both aside for now.

Finely chop the onion. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan and add in the onions. Saute until the onions become translucent, stir in the flour until it forms a thick paste, then slowly whisk in the soymilk and vegetable broth.

Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, rubbed sage, salt, and pepper.

In a large bowl, crumble the cooked cornbread, then pour in the sage sauce. Stir until everything is well combined and there are no dry pockets of cornbread left. Then add in the chopped chicken and mix thoroughly. Pour into 9 x 12 glass baking dish and bake for 40-55 minutes. The way to tell if it’s done is when the bottom is a golden brown, and the top looks well baked.

Thanksgiving – Pigs, Cards, and Cake!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday (if you dared to venture out). Now is the time to begin prepping for Christmas, and since I’ve decided every one of my gifts will be homemade, I need to get to work asap. But there is no need to skip Thanksgiving, like many major store chains seem to be fine with doing. It should get just as much air-time as Christmas.

Before I blab about our holiday surrounding thankfulness, food, family, pilgrims, and football, I need to give you a daily-dose of cuteness. Look at the adorable little pot-scrubber Peter gave me for my birthday:

I love this little piggie, and it makes the annoying chore of washing dishes much more pleasant.

On to Thanksgiving though! My mother enjoys sending me cards at school and they’re sweet reminders to not stress too much about classes and enjoy life as much as possible. Here’s the most recent card she sent:

It says “Go stuff yourself!” inside. What a cute and vegan-friendly card.

For our Thanksgiving meal we had Tofurky roast, mashed potatoes topped with “poultry gravy”, green bean casserole, and buttery Bisquick biscuits.

For dessert we had cream-filled gingerbread bundt cake.

This was the first bundt cake I’ve ever made and I was quite pleased with how it came out. I looooved the cake’s cream “cheese” filling and how it coordinated with the spices in the cake. It was a tad dry, but I think I may have just baked it for too long.

Peter’s family also had Thanksgiving celebrations later in the week. I brought another Tofurky roast with some mushroom gravy (which I didn’t bother to photograph) and a lemon-berry cheez cake.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Post with the P’s – Pasta, Pizza, and Pie

Spring is in the air!… Well, no, not really. But registering for spring 2012 classes makes me feel like it’s right around the corner. Only about a week until we all go home for Thanksgiving break and then less than a month is left of this semester.  My eating habits have gotten better over the months though and I’m making more well-rounded meals instead of quick-fix foods.

                                                        For example, this lovely Mexican “lasagna” I made for myself and Peter the other night. It’s layers of tortillas filled with refried beans, Spanish rice, Rotel, seasoned Tofu Crumbles, and Daiya. Lots and lots of Daiya. I topped it with diced onion, tomato, bell pepper, and more cheez. Then after it finished baking I added sliced avocado and a bit of salsa on top on my slice. Yum.

Another delicious meal I threw together this week was “cheezy beef pasta”. Which was just pasta, a quickly made cheez sauce (Earth Balance, flour, plain soymilk, nutritional yeast, and seasoning salt), and a crumbled Gardein burger. Simple, but quite tasty.

Food Prep class has also had some good vegan food coming out of its labs. This week was pie lab and we got to make a cherry pie. To release steam we had to cut a hole in the crust, so I went the school spirit route and cut a M for Montevallo. It kinda leaked while baking, but still managed to taste great.

We also had a pizza lab, where the wonderful Dr. Mathisen got Daiya so we wouldn’t have a wimpy looking cheez-less pizza. Everyone was skeptical about how it would taste (except me, of course) and one girl even so far as to say the melted Daiya looked like “melted Crayola crayons” but everyone was eating their rude remarks when they got a mouthful of the pizza. It was delicious with its yeasty crust, homemade marinara sauce, and toppings of onion, bellpepper, and fresh basil.

Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole – Made Vegan!

I’m hoping one day to have made vegan versions of all my childhood favorites (chicken and corn chowder, Thanksgiving dressing, etc.). Working towards that goal, today I re-made the Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole that was originally from Madella Bathke who won the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest with it in 1978. My mom found the recipe online a few years ago, and it soon became a go-to recipe in our house and was eaten often.

So, after missing this delicious casserole for almost two years, I decided that I must make a vegan version. I made a small casserole, but feel free to double this recipe to feed a crowd. And. yes, I know that using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for the topping isn’t the most healthy thing, but they’re accidentally vegan and very tasty.

Here’s the casserole: straight out of the oven and smelling amazing.

Zesty Vegan Italian Casserole

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups ground beef substitute (I used my Nearly Beef TVP)

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/2 TBSP olive oil

1 cup of spaghetti sauce

1/3 cup of shredded Follow Your Heart vegan chedder soy cheese

3 TBSPs Tofutti vegan sour cream

3 triangles of uncooked Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Rolls

1 TBSP margarine, melted

1/2 TBSP nutritional yeast

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Add the onions and olive oil to a sauce pan over medium heat and saute until the onions turn translucent. Then add the ground beef substitute and spaghetti sauce, then let it simmer for about 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken up.

While the “meat” sauce is thickening, mix together the soy cheese and vegan sour cream in a small bowl.

Once the “meat” sauce is done, put it in a 7 x7 casserole dish. Top it with the sour cream/cheese mixture, then layer on the uncooked crescent roll dough. You might have to stretch the dough a little to cover the entire casserole. Mix the nutritional yeast with the melted margarine and then pour it on top of the crescent dough.

Put the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve!

A piece of the casserole, all nice and melty.

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

I wanna wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving! I know I’m two days late, but I’ve got a head cold and really didn’t feel like dealing with my computer (which has been running super slow lately).

And now, on to the food!

So here I have black olive seitan, a cheezy basil biscuit, colcannon (mashed potatoes + sauted kale) with Campbells mushroom gravy, and lastly green bean casserole.

Man, I love this seitan! Using a recipe from Peace by Pastries, it’s probably one of the first seitan recipes I ever tried, and now it’s a returning favorite.

The biscuits were just Bisquick mixed with plain soy milk, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and basil. Easy, but tasty.

The colcannon is just basic mashed potatos with sauted kale and I took a short cut by using a can of Campbells mushroom gravy, which although canned is delicious.

Oh! How I’ve missed you green bean casserole! But no longer. Using a recipe from VegCooking Blog it replicated the yumminess of the casserole that I fondly remember my mom making for Thanksgiving every year. True, I forgot to get the mushrooms required for the recipe, but I just replaced them with cooked lima beans and it still turned out great.

All in all it was a delicious vegan feast and now I’ve got left-overs for days! Yay!