Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Featured on Vegansaurus

28 Nov

Vegansaurus Feature

I’m so excited to have our veg Thanksliving feast featured on my favorite vegan blog, Vegansaurus!  There are two things in this world I love to death, one is veganism and the other is dinosaurs (yes, I’m a child at heart) so of course their website would be my most favorite site ever.  It also helps that the writers are just straight up hilarious.

Every Thanksgiving they do a roundup of some of the most delicious looking vegan dishes readers served over their holiday.  Be sure to check it out, but not if you’re hungry because that’s just torture.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast / Menu and Recipes

25 Nov

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday? Ours was a huge success. Jim and I had our first ever vegetarian Thanksgiving and all the food was a big hit with our guests. Here’s a sampling of what how I set the table, what we served, along with where to find the recipes and how I organized making all the dishes. I somehow managed to get all of these dishes made in my tiny, 10 foot by 10 foot kitchen with a 2 foot by three foot counter.

We had a total of 3 guests (5 total including me and Jim), and luckily our small round kitchen table had plenty of room. Here’s some photos of how we set the table. Thanksgiving morning we realized we had forgotten to pick up the gourds we had wanted to create a festive centerpiece, so I last minute came up with the idea of putting some pumpkin seeds in a serving dish and topping them with tea lights. Made for a really beautiful, yet simple centerpiece.

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

I’m of Italian decent, and anyone who’s been to an Italian American Thanksgiving knows it’s an all day eat-a-thon. Keeping in tradition, we had a variety of appetizers for our guests to knosh on prior to our formal dinner.

Thanksliving 2011

I made a traditional mozzarella and tomato salad complete with basil, olive oil and balsamic. This is one of Jim’s favorites.

Jim also selected some cheese and created a cheese plate, which was served with crackers.

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

I also made one of my favorite recipes ever, an almond cheese spread. It’s entirely vegan, and is really reminiscent to a cross between a feta and a goat cheese. It’s perfect with crackers, and serves up really nicely in a pretty bakery dish. You can find the recipe I used as a basis here.

Thanksliving 2011

I also made another vegan favorite of mine, Alicia Silverstone’s Artichoke Dip from the Kind Diet cookbook. One of the dips I really have missed since going vegan is spinach and artichoke dip, so I add about 10 ounces of spinach to my recipe, but it can be made with or without. You can find the recipe here.

Thanksliving 2011

We also had a tray of veggies and hummus out. I love carrots and hummus.

Thanksliving 2011

Moving onto dinner, last year I made the menu Vegetarian Times featured several years ago designed by Moosewood Restaurant in upstate NY. I love this menu. It’s very seasonal, festive and delicious. The menu includes a cranberry chutney with crystalized ginger, seasonal fall salad with beets, fennel and oranges, green beans with a crispy shallot topping, and amazing vegetable strudel, complete with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and vegan cheeses in a phyllo pastry shell. You can find links to the entire menu and recipes here.

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

I also made homemade mashed potatoes. Recipe is super easy, just chop some yukon gold potatoes, cover with water and boil until tender. Drain and run the potatoes through a potato ricer, and finish with vegan soy creamer, butter, salt and pepper. Delicious!

Thanksliving 2011

I did take a little help from the pre-made department as well in this menu. Jim absolutely loves stuffing, so I got a bag of Whole Food’s vegan stuffing which was great because it takes about 5 minutes to make. I finished mine off in the oven to give it a crispy top. I also got some Fresh Direct parbaked rolls as well.

Thanksliving 2011

Thanksliving 2011

Initially I was resistant, but Jim really wanted to get a fake turkey substitute for our guests being all our guests were omnivores. I decided on Field Roasts Hazelnut Cranberry Roast, and it was the sleeper hit of the dinner. Our guests LOVED it! It tasted more like sausage than turkey, but was delicious and complimented by the cranberry and hazelnut stuffing and puff pastry crust. Even Jim’s brother, who is a self admitted picky eater commented on how much he liked it.

Thanksliving 2011

I also made a really amazing sweet potato casserole, complete with dandies marshmallows but I forgot to photograph it before we devoured it. For dessert (yes, there’s more!) we had vegan pumpkin whoopie pies while watching a movie. For us, there’s not better way to handle digesting a huge Thanksgiving feast than by watching a movie. We’re not big football fans in the Feld household so movies work perfect for us.

So how did I manage to pull off cooking all of this in my tiny kitchen? Very careful planning. Here’s an outline of how I managed it.

Tuesday Evening

  • Fry the shallots for the green beans. They keep for several weeks in a jar in the pantry.
  • Soak the almonds for the almond cheese spread.
  • Wednesday Evening

  • Make the filling for the vegetable strudel. Store in a container in the fridge.
  • Assemble the sweet potato casserole. Store in the fridge with foil over it.
  • Chop the potatoes for the mashed potatoes and store in the pot I’m making them in, covered with water and the pot lid. I stored it on the stove.
  • Assemble the spinach dip in a pretty baking pan, store in the fridge.
  • Blend the almonds for the almond cheese and strain in the fridge overnight.
  • Make the dressings for the green beans and salad, store in separate jars.
  • Roast the beets for the salad. Keep them in their foil overnight in the fridge. Then chop all the ingredients for the salad and store separately in the fridge.
  • Determine what serving wear I was using for which dishes, take them out of storage and mark with post its. That way you don’t have to think about it the next day.
  • Thursday

  • Bake the almond cheese and allow to cool. Top with the olive oil.
  • Assemble the vegetable strudel and store in the fridge
  • Just prior to guests arriving, bake spinach dip and while it’s in the oven, put out your cheeses, crackers, and vegetables and dip
  • When ready for dinner, bake the sweet potato casserole, field roast and vegetable strudel at 425 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • While items are in the oven, turn on the mashed potatoes to boil. Also microwave green beans and toss with dressing and top with shallots, assemble the salad, and start the stuffing.
  • Take foil off sweet potatoes and let continue for another 20 minutes. Take field roast and strudel out and allow to set up before carving up.
  • Drain and finish mashed potatoes. Crisp up stuffing in the oven and add the rolls on a tray to bake for 10 minutes.
  • Add marshmallows and nuts to sweet potatoes and broil until marshmallows brown.
  • Microwave some gravy (I took some help from the store with this step)
  • Call your guests in to enjoy their meal!
  • One thing I did this year that helped immensely was to wash the dishes as we went along. We had really minimal dishes by the end of the meal even despite all the food we had. It worked out great. Another thing I did was to prepare as many things as possible in pretty, refrigerator and oven safe dish ware. I received a lot of Corningware for my wedding shower, which I love because it comes with plastic tops to make leftover storage a breeze.

    How was everyone else’s Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear about what you guys had to eat and what traditions you have. Do share!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    24 Nov

    Beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because of what it’s supposed to be about, and I’m not talking turkeys, Indians and Pilgrims. Having a day where you celebrate what you are thankful for is a great reminder of what really matters in your life.

    This past year, I’ve been thankful for…

  • My amazing husband. He’s so supportive in everything I do, and loves me unconditionally. He’s amazingly thoughtful and compassionate, and I love absolutely everything about him.
  • My animals. Mercedes (my cat) has been with me over 12 years now and although she’s now an old cranky lady, she’s one of the most affectionate, social cats I’ve ever met. Portia has been an amazing addition to our little family. We hadn’t planned on getting a dog, she just kinda fell into our lives when we didn’t even know we needed her. Her love for us is boundless and she makes Jim and I smile every single day.
  • My friends. This year my social circle has grown vastly, and I’m somewhat overwhelmed by it. I went through a period not too long ago where I had very few friends, and what friends I had were pretty toxic. By getting out and doing activities and things I really love, it’s opened my life up to so many new people who share the same thoughts and passions as me, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you being in my life today.
  • My veganism. I was a vegan for a long time but relapsed for a while. I decided to go back to being vegan for New Years of 2010. I’m so glad that I did. It’s more or less my identity, and little did I know it always was. Being vegan makes me feel better that I’m not contributing to so many injustices in this world, and it has also opened opportunities for me to meet so many great vegans who have convinced me to help fight the fight (hence my recent protesting). This year being Jim and my first “Thanksliving” makes me so happy I could burst.
  • My job. In this down economy I’m so thankful to not only have a job I really enjoy in an industry I’m passionate about, but one that pays really well. This is not something I ever plan on taking for granted, and every single day on my drive to and from work I think about it.
  • My neighborhood. Jim and I have called Williamsburg, Brooklyn home for over 7 years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Through the years, it’s grown to become a haven for artistic, professional folks like us. I also love that our specific corner of Billyburg has a large Italian population, which reminds me a lot of my childhood growing up on Long Island. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
  • This blog.
  • I never in a million years would have thought something as simple as a personal, online journal would make such an impact in my life. Between giving me more confidence, allowing me to see and grow my own personal style, and to meeting new people from around the world, my blog has opened many doors for me. I’m also thankful for each and every one of you who take interest in my life, what I’m doing, and what I have to say and actually tune in every day to read about it. It’s been great getting to know you all and I look forward to meeting more blogging friends as we go along.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! XOXO

    Thanksliving

    6 Nov

    Turkey{photo credit: powerpigsetups via Flickr}

    What a weekend! After my crazy business travel earlier this week, I was looking forward to some much-needed R&R this past weekend. Long story short, I was still at the office until after 7:30 pm Friday, and here I am working from home on a Sunday. I have a bunch of deadlines coming up this week, and I’m really hoping once I get through this week, things calm down a bit for me. Good news though is I did get to go out on Friday night with Jim and some friends and we had such a good time, it pretty much took me all day yesterday to recuperate! Sometimes letting loose is the best way to get grounded and get the much-needed rest your body craves.

    While working today at my computer I remembered it’s November! And that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and the past few years I’ve hosted my in-laws at our Brooklyn apartment. I love to cook so hosting comes naturally to me. Turkey day is still always a weird thing for me though being I’m adamantly opposed to eating turkeys.

    The menu I put together last year was entirely vegan, with the exception of the turkey. Jim took on the turkey challenge and made it himself. This year’s going to be a bit different though being for the first time ever, we’re both veg. So after some discussion, we both decided our Thanksgiving was going to be a vegan event.  I am so incredibly excited by this, because I’ve always wanted to host an all-veg Thanksliving.  No joke.  It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid.  I’ve for the past few years wanted to take the money we would have used buying a turkey to sponsor a rescued turkey, and make the most delicious vegan spread for my loved ones to celebrate and give thanks for all my good fortune.

    We let all our guests know the Thanksliving plan in advance, and everyone’s been amazingly cool about it. I haven’t divulged the menu just yet because I’m still working on it, but I think I’m going to do the same menu I did last year because it was delicious.  Here’s what I’m thinking as of now.  If you’re wondering where the tofurkey is… as of right now I think I’m going to skip it.  Since I’m hosting a bunch of omnivores, they’re going to hate it anyway and I have another tried and tested option as our “showcase” entrée for the meal.  Once I decide on a final menu, I’ll go ahead and post all the recipes for anyone who might be looking for a great vegan Thanksgiving menu that’s a crowd pleaser.

    Starters (buffet style):

    • My homemade baked herb almond cheese
    • Spinach and Artichoke Dip
    • Crudité Plate
    • Some sort of phyllo cup (maybe filled with mushrooms, vegan sausage or something similar)

    Dinner:

    • Fall Salad with Beets and Oranges
    • Green Beans with Walnuts and Shallot Crips
    • Double Cranberry Chutney
    • Sweet Potato Casserole
    • Mushroom, Cheese (vegan) and Vegetable Strudel

    Dessert:

    • Assorted pies, cakes and baked goods from Champs