Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving - the honest to god truth...

Ah... how we plan things and then life just does whatever the hell it wants! I find the older I get the less I plan - my life is a simple outline of things I want to happen... at some point. I will wait for things, if I want them bad enough, and if I don't - eh - whatever, right?

It's nature's colander. In the end you have what you want and the rest just runs down the drain of time. (I sound like the opening to a soap opera)

After my two posts I'll tell you what happened. First, we almost bird-less bird-less. When you grow up in a city like Cleveland where everyone nods an smiles at your veganism you never have many problems finding that "vegan" bird two days before Thanksgiving. Hell, if the store is open ON Thanksgiving, you'll still find it. (I know this because it's happen to me before). But here... in sunny L.A., things are different and they laugh at you when you come in and ask for your vegan roast two days before the big event.

But my husband is a savior and after a few phone calls - BAM - Vegan Turkey with wild rice stuffing, gravy AND (& & &) an Amy's Vegan Chocolate cake (which was divine).

PHEEWWWW! Sidestepped that land mine.

Here is what we DIDN'T have:

Brussels, couldn't find them in any variety so we substitute broccoli - which we also didn't have due to how hot it was in my kitchen by the time they were up at the plate.

We also did not have the salad... (yes. I'm the vegetable-less vegan...)

By the time I made it to the final few items my kitchen was so hot I had to leave and by then I just wanted to eat so... (excuses, excuses!)

Recipes that changed:

The Candied Yams - my vat of ricemellow was growing gray hair, so I opted to toss it in the old trash. What I did instead was toss together some freshly made brown sugar, butter and cinnamon with partially boiled wash, pealed and chopped sweet potatoes and then baked it for 15 minutes on Thanksgiving. This turned out to be my favorite thing. It was yummy and better than any sweet potatoes I've had with marshmallows so I plan on doing this again next year!

The Pumpkin Cheesecake - after getting everything rolling (including 3 trips to the store and one that included my son vomiting all over himself and me having to use my shirt to clean him up to get home) the cheesecake was very close to being on the chopping block. To add to that, I realized when I got HOME that the recipe called for "Organic Pumpkin PIE Mix" and not just "Organic Pumpkin" so I went on to my trusty phone and looked up this recipe and I mixed it with the Kind Life recipe - and it turned out great! Another thing I did was I used cinnamon graham crackers. It turned out great, my husband loved it so much he put it on the menu of our imaginary diner "Hanks".

The Mashed Potatoes - Added diced caramelized onions to this and I then the Earth Balance, 1/2 container vegan cream cheese, and vegan broth - salt and pepper. Mashed the hell out of it, put it in a baking dish and baked it for 20 on Thanksgiving. (this was also added to the menu)

The Cranberries - I added OJ to the water sugar mix.

Cinnamon Rolls - I used the sweet bread recipe for them and it was the best idea I've had in many years. I now crave them. (and I now need to take another 7 mile walk....)

A Recipe I MISSED! (blurg)

Stuffing! How did I miss this? It's the #1 Turkey Day request.

My plan had been to make the stuffing I always make. Grab a bag of dried up bread or just toast some day old bread in the oven after I chopped it up into cubes and set it aside. The saute up some onion, celery and carrots - stir in the bread - season with some Italian Season (or whatever I have on hand - basil and oregano are the norm) and then toss it with some vegan broth -> bake.

What I DID was saute up some onion and celery with some tofurky sausage then added the bread, which was the corn bread stuffing mix from Trader Joe's (Husband couldn't find the bag of bread cubes. Shopping two days before T-day is interesting in itself.) I also added some wild rice from Whole Foods and then I tossed it with the broth and the seasoning packet and baked it. It was great. We had tons of left overs and I loved all of them.

Thanksgiving was a success. Yes, I missed some recipes, but over all it was great.
Next year I think I'll plan a bit better - none of this waiting until two days prior to the event to run out and try to find things I need.

We're still dining on apple crisp & pumpkin muffins - but the cheesecake is gone. So are the tofurky, stuffing, cranberries and every other dish.

Now... I'm thinking for next month I want to make gluten free vegan lasagna. Yep. I'm not sure how this will work seeing that I can't find gluten free lasagna noodles, but I can always make them - really - it's not the first noodle I've made! But I have a few weeks till then and I have some music to listen to, poems to write, a new book to research, an agent to find, some cookies to come up with, a house to decorate, a few miles to walk and I STILL haven't spoken about my trip out here...

Oh the blogs I have to write!! LOL! Soon... soon... but for now I'm going to go watch some cheesy holiday movie (thinking Snow) and then I'm going to read a bunch of research.

Have a fabulous night!

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