Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vegan Thanksgiving - November 2008

Diva: Tamara

Drinks: Stacey
A selection of red wines

Pomegranate Mint Coolers

1 quart Pomegranate juice
3 limes-sliced
fresh mint leaves
Ginger ale

In a pitcher, muddle the mint leaves (about one cup) with the limes. Add pomegranate juice. Fill a glass with ice, add 1/2 ginger ale and 1/2 juice. Cheers!! (would be good with Absolut Currant vodka also!!!)

Appetizer: Ivy (Sub for Mariah)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Red Pepper Apple Chutney

2 red peppers, seeded and diced
2 onions, diced
¼ c sugar
2 Tablespoons dried currants
¼ c cranberries, halved
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1 tsp mustard seeds
¾ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp sea salt
2/3 c cider vinegar
¼ c apple cider
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Combine all ingredients except the apples in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer 30-35 minutes. Stir in apples and cook uncovered until they become tender and the mixture thickens, approximately 10-15 minutes.

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
½ tsp rosemary, diced
½ tsp sea salt
pepper to taste

Toss potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast the slices at a high broil until surface starts to bubble and is slightly brown, flip and repeat on the other side. Potatoes should be slightly crispy around the edges, but still somewhat soft.

Spoon chutney onto the potato rounds and enjoy.

Salad: Lovina
Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Currants and Chestnuts

½ c apple cider
½ c dried currants
1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 T olive oil
1 7- to 8-ounce jar whole peeled chestnuts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (substituted hazelnuts)
5 T butter
1 ½ T balsamic vinegar

Bring cider to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add currants; let soak 30 minutes. Using processor fitted with slicing disk, push brussels sprouts through feed tube and slice. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill currant mixture. Wrap brussels sprouts in paper towels, then enclose in resealable plastic bag and chill.

Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chestnuts; sauté 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl. Add brussels sprouts to skillet; sauté until beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and butter; sauté until most of liquid evaporates and brussels sprouts are tender but still bright green, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 7 minutes. Stir in chestnuts, currant mixture, and vinegar; sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.

Soup: Ashley
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Vegan Cider Cream

4 baking pumpkins or kabocha squash, each about 2 lb., quartered and seeded
Olive oil as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
6 shallots, thickly sliced
2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 T minced fresh sage
12 c vegetable broth
1 c plain soy yogurt
½ c apple cider, reduced to 2 Tbs. and cooled

Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third, and preheat to 425°F.

Divide the pumpkins among 2 baking sheets. Drizzle the pumpkins with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkins, cut side down, on the baking sheets. Roast, turning the pumpkins occasionally, until they are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes; rotate the baking sheets halfway through the roasting time. Let the pumpkins cool, then scoop the flesh into a bowl.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the carrots, shallots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and sage and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin flesh and broth, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Whisk in the reduced apple cider until blended. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with the cider cream. Serve immediately. Serves 12 to 14.

Side Dish: Colleen
Garlicky Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1 large head of garlic
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 T olive oil
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (8 c
2 large apples, peeled and diced (2 c)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut top off garlic, exposing cloves. Place on a piece of foil and top with chopped rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap loosely with foil, and bake 50-60 minutes, or until soft and golden.

Place sweet potatoes and apples in a pot with enough water to cover. Add salt cover pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.

Drain and reserve 1 cup cooking water. Transfer to serving bowl.

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into sweet potatoes and apples. Add balsamic vinegar, and mash, adding cooking water as necessary to adjust texture for creaminess. Season with pepper and serve hot.

My thoughts for next time... I put 1.5 heads of garlic in the potatoes because I generally add more garlic than a recipe asks for and roasted garlic is mild. This was a bad call on my part. I thought the potatoes were too garlicy (which is saying a lot for me) so I would stick to the recommended 1 head next time. Also, I didn't end up using any cooking water as suggested by the recipe and I thought the potatoes were a little "watery". Next time I would try steaming them instead of boiling. I might add a little plain soy yogurt for creaminess and tang too.

Entree: Bonnie
Seitan Pot Pie

1 c potato, diced
1 c chopped onion
Pearl Onions
1 c peas
1 c chopped carrot
¼ c all-purpose flour
1 c vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 c chopped seitan
2 pie crusts (either store bought or your own recipe)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sauté onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well Cook one minute stirring constantly.
Gradually stir broth into vegetable mixture
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly
Stir in salt and pepper; add seitan and stir well.
Pour into shallow 2-quart casserole dish and top with pie shells
Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.

Homemade Seitan

1 ½ c vital wheat gluten flour
¼ c nutritional yeast flakes

Puree of the following: vegetable broth, sautéed onion, roasted garlic, lemon zest, thyme, sage

Simmering Broth:
10 c water or vegetable broth
½ c soy sauce

In a large bowl, mix together Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and nutritional yeast flakes.

Pour the pureed ingredients into the dry and combine with a firm spatula, knead dough for about 3 minutes until a spongy, elastic dough is formed. Let dough rest for a couple of minutes and prepare your broth, but don't start boiling it.

Now roll your dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces in the broth. It is important that the water/broth be very cold when you add the dough, it helps with the texture and ensures that it doesn't fall apart. Partially cover the pot (leave a little space for steam to escape) and bring to a boil.

When the water has come to a boil set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the pieces every now and again.

Now you've got gluten. Let it cool in the simmering broth for at least a half an hour. It is best if it cools completely.

What you do next depends on the recipe you are using. If it calls for gluten use it as is. If you want to store some of it for later use put it in a sealable container covered in the simmering broth.

If your recipe calls for seitan cut your pieces up as desired. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for the frying because it produces the best flavor and texture. Use as little oil as possible to coat the bottom of the skillet, 1 teaspoon may suffice. Heat the skillet over medium high and add your gluten. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally. And there you have it. Yummy seitan.

Wild Card: Sara
Rose's Baked Artichoke Hearts

1 ½ c fresh breadcrumbs
¼ c finely chopped fresh curly leaf parsley
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (¼ c)*
2 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (¼ c)*
1 T mixed dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, and savory, or Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 packages (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
2/3 c extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
¼ c fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced (2 teaspoons)

*instead of cheese, take a block of tofu and crumble and sautee until dried out some. Add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast and mix.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, cheeses, herbs, and salt in a medium bowl, and season with pepper.

Brush oil inside two 4-cup, 9 1/2-inch ceramic baking dishes. Divide artichoke hearts between dishes, and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over artichokes, pushing it into cracks between hearts. Tap bottom of dishes on counter to settle breadcrumb mixture.

Whisk oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle dressing evenly over breadcrumb topping. Cover dishes with parchment, then foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 375 degrees. Uncover, and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Dessert: Erin
Fall Fruit Crumble

2 c fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
2 firm-ripe pears such as Bartlett, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 apples such as Gala, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c sugar, divided
1 ½ T cornstarch
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c old-fashioned oats
½ c all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (or 1/2 c Soy Garden natural buttery spread)

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.

Stir together fruits, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla and place in a buttered shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Stir together oats, flour, salt, and remaining ½ cup sugar. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture forms small clumps. Scatter over fruit and bake until juices are bubbling and topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Lottery: Aven

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