November 28, 2010

Giving Thanks

Well, here you have it folks, Thanksgiving dinner. I was sad to be away from my usual crowd of favorite omnivores but we scrapped together a few friendly faces and made the table warm this year with casseroles, pies, and gravy boats. The stuffing was perfect, thanks to a gift of Field Roast sausages from AT. This year was the first time in a while that I have been able to enjoy Green Bean Casserole and I was so enthusiastic about all the available dairy-free ingredients to be found in Brooklyn. Friends brought spicy hominy and a delicious cranberry sauce made with oranges, pears, and cinnamon. I made Isa's Pumpkin Pie Brownies for the first time and they were by far the winning dish of the evening. Why don't we eat these dishes year round? I think I am going to add Mushroom Gravy to my list of regulars. I am (at least kind of) from the South.

Sausage Stuffing

1 large yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 carrots (chopped)
3 ribs of celery (chopped finely)
1 red pepper (chopped)
2-3 spicy Field Roast sausages (chopped)
12 oz. cremini mushrooms (chopped)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. earth balance
stale bread (I used 3  multi-grain baguettes and 1 white baguette)
4 Tbs. fresh parsley
2-3 cups vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
fresh ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 350. Grab a large frying pan and heat the oil and margarine over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes. You know what to do next- add the garlic, thyme and sage, carrots, celery, red pepper and mushrooms. While all that is sauteing, toast your loaves of bread in the oven until they are crunchy. Break the bread up into medium-sized chunks. Once your vegetables are cooked, add a heap of fresh ground pepper and parsley. Next, use your hands to mix some bread and veggies together in a large casserole dish. Add the veggie broth one cup at a time while adding the rest of the bread and vegetables. The mixture will keep absorbing the liquid and sinking. Trust me, it will all fit in the end! Cover with foil or a lid and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, removing the cover at the end of the baking time to crisp up the top layer of bread.

As I mentioned earlier, these pumpkin brownies were a hit at dinner. Though you can't taste it, there is pumpkin puree in the brownie layer which makes it very light and perfect. I was so impressed by the consistency that I may start using pumpkin as my egg replacer in brownies from now till eternity. We all know that Isa Chandra is a genius, and this recipe proved the point again. I went with less sugar because I used semi-sweet chocolate, added walnuts, and used a tall round cake pan. Otherwise, the recipe is true-to-form. Find it on the ever-so-glorious PostPunkKitchen website.

Does this look familiar? It is the same pie I posted a few weeks ago along with the Pumpkin Pie recipe in the Pie Time post. AT, LN and I made four dutch apple pies on Wednesday with the oil and soymilk crust. You can't have Thanksgiving without pies, and I think this one is becoming my signature.

Wishing you happy holidays, wherever and however you spend them. Try some of these recipes in December. Even your meat-loving aunts and uncles will be impressed.


1 comment:

  1. I heartily agree with your comment: "Why don't we eat these dishes year round?"

    But I also realized over the weekend that a well-round plant-based diet often does spread out the Thanksgiving riches amongst other seasons. For example, using applesauce or (like you said) pumpkin as an egg replacer, enjoying fruits and squash, or using roasted nuts and savory vegetables to make dishes bang-a-rang satisfying... these innovations work year-round, and I think being a veganette is conducive to such harvest-inspired experiments.

    Keep up the good work!