Holy moly – it’s been a long time! And apparently when I take a hiatus, WordPress decides that’s a great time to revamp everything. Sheesh! So school and life got in the way of blogging in the past couple … ok, several months. But that’s how it goes.
Of note in this post, however, is the fact that my husband and I hosted our first Thanksgiving – and since we were hosting it at our home, we decided that we would have a vegan feast and do all of the cooking! It did take a bit of work, but there was no having the oven on for hours so a turkey would get cooked or any of that nonsense, so there was surprisingly little work for me to do the day of. I woke up really early so that I could get started, but then realized that I didn’t want to start everything too early because then I would have to reheat it when people got to our house around lunch time. So it was one of the most laid-back Thanksgivings I’ve ever witnessed. On to the photos!
First we had salad (not pictured – come on, you know what a salad looks like). Then we had succotash made with edamame – which everyone always thinks are lima beans – corn, red bell pepper, and vegetable broth. This happens to be one of my mother-in-law’s favorite dishes that we make for the holidays. We also made a traditional dressing/stuffing – I admit, this was Pepperidge Farm dressing from the bag, made with vegetable broth rather than chicken broth. This also – surprisingly – has become a secret recipe of my mother-in-law’s, because apparently everyone thinks it tastes so much better with vegetable broth. So that’s how they have started making it too!
Another side was mashed potatoes (made with red potatoes; they have a yellow tint from vegetable broth). I always mix a bit of soy milk and Tofutti Sour Supreme in with these to make them creamy, and it turns out pretty well. We also had quinoa-stuffed acorn squash, inspired by a Compassionate Cooks recipe. These were excellent! Another Compassionate Cooks-inspired recipe was the garlic green beans. I was skeptical about this because I happen to enjoy garlic a lot, and I know that some people don’t. Luckily, most of our visitors were garlic lovers as well.
For the main course, we had harvest chili – my basic chili recipe (which I have posted in the past) with the addition of about half a butternut squash – just simmer or put it on a low boil until the squash is soft! The squash gives the chili a nice sweetness.
Finally for our desserts. For the banana bread, I used a veganized version of this recipe, at Allrecipes.com. Just use Earth Balance instead of butter and Ener-G egg replacer instead of the egg. I’ve had some people comment that my vegan version was the best banana bread they had ever had! It just goes to show that “vegan” does not necessarily equal “bland” … or “healthy”! I also made the German Apple Cake from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s cookbook, Joy of Vegan Baking (can you tell I’m a fan of hers?). This cake turned out really moist and full of flavor. Then we had our family’s traditional pudding pie: veganized chocolate pudding mix – made with soymilk – put into a graham cracker crust. You can tell we are real gourmets in this house! Finally, I made another Joy of Vegan Baking recipe, the Pumpkin Pie. This was made with silken tofu, and it helped me realize that my food processor is way too small – I had to process everything bit by bit to get it smooth. My mom – not vegan – commented that it tasted just like homemade pumpkin pie. This too I just put into a storebought crust – hey, it was my first time hosting Thanksgiving, so give me a break.
For the most part, it went well. Everyone who ate with us (and trust me, there were a few who didn’t – which was frustrating for me after all that work) had positive comments, and the fact that no dead animals or their products was present didn’t even come up in conversation. I’m pretty sure we will do this again next year, because it was very relaxing for us. We typically have to go to everyone else’s homes, which means that we have three Thanksgivings where we can eat maybe a third of the food. This year staying home suited us just fine.