Saturday, November 28, 2009

omni-vegan feast

Where to begin? Thanksgiving was really an adventure, challenge, and delight. As it turns out, my mom and I were almost matched dish for dish on the dinner table. Representing the Omnivores, she had prepared a hunk of turkey, our family tradition - pineapple casserole, a sweet potato casserole, and a salad with some biscuits. On the Vegan team, I brought my tofu turkeys (absolute triumph), spiced potatoes and green beans, and chai applesauce. Mom also had pumpkin pie and chocolate ganache sandwich cookies for dessert. Buckle your seatbelts, folks, I think this is going to be a long, picture-filled post.
here's the dinner table, all decked out for the holiday and covered with more food than I think any of the four of us had anticipated.
here's the Chunky Chai Applesauce, looking quite regal in gold and ivory
Tofu Turkeys keeping the Sweet Potato Casserole company
Spiced Potatoes and Green Beans in front of Mom's traditional Pineapple Casserole
my happy little plate, with my tofu turkeys bathed in just a bit of the gravy I made from the leftover marinade...which my father liked so much he wanted to keep it to use on his turkey leftovers this week!
And here's Dad, showing the whole world that he DID eat a tofu turkey. He also liked it so much that he had a second turkey with no prompting! I'm so proud.

Speaking of tofu turkeys, I ended up with a bunch of tofu leftover after I cut out the cute little turkeys, so I packed all the pieces into tupperware, covered with water, and sealed those suckers in there. Today, around brunch-time, I thought, "What a perfect day to make scrambled tofu!" I have never actually made scrambled tofu, but the idea has been growing on me for a couple of months at least, but probably more like since I got my copy of Vegan Brunch. I didn't have any nutritional yeast, so I consulted How It All Vegan because I seemed to remember Sarah Kramer also having a love of scrambled tofu. Sorry, Isa, but hers is much easier... So I heated some oil in a fry pan, blotted some of the leftover tofu on a paper towel and then "crumbled" it into the fry pan. I let it sizzle for a little while, then I sprinkled it with some turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder. I stirred it for a good while (at least a minute), then I sprinkled in some tamari and let it soak in for a bit. I think the whole process took a little more than 5 minutes and the effort was so worth it that I'm kicking myself for not doing this sooner...not that I frequently have scraps of leftover tofu lying around.
seriously - who needs eggs?

Tonight, then, we had the last thing on last week's menu - Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce. It didn't come together quite as smoothly as I would have liked, but I think I could have been a little more organized. I was rushing myself because I got a late start and because it is my opinion that stir-fries should be fast, adrenaline-pumping experiences. I got to use my new juicer to get the 1/3 cup orange juice I needed (2 oranges, if you care) for the sauce. It came out very delicious and looking much like its picture, which always thrills me.

Now, on to this week's menu:

1. Saffron-Spiked Moroccan Stew on couscous, from The Vegan Table. I have stayed away from things that call for saffron, since it is excessively expensive, or I just substitute turmeric if it's not a main ingredient. I have decided, upon reading this recipe, that it is worth the cost of the saffron to try it out.

2. Orzo Pilaf with Roasted Red Peppers & Peas, also from The Vegan Table. This looks like a fun and savory pasta risotto kind of dish.

3. Cuban Black Bean Soup, also from The Vegan Table. I read this recipe three times, mulling the ingredients over in my head before deciding I want to make it. It is really a weird soup if ever I've made one, which both intrigues me and worries me. I have little doubt that I will think it's fabulous, but I never know how Mister will react to some of my more adventurous dinners.

4. Hearty Stew, also from The Vegan Table. I have made this before, but I want to make it again now that I have discovered the amazingness of Ray's Seitan. Yes, I know amazingness is not a word - spell check told me so, but I don't care - it's the best way I can think to describe this stuff. If you've ever been to Horizons, you'll understand.

5. Chickpea Stew with Fried Polenta from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook. I love this enough to have made it a few times in recent history, and it'll make a fast, easy dinner on one of my insanely busy nights next week (which one? pick one).

6. Thai Pineapple Stir-Fried Rice from Vegan Express. I would be lost without this book. What amazes me is that I have been relying very heavily on his book since I got it and I still find new things to make every time I go in there! This looks fun. It looks like it may be a lot of work, but her recipes really never seem to take longer than a half an hour, so I think I can make it happen.

7. Pasta with Beans & Chard also from Vegan Express. Okay, so I've made this one before... I didn't say I never repeat a dish.

I didn't forget! Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I should have started then, but I was too fat to type. Today, then, is day one of Operation Gratitude Attitude. Remember our deal? I'll start with my four things:

1. I am grateful that I have enough money to keep my home as warm as I want it to be.

2. I am grateful my parents love me and support my crazy aspirations and experiments.

3. I am grateful that I have over 145,000 miles on my car and it hasn't given me any real trouble yet.

4. I am grateful to be able-bodied enough to walk to the grocery stores tomorrow.

Your turn! What one thing are you grateful for today?

1 comment:

  1. I'm grateful that my kids and I managed to get to the markets today to get our weekly fruit and veg.