Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Ideas

I don't know about you, but I have to plan out what I eat for Thanksgiving every year.  Mostly, I'm looking to make a new tradition for Era and me.  My family was all about the brown until I started asking why we never had colorful dishes for the holiday a few years ago.  Now, I pretty much have to bring the color.

This year I think I really am going to do a mini Thanksgiving.  It will be a lot easier on me and I am just dreading the long cooking process that comes with a traditional feast.  I decided to take a look back at my past Thanksgiving dinners.  I only went back to 2007 because there was no way I'd remember before then.

The way Era and I usually do it is one all vegan dinner for us and we take vegan sides and/or desserts to my parents' house.  My parents always make vegan cornbread stuffing, vegetarian sides, and tofurky for us.

Thanksgiving 2007 Menu
Seitan Wellington w/ Marsala Gravy
Cranberry Chutney
Cornbread Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Maple Carrots
Smashed Potatoes w/ Kale
Macaroni and cheese
Smlove pie (1 for the office, another for the fam)
Pumpkin pie cheesecake (for the family)

You can read about it here.  My favorites from this were the chutney, pumpkin pie cheesecake, and wellington!  So good.

Thanksgiving 2008 Menu
Onion, Pepper, and Spinach Quiche Bites (for the fam)
Pumpkin Baked Ziti (for the family)
Pumpkin Cornbread Dressing
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Mushroom Gravy
Green Beans w/ Walnuts and Shallot Crisps
Classic Chestnut Soup w/ Marsala Mushrooms
Cranberry Sauce
Lemon Bars

What I learned from last year's Thanksgiving is that chestnuts are incredibly expensive, and I don't find them to be tasty at all.  Also quiche bites are the shizzle.  You can read about it here.

This year I am going to try, once again, to make the tofurky meatballs.  I also want to make mini wellingtons, lemon pie, macaroni bites, roasted root vegetables, and some sorta salad.  I'm a little stuck still.  I want a miniature colorful Thanksgiving.

Do you have any ideas?  Preferably stuff that can be made miniature.  Also I despise sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on them so I will never make them!  NEVER!

Also, I started doing an outline for my possible zine.  I say possible because I know how I procrastinate and then forget about things.   Hee hee.  A happy belated World Vegan Day to all!


melissa bastian. said...

Zine zine zine! Do a zine do it do it do it! I want Mo in printed form!!!

But anyway. Quiche bites! Macaroni bites! Bite bites! I love your mini idea, but you know that already.

Hmm, color. Could you spear a bright red grape tomato on top of anything? Serve anything on a bed of nice leafy greens like spinach? Oranges are really starting to come into season - why not garnish with wedges? Could work well for any kind of roasty thing? You could do something with two different kinds of apple (keeping the skins on of course)... I'm just this week trying to firm up our thanksgiving guests, and I'm getting excited about planning a menu! I've cooked for a bunch of people before, but not for a holiday. It will be an experience!

Debra said...

I plan on making lots of raw sides- dips, spreads, salads, raw desserts. We will make tofurkey, mashed potatoes, whole wheat rolls, vegan stuffing and a vegan pumpkin pie- but a raw one as well. We have a guest coming for Thanksgiving and he isn't even vegan :-)

Tiffany C. said...

Awesome Thanksgiving menus! Planning is key and I'm trying to get my own feast worked out, so I'm loving that the blogosphere is showcasing all of these great holiday ideas.

kmouse said...

I love your menus! Sounds fab. I always make the same kinds of things: tofu loaf with orange herb gravy, green bean cass, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, stuffing, butternut squash gratin...pumpkin pie. How boring but so freaking delicious! I can't wait for Thanksgiving.

I like the idea of mac and cheese on Thanksgiving..When I was omni I made a pasta dish on Thanksgiving once. It was Giada's butternut squash lasagna which was AWESOME and can easily be veganized.

jessy said...

i just started thinking about our thanksgiving day menu the other day. i love your mini-thanksgiving idea! i never thought to make quiche bites – oooh, that’s such an awesome idea! you always toss in some chopped fresh spinach when the root veggies are done so it wilts just a tad – that might create a little more color! dan & i love having roasted asparagus & green beans for thanksgiving – or a dish made with shaved brussels for some green yummies! you could also make some roasted new potatoes with garlic & fresh herbs – toss in some chopped spinach & sun-dried tomatoes for a little color – and beets are always colorful – and rainbow chard! :) mmmmmmmmmmmm! excitedface on the zine outline! yay!

River - The Crafty Kook said...

Oh man, I also DESPISE sweet potatoes with marshmallows on them! That's neither dinner nor dessert!

I love mini foods! How about those mini pumpkins stuffed with some goodies? Those are colorful and so cute! I like mine stuffed with quinoa (or millet) and sauteed leeks and brussels sprouts.

Have fun planning the menu! That's the best part! :-)

The Kuntrageous Vegan said...

do you have linkage for the seitan wellington? i FINALLY figured out the perfect seitan recipe/technique this weekend and i'm lovin it.

Anonymous said...

I learned about Chestnuts last year too! If you get the real deal and roast them yourself it isn't bad. Do you like Brussels Sprouts? To me those are the key to Thanksgiving. I was going to caramelize them with red onions.

And one thing I did last year that added a lot of colors was do roasted potatoes instead of mashed. They looked really pretty, here is the pic.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Melissa-I like this idea of using oranges. I saw this neat salad bite thing yesterday where you use romaine to wrap the ingredients and tie the romaine with green onion. I'm thinking of doing something Asian inspired for the salad.

Debra-Awesome! I think I'm going to do raw mini cheese balls for an appetizer.

Tiffany C.-Tell me about it. I've been reading so many blogs and checking the internet for good ideas for this year.

Kim-I think macaroni is a southern/soul food thing. We've always had it. And please tell me more about this butternut gratin!

Jessy-How did I forget rainbow chard? It's my favorite of all the chards! :)

River-I like the mini pumpkin idea! I will be using it I think.

Lacey-What technique did you settle on? I'll email you the recipe for the wellington.

Lazysmurf-I just checked out your blog entry and DAYUM that looks good. We've never eaten brussels for Thanksgiving before but I may just have to make them.

kittee said...

i love reading about vegan thanksgiving planning. my vegan thanksgiving yums are coming from potlucks this year, i am going to ny to be with my whole family this year, and my cousin has told me to stay out of the kitchen and not to expect much. hrmf.

anyway, this isn't so colorful, but i swear to god it was so delicious:
i made it as is, but used EB and balsamic vinegar. plus it would probably work with pearled onions for a mini something. seriously, amazing. my other favorite is my mom's baked fruit medley, which is somewhat colorful, not crazy bright or anything, but the citrus notes really round out a plate of food: you can leave out the bitters, i do.
i am also a big savory galette believer, smitten kitchen has a cabbage one i made xgfx that i really liked a bunch. one more idea, slivered lemony brussels sprouts! something like this: chiffonate the sprouts, saute in olive oil and salt, toss in poppy seeds and lemon juice. season to taste with salt and pepper. epic post, sorry!


Anonymous said...

Have you seen Lazy Smurf's Iraqi Beet Stew with Meatballs?


Jen said...

i might go the lazy vegan route and do a tofurkey this year just because i'm so damn preggo and tired. but, if i get a second wind this weekend, i might pre make some seitan, mashed potatoes, and gravy--throw them all in freezer for un-turkey day. it's a hard call to make.

then again, if i had unlimited funds, i would hire all my blogging buddies to come to indiana and cook for me.

melissa bastian. said...

I saw the prettiest and most colorful thing on a TG plate the other day and thought of you - half of an orange rind filled with homemade cranberry sauce! So simple, so gorgeous. I don't know how you feel about it, but for me cranberry sauce is necessary. It's another one of the things we made from scratch every year the whole time I was growing up, and it's what makes it feel like a holiday to me.