Wednesday, November 17, 2010

VeganMoFo IV: Thanksgiving Tryouts

Before I begin, run to your nearest Trader Joe's and pick up the pear cinnamon cider!  So. flippin. fantastic.

Thanksgiving is most definitely my favorite eatin' day of the year. It's always a recipe for disaster when your entire family gets together, but the food is good (and the booze is even better). I usually start planning as early as September, trying to narrow down the menu. This year is different because I'm really trying to find the perfect recipes to keep as regulars. We never have the same menu every year and things would be simpler if I kept some staples and maybe had one rotating dish a year.

I've been trying to figure out the main dish since last month. We actually bought a Vegetarian Plus vegan turkey, but I had (and still have) extreme doubts. Era thought it would be a good idea to have one less major thing to worry about, so he bought it anyway. As far as mains go, I've already made the Festivus Loaf and Seitan En Croute from 500 Vegan Recipes. Right now, the Seitan En Croute is winning as an alternate to what we already have.  I took this picture when my camera broke so it's not the best:

I still need to make Bryanna's soy and seitan turkey to see if that's what I'm going with. My sides are pretty set.  I'm just trying to find the best version of them  Tonight I made some mac and cheeze, collard and sausage stuffing, baked tofu, and cashew gravy.

The mac and cheeze was good, but I'm probably just making Jess' adaptation of the New Farm recipe.  The stuffing was a ridiculous thing on my part because I was never a fan of meatiness in stuffing.  This called for andouille, but I used the sausage I had on hand (Yves Italian).  The collards and sausage took away from the "cornbreadiness", which is my absolute favorite part about stuffing.

closer look at stuffing

The baked tofu is just something I threw together.  I marinated extra firm tofu in fresh squeezed orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, poultry seasoning, thyme, and slivered garlic.  The cashew gravy was from Megetarian, and that ish is the jam!  It's seriously good and frickin' easy.  Totally added to my menu.  I might throw some mushrooms or thyme in there, but it was delicious as is.

Thanksgiving at our house is a meal with huge variety and it's usually filled with soul food.  Growing up the sides were cornbread, mac and cheese, pinto beans, collard greens, cornbread stuffing, canned jellied (brrr) cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls.  Maybe some other stuff that I can't or don't want to remember.  This year I'm going back to that sorta...except I always needed green salad and tons of color.  Also, I cook entirely too much food because I have to have variety.  At least there are guaranteed leftovers.

The Tentative Menu
deviled tofu
pickle and olive tray

cornbread stuffing
mashed potatoes
collard greens (adding garlic and veg broth to this)
sweet potatoes
maque choux (w/ Viva Vegan chorizo)
mac and cheese
pea salad (maybe)
green salad
cashew gravy
cranberry sauce from Vcon (w/ orange juice/zest and brown sugar)

Pumpkin Cheesecake

After tonight and the two slices of meat cake last week, I'm almost Thanksgivinged out.  I'm gonna freeze all of tonight's leftovers so if I get a hankering for stuffing in March it's there.

What about you?  Have you finalized your menu yet?

P.S.-Thanks for all the great words yesterday.  Y'all made me smile when I was having a bad day.
P.P.S-Smackers and I baked a mini gay cake.  I'll be sure to post it later this week.
P.P.P.S.-I forgot to say that I won a giveaway!  I'm getting Vegan Unplugged!  Thanks again to Robin Robertson!


radioactivegan said...

I really really need to try that Seitan En Croute. It's just so fancy pants looking :)

Congrats on your giveaway success!

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

It's super easy! Much easier than it looks. Hee hee.

a-k said...

Wow! You are so TG-planny! I don't even know what I'm DOING for TG this year, but I've been thinking about some fancy recipes involving mushroom nutloaf with a wine-carrot-rosemary gravy and raw cranberry relish and something crazy like pumpkin ginger pineapple soup! We'll see... I agree with the above commenter, that seitan en croute is real purty ;-)

Elisabeth said...

Congratulations on the giveaway! You should enter my giveaway for a vegan pate.

kittee said...

I always love your thanksgiving planning posts, mo! I am breaking all sorts of rules and making thing's I've never tried before, but that is my way! I'm going to a pre-giving potluck on sunday and am bringing an adaption of brussels sprouts gratin. basically, i'm gonna roast some sprouts until tender and then shred them and mix them with a cashew creme (i think i will season it and maybe add a little flour) and then topped with cornbreadcrumbs and cheeze.

on thanksgiving, i am going to a friend's house and am bringing my favorite caramelized shallot recipe--so so so good. i will give you links at the bottom. i was gonna make a cornbread dressin' too, with sausage, but your post worries me. i love cornbread stuffing so much, maybe i should leave out the sausage...not sure. i am gonna use the xgfx balls from my jambalaya recipe, and they are really good. i also love my mom's fruit compote and then there is this amazing spicy cranberry relish over cream cheeze i spied on vegweb. i bought organic cranberries today, so something is gonna happen with those!


i make these with balsamic instead:


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

Kittee-You are made of awesome! I'm gonna take a looksie at these fine things!

BunzOfCinnamon said...

Wow, I would LOVE to be a guest at your place on Thanksgiving!! Man oh man, I'd eat till I couldn't eats no more...
I'm def going to check out the pear cider from TJ's when I get back to Chicago. Sounds yummy!
Ooh, and lucky you winning the giveaway! That books sounds so interesting. Maybe you can review it after making a few recipes?

kittee said...

only for you and your hard mofojo (get it??) mofo plus mojo = mofojo would i look up all those freakin' linx.


dreaminitvegan said...

We go to our in-laws for Thanksgiving but of course I make some things too, you know my son and I being vegan. I'm making a super yummy succatash(everyone loves} and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. I might just go for a field roast celebration roast just to make things easy.

Your seitan en croute looks good

Jeni Treehugger said...

That Seitan En Croute looks divine - your recipe plan sounds crazy. Crazy in a good way.

Mandee said...

Wow, what a meal you're going to have! I think the best way to celebrate my first Thanksgiving is to borrow recipes from some of my fave bloggers, that means you, Mo! I am going to check out your links as well as Kittee's!

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a fabulous menu! Can I come to your Thanksgiving?

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

I wanna come to your house for Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Wow, can I come over to your place for Thanksgiving? That looks like an incredible menu!

Sarah S. said...

What an excellent menu you have planned. That sweet potato recipe sounds ridiculously good. If I hadn't already planned and bought all the goods for sweet potato casserole I'd be all over that. That Seitan En Croute is beaaautiful. I don't own 500 Vegan Recipes yet, and that recipe just pushed me over the edge, MUST OWN. This is my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, and I am way excited. I am hosting a vegan Thanksgiving for 10 friends on Saturday and the menu is set. Starting the cooking tonight!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

How does one acquire an invite to Mo's house for Thanksgiving?

omgoshimvegan said...

Maybe I'll try and crash the door... menu looks great

panda with cookie said...

You made the seitan pastry thing! Awesome!

Amey said...

your seitan en croute looks positively superb. Such meticulous criss crossing with the dough!

I'm impressed by your menu. Our thanksgiving this year is going to be much smaller than usual... so I'm not sure what I'll be doing just yet. But it will probably be less than my little culinary heart desires.

Anonymous said...

Heck, I'm not cooking anything! I'm getting in my car right now and heading down to Texas! It looks like you're going to have plenty to share! Oh, man...

VeganKitchenDiaries said...

You're married right? Your husband is a lucky man. I wish I was your husband.
-v@ vegankitchendiaries xoxox

Christie said...

The seitan en croute looks wonderful. That is some feast you've got planned. Congratulations on the giveaway win!