This weekend we gathered with good friends for a trial of our T-day dinner. Libby and Taylor were nice enough to offer up their beautiful home (such a pleasure to cook in that kitchen!). I whipped up some amazing last minute off-the-cuff candied yams. Damian was the photographer, Waits brought the unadulterated awesomeness, and Turtle Island was kind enough to provide us with a Tofurkey Feast. Oh how I *heart* Thanksgiving!
I felt like Charlie, with my own Golden Tofurkey Ticket!
The lovely table. Libs is hosting her omni family for an all-vegetarian spread on Thanksgiving Day (YAY open-minded family!). While I was there to tweak my recipes, she was experimenting with the decor. It’s adorable, no?
No one at the party was a Tofur-gin (well, I guess Waits was). Damian and I have dined on the little roasted roll-up each Thanksgiving since we went veg*n. Taylor’s been vegetarian for over a decade and has more than filled his quota of tofu turkey. So we thought we knew just what to expect: a dinner that get’s the job done, but doesn’t necessarily dazzle. Oh, but we were wrong . . .
The Tofurkey, fresh out the oven.
Carving it up!
Violet stands guard . . . ever so patient . . . just in case!
This year’s Tofurkey has gotten a makeover, and we were all *thoroughly* impressed! The gravy portion is generous and it’s the best vegan gravy I’ve ever had (though I have to say, the word ‘giblets’ always reminds me of dog food!). Those funky dumplings that I could never cook right? Well, they’ve been replaced . . . with Amy’s Chocolate Cake! Hello! But we’ll get to that later.
The biggest improvement, we all agreed, was that there was a lot more stuffing (which is the bast part, amiright?). Delicious! And the texture, which I’d described in the past as *ahem* “squeaky”, is now just wonderful! Tender and totally moist. Libby declared “I want to eat this the rest of the year too!” And we all agreed.
Earlier that afternoon I’d thrown together a sweet potato casserole that kiiiinda ended up rocking our worlds, so I wanted to share the recipe here. If you’re still planning your Thanksgiving menu, this one comes with an enthusiastic 8 thumbs up! It’s super easy and also a guaranteed omni pleaser – plus it has less than half the sugar of similar recipes.
Vegan Candied/”Dandied” Yams
4 very large sweet potatoes/yams (they’re not the same, but either would work)
1/2 cup Earthbalance™ or coconut oil (coconut oil will change the flavor)
1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice or vegan sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Put a giant pot of water on to boil. Rough chop the sweet potatoes – I leave the skins on because 1) they’re organic and 2) there’s good vitamins in there! I like the texture that the skins provide, but if you like it smooth feel free to peel them. Toss all the taters in the boiling water and cook until they soften up, but not until they’re done through! About 10 minutes or so.
While the taters are cooking, put all the other ingredients (except the marshmallows) into a big mixing bowl. Oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. When the taters are done and drained, add them to the mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. The taters will mush up a bit, which is exactly how you want ‘em. Transfer this mixture to the casserole dish and then cover with the marshmallows.
You can make this ahead of time and stop here, covering with foil and then refrigerating up to 48 hours. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 and bake the pan uncovered for 20-30 minutes. The marshmallows should get good and browned and the sweet potato filling should be sizzling. Mmmm!
Tofurkey with veggies and stuffing, candied “Dandied” yams, kale with gravy, and no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without “buttered” sweet rolls!
Waits was happy to unroll trash bags while the grown-ups ate . . .
Our happy-bellied hosts.
Post-dinner and passed out baby.
Along with a bottle of wine and some good conversation, this was a perfect Thanksgiving meal. We ate . . . er . . . a LOT, and none of us felt much like dessert. So the chocolate cake had to wait. That’s okay, it made a divine Sunday morning breakfast! Seriously, it’s hard to believe something this delicate and moist was once frozen. BRAVO!
Pretty little cake loaf.
Breakfast of champions!
And now, I bid you adieu. I’m off to visit family and stuff myself silly and soak up some sun in SoCal. To my American readers, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! For my Mexican, Estonian, Australian, and other non-US friends: yes, this holiday makes no sense whatsoever and is pretty much based entirely on romanticized fiction. Ah well, what can I say? It’s tradition!