Hello hello everyone! I hope that all of you out there in the Internets had a fantastic and delicious T-day celebration! Last week, I asked if you’d like to see a recap of my Thanksgiving, or if you thought maybe you’d be burned out on gravy and stuffing by now. But the answer was a resounding “YES!”, and so I present to you —> My 2013 Thanksgiving, in pictures . . .
Well first things first, and first comes coffee of course. A little note here: yes yes, I go back and forth on coffee. I’m on it, I’m off it, I’m on it again. Don’t bother trying to keep track, haha, because I certainly can’t. I know in the long run my body does better with tea, but for special occasions and when I’m traveling . . . oh gosh I just really really love coffee!
And I was traveling! Me and Waits and my sweetheart all went down to Orange County to spend the holiday at my aunt and uncle’s house. They’re not vegan, but they’re very accommodating, and basically gave us free reign to cook an entire gluten-free vegan Thanksgiving dinner alongside them while they cooked their traditional Thanksgiving dinner, in their less-than-large kitchen. It was so fun! But I’m getting ahead of myself, because first came breakfast.
Waits had oatmeal cooked in almond milk, with cinnamon and maple syrup, and a side of grapes. Plus more almond milk for drinking.
My man and I each had a few pieces of toast, made with The Best Gluten-Free Bread On The Planet™ (it’s official, the search is over) slathered in Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet cream cheese. This stuff is a rare treat ’round these parts – just perfect for a holiday morning!
After we were all breakfasted up, I took Waits upstairs to take a bath and get ready for the day ahead. I knew it would be a long many hours indoors, so I wanted to make sure we got out to the park to burn off some energy first. It was such a beautiful day! Gotta love Thanksgiving in southern California.
An hour at the park running, jumping, and splashing in the water was just what we needed. And once we were back at the house, it was time to get down to business. Kitchen business.
Prepping the kale. (As an aside, anyone else find men who can cook extremely attractive? Jeepers!) We made Isa’s Kale Salad With Butternut and Lentils from this CNN holiday article. It was great!
Brussels (baking sheet 1 of 2) all prepped and ready to roast. Also, note the second round of coffee brewing in the back . . .
While we worked, more family arrived!
Oh these two. That’s my granny on the right, age 87, and her sister on the left, age 94. They both have trouble seeing and hearing, but they’re non-stop gossip the second they get together. It’s completely adorable.
Snacking on hummus and carrots while we work.
This is a dish I haven’t eaten since going vegan, but it was a staple on every single Thanksgiving plate before then. It’s a simple, old-school “recipe” that basically involves four ingredients: petite peas, green onions, mayonnaise, and bacon.
This year I veganized it! I subbed in coconut bacon and Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise (the BEST vegan mayo, cross my heart) and it was amaaaaazing. I know I know, it’s not the healthiest dish. But it tastes like nostalgia and decadence and holiday delight, and to have a vegan version made me happier than you can imagine.
There was champagne.
I made a big batch of Traditional “Dandied” Yams, which is an old favorite.
The roasted Brussels sprouts were finished off in the pan, with sautéed mushrooms, green onions, and coconut cream.
Our main dish was a creative experiment borne from the depths of my sweetheart’s mind. Tofu cutlets, marinated for 2 days, hollowed out on one side. Each hollow cavern filled with a paste of thick cashew cream, oven-roasted garlic, rosemary, and a bit of Earthbalance. Two caverns married to create a sealed center, all tied up with green onions like a little present, neat and tidy and stuffed with garlic-y rosemary creamy goodness.
Can we take a moment to reflect on this gravy?
My man made it from scratch – gluten-free scratch – late late after work on Tuesday night. This gravy has 4 different types of mushrooms (button, crimini, porcini, and morel), pan-toasted flours (for full depth of flavor) turned into a roux, stock and nooch and sage and thyme and I wish I knew what all went into this gravy! While he cooked I was busy working on The BEST Gifts For Vegan Kids Of All Ages, and when he finished it was after midnight, and he brought it over to my computer, and handed me the spoon . . .
I think my exact words were: “I want to eat all of it. I want to eat a bowl of gravy soup.”
Or maybe something along the lines of “So what are you eating on Thanksgiving? ‘Cause this is all mine right here!”
By the time Thursday rolled around, the flavors had mingled and melded and omg, this gravy was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.
Well, for us at least. Wee Waits ate . . . bread. Have you ever heard of a kid who doesn’t like Thanksgiving food??! But no, not for this little guy. He ate bread with dinner and then later, a bowl of leftover lentils. *sigh*
Much later, when our bellies and bodies had had a bit of time to rest, we pulled out the pies. We’d gotten a store-bought pie this year, a gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie which tasted fantastic but ended up being . . . less than firm? We were having trouble serving it, until my sweetie, genius-as-he-is, plopped the whole sucker down in a cup. Brilliant!
Topped with vegan rice whip, of course.
And what about you guys? Did you have a delicious plant-based Thanksgiving? What was your very favorite dish??
♥ ♥ ♥