We originally invited four friends over for Thanksgiving but only one could make it, so we had a small, relaxed gathering. We set the table up behind the couch for easy football watching during dinner – excellent.
Our appetizer was Pepper Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese, balsamic roasted figs, and crackers. The cheese log was AWESOME. I super heart it. The recipe is C’est La Vegan’s adaptation of the Vegetarian Times recipe, and I really appreciated the extra commentary and directions that she provided. I was worried that my cheese wasn’t going to hold together because it didn’t drain off much liquid and felt soft coming out of the oven, but it held together well enough to transfer to the platter, and the consistency was perfectly spreadable. I would highly recommend giving this a try if you like tangy, spreadable, delicious vegan cheese. The recipe seems lengthy, but it doesn’t have to be; I soaked the cashews while at work the day before, blended it that night and let it sit overnight, then baked it in the morning.
The figs were tossed with a bit of balsamic, olive oil and salt and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes. They weren’t a huge hit with Dave or our guest, but I liked them well enough.
I also put out a bowl of sweet ‘n spicy mixed nuts, which I over baked a little. Oops…
I wanted to serve soup and salad, and kept the servings small so that we wouldn’t fill up before the main event.
Chestnut & Celeriac Soup with Sherry-Cider Reduction. As I said in the recipe post, I put a bit too much reduction on the soup – It really only needs a small drizzle.
Chopped Salad with “Honey”-Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. I planned to make this for Thanksgiving ever since it went over so well at our Showcase dinner. I substituted agave for the honey, and left out the apples and avocado. I can see how it would be even better with avocado. Neither of the guys ate their entire salad, but they both said they liked it, which is really impressive for a salad containing both raw kale and brussels sprouts.
There was so much food, we used every surface. Dave did make a turkey with gravy and non-vegan stuffing, but other than that, everything was vegan!
He also made a vegan oyster mushroom stuffing, which was really nice because it was one less dish I had to worry about. And as a bonus, it was really good! Earth Balance, onion, celery, oyster mushrooms, fresh sage, thyme and rosemary, stale bread cubes, and unchicken broth.
Mound of mashed potatoes with Earth Balance, truffle salt and almond milk.
Green Bean Casserole, topped with French’s fried green beans as opposed to freshly fried onions, at Dave’s request. While I do like my version with homemade crispy onions, I also have to admit that the French’s onions are quite excellent for this purpose.
Orange-Cranberry Sauce. I wasn’t going to make any cranberry sauce this year because it’s not our favorite part of the meal, but my CSA sent me a package of fresh cranberries the week before, so what choice did I have? I set out to make a mold, but it didn’t set up enough, so I called it a smooth sauce. No recipe – I just cooked the cranberries with the juice of two oranges and zest of one, adding a pinch of salt and a squeeze of agave nectar. They simmered just until soft, then I blended the mixture and returned it to the pot, adding a few Tablespoons of agar flakes and some maple syrup. It tasted nice, but I was sad when the mold didn’t hold its shape.
My entree was the Nut Roast Extraordinaire that I froze a few weeks ago, on the plate with corn and Our Veggie Kitchen’s Turkey Gravy. The gravy actually did kinda taste like turkey! Granted, it’s been a long time since I had turkey. While it wasn’t my favorite gravy ever, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a vegan turkey gravy.
Dessert was Pumpkin Pie from the Mission: Impossible Pies e-book, served with Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream. Dave wanted a store-bought pie and was suspicious when he heard that our pie wasn’t going to have any crust, but in the end he admitted that this version was good too. He certainly didn’t complain while we ate the leftovers!