It’s Officially “The Holidays”

It has come to my attention that I posted four days in a row last week (a feat sort of unheard of outside of Vegan MoFo).  I guess I just had a lot to say!

And now, just like that, it’s December.

The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of festivities, friends, family, and food.  I know a lot of people consider this period of “The Holidays” to be stressful, but I personally find the madness to be awesome and fun!

Next up will be planning the menu for our annual holiday party, plus figuring out what food gifts I am going to be giving to neighbors, co-workers, etc.  Still fixated on Slow-Cooker Vanilla Rum Apple Butter, for the time being.

But first, I want to recap the celebrations of the past week!

Last Tuesday, I went to the Boston Vegetarian Society’s pre-Thanksgiving dinner at Red Lentil in Watertown.  Earlier that day, I posted the incredible menu here.  What you really need to know is that the dinner lived up to almost every expectation I had.

Creole-Spiced Red Kuri Squash and Macintosh Apple Bisque:
TG2013 001

And my [first] plate:
TG2013 002

Starting at the 12 o’clock position, you have: Herbed Baked Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Cashew Ricotta Cheese; Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy; Braised Seitan Medallion in Mushroom Gravy; Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Moroccan Pumpkin and Lentil Stew; and Round Polenta with Mixed Mushrooms and Cilantro Harissa Gremolata.

And, of course, dessert:
TG2013 004

Apple Pear Crisp with Graham Cracker Crust, with Locally Made Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream (from FoMu!); Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Sauce.

There were a couple of surprises for me, taste-wise.  I expected to adore both the zucchini gratin and the Creamy Cauliflower Soup with a Garnish of Fresh Mint, but they ended up being my two least favorite things.  I also wasn’t gaga over the pumpkin cheesecake. 

On the flip-side, there were a couple things I expected to find so-so that blew me away!  Perfect example is the Moroccan stew.  I figured that, because I make stuff like that so often at home, I would be more excited about the other dishes available, but oh MAN was that thing tasty!  It was perfectly spiced and textured and I had a huge second helping too.  The stew, along with the polenta and the mashed potatoes with that unbelievable white mushroom gravy are the three-way tied winners of the night.  Seriously I couldn’t even believe how good that gravy was.

So all in all it was a fantastic dinner, a fun way to meet some new people (I always show up to BVS functions by myself and I have never once lacked for someone to talk to), and a great way to gear up for the holiday weekend!

As planned, I brought two appetizers and one dessert for H’s family’s Thanksgiving celebration plus an entree for myself.

First was my new staple recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip with Garlic Cashew Cream by Becky of Glue and Glitter, served in a bread bowl!
TG2013 009
It has been requested that I make this every year on Thanksgiving from here until perpetuity.

I also made hummus from scratch using a recipe that one of my judges recommended to me.
TG2013 011

This is life-changing hummus.  The trick is not only to cook the chickpeas from dried, but to actually peel them once cooked.  It’s a labor of love but something worth doing for a special occasion.  The hummus went with my sister-in-law’s veggie turkey platter:
TG2013 012

Two appetizers, two huge successes!  And no leftovers.

For my entree I decided to try out Vegan Richa’s recipe for Portabello Mushrooms Stuffed with Harvest Chickpeas (click here for the recipe).
TG2013 013

Um, wow.  This recipe makes an absolutely perfect vegan holiday entree.  It has a taste similar to traditional stuffing and it is SO GOOD with cranberry sauce!!  Here is my full plate:
TG2013 015

H’s aunt had made the most delicious and tender roasted brussels sprouts, and I had some leftover mashed potato from another recipe, which again was perfect with the chickpea stuffing and cranberry sauce.  No starving vegan this year!

And of course, for dessert:
TG2013 005
Chewy Ginger-Molasses Cookies by Chloe Coscarelli.  These are fail-proof.

And Friday after Thanksgiving means leftovers!  Chickpea stuffing on a bagel with cranberry sauce hit the spot:
TG2013 016

I’m working to catch up on everyone’s blogs from the last 4 days or so, but in the meantime, I want to hear about all the great stuff you ate over the weekend!  What were your Thanksgiving successes?

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “It’s Officially “The Holidays”

  1. I second the spinach artichoke dip! If I were able to eat gluten, I’d have put it into a bread bowl, too — a sourdough bread bowl. Yours looks great. I also second the ginger cookies. I make a GF version, and it never fails to make me look like a cookie master, which I’m not. I’ve got the recipe on my blog thanks to the publisher, plus I own the cookbook, and the ginger cookie page is the most used-looking page in the book! Someday I may rouse myself to peel chickpeas so I can make the amazing hummus that everyone is talking about. Someday.

    • The dip is so perfect with veggies too 🙂

      Do you have a link to the GF version on your blog? I’d love to update the post to include it!

  2. that first plate of food looks amazing! wow, peeling the chickpeas, hmm. i can maybe con hubbs into doing it 🙂 i love that dip in a bread bowl. Thank you for making the harvest Chickpeas portobello. i am so happy you made it and liked it!
    We had a not so traditional TG, I made a 3 cheese Lasagna and my Pumpkin mousse cake. Both were a huge success even with competing non vegan items around

    • Those both sound amazing! And thank you so much for the portabello recipe–it was really delicious and my husband LOVED the stuffing too and asked me to make it for him in a bell pepper! Always a bonus when he requests a healthy, vegan dish 🙂

Talk to Me--I Love Reading Your Comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s