Sunday, November 16, 2008

pre-Thanksgiving and lots of other food!

I took the day off from work this past Friday -- I have desperately been needing a quiet, stay-at-home, relaxing kind of long weekend! Of course, practically all I did all weekend long was cook (and wash dishes.)

Lunch Friday:
I had saved a recipe for Asian Hot Pot from an old issue of Real Simple magazine, and it took me practically two years to try it out! Looking at the recipe, 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce seemed like WAY too much, so I cut it down to 1/2 cup. Next time I'll cut down even further -- the soup was still just a wee bit too salty for me! Dan slurped up two or three bowlfuls, however. (He's a salt fanatic.)

Dinner Friday Night:
Vegan pre-Thanksgiving! I am so disappointed that Dan will be out of town Thanksgiving weekend, and decided to overcome my disappointment by cooking us a pre-Thanksgiving meal of our own! Urban Vegan inspired me to make stuffed squash as our entree. I eyeballed the stuffing, using her first list of suggestions, and it was FANTASTIC!!! Definitely the best part of the meal, in my opinion. :) I rounded out the meal with garlic mashed potatoes and the fastest gravy in the (Mid)west, steamed brussels sprouts with melted Earth Balance, garlic salt, and pepper, and a cranberry chutney recipe I saved out of the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. What a meal! Dan and I were both SOOOOO full . . . but the best part was, everything was so flavorful but came together pretty quickly! I made the cranberry chutney Thursday night, roasted the squash, prepped the sprouts, and made dessert (coming next) Friday morning, then pulled everything together in about an hour Friday night!

pre-Thanksgiving dessert?
A big, fat bomb, if you ask me. Dan hates pumpkin pie, so I decided to try a recipe for Double-Ginger Pumpkin Flan from Cooking Light. My review of this recipe? BLECH. The "flan" was mushy and not at all custard-like, the recipe took a ton of prep and additional steps I don't think are needed for a baked custard, I tasted NO ginger flavor (despite the "double" term in the recipe title,) and the custards stuck furiously to the cups and did not produce a lovely caramel sauce expected with flan/caramel custard. Should have just made a tofu pumpkin pie!! Now I know for next year, eh?

I had brunch plans with Courtney Saturday late morning, so I didn't have an opportunity to cook again until Saturday night:
Fajitas!!! WOOO! I typically marinade a package of tempeh, sliced, and a slew of peppers and red onions for at least eight hours before pan-frying in my cast-iron skillet. Served the fajitas this time on spelt tortillas from the co-op, topped with diced tomato, lettuce, guac, crumbled queso fresco, and light sour cream. MMMMMMMMMMMMM.

I also baked Saturday night, which turned into breakfast today:
I took another stab at pumpkin cinnamon rolls after my original failure a couple of weeks ago, with one major change this time . . . I used mashed banana in place of the pumpkin!! Banana cinnamon rolls are JUST as good as pumpkin cinnamon rolls, I think! Glad to know I have one more option when faced with a pile of overripe bananas!

Lastly, lunch today:
I vegetized a recipe for Cream of Turkey Wild Rice Soup, using vegetable broth and diced seitan in place of the chicken broth and turkey called for in the original recipe. This soup could even be veganized by using Tofutti mock sour cream!! The soup was quick and easy, (especially since I made the seitan and cooked the wild rice yesterday,) and extreeeeeemely delicious. Next time, I think I'll cut the amount of diced seitan down to two cups, and increase the veggies, just so I can eat more than one small bowlful before feeling completely stuffed!! :)

Off to meet my friend Ann for a walk . . . I've had one too many cinnamon rolls this weekend, I think! :)


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Glad you took a well-deserved day off.

Love the food!!!!

Have fun on your walk!!

Anonymous said...

Pre-thanksgiving looks great. The stuffed squash idea does sound like a perfect entree!

Anonymous said...

Wow Catherine, everything looks great! That shot of the cinnamon roll is drool-worthy :o) It looks like the mini peppers worked okay for the fajitas?


Sarah said...

Those cinnamon rolls look amazing. Good thing for failures or you wouldnt have tried with bananas. I have two bananas left from my pile of banana bread failure, what recipe did you use for them?

And the asian hotpot looks delicious, Ill try it as well and use <.5 cups. That does seem like a crazy amount. It might work just as well as using half veggie broth and a few tablespoons of soy sauce and some miso.

J said...

We all need a day off from time to time to chill out and regain our bearings. I usually end up doing a lot of cooking myself when I take time off (and lots of dishes too).

It all looks really tasty, and I am especially partial to the stuffed acorn squash.

Tami said...

It all looks wonderful! What a great way to spend a long weekend.

Anonymous said...

That creamy wild rice soup has my tummy rumbling! Yippie for days off, lots of lovely food - and woot for pre)thanksgiving food! I always feel like stuffing is the best part of November!

aTxVegn said...

Everything looks wonderful. I'm still gathering ideas for my t-day meal. That wild rice soup sounds realllly good!

Rural Vegan said...

Happy pre-Thanksgiving! Too bad about the flan, but everything else looks great. I think I may need to try out the turkey wild rice soup - that looks so delicious!

Eating Consciously said...

Your cinnamon rolls look delicious. I love making them, but I wish it wasn't so time consuming. It's always nice to wake up in the morning and not have to cook anything :)