Sunday, November 19, 2006

Our Vegan Thanksgiving

Tonight Chase and I made our "If I were in charge of Thanksgiving dinner" meal. Our menu was Breast of Tofu (posted by Bunnyfoot, Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy (from VwaV), Smashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Balsamic Mixed Vegetables, Cranberry Relish, English Toasting Bread, and Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Chase has been going through a rough time lately, so we enjoyed spending lots of time together this weekend and especially cooking together tonight. Before we ate I told him I was thankful he enjoyed spending time with his mom, and he said he was thankful his mom liked to cook good food for him.

Saturday I made some cranberry stuff, relish I guess. I cooked cranberries, an apple, a tangelo, and half an onion in apple cider with some ginger, raisins, and dried apricots. I spiced it with cloves and cinnamon. I didn't need to add any sugar. It was really nice with the bread.

I could only get one picture - I took it outside since the weather was so nice, but the bees came!

I also made English Toasting Bread. This was always one of Chase's favorites. I don't remember where I originally got the recipe, but you could find it on the web easily. It's a loaf of an English muffin. It doesn't taste great plain, but after a minute or two in the toaster, it's a homemade English muffin, only sandwich sized. It's a little messy with the cornmeal crust, but oh so worth it. These pictures are really just bad camera angle shots, but I never claimed to be a pro photographer and you can get the idea of the beauty of this bread from these pics. You can see the bread on the table later, toasted and perfect.

Veggies for roasting were cauliflower, broccoli, Brussells sprouts, carrots, purple potatoes, onions, and red bell peppers. I drizzled a little olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and salt & pepper on them. Here they are before and after roasting. I know I say this all the time, but if given the choice between these beautiful veggies and a McD burger, who could want the burger instead?!?

Chase was in charge of the Breast of Tofu. That child loves tofu more than anyone I know! I had marinated it all day, then he prepared the breading and did the panfrying. We tried really hard to do something risque with a piece of tofu and 2 chickpeas, but it just didn't work out. Chase said I was making cassette tapes, not breasts. Anyway, while he made the breasts, I made the chickpea gravy. It was my first time to try it, and yes, it is as awesome as everyone says it is. Perfect with the tofu and smashed sweet potatoes.

For our dessert, I decided to experiment. Chase couldn't decide if he would rather have pumpkin or pecan pie, and I think everything should be chocolate. So I decided to make Pumpkin Pecan Pie in Chocolate Crust. I made Wolffie's Pumpkin Pie from La Dolce Vegan and put it into a crust of crushed Newman's Own Chocolate ABC Cookies, chopped pecans, and a little sugar and melted butter. I usually don't bake cookie crusts so I was a little nervous. But OMG, the pie is heaven, and it doesn't matter what crust it goes into. No tofu, no cooking. Just mix it up and shove it in the oven. It has a crumb topping and is perfectly spiced. The recipe says to serve at room temperature, and it held up fine, but I like it a little firmer, so I put it in the fridge. It helped the crust hold together better too. Here's the crust.

Here's the pie ready to go into the oven.

Here is all the food we were thankful for tonight.



springsandwells said...

oh wow!!!!!
Your feast looks so amazing and delcious and even though I just ate a huge meal, I am drooling just looking at it all. I'm so amazed at it all...

The cranberry relish looks delicious, and so does the fancy toaster bread!! I have been sitting on an "English Muffin" recipe for a long time now, but maybe I should just make your neat looking bread! Yum Yum.

The veggies are so colorful and beautiful. I definitely agree with you about the veggies vs. the burger. Veggies are just so great: tasty, varied, nutritious, beautiful!

And of course - your pie looks freaking amazing!! Oh gosh, I wish I could drop by your place for piece of pie. It's too bad we are spread out all over the country, or else we could have a real life pot luck and try all these tasty dishes.


Eat Peace Please said...

This all looks amazing. So glad to hear the verdict of the punk rock gravy was a hit. I have taken on my own version of it (pretty much modified) and I crave it all the time.

Chase did a great job searing the breast of tofu's. I see you found purple potatoes! Aren't they so rich in color!? I also like how you decided to do a 3 in 1 pie.

Sean Carter said...

Your menu sounds really delicious and with the pics they really look mouth watering...I'm sure you guys had a wonderful time...and hey do drop by my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and find out all it's got to offer...visit soon...all my warm wishes on Thanksgiving to you!!!

Vivacious Vegan said...

This looks like a fabulous feast. Being vegan is certainly something to be thankful for! I honestly want to try every single thing you made in this post. I've been craving english muffins lately (I love to eat them with peanut butter) and think I'll definitely look up a recipe now.

The veggies are so beautiful. I love how colorful they are. Roasted veggies are really my favorite way to eat them. Mmmmm!

Great job on the breast of tofu. How in the world does chase pan fry it and get it to turn out so well? I can never pan fry tofu good enough.

And lastly, I must comment on how awesome your pie creation is. Your version sounds like it's the best! I'll definitely try something like that for our next pumpkin pie.

laura jesser said...

Wow, that pie looks incredible. Everything looks great, Diann--that cranberry relish (and I'm so glad you got the outdoor shot), and the breast of tofu. And I think I will try to look up a recipe for that bread. I haven't had English muffins in a good while.

bazu said...

Wow, I vote for you guys to be in charge of thanksgiving for real! Where do I start, the homemade bread (was it gluten free?), the cranberry relish (I love all things cranberry), the pie, the salad, mmmm. I feel like I've already had thanksgiving! You can't ingest calories through a computer screen, can you...?...

aTxVegn said...

Thanks guys! I forgot to mention that Chase also made the sweet potatoes.

S & W - wouldn't a vegan blogger convention be the best!!!

Leslie - if you hadn't posted about the purple potatoes, I probably would have walked right past them because they sure don't look like much in the bin. But when you cut into them - WOW, the color is completely amazing! They were so much fun to prep and eat!

Crystal - see why I thought your rolls looked so good? I hope to make dinner rolls my next baking project.

I bought a new pan for Chase to fry in - he takes great pride in his lowfat panfrying. And I highly recommend the pie. We always give away our leftovers, but this time we kept some pie for ourselves!

Laura, Bazu - the bread really is super good, and so easy!! It's not gluten free. Fortunately for me, I'm only gluten intolerant, so a bite or two in a weak moment won't hurt me.

erica said...

The pie looks gorgeous!
The idea of sexy tofu cassette tapes is making my try hard not to laugh in the office - hopefully no one will notice. Well, they'll just think I'm crazy, and I don't care (they already think I'm crazy, anyway).

Kris said...

Oh my goodness, what a spread! That all looks incredible. I'm going to make the chickpea gravy as well, as I'm sure most everyone in bloggerland will be!

That pie looks amazing! What a great idea, to use a chocolate crust. I ordered a pumpkin pie so it's one less thing for me to worry about, but now I wish I hadn't!

Gaia said...

I love reading about you and your son's relationship ! It gives me so much hope for the future... I sometimes wonder if my boys will still want to cook with me and like spending time with us (sigh)...

Beautiful food ! I love the roasted veggies :)

Megan the Vegan said...

wow - really ... wow! I'm just blown away! I've never heard of English Toasting Bread...if it tastes like english muffins then I must find a recipe and make it cause I adore english muffins.

Tonight I'm going to dream about that pie you made.

Okra Mary said...

Everything looks so good! I'm getting annoyed by bloglines, because it hasn't been telling me when you update! Oh well...guess I'll just have to check everyday ;)

Nikki said...

Yum! :) That pie looks otherworldly!