American Thanksgiving, 2010

Naturally, John and I don't get a day off for American Thanksgiving. Since I'm doing an independent study this semester, I can feel like I have a "day off" any time I want, except that then I would feel really guilty and behind my imaginary deadline. This year, we marked the American version of Thanksgiving by staying at home to work on papers and cook fairly normal, American Thanksgiving fare.

Since John and I don't really buy meat in Canada (because of the expense), we went with a meatless Thanksgiving and ended up using a few different vegan recipes from this website, which I love. The author over there had a couple different tofu preparations that looked delicious, and I ended up choosing the one I did because it involved making gravy, that was too goo to pass up.

So here are the things I made, some of which were for that day in particular, and some for other occasions.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes
from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World.


Those were meant to be dessert after the holiday meal, and I think I'm the only one who had any room left to eat them. Also, they're great heated up in the microwave the next day.

Molasses Spice Cookies, from America's Test Kitchen Family Cook Book.

Don't believe the recipe when it says this makes 2 dozen cookies - it made more than 2 and a half, and they weren't small, neither. I gave half of it to a local holiday bake sale and brought the other half for my students on Black Friday. One of my colleagues said these are better than the same cookie at Starbucks. Ahem.

Then we set the table and our friend Gwen came over for dinner.

With just three people to feed, I tried not to let the menu planning get out of control (as I'm wont to do). We had three dishes, gravy, and the cupcakes. It was kind of perfect because I stuffed my face (especially with potatoes) but I didn't eat my weight in three kinds of potatoes.

Here's what we served:
It was sort of hard to explain the tofu recipe to John until I made an analogy to chicken-fried steak. Then he was on board. This was a delicious recipe, and it reheats in the oven well. The breading is delicate, since it's just flour and some herbs. Our guest (who told me in advance that she would try anything once) said if I hadn't told her ahead of time, she would have thought it was chicken. The chicken seasoning is a pretty crucial ingredient for making it so good. I seriously couldn't wait to have this again the next night.

As for the gravy, our guest also told us that mushrooms are the one food she absolutely abhors, so we left them out of the gravy. Still, it was delicious and came together easily. I think if you added some finely chopped and sauteed celery, and maybe some bread cubes, it would taste just like regular stuffing. The mushrooms would make it even better and I hope we try that again. John and I were putting the gravy on everything on the plate by the end of the meal. I was concerned that it all might taste overly like soy, but it didn't at all.

I have no illusions that what we ate was "healthy" just because it was vegan. Fried and breaded tofu may not have have as much fat as similarly prepared beef, but it's still high in fat. I just figured it was a cheaper (and just slightly healthier) thing to eat in place of making a turkey or buying a cut of meat. This meal was a good example of how vegan cooking can still be somewhat indulgent and super flavorful when you want to splurge on the calories a little. We won't make it again right away, since you know, it's fatty and for a special occasion, but we will definitely make this tofu again.

I know I'm late, but I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, whenever you might have celebrated it!

1 comment:

  1. Between the pumpkin chocolate cupcakes and the three different kinds of potatoes, I believe I will be partaking in my Thanksgiving at your house next year.