Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

The last days of Fall: My belated Thanksgiving edition.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I spent mine in Arizona visiting with my family and friends. It has become tradition that we have Thanksgiving at my parents house, about 32 people this year. It was a great party. This year we had one vegan (me) and 2 vegetarians (my mom and boyfriend). So of course we had TONS of food. Tofurkey, Vegan Ham, green bean casserole with home made mushroom gravy, jalapeno cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts with olive oil and orange zest, fruit and nut chutney, mashed potatoes with earth balance and a pecan pumpkin pie for dessert! Needless to say I ate my face off and probably gained a few pounds. I was actually so busy eating and mingling that I didn’t take any pictures of our delicious vegan spread! I could kick myself…but I won’t. I do have a picture of the green bean casserole that my boyfriend and I made the week before, just to get us in the holiday spirit. It was very easy to make, and relatively healthy. We used fresh green beans, chopped white mushrooms, veggie stock, almond milk, a little flour for thickening, roasted garlic and spices. Pretty much just find a regular recipe and sub in vegan ingredients. Don’t forget the crispy fried onions to top it with!
Green Bean Casserole with Home Made Mushroom Gravy

Before I forget, I wanted to share my (super belated on this) Halloween costume I wore this year. My crazy girl friends and I went as a big flock of birds. There were peacocks, flamingos, black birds and I was an owl. My costume was inspired by a “owl dress” I saw on one of my favorite blogs. It ended up taking me forever, but I think it turned out awesome! I got so many compliments. I also added to the theme with fun feather eye lashes, a hand made feather head band, black fishnet stockings over brown tights (to mimic bird legs haha) and outrageous makeup! I will definitely have to wear it again next year.
Supplies I used:

Here's the flock!

As you can tell from reading my previous posts I have been on a comfort food kick. I have been craving soup and bread. My boyfriend and I recently made a Butternut squash, garlic and green apple bisque, served with toasted whole wheat French bread. I found the recipe on Vegweb and used it as a guide line. Here is the link: I love reading other peoples recipes, but it is also fun to change them up a little bit. I always try to make my food the healthiest it can be without compromising on flavor or comfort factor. Little things like using low sodium veggie stock, subbing almond milk (it has the least calories of the vegan milks) and baking instead of frying. It may take a little longer, but your body will thank you.
Butternut Squash-Green Apple Bisque with roasted Garlic

Tomato Soup and Cheddar Daiya Grilled Cheeze

Enough of the healthy talk, this is the holiday season. The season for food, fun, friends and family. The night before Thanksgiving at my parents house, my dad and brother always make a big bon fire in the yard. My parents live in a rural part of northern Phoenix so it’s nice and dark out, you can see all the stars. Family friends come over and we all sit around the fire and relax. Coming from a family who loves to go camping, I have always associated camp fires with making Smores. Gram crackers, chocolate and marshmallows….yummy. For vegans making smores is totally possible, and you can get all the items you need at the regular grocery store (we went to Albertsons but not all grocery stores have the same items). For those of you who do not know, regular marshmallows have gelatin in them, an animal derived product. Gram crackers usually have honey in them, try store brand or digestive biscuits. And watch out for milk in the chocolate, dark is usually milk free. You can buy vegan marshmallows at health food stores like Whole Foods, but my mom and I found an amazing rice marshmallow cream at Albertson’s grocery store (Brand I found is "Suzanne's". It was a little messy, but aren’t smores supposed to be?!

Now that we are in December (where did this year go), my mind it back in the kitchen. I have a few things I want to make and do; decorating sugar and/or gingerbread cookies, baking something chocolate and peppermint-y, cook something amazing for Xmas dinner, go see or do something Christmas themed (I do have a fugly sweater party this month), and of course lots of crafting!
Peace, Love and Veggies,