I can’t believe our tiny Thanksgiving break is almost over. It flew by in what seemed like a matter of seconds. I suppose that’s what happens when you have lots to do over a few days. We started off our celebrations at Madeleine Bistro for a four course Thanksgiving feast. We’ve been to Madeleine’s for the past few years but this meal topped them all. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a delicious Thanksgiving meal in my life. Everything was exquisite. Next year we plan to have Thanksgiving at our house and I hope we can make something even just a fraction of how good this meal was.
We spent the rest of the weekend with friends and family relaxing and eating lots. I did very little cooking considering. I made this wonderful green bean casserole and an apple pie. Yesterday Shawn was in a short film so I had the day to myself. I spent it watching British period dramas, knitting and sewing. It was pretty nice to not have to worry about work and projects for a whole day.
When I was a kid, after every school break I would make a list of all the cool things I did in my time off filled with movies I’d watched or things I’d made. This year if I made a list, the two biggest things would be finishing the binding on our wedding quilt (which took FOREVER) and hanging up some clothes that have been sitting in our bedroom for about a month. Pretty simple, but a major relief to have finished at the same time.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. What would you put on your list?
It may seem like I’m a little obsessed with leftovers. It’s true. But Thanksgiving always leaves you with so many of them. Even though we didn’t cook this year, we still ended up with a few nights worth of holiday food. I wanted to spice things up a little bit, just so we weren’t having exactly the same meal over and over. Hence the creation of the Thanksgiving leftover hot pocket.
All you have to do to make these is make some pastry crust (I used the flakey pie crust recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking) and assemble as if you were making ravioli. You could easily use puff pastry if you didn’t feel like making a crust.
Start by preheating your oven to 425° F. Roll out your crust (or one sheet of puff pastry) and set aside one half. Put a few tablespoons of stuffing or tofurky or whatever leftover you want in a grid on the dough, leaving about an inch between each filling. The next part is really important, you must drizzle a little bit of gravy over your filling. Make sure the filling isn’t piled too high or your crust may crack.
Carefully lay the other half of the crust over the prepared fillings. Press the spaces between each filling together with your fingers, starting in the center and working your way out. It’s ok if a little bit of gravy or whatever leaks out the side, but try to seal it best you can around the edges. Using a pizza cutter or a pastry cutter, cut the hot pockets into individual pies. Slice a few diagonal slits in the top of each. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
These would also be great with your holiday meal, they’re not just good for leftovers. Let’s face it, everything is better in a pie crust. We had ours with some celebration field roast, more stuffing and some kale.
The bottom line is that pretty much anything is good in these. Get creative. If you want them filled with sweet potatoes and dandies, I’m sure they’d be extra awesome. Feel free to keep them simple or get crazy.
Every year there is the question of what to do with all your leftovers from the holidays. Even if you eat through all your Tofurky and potatoes, there is usually some side dish that you’ve got an abundance of. This year, our friends Kim & Ryan had the great idea of having a day after Thanksgiving leftovers potluck with a handful of vegan friends.
While a bunch of people made new dishes, there were definitely a bunch of leftovers involved for sure. I made a ton of mashed potatoes, some carrots, and the fantastic gravy from The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook. I brought a lot of food since I came with Shawn and both his brother Kyle and sister Amy who in tow.
Surprisingly, without a ton of coordination, everyone seemed to bring different dishes. We had pretty much everything covered (except for tofurky, which was fine by me).
There was quinoa stuffing, green bean casserole, kale salad, bread pudding, various vegetables, sweet potatoes topped with dandies, crescent rolls and more I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Everything was fantastic and it was super nice to hang out, talk vegan food, and swap stories about our Thanksgivings and such. It was nice to just relax in a super cozy environment over some delicious food for the afternoon.
Not to mention, we got to scarf what was left of Kim’s amazing Pumpkin Butterscotch Trifle, which was pretty much to die for. You really can’t go wrong when you have friends that can cook. That is something I learned for sure this weekend.
Hope everyone had an awesome long weekend. I can’t believe December is almost here.
Happy Post Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful day stuffing their faces with vegan goodness. We skipped making food this year and had an awesome brunch at Madeleine Bistro. (I’m pretty sure a certain Little Vegan Planet will be posting some drool-worthy photos very soon.)
I wanted to show off this cute hat I made for Shawn. He’s notorious for always wearing his orange hat, but chose this lovely brown cotton bulky yarn for this piece. I used this pattern and it came together quickly and easily. I just free-handed the ears and sewed a few pieces of felt on the inside.
Since it’s black Friday, I just wanted to urge readers to get creative this holiday season and try and craft up some of your gifts. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make things for people you care about. It’s a great way to put a lot of love (and not so much money) into gifts.
If you don’t feel so craft-inclined, I highly advocate checking out Etsy or a local craft fair this year. You can support local artist and people who really put a lot of creativity into their work. You’ll feel better getting something that is unique and special for your loved ones than getting something cheap and mass produced. I’m not saying not to snag a few of those half price Blu-rays either, but this season of giving, try something a little extra special.
I was looking for some inspiration for new things to try for Thanksgiving this year, so I asked my friends on twitter for some ideas. There were a few things that peaked my interest, but the one that caught my attention was the suggestion of a carrot souffle. Not only had I never heard of such a thing, I was instantly determined to make one.
I wasn’t sure a vegan souffle would puff up and have those wonderful qualities that make a souffle what it is, but this sure did. It was a beautiful thing.
The recipe I based this on was a bit sweeter than I was interested in, so I cut down the sugar a fair amount. While it was lovely this way, you might want to forgo the sugar in the topping altogether and instead use some savory seasonings. I would go as far as to say that one might not even need the crumb top, but it’s also nice to have the crunch.
Also, I should note, that even though this is a recipe with carrots as it’s main ingredient, it isn’t the healthiest thing ever. But who cares? Make some as a side dish for Thanksgiving. Your guests will love it, I’m sure. And yeah, it’s got carrots!
Vegan Carrot Souffle
adapted from here
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Earth Balance, softened
- 1 cup firm tofu
- 1 lb carrots, cooked until soft (I boiled them)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Clean, cut and cook your carrots. They should be soft but don’t need to be mushy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Combine the bread crumbs, brown sugar and Earth Balance in a bowl using a fork. Set aside.
- Crumble your tofu into a food processor and mix until it is fairly smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.
- Add the carrots to the food processor and blend together until the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.
- Add in the remaining ingredients for the souffle and continue to blend until combined.
- Pour into souffle dishes, being mindful not to overfill as they will puff up a they bake.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the dishes from the oven and sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake for 8 minutes, turning on the broiler for the last minute or so to brown.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.