Thanksgiving 2009

I’m going to keep the chatting to a minimum and just show you a photo tour of our Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy!

It all started with a donut from Madeline Bistro.

The phillet no phish sandwich, Thanksgiving sandwich (which is pretty much all you could ever want from Thanksgiving), mashed potatoes and gravy.

Vanishing meal. Also consumed: biscuits & gravy, crepes filled with fruit. All amazing.

Visiting turkeys from Animal Acres. Luckily these guys will live long happy lives instead of being abused and murdered this Thanksgiving. Yeah, I said that.

Homemade pumpkin soy nog. My mom made this! I think that’s pretty awesome.

When making a pie, it is absolutely necessary to make a mess. It makes it taste better, I promise.

Best way to work up an appetite before Thanksgiving dinner. Okay so it was a rather leisurely ride to the beach. We were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset.

Brussels sprouts with capers. Oh how I love brussels sprouts.

Perfectly fluffy and wonderful mashed potatoes whipped up by Shawn. He also made fabulous gravy to go on top.

There’s that apple pie! All baked up with the infamous crumbly top. This is the last thing I stuffed in my face today.

Happy Thanksgiving! (p.s. Shawn does not like to smile in photos. He really is having a good time, don’t let the serious face fool you.)

Pumpkin Ravioli

Recently all I want to eat in the world is pasta with some sort of nutritional yeast sauce. It’s just so tasty and the perfect thing after a long day. In order to spice things up a little and tie in some of that fall flavor, I tried my hand at making pumpkin ravioli. Did you hear about the pumpkin shortage? Word on the street is there might not be any pumpkin left after Thanksgiving this year. Stock up before it’s too late. While you’re at it, you should try some of these raviolis.

This ravioli is rich and filled with all the essence of fall. It is perfectly paired with one of my new favorite sauces, a buttery sage sauce. I was so hungry that I kind of skipped the part where I write down the recipe for these guys but I can at least give you a general idea. All measurements are approximate.

Pumpkin Ravioli Filling

1 can pureed pumkin

1/2 cup Earth Balance

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp Sage

1/2 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Melt the Earth Balance in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the pureed pumpkin and stir to combine. Add the seasonings to taste and cook for about 5 minutes.¬† Simple, right? Spoon into your prepared pasta dough (or whatever you’re using), form into raviolis and cook for 3 – 7 minutes.

The sauce, is very similar to the filling but with a completely different tangy flavor. It goes good with almost any pasta dish, but you probably want to avoid that since it’s pretty rich. It will be hard to resist though. Just so you know in advance. I never said this recipe was good for you.

Butter Sage Sauce

1/2 cup Earth Balance

1/2 tsp sage

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

juice of 1/2 lemon

ground pepper

Again melt the Earth Balance in a small sauce pan until it starts to bubble. Add the sage and nutritional yeast and let cook for about 3 more minutes, until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir to combine fully and serve and devour!

Baked Pumpkin Fusilli


If you haven’t noticed, Halloween is my favorite. I had to get one pumpkin recipe in for VeganMoFo, but of course, I waited for the last minute and didn’t have any ideas that wouldn’t take all day. I turned to my trusted cookbook collection and found the Baked Pumpkin Ziti recipe in Veganomicon. Of course I didn’t actually follow the recipe, but it’s nearly the same. It was a hearty dish for lunch on Halloween, with a bit of spiciness. I didn’t have a chance to make the seasoned breadcrumbs for the top, and instead substituted some seasoned flax meal. This is perhaps where my version was seriously lacking. I enjoyed the dish but it wasn’t terribly exciting. I find that often pumpkin can turn a generally tasty meal into something rather bland. Next time maybe I’ll add in some tomato or just more spices.

And that brings us to the end of VeganMoFo 2009. It’s been a blast and I’m a bit sad it’s going to be over. I’m also a little relieved. This month has definitely been a strain on my psyche, trying to blog every day while¬† filling every other free moment with projects and fun to celebrate fall and Halloween. I loved it, but I won’t pretend there weren’t times when the lack of sleep really did get to me. I’m so glad I found so many other really amazing blogs out there to read though and some great inspiration.

death by guillotine and the elephant man

Now I’m off to prepare for more Halloween festivities. I still haven’t finished my costume. And I’m already running late! Yikes. Hope everyone has a frightful and delicious holiday!

Viet Noodle Bar

First, I have to apologize. I may have started losing my mind. This past week has been filled to the brim with obligations, fun and otherwise. Mostly fun. Halloween is tomorrow and I’ve been trying to pack as much fright filled excitement into this week as possible. Which means that I have neglected writing here. I’m a firm believer that one should not apologize for lack of writing on a blog because probably no one noticed but the writer themselves. So I’m really only apologizing for the photo above, because well, you can see it’s not so great.


I’m going to make up for it by telling you about one of my favorite restaurants that you probably haven’t been to. It’s a lovely spot in Atwater Village called Viet Noodle Bar. Now let me tell you why this place is so awesome. It’s an omni restaurant but they have two vegan dishes clearly labeled on their menu. The tofu basil banh mi seen above and a jackfruit noodle bowl. Both are tasty and refreshing. The banh mi is a crunchy french roll filled with tofu, seasoned tomato sauce, basil, carrots and daikon. It has a hearty filling with a fresh, sweet crunch. I love this thing. I probably get it once a week for lunch. The noodle bowl is equally as delicious and even more filling. You really can’t go wrong with noodles and jackfruit.

The other great thing about this place is that it has a communal table and counter and is filled with shared books. I often go and read a couple chapters of a novel while I lunch. The atmosphere is relaxing and modern. A few notes though before you go…it’s cash only so make sure you bring something besides your credit card. Also, there are things on the menu listed as vegetarian and they are not vegan. I was told they have mayo or something bizarre in them. Just stick with the stuff that is marked as vegan and you’ll be set.

And on that note I’m going to leave you with a photo of Shawn’s pumpkin from last year because it’s so cute and we haven’t had a chance to carve pumpkins yet this year. Happy Halloween!

I love crepes

I honestly adore crepes. I love how light they are, as well as being the perfect vehicle for a myriad of flavors. I’m happy eating sweet or savory versions, but don’t go for anything overstuffed. I finally had the opportunity to try the crepe recipe from Veganomicon after oogling over it since I got the cookbook. Chickpea flour is something that I don’t usually have on hand, and it is the key ingredient that makes these crepes work. The crepes I’ve made before were definitely on the sweet side as well as being fairly oily and difficult to work with. This recipe was great as the flavor wasn’t too strong so you could easily pair it with different toppings.

I whipped up the batter last night and refrigerated it so we could have the crepes for breakfast. I tested out a few different fillings, blueberries, strawberry jam, powdered sugar and soy cheese. They were all super tasty but the jam was without a doubt the best. The crepes cooked very easily and as long as the pan was oiled, they were easy to work with. I didn’t use the crepe spreader that I have and instead just opted to swirl the pan around, using gravity to flatten them, and they still turned out fairly thin. I’m so glad to have an easy crepe recipe to turn to. I can’t wait to make a sweet version with lemon.