Friday, November 26, 2010

America Abroad: Vegan Thanksgiving in the UK

Thanksgiving for many young students (such as myself) is a favorite holiday. For one, its the perfect break in the middle of stressful exam study. Secondly, a lot of us get to come home and catch up with family and friends we haven't seen since summer, all while enjoying copious amounts of lovingly homemade comfort food. In a word, a dream for the starving student and foodie in us all.
Unfortunately, studying abroad affords you few of these luxuries. So while all of our friends were enjoying the usual Thanksgiving fix, the boyfriend and I whipped up our own 7-dish feast after coming back from a day of classes. Needless to say, dinner was at 9pm, and a few hours later was sleep from a food coma. But all in all it was a fun time, some delicious food, and gave us an opportunity to catch up and reflect on the good fortune in our lives.

I hope you guys all had a great Thanksgiving as well, and here are just some of the features from our table, and some ideas for Christmas or next year:


Easy Traditional Stuffing: Recipe Below

Cornbread Stuffing: I edited this recipe a bit and think it worked out better. Bake the cornbread a few days in advanced and let dry out. Only use 1 T maple syrup, replace eggs with cornstarch eggs (1 "egg" = 2 T cornstarch + 2 T water), and toss everything together in the end with 1/2 cup vegetable stock. I ended up baking it bit long (10 minutes more uncovered) because of the extra liquid. Yumm!

Sweet Potato Casserole: Love Susan's recipe and this one's delicious. I topped it with about 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers.

No-Turkey Loaf: To veganize, simply replace turkey with 4oz seiten, add about 1/4 cup Italian spiced bread crumbs and 1/4 cup cornmeal. Bake as directed, top with fresh cranberry sauce, enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pie: Love Mark Bittman's column in the NYTs, and this delicious sweet potato pie with coconut milk is just as lovable. I used a traditional homemade crust instead however, but once I have access to my cooking equipment again (oh, food processor, how I miss thee) I'm definitely going to try his crust.

Easy, Creamy Mashed Potatoes: To make the perfect veganized mashed potatoes, use soy creamer, a good dose of Earth Balance margarine, and some garlic salt.

Easy Traditional Stuffing
- 1/2 loaf soft whole wheat bread
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2-3 medium onions, diced
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 T
- 1 t, salt
- 3/4 T, pepper
- a few stalks fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
2. Tear up the 1/2 loaf of bread into small pieces and toss into a large bowl.
3. Fill a frying with the 1/4 cup olive oil and warm over low. Add in diced celery and diced onions. Lightly fry over low until translucent and soft.
4. Add celery and onions to the bread and mix to combine.
5. Add in salt, pepper, and parsley. (Feel free to add any other spices you'd like)
6. Add in the vegetable broth and mix well to combine.
7. With the extra 1 T oil, grease a casserole dish. Add in the stuffing mixture and spread out evenly.
9. Remove foil lid and bake for approximately 10-20 minutes (or until as crispy as your prefer it). Enjoy!

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