Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Classics

If it's not super obvious by my recent posts, I have had absolutely no free time as of late.  Never a bad thing, unless Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  Luckily, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that can be super simple... and perfect.  I made this list at work, haha:

On the menu:
- A Tofurkey!  With tons of veggies and a baste that my boyfriend* made up:).
- Green Bean Casserole!  Mike's favorite.  If I could have only put one thing on the table, it would be a green bean casserole.
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Dandies!  My favorite.
- Mashed Potatoes!  Like, the most basic ones ever.
- Stuffing!  I used a recipe that was on the main page of for a Cornbread and "Sausage" Stuffing.  It wasn't vegan, but it was easy to veganize.
- Mushroom Gravy.  Totally just bought some.
- An Apple Pumpkin Pie.  Yes, to save time (and to cope with the fact that I only have one pie dish.. and it's my Dad's..), I combined them.  You have to do what you have to do.  And it was AMAZING.

As rushed and as last- minute as my Thanksgiving was, it was amazing.  On the morning of the 24th, I went grocery shopping.  Mike is awesome and grabbed a Tofurkey a few days before, so I didn't have to freak out with the other customers in front of the "sold out" sign on the freezer.  I didn't have a list yet, so I just bought a ton of stuff that I thought would be important.  Then, I went to work (at both jobs).  I made my list on one of my breaks, and biked to a late-night grocery store afterwards to pick up anything I hadn't bought that morning.  And then I cooked until 3am.  I made a list of "chores" for Mike who, thank goodness, had Thanksgiving off.  I made it in book form, and entitled it "A Guide to Our Thanksgiving."  Yay!  

The next morning, I had to be work at 6:30am.  I biked home on breaks to help out, but Mike had it under control.  I planned my day so I would have a two-hour break from 3-5pm.  Just enough time to help with the finishing touches, set the table, eat, and crash with an episode of Law and Order before heading back out!  It was perfect.

Here are the dishes!  Again, they're meant to be as simple and time efficient (and tasty!) as possible.

The Tofurkey
Well, we prepared this according to the directions on the box, so I won't bore you.  We surrounded it with a bunch of carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions.  My boyfriend made up his own baste, which was some combination of orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, spices, annnnd some other stuff.  I don't know.  It was good, though!

The Green Bean Casserole
- 2 cups green beans
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped if you bought them whole
- 1/2 cup onion (About one medium-sized onion, chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter 
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons AP flour
- 3/4 cup soy creamer
- 1 container French Fried Onions
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Grab a medium-sized saucepan and bring the vegetable broth to a boil.  Boil the green beans for 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Saute the mushrooms, onions, and garlic over medium- heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions appear translucent. 
4. Steal about half of the vegetable broth from the green beans, and wisk in the flour.  Add to the skillet (you know, the one with the mushrooms and such) and stir.  Add the spices!  Keep stirring!
5. Add the soy creamer to the skillet.  Continue to cook (and stir) for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens.  
6. Add those green beans and stir some more!  Add salt and pepper (and garlic salt for whatever reason) to taste.
7. Throw it all into an oiled casserole dish, and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Grab it out of the oven, top with the French Fried Onions, and bake for another 10 minutes.  
If you want to take it a step further, break up 2 pieces of bread and mix together with a dollop (1 tablespoon maybe?) of vegan butter.  Toss this with the onions for less.. onions.  This is Mike's favorite part, so I left it as-is.  Kind of lazy, but it's his Thanksgiving, too!

The Sweet Potato Casserole.. with Dandies
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
- A few shakes of cinnamon
- One package of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Wash, peel, and chop the sweet potatoes.  Boil in a large pot for a "good amount of time" until soft.  I'd say about 10 minutes?  20?  I didn't actually time it...
3. Drain potatoes and mash.  Throw in the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.
4. Pour into casserole dish, and top with the entire package of Dandies.  There's, like, just enough to cover it, sooo only eat 2.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, but pay attention to the tops of the marshmallows.  They should be browned.

The Mashed Potatoes
- 3 large potatoes
- Soy milk (approx. 1/4 cup)
- Vegan Butter (approx. 4 tablespoons)
- Salt and pepper to taste

There really isn't too much of a method to these....
1. Wash, peel, chop, and boil the potatoes in large pot for... you guessed it, a "good amount of time."  We "overboil" to make whipped potatoes.
2. Drain and mash!  
3. Add soy milk and vegan butter to taste.  I had Mike do this, and he just kind of did it.  I'm going to assume the amounts I mentioned in the ingredients, but everyone is different, so do it your own way!
4. Throw in the salt and pepper to taste!  Told you there wasn't a method... these are meant to be easy!

Cornbread and "Sausage" Stuffing
From , but wait!  Before you click!:

- 1/3 a package of GimmeLean vegan sausage for "1/2 pound sweet pork sausage, casings removed"
Uhh, ONE clove of garlic?  Slackers.  Make it AT LEAST two.
- 1 cup vegetable broth for that chicken junk!

... and the pie?!!

Well, you'll have to wait until Monday.  Good things come to those who wait.. for Gossip Girl!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

* his name is Mike:).


  1. Great job for the time challenged! I so relate!
    It's great to have a terrific helper too!