Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vegan Links

It has been just about 3 months since I last posted, and for good reason. After several years of un and underemployment I got a full time teaching job! I am so excited about it, it's a great progressive preschool with a fantastic small staff and lots of possibility. But given that big life change, I haven't had the energy to blog or do much else besides work and rest. So with that in mind, I have a quick post today with links to some amazing Holiday appropriate recipes that we made over Thanksgiving.

I had Thanksgiving with my in-laws and at our table we had omnivores, vegans, folks eating gluten-free and some wanting to avoid sugar. We all compromised a bit and came up with a fantastic menu that was almost vegan, often gluten-free, low in sugar and all delicious! A friend came last minute with severe Celiac disease (we're talking weeks of pain with a single bite of anything glutinous) and he was able to eat a full plate of food. It made my heart feel so good to be able to meet his dietary needs without even trying. And heck, if we had known we could have de-glutenized the whole meal!



Here are some highlights:

Sweet potato & pecan cinnamon rolls, pre-rise

Sweet Potato and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls- For breakfast! I actually used canned pumpkin because we forgot to cook the sweet potatoes in time, but either way they were delicious :)

Tofu Pot Pie filling 
Vegan Tofu Pot Pie- Delicious, hearty and filling, I find this recipe equally appropriate for the holidays or a weekend meal. We added some mushrooms cooked in red wine to add richness and depth, as well.

Amazing crudite spread~ veggies, homemade hummus, gluten-free chips
Sweet Potato Casserole- A vegan version of a staple in our house for the last 13 years. I have to say, I didn't miss the eggs and cream one bit!

The whole meal, Norman Rockwell style
Cranberry Relish with dried cherries, jam, vinegar and Grand Marnier- A few more ingredients than the homemade cranberry sauce I've done in the past, but WAY more flavor. This sauce is so so good and got a lot of compliments. It is also versatile and easy to modify. We used rum for our alcohol and mixed berry jam with apple cider vinegar instead of raspberry vinegar. Also, I completely got ahead of myself and added all the ingredients at once instead of in the cooking order the recipe called for. Still worked just fine.

Tequila, thanksgiving style, cause this is how we roll in the kitchen :)
Chocolate Agave Cream Pie- Oh my. This is possibly the best chocolate pie I've ever had. Very rich and dense. I made it with only 1 box of silken tofu because we ran out which gave a denser feel to it, next time I may try following the recipe exactly for a lighter texture, but honestly this was incredible and I made it again a week later (with just 1 box of tofu) for my husband's birthday.

Gluten free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust, Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie and  Chocolate Agave Cream Pie (from bottom left)
Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Coconut-Pecan Crust- This was the best pumpkin pie I've ever had. And we didn't even make the praline topping! Next time I'd reduce the cinnamon in the crust, but only because I'm a little sensitive to cinnamon.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie- Another winner! The only thing I'd change is omitting the banana and using extra pumpkin and extra sweetener to compensate (I'm not a fan of cooked banana). The texture was brilliant and it was an absolute beauty.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie
There you have it! Go, cook, enjoy and hug your loved ones :)

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