Thursday, November 22, 2007

What does a vegan eat for Thanksgiving?

I've heard this question too many times this week. In general, Mike and I are not traditionalists. We don't feel any need to have a dinner that replicates the Thanksgiving dinners of our childhoods. Often we take advantage of the idea that we are supposed to be cooking all day to do something fun. One year we made a massive Indian feast of dal, basmati rice, aloo ghobi, etc. Another year it was all mexican with drunken beans, corn fritters, and enchiladas.

This year we did in fact go pretty traditional with the meal. It was really because I saw that Cafe Indigo in NH was selling a "Stuffed Faux Turkey Breast" that they said was "made with our own seitan and stuffed with Grandma's famous bread stuffing". How could I resist? I ordered one and then planned around it. Here was the menu of the day:

Port Wine "Uncheese" from the Uncheese cookbook and crackers

Cafe Indigo Stuffed Seitan Roast
Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Gravy with Sherry and fresh herbs
Baked Sweet Potato Casserole with a Pecan Struesel topping
Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Herb Stuffing
Pumpkin Orange Yeast Rolls
Pumpkin Pie



More pics in the extended entry.

Everything was pretty good, but there are a few things that were new that I definitely would not do again. We were not particularly fond of the Port Wine "Uncheese" or the Cafe Indigo Seitan Roast.

And the pie... well, it looks pretty, but I think it is the most hideous thing I have ever made. And I'm a pretty good pie maker. The recipe is from the Joy of Vegan Baking. I've never made anything bad out of that book. I thought Colleen could do no wrong. But wow, this was horrible.. I couldn't eat more than one bite. It was grainy and metallic. We'll be making another pie tomorrow to make up for it. It's really sad because I was also eyeing this recipe for double-layer pumpkin cheesecake and I'm sure it would have been about a thousand times better. Hmmm, I wonder if the canned pumpkin I used was bad?? (Update - I really think I had a bad can of pumpkin - no fault to Colleen).

Ok - here's some more pics of dinner:


  1. Oh man, I am drooling at your food!

    I actually went to some kind peoples' house for thanksgiving and because it was kind of an "orphaned students" situation, we had a pretty diverse feast. A guy from India brought delicious pea and potato patties, we brought spicy lentils and stuffing. (I adore stuffing). Someone made tiramisu. A guy from China brought delicious Chinese food (well, it was meat, so I didn't try it but everyone said it was delicious.) We had yummy mashed potatoes, alot of wine. All in all, pretty yummy.

  2. Sounds like yours was pretty yummy too.

    Today I am making a pumpkin cheesecake to make up for the pie fiasco. And, I am going to make a vegan "meat"loaf to go with the rest of the leftovers since we didn't like the faux turkey loaf. Look for the pics later. :)

    I miss you guys!

  3. I'm so sorry the pie didn't work for you; it's been my staple pumpkin pie recipe for years, and hundreds of people have used it! It's so funny, because after reading your post, I saw another that raves about the pie; I wonder if something was wrong with the pumpkin. Anyway, you'll love the pumpkin cheesecake! :)


  4. Awww - I really do love all of your recipes so I was really shocked when this one didn't turn out. I think it might have been the pumpkin. It was really odd.

    Maybe when the memory fades I can give it another try.

    Oh! And I made your pecan crust with the cheesecake. It smells fabulous and I can't wait to taste it later tonight.

  5. Well, let me know how you like it; perhaps your post about it will make up for the pumpkin pie post. :(

    ENJOY, Kristin! :)

  6. The pecan crust was so good! I'm never making a graham cracker crust again. See my next entry.