Saturday, November 28, 2009


This year I was lucky to be overwhelmed with invites to various feasts.  Unfortunately, I couldn't say yes to everyone.  Since I had promised to help make  vegan Thanksgiving meal with some friends, my schedule was quite filled up with cooking. 

In the afternoon, I bowed out of further cooking responsibilities and headed over to my family's for an omni meal.  It was nice to visit with everyone and I snacked  bit on the few vegan side dishes before heading back to the vegan meal.

We had a wonderful salad that was topped with grated beets, carrot, and rutabaga.  I didn't even think to take a photo at the time. The meal consisted of colcannon, homemade cranberry sauce, braised carrots, stuffed butternut squash, roasted asparagus, shitake gravy, and Hazelnut En Croute Field Roast.

The photo of my plate was taken with my phone as I forgot a camera.  Not bad, huh?  This was the first year we tried the En Croute Field Roast.  It is incredibly flavorful.  The stuffing is made with cranberries, apples and ginger and the crunchy phyllo dough crust is great.  It is a little expensive, but certainly easier to make than the homemade unturkey roast that I normally bake.

The stuffed butternut squash is a recipe from from Joanna's new zine called Potluck Mania.  The recipe is actually for quinoa stuffed acorn squash.  The acorn squash I grabbed from my CSA stash had started to go bad, so we subbed butternut.  Also, because we had some omnis visiting,  I was worried that quinoa might be too different, so I used brown rice.  Otherwise the recipe stayed the same and to be honest, it was a hit with everyone!  Here's the stuffed squash, isn't it pretty?

A couple of the folks that joined us, brought fresh mint and rum.  We had quite a few mojitos and by dessert time rolled around, I once again forgot photos.

The original plan was sweet potato pie.  Unfortunately, the sweet potatoes had seen better days, so we were forced to use canned pumpkin.  It was still delicious.  The other hostess also made cranberry kissel.  This is a Russian dish that is basically a fruit pudding.  It is simply, pureed fruit and sugar with a thickening starch.  She served it with some vanilla soy milk drizzled on top and sliced almonds.

It was wonderful, cruelty free meal.  Hope everyone out there also had a great Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gingerbread Sourdough Pancakes

One of my favorites restaurants in Providence serves vegan gingerbread pancakes during the fall/winter season.  Since the sourdough at my house required feeding, it seemed like a good idea to adapt the standard recipe I use for sourdough pancakes.

The recipe I started with, is from this website.  When using their recipe, I always skip the egg replacer and most of the oil.  The sourdough I am using, seems to handle the lack of egg just fine!

These gingerbread pancakes came out perfectly.  They'll likely become a holiday staple at my house.

Jody's Vegan Sourdough Gingerbread Pancake Recipe
2 Cups of sourdough starter
2 Tbs of molasses
1  tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
a  splash of canola oil

1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
optional: 1/2 tsp of instant coffee mixed with a few tablespoons of warm (NOT hot) water

Mix starter with molasses, salt, and oil.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Sprinkle baking soda and fold in. (Make sure you use a big enough bowl as sourdough can expand a lot due to the baking soda.)  Mix in the coffee and spices.  Then make your pancakes!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

My posts have been few and far between here. Though, I have been regularly updating Vegan Cookbook Challenge. Recently, I checked out the new pizza restaurant in Allston called Peace o' Pie. The entry is on my New England Vegan Dining Guide blog.

This weekend was busy. On Saturday, I headed to the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. This year they expanded to two days. Part of the reason was to help with overcrowding. To be honest, it was still pretty crazy. My goal was to get there early, check out the vendors, score some free samples, and leave as quickly as possible to avoid being pushed around by the mass of people.

The highlight this year for me was the Vegan Treats Bakery table. Those folks make some amazing stuff. I got two items: the Peanut Butter Bomb which I tried in NYC a few years ago and of course, I had to get a glazed doughnut too. There was so much amazing sugary goodness. It makes me wish I lived in PA, thought it is probably best that I don't!

Just a portion of the table:

There were many great vendors sharing samples of their products. I tried everything from veggie burgers to ice cream to sauerkraut to vegan chocolates. Here's a snapshot of the freebies I snagged. In addition, I picked up a bunch of coupons. The mac and cheese was a purchase as I haven't tried that brand yet.

Also this weekend, we drove down to RI to see the Jackolantern Spectacular. Here's a some of my favorite photos from that event.
Obama and the oh so scary double George Bush pumpkins