Monday, 13 October 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner!

Almond and sesame nut roast, mushroom gravy, sage and onion stuffing, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and petite pois with lemon hazelnut butter and oven roasted carrots and parsnips.

also had dinner rolls and cranberry sauce which went really well with the nut roast, amazingly my first time trying it, bought tesco's finest sauce - really nice.

Pumpkin Pie with soya whipped cream

Well it's Thanksgiving day in Canada today and made the big feast yesterday. While I've made quite a few vegetarian this was my first time as a vegan. Was debating what type of main dish to do as my standard nut roast had both eggs and cheese in it. Decided in the end to just adapt it and I'm glad I did, tasted fantastic, held up well and I couldn't even tell the difference. Everything else was easy to adapt, just used vegan margarine in place of all the butter and we used these great mashing potatoes that mash so creamily they only need a bit or margarine in them - no milk.

The pie was more of a challenge. There seems to be 2 types of recipes out there for vegan pumpkin pie, one using silken tofu and the other relying on cornstarch/cornflour to thicken and set. I used a recipe using the latter and it did turn out well. The texture was different but still good and you can see the colour is darker as it has no evaporated milk in it, but it still tasted just like pumpkin pie! The cream is just a store bought soy whipped cream out of a spray can, not nice on it's own but tasted just like cream when you had it with the pie.

Altogether a success, will probably try a different pie recipe next time just to give them all a go, but think this will be the tradition from now on.

Almond and sesame nut roast:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
60grams/ 1/4 cup risotto rice
300ml/1 1/4 cups vegetable stock made with 1 veg oxo cube
1 large carrot, grated
1 large leek, trimmed and chopped finely (only use white part)
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
90 grams/ 3/4 cup chopped almonds
60 grams/ 1/2 cup ground almonds
90 grams finely chopped mushrooms
40g egg replacer
60ml water
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

Toast the chopped almonds and sesame seeds in a dry non stick frying pan until golden and fragrant. Set aside. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and mushrooms gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Add a little extra water if necessary. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the carrot, leek, sesame seeds, almonds, egg replacer and herbs to the mixture. Mix well then stir in the water and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 500gram/ 1 pound loaf tin. I lined this completely in parchment paper so that it overhung the edges (so that I could just lift the roast out later). Level the surface and fold over the overhanging parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour, until set and firm. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Gravy:

30 grams/ 2 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 small onion, chopped finely
125 gram/ 1 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped finely
30 grams/ 1/4 cup plain flour
300 ml/ 1/ 1/2 cups vegetable stock made with 2 veg oxo cubes

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan and fry the onion until dark golden brown. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, cook gently for 1 minute and then gradually add the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and blended. Add more water if too thick.

Turn out the nut roast, slice and serve with the gravy. Recipe says it serves 4 but we get 8 servings out of the roast as they are still good size slices and quite hearty.

Source: here


4 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound white bakery bread - make breadcrumbs. (I dry mine out in the oven then put through the food processor coarsley - you want some 'chunks'.
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable stock made with 2 oxo cubes

Melt the margarine, add onions and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, mix in everything but the stock. Gradually add the stock until stuffing is moistened but not soggy. Amount will depend on how dry the crumbs are. Place in a buttered oven proof dish and drizzle a little more stock on. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown.

Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Hazelnut 'Butter':
170 grams raw brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
2 tsp vegan margarine
1/4 tsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp chopped hazelnuts, toasted
40 grams frozen petite pois (the smaller sweeter peas)

First toast the chopped hazelnuts by dry frying them until golden and fragrant, set aside. In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook the prepared sprouts until tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water, when cool drain and pat dry then place them in a bowl in the fridge. When ready to cook, melt the margarine in a frying pan (use the same pan you toasted the nuts in, unwashed) then add the sprouts, lemon zest, peas and some generous grinds of salt and pepper. Fry on low to medium heat until heated though and peas cooked, tossing gently with rubber spatula for about 6 minutes. At the end toss in the hazelnuts and serve. Serves 2, about 90 calories a serving.

Sources: here and here

Pumpkin Pie:
400ml pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup light muscovado sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla
ready rolled vegan shortcrust pastry

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a pie dish with the pastry. In a blender add all ingredients and blend till smooth. Pour into prepared pie dish. Bake 40 - 45 minutes (although I had to go up to 60). It will look wobbly in centre but sets when cool. Chill in fridge after cooling fully and serve with soya whipping cream.

Original vegetarian versions of these are on my old blog here and here .

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