Satiated Saturday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Roundup

This is my second thanksgiving as a vegetarian, but the first where I will actually be at a thanksgiving dinner.  I usually prefer to spend my thanksgiving at a museum and thinking critically about American history, and in fact history as a whole.  But, in order to participate in thanksgiving with my family  I need to have some vegetarian options for myself.  Because I don’t have as many of these in my own arsenal, I’ve rounded up a bunch of resources for you me and you guys.

Satiated Saturday

The Veggie Table | A vegetarian blog with its own roundup of recipes, but all of these are original and created by the author Laura K. Lawless.

Veg Kitchen | Another roundup from a vegan blog, and I think most of these are original recipes too.  All vegan things are safe for vegetarians, but remember that not all vegetarian things are safe for vegans, so if you have vegan friends over for thanksgiving, remember that they might need separate things as well.

Buzzfeed actually has a handful of vegetarian/vegan thanksgiving recipe roundups, so here we go.  Pure Links | Brussels Sprouts For Thanksgiving | 29 Side Dishes | 37 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes For Thanksgiving | 22 Delicious Meatless Mains | 41 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Chef In You | A vegetarian thanksgiving roundup from 2009.  There is everything from soup to risotto on this list, so it’s sure to have something for you.

The Pioneer Woman Stuffing | Substitute veggie broth for chicken broth in this recipe and you can make your own stuffing from scratch.

Satiated Saturday | Shameless self-promotion: you should check out my Satiated Saturday category on my blog

Vegetarian Gravy | This is my vegetarian gravy recipe, and I love it.  I’ll be making it for my family to share the joy that is delicious meatless gravy.

Easy Italian Bread | My Italian bread recipe adapted from Bakers Banter would be delicious on the side of your tofurkey.

Roasted Almonds | Roasted almonds would make a great side, especially if you’re the only vegetarian and you have a hard time getting family to let you in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  They’re easy and fast.

Remember: if you check the ingredient list you can find lots of vegetarian stuffing mix, and mashed potatoes are always vegetarian.  If you’re like my family you could make an antepasto tray/spread and not let anyone else eat it.  (We haven’t actually made an antepasto in years because our thanksgivings are weird, but they were my favorite as a kid).  Try this tutorial from Martha Stewart, and this one from Giada de Laurentiis.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

Advertisements

Satiated Saturday: Vegetarian Gravy

I know it’s been a while, but just in time for Thanksgiving, I’ve created a vegetarian gravy recipe for you.  I referenced two gravy recipes (this and this) but didn’t particularly follow either one.  Also, I don’t have many photos because I wasn’t planning to put it up when I made it.

Satiated Saturday: Vegetarian Gravy

First, gather your ingredients.

I used: about 2 tbs vegetable oil, ⅓ cup chopped white onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, approximately ⅓ cup flour, 2 ½ cups vegetable stock, ½ cup water, and 1 stalk chopped celery.

 

Next prepare your ingredients.  I didn’t do this while I was cooking, but you should prep the ingredients before you start cooking, because it will make things easier.  So chop your onions and celery, mince your garlic, measure your oil, stock, and water, and then mix your stock and water together.  This helps to temper the strong flavor of vegetable stock by itself.  The celery is optional, and make sure to chop it to a size you can handle in the gravy.

Vegetarian Gravy

You can download the pdf version by clicking here.

 

Now you’re ready to heat your medium sized pot and your vegetable oil.  I put it on high until it got hot, then lowered it to medium for the rest of the cooking time.  Give it a minute or two to heat up, then add your onions.  You want to cook them until they’re pretty translucent, which will be about five minutes.

 

Midway through cooking your onions, add your minced garlic.  You don’t want to add it too early or it will burn.  Use your best judgment, I trust you.  (This is also what my boss said when she entrusted me with judging a comp membership request at the museum.  Have I mentioned that I intern at the Missouri History Museum?  Cause I never stop thinking about it).

 

When the onions are translucent, add your flour.  This is not an exact science so add it little by little until it forms a paste-like consistency.  This will keep your gravy from being too runny.  And remember, you can always add more later.

 

Now that it’s a paste, completely ruin that texture by adding your stock and water.  Stir that together, then add your chopped celery.  The celery is optional, but I quite like celery.

Vegetarian Gravy

Allow your gravy to simmer for about 40 minutes.  If it starts to boil turn the heat down.  When it’s ready you can strain out the celery, garlic, and onions, or leave them in.  I left them in for extra flavor.

 

I fed this to my carnivore mom, and she couldn’t tell it was vegetarian.  It’s delicious over mashed potatoes, and I think it would be good with a veggie loaf too.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Not entirely unrelated: I recently posted a video about the holiday season and how it’s not all Hallmark cards and sappy movies for everyone.  You should check it out.

Holiday Strife: Families

The holidays can be incredibly painful for a lot of people.  They bring up feelings of anger, sadness, and pain.  As much as I wish they were, holidays are rarely as beautiful as sappy movies make them out to be.  If you’re feeling complicated and painful things this holiday season, your feelings are valid.  This is actually such an important topic to me that I made a video about it.

Halloween: A History

Happy Halloween!

 

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and a big part of that was knowing the history of Halloween.  Thanks to an incredible movie called The Halloween Tree (it’s also a book!) I learned a lot about the history of Halloween and associated traditions.  In honor of my favorite holiday, let’s dive into the history of Halloween.

Halloween: A History

Before Halloween was a holiday for children to dress up like monsters and gather candy, or a holiday for adults to wear skimpy and/or ironic costumes to party, Halloween was All Hallow’s Eve.  All Hallow’s Eve, also known as All Saints’ Eve, comes the night before All Saints’ Day, a day to remember your dead.

 

But even before it was a Catholic holiday, Halloween was Samhain, a Celtic holiday celebrating the harvest and remembering the dead.  Because of the transitional nature of the season, going from summer into winter, celebrants believed that faeries, and the souls of the dead, could cross into the human world with ease.  These faeries weren’t the Disney kind though.  These faeries were malicious and mischievous, and in order to protect yourself and your family, you had to make offerings to them to keep them from, say, burning down your cottage.

 

People would light bonfires to keep away the evil spirits, and wear masks to disguise themselves within their ranks.  Although let’s be real, the “ranks” were probably just other celebrants.  (But isn’t it fun to imagine it was a bunch of faeries and demons and ghosts wandering around Ireland?)  Trick or treating began as a threat, that if you didn’t offer these faeries and other evil spirits a treat, they would play a trick.

Happy Halloween

When Christianity swept into the region Christian priests and missionaries appropriated Halloween, among other holidays, to facilitate easier conversion of the locals.  Ironically enough, later Christians rejected the holiday as pagan, from Puritans in the sixteenth century to modern fundamentalists who use “Hell Houses” to try to prevent sinning.

 

Because of the puritans and other sects who rejected Halloween, it faded to the background until waves of immigration from Ireland and Scotland brought the holiday back.  By the early twentieth century Halloween had once again become a mainstream holiday.  Complete with creepy children’s costumes ca. 1950s.

 

Of course, the United States isn’t the only place that celebrates October 31.  Many places celebrate the Catholic holiday, and many others celebrate local traditions.  The most famous is, of course, Día de Muertos – the Day of the Dead.  Because I have never celebrated Día de Muertos and I don’t want to accidentally insult celebrants, let me direct you to some great resources to learn more.

This Halloween, I’ll be watching spooky movies, listening to Dracula on audiobook, playing in the leaves with my dog, and probably not handing out candy as there are like 2 children in my neighborhood.  For more Halloween check out my All Hallows Reads recommendations, and the Legend of the Jack O’Lanterns.

Jack O Lanterns: The Legend

Jack O Lanterns, one of the most visible parts of American Halloween, have an interesting folklore.

The Jack O'Lantern Legend

According to Irish legend, a man named Jack had a drink with the Devil, tricked him into becoming a coin so that Jack could pay for the drink, but slipped the coin-Devil into his pocket beside a silver cross, which prevented the coin-Devil from turning back into his own form.  When Jack let him go, he made a deal with the Devil to prevent the Devil from collecting his soul.  Jack then made several of these deals, year by year, until he died.

Legend has it that, being the type of man who makes repeated deals with the Devil, Jack was not welcome in Heaven, but neither was he able to enter Hell because of his deals with the Devil.  So he was forced to walk the Earth for all eternity, and he had only a burning coal to light his way.  Being a resourceful man, Jack put the coal into a hollowed-out turnip to create a lantern.  He became known in folklore as Jack of the Lantern – or Jack O’Lantern.  People began carving lanterns into turnips or potatoes and putting them in windows to keep away the trickster Jack of the Lantern.

When Irish colonists came to North America they found pumpkins, which were native to North America, and began carving them.  Since pumpkins are fall fruits, and creepy stories became associated with Halloween, Jack O Lanterns became a halloween tradition.  Just don’t go looking for them on old country roads, or you might end up selling your own soul and taking Jack’s place!

For more Halloween spirit check out yesterday’s All Hallows Read recommendations, and tomorrow’s Halloween History lesson.  (For more about Jack O’Lanterns, see here).