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!

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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.

Satiated Saturday: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid I didn’t come home to mom making cookies.  When we made cookies together they were from a package.  I didn’t even encounter homemade cookies until high school, when my friend’s mom taught me to make chocolate chip cookies.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies copy

As much as I like chocolate chip cookies, I later discovered oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and a new love affair began.  The oats change the texture so completely that it’s a different type of cookie.  I’ve finally found a recipe to make them from scratch, and I’m going to share it with you.

The recipe is adapted from a recipe in the book What’s Cooking Baking.  I never use recipes as they’re printed, so I had to change some things.  Here’s the recipe as I used it.

 

4 tbsp butter, melted (approximately)

½ cup granulated white sugar

1 egg, beaten

½ cup flour (I used wheat, but you could use white or all-purpose)

pinch of salt

½ tsp baking powder

1 cup oats (I used instant rolled oats)

chocolate chips to your heart’s content

optional: raisins, craisins, or other dried fruit

Everyone’s preference for how many chocolate chips they want is different, so I always leave that bit open to interpretation.  I used about half a bag when I made plain oat-chocolate chip cookies.  When I used craisins I added about ¼ bag of chocolate chips, and about the same amount of craisins.  You could probably put in whatever kind of dried fruit you want.

 

Before you do anything, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  You probably also ought to grease your cookie sheets.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again later.

 

First, you want to melt your butter.  You could soften it, but I always melt it.  Then, in a medium sized bowl, add your sugar and cream them together.  If you like the flavor you could even add some brown sugar in place of some granulated white sugar.  I don’t like the taste, so my cookies are brown sugar free.  Mix them until it’s creamy and light.

 

In a separate bowl/cup beat your egg.  Beat it like it tried to kick your dog or pee in your cornflakes.  Once you’ve beaten it into submissions, assert your dominance by pouring it gradually into your creamed butter/sugar mixture.  Then beat it again.  Just for good measure.  (Also to make sure it’s well incorporated).

Beat the egg like it’s this guy! via

Add the rest of your dry ingredients (flour, oats, salt, baking powder) and mix together.  Before it’s completely mixed, add chocolate chips and dried fruit.  Start with half a cup of oats and go from there.  Every mixture is going to be slightly different, so if yours seems well oated at ¾ cup, that’s fine.  I used wheat flour because that’s what we had at hand, but regular all-purpose would probably be a little better taste-wise.  I’m also very sensitive to the taste of flour, so it’s going to be different if you’re not.  (I said this to my friend Hannah once who’s got celiac disease, and she turned it around on me with “Yeah, me too.”  I miss her).

 

As far as dropping the cookies, I use a small melon baller/ice cream scoop.  It takes a bit less than ¼ cup of dough.  Before you drop any cookies, make sure you grease your cookie sheets.  If you don’t grease them you’ll have to wrestle them off the cookie sheet like Hercules wrestled the Nemean lion.  So grease your cookie sheets.

Hercules and the Nemean Lion via

Make sure you leave enough space between them for the cookies to spread out.  Bake them for about 15 minutes, but check them at 13 and remember that they’ll keep cooking a bit after you take them out.  This makes about a dozen and a half cookies.  Let them cool, and then nom at will.

Yum

These were a big hit at my library’s luncheon recognizing the former director (who worked at our library for 40 years!) with all the volunteers and library staff.  They were also a hit with my family, who ate pretty much all of them within a week.  If you make some, tweet me a picture!

Satiated Saturday: Baked Rotini

This post is going to be pretty short.  To be honest, I forgot to type it up earlier this week, and it’s now Saturday.  Whoops.

Satiated Saturday: Baked Rotini

Earlier this week I made and photographed a very simple baked rotini dish.  It’s not fancy, but it was delicious.  I don’t know about you, but I really love when the pasta gets crunchy at the top layer.  So to begin, get together your cast of characters.  I made this fast so that I could send some to work with my mom, so I don’t have a photo of the ingredients.  It was just Vegetable Rotini (the kind made from spinach, but you could use tricolor as well), marinara sauce (or as my mother calls it, red gravy), and shredded mozzarella cheese.

First, cook your pasta.  You could also add some vegetables to it.  Sliced or diced tomatoes, green, kalamata, or black olives, broccoli florets, or spinach would work really well.  If you’re adding those, prepare them as well.

Satiated Saturday: Baked Rotini

Next, preheat your oven to 350.  While that’s preheating, finish cooking your pasta/veg.  When they’re cooked, spread the pasta into a large baking dish in as thin a layer as you can.  If you’re adding vegetables or tomatoes spread those in this layer.

Baked Rotini Printable Recipe

Cover the pasta/veg with your marinara, and then top that with your shredded mozzarella.  You could also put on some shredded parmesan, but I didn’t have any already shredded.  Pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes, and then let it cool for about three minutes.  Nom at will.  

I also made a quick printable pdf of the recipe in case anyone wanted to take it into the kitchen with them without having to worry about getting electronics dirty.  Click here or on the image above to get it: Baked Rotini Printable

Satiated Saturday: Veggie Soup

When I was a little girl, there was one thing I gave up almost every lent, and it was really hard.  My mom’s chicken soup.  [Side note: I once tried to give up school, because I really loved school.  Nerd alert.]  I tried making my own a few years ago, but it’s just not the same.  Now that I’m a vegetarian and no longer eat chicken or chicken broth, I adapted the recipe to veggie soup.  It’s not quite the same, but it’s very versatile and very delicious.  This post was mostly written in November, so the vegetables I have now are a little different, but you really can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Satiated Saturday: Veggie Soup  | JeanniFloyd.wordpress.com

During the school year I was lucky enough to have a farmers market right on my campus, and a friend who works there to tell me what’s best.  I’m unlucky enough that it ended in the middle of November.  But, I got some excellent foods there all semester, and it was a godsend for my vegetarian senses.  Need just one turnip for soup?  Don’t want to walk all the way to the grocery store?  Just pick up a turnip at the farmer’s market.  Need, need, NEED some jalapeño cheddar bread?  Farmer’s market has a bakery component.  It was one of my favorite things about going to AU.

Cast of Characters: Veggie Soup

Start with your cast of characters.  Basically, you can use whatever vegetables and herbs you’ve got.  I also recommend some kind of grain: pasta, ravioli, maybe rice.  You need veggie broth as a base, otherwise it’s just too watery.  You could also use veggie stock and add some water to that to simulate broth’s consistency.  I had some veggie broth sitting around, and some frozen vegetables in my freezer, and then some fresh vegetables in my fridge.  Put your vegetable broth on to low simmer.  If you have any frozen veg to boil, turn that on.  You should also put your pasta/rice/grain on to boil if you’re using some.  Start chopping and peeling your vegetables, whatever kinds you want.  I used a potato, a white sweet potato, a carrot, a turnip, a little garlic, and some celery.  Mmmmm, celery.

For a more stew-like consistency add more potato and less water.  For a thinner consistency, don’t use a potato at all.  I would recommend not using potato if you intend to use rice as your grain.  You could also use potato gnocchi, that would be delicious.  You could also probably just boil your frozen veg right in the broth.

Spices

You want to herb up the vegetable broth, because it’s not especially flavorful by itself.  Don’t forget to add some salt and pepper too.  I use the same herbs for most things: onion powder, parsley, italian seasoning, basil, a bay leaf, and normally some garlic powder.  But because I used real garlic this time, I didn’t use garlic powder.  Once the broth is herbed, dump in your vegetables and stir it all up.  Check on anything else that’s boiling, and turn the soup up to a boil. Once the soup has boiled, turn it back down to a simmer, and leave it for a while.  When your pasta is done, strain it, and dump some straight into the soup.  Leave the soup for a little while longer until you just can’t stand it anymore, then take it off and nom at will.

Soup

Soup is the best for cold winter mornings like today, so set a pot on your burner and let the smell drive you wild all day.  You could also add a can of pureed tomato; my mom always did that to her chicken soup and it was delicious.  Chickpeas make a nice soup ingredient, too.  I’ve read in food blogs that the rind from the end of a wedge of parmesan cheese makes for a delicious taste.  Broccoli and cauliflower are staples of most of my soups.  I don’t know about you, but now I want to go make some nice warm soup.

Satiated Saturday: Eggplant Parmesan

One of my favorite vegetarian recipes is Eggplant Parmesan.  My mom made it all the time when I was a kid, but I didn’t develop a taste for it until this year.  Vegetarian Perk #1: Trying new vegetables.  A friend who worked at a farmer’s market gave me an eggplant they couldn’t sell, and I just started experimenting with the vegetable and some sauce.

Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

Cast of Characters: Eggplant, Marinara Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese

You can use jarred sauce or make your own.  I always make my own because my mom is Italian and I think if I used jarred my nonna’s ghost would come take a wooden spoon to my knuckles.  You could also slice your mozzarella from a big piece, or shred it yourself, but I used pre-shredded.  So much easier.  (Spoiler alert: if you try to shred your own, be very careful; I’ve cut myself one too many times shredding it).

First of all, wash your hands.  Just as a general rule, wash your hands before you cook anything.  Preheat your oven to 350.  You need to preheat it and let it preheat all the way, that way the whole oven is the same temperature when your eggplant goes in; that way it will cook evenly.

Raw Eggplant

Next: skin your eggplant.  Technically I suppose it’s called peeling, but everybody knows I’m a little weird.  So, skin your eggplant.  Get frustrated with the peeler and resort to a knife.  Realize how much flesh that’s removing.  Go back to the peeler.  Maybe knick your finger and shout some curses at the eggplant.  Clean it off, finish skinning it.  Slice it up into fairly thick slices.

Spray your pan.  You may need two pans, since eggplants are often fairly large. I like big veg and I cannot lie, you other nommers can deny.  Arrange your eggplant slices so that you fit them all in your pan(s).  Pour some delicious marinara sauce over the slices, covering them liberally.  They’ll soak up some of the sauce.


Eggplant Parmesan

Sprinkle cheese all over the eggplant.  Go crazy.  Cheese it alllllllllll up.  Lots of cheese.  Be a rat about that cheese.  You want to cover most of the eggplant completely with cheese so that when it melts it covers the eggplant slices.

Eggplant Parmesan

Once you’ve got your eggplant covered in sauce and cheese, and your oven preheated all the way, pop it in the oven.  I always turn on the oven light so I can check on it at random.  I usually don’t have exact times, but I just cooked this today and it was in the oven for 20 minutes and came out pretty good.  If you want the cheese crunchier, put it on longer.  If you want it gooier, put it on shorter.  Also, ovens vary, so I recommend checking it around 10 minutes and then 15, etc.

Om nom nom

Om nom nom

Once it’s out let it cool for a little while so that the cheese stays put, and so that you don’t burn your tongue.  Then, nom at will.

Pair it with pasta (I like tricolor rotini personally), toasted Italian bread (especially if you put garlic on it), a salad (no buttermilk based dressings though), pasta with vegetables, or any other side dish you like.

P.S. Check out the recipes I want to try on my food board(s) on Pinterest!

P.P.S. You can also chop the eggplant into small pieces, mix it with sauce, pour the mixture into muffin cups, top with cheese, and have individual ones!  Alternately, do this with zucchini slices, since they’re much narrower than eggplant.

Veg Recipe: Pasta & Vegetables

I want to share one of my simplest vegetarian recipes today.  It doesn’t take a lot, and it’s very versatile.  All you need is pasta, some veggies (any will do…yes really…throw them all in), oil, and some salt.  Of course, you can add more.  Sometimes I add cheese, or marinara sauce, or balsamic vinegar, or whatever I have lying around.

Today, I used elbows, green peppers, tomato, and peas.  Confession: I love peas.  I know lots of people think they’re weird or gross or whatever, but I love them.  A lot of the time I add broccoli or spinach to this, but I didn’t have either today.  I did have peppers and a tomato and peas, so I used them.

Cast of Characters

First, boil your pasta.  If you have any frozen vegetables that need to be boiled, you should also boil them.

Pepper and Tomato

Then, start slicing up your veg.  Whatever veg makes your skirt fly up, as the Pioneer Woman would say.  I used green pepper and tomato.

Frying Characters

Next, get a pan (or a wok) and some oil.  Pour a little oil in the pan (or wok), and turn the burner on.  I don’t measure my oil, I just do it.  It’s probably a couple of tablespoons.  Theoretically you could also use vegetable broth or another liquid to sautee in.  I haven’t done that before, so I’m not gonna talk about it here.

Toss in your chopped veg, and swirl them around.  You want them to get a little bit crisp and browned, but not burnt.  At this point your boiling veg is probably ready to go in the pan too.  

Frying

Maybe throw in some balsamic vinegar and sea salt at this point.  They taste good, give a little bit of a kick.  You could use any kind of sauce you want though.

When your pasta is ready strain it and dump it into a big bowl.  When the pasta’s done, the veg is probably done in the pan.  You can either just throw them in now, or mix at your leisure so you get the right mixture.

DONE

Voila!  Easy, not (too) bad for you, vegetarian meal!  Nom at will.

Pepper Innards

Just in case you ever wanted to know what pepper seeds still attached to the center looked like.