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: Summer Pasta

I don’t know about where you live, but it gets really hot in Missouri in the summer. When it’s easily 101 every day for a week, I don’t want to eat anything to hot or too heavy. So since my family eats pasta like it’s a religious rite, I had to find a way to make pasta not too heavy and not too hot.

It seems pretty simple in retrospect, especially since I always eat a vegetable directly in my pasta anyway. So skip the marinara and let’s get started.

 

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need whatever pasta makes you giddy. I like to use spaghetti, but any shape will do. You’ll also need olive oil, fresh garlic, tomatoes (preferably grape, but I used Roma), asparagus, peas, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella (preferably fresh).

This is not pasta.  This is asparagus.

This is not pasta. This is asparagus.

Start by putting your pasta on to boil on a back burner. Then chop your garlic finely and sautee it in the olive oil. I used about three tablespoons of oil, but the ratio will depend on how much oil you want on your pasta and how many people you’re feeding. Be careful not to overcook the garlic and burn it. If you burn it you’ll have to start over. While they’re getting to know each other, chop your tomatoes. If you’re using grape tomatoes you’ll only need to chop them in half. If you’re using anything larger you’ll want to dice them. Once the water for the pasta boils, put the pasta in. Then put on water for your other vegetables. I would cook the asparagus and the peas separately, but you can cook them together. I like to cook my asparagus until it’s pretty soft. I boil peas for about 5 minutes, and asparagus about 10 minutes or until I’m tired of waiting. Whichever comes first.

Sauteeing garlic.  Mm mm mm.

Sauteeing garlic. Mm mm mm.

Check on your garlic and oil. If you’ve burned it, that’s okay, start over. If not, toss in your tomatoes. Let them warm and get slightly browned. Once that’s done, pull them off the burner and dump the mixture into a bowl.

 

When your asparagus and peas are cooked, strain them and put them in separate bowls. Or the same bowl, whatever. Let your pasta cook until you’re ready. I like to keep them al dente, but not everyone does. While the pasta is cooking, slice your mozzarella. I left mine in round slices, but you could chop it smaller or dice it. It really ought to be a rule for my recipes that you do what works for you. Or as my little would say, you do you.

Toss together.

Toss together.

Now that everything is ready, it’s time to put them together. Fill the bottom of your bowl with pasta, then add the amount of asparagus and peas that you like. I recommend putting your Parmesan cheese in now. Then add your tomatoes, and top with your garlic olive oil. Toss together so that the olive oil coats the whole dish. Then either place your cheese slices on top, or toss in your cubed cheese. Let the cheese melt a little, then nom at will.

 

 

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: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are another vegetable I simply didn’t get into until fairly recently.  Just like eggplant.  But now I’ve that discovered just how delicious they are, I’ll never miss a chance to make them.

Brussels Sprouts

To begin with, gather your ingredients.  You’ll need about a pound of brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and of course, salt & pepper.

(Somehow, I only took pictures of the ingredients.  Oops).

Now, preheat the oven to 350.  Take a bowl and toss your sprouts in olive oil.  You can also do this in a ziploc bag.  You don’t want them drenched, you just want them coated in olive oil.  Then, sprinkle the seasonings to your heart’s content.  Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

 

Get a roasting pan or a cookie sheet and lightly grease it with olive oil or cooking spray.  Or coconut oil if that makes you giddy.  In your pre-heated oven, roast your sprouts for 20-30 minutes depending on how firm and browned you want them.

 

There are lots of ways to cook brussels sprouts, but this is my favorite.  I hope you all enjoy it.  I like to pair them with pasta or a salad, but a rice dish would also be delicious here.

 

Whatever you pair them with enjoy.  Nom at will.

 

Satiated Saturday: Albanian Rice

A good friend of mine is Albanian. She lives on the East Coast now, but she grew up in Albania watching Italian cartoons with her two sisters and a big family.  One of the nights that cemented our friendship in sophomore year of college, she taught several of our neighbors in our dorm how to do an Albanian dance while listening to Albanian music.  She taught me to say “I love you” in Albanian when I gathered languages for a valentine.  But the most important piece of Albanian culture she shared, to me, was teaching me to make a rice dish from Albania during a dinner party she threw.

Albanian Rice

I then made this rice stuffed peppers dish for my family back in Missouri and surprisingly everyone loved it.  Even my grandmother who never tries foods she hasn’t eaten before loved it.  So, go forth and rice…ricify?  Ricify.

Yes, this is how I kept my recipes before this blog.

Yes, this is how I kept my recipes before this blog.

The recipe was originally posted on this translation site, but I’ve made a few small changes to it.  To begin with, gather the following: 3 bell peppers, several cups of rice, several cups of water, a little butter, 1 can of tomato paste, a few slices of onions, dill weed, and parsley.  I used 2 cups of rice and 3.5 cups of water.  This did leave me with quite a bit of extra rice, but better extra than too little.  You can always use the extra rice in another dish.

Albanian Rice Recipe

Not pictured: three bell peppers.

Put your water on to boil with a teaspoonful of butter.  While the water is boiling measure out your rice and slice up some onion. I used about 2 slices of white onion, but you can add to your liking.  Get a large frying pan/sauce pan, and open your can of tomato paste.  Dump the tomato paste and the onion into the pan, then put the burner on medium.  Add a few pinches of parsley and dill weed, going by the smell.  If it’s too thick, which it probably will be, add some water until you like the consistency.  Preheat your oven to 350, and spray a baking pan lightly.

 

When the water boils, put your rice into it, and cook it according to the package instructions.  If your package doesn’t have instructions, a quick google search will bring you lots of tutorials.  Cook the rice so it’s nice and fluffy.  While the rice is cooking decapitate and disembowel your peppers.

_Decapitate_Disembowel

Your sauce should be simmering quietly, so add some rice and turn the burner up a little.  Keep adding rice until the rice has soaked up enough of the sauce that there’s not much extra.  You’ll probably have a hard time not just eating it out of the pan, I know I did.  Turn the heat off, give it about a minute to cool a little.  Then, take a nice big spoon and stuff your peppers with delicious rice.  Stuff them as completely as you can.  Put these peppers into your baking pan.  If you have extra rice and want to, you can just put this rice into the pan and bake it as well.  I did this, and it was extra delicious and kind of crunchy.

_Pepper

Bake your rice and peppers for about 30 minutes.  Pull it out and take a deep, deep sniff.  Nom at will.

Satiated Saturday: Failure Edition

Sometimes you fail.  You might buy an eggplant and not want to make eggplant parm until it’s so far gone you have to make mac and cheese.  You might write a novel only to never figure out what your main character wants.  You might try to paint your deck and get more paint on your dog than your deck.  You might process three bananas in your mini food processor, only to look at your recipe and see it needs two.  That last one?  That was me.  Also the first one, but that’s a whole different can of problems.

Bananas

I tried this very cool, very simple, recipe from Six Sisters Stuff via pinterest.  The recipe looked really excellent, and very healthy since all that was in it was banana, oatmeal, and chocolate chips.  Naturally, because they’re my favorite dried fruit, I had to add dried cranberries as well.  Honestly, I add dried cranberries to pretty much everything I bake.  I really want to bake a chocolate cookie with dried cranberries instead of white chocolate or creme-de-menthe chips.

Failure Cookies

My family really likes bananas, so sometimes we have 20 or so of them bought at the same time.  That’s what happened here, and I had three bananas sitting on my dresser, waiting for them to get soft so I could make banana bread or banana cookies.  I accidentally misread the recipe, which said 2 bananas, and I processed 3.  Then I figured “Oh well, I’ll just up the oats.”  I upped the oats too much, had to add another banana, and then more oats.  And it became a vicious cycle that left me with dough that was much too soft and liquid.  I tried it anyway, and when they came out of the oven, they hadn’t spread at all.

 

That’s not terribly surprising, since there was no leavening agent in the dough, so I tried them anyway.  Inside, while they tasted alright, they were very moist, and very strongly banana.  Maybe if I had followed the recipe properly this wouldn’t have happened.  Maybe it would’ve.  I stuck them in a ziplock, shoved them in the fridge and hoped for the best.

Failure

I’ve been eating them at breakfast as a breakfast-side, and they’re better cold than they were warm, but they’re still not great.  I might retry them if I ever randomly have some browning bananas.  Instead of getting angry with myself, I remembered my advice for 2014, and I forgave myself.  Sometimes you fail.  It’s not the end of the world, especially if it’s something this small.

 

Don’t worry, I have a real Satiated Saturday for you coming up today too.  Spoiler alert: it’s delicious.