Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegan Thanksgiving

I saw last week in my Whole Foods flyer that they were conducting a workshop/demonstration for Vegan Thanksgiving at the Carmel store. I'm not vegan, but I am vegetarian and wanted to know some other choices for me besides a huge plate of sides and Tofurky. I made Tofurky last year, and besides being a huge portion, it just wasn't very good. WF was testing Celebration Roast and I really wanted to try it before I bought it so I didn't have to deal with another meal like last year's! Ross went with me and begrudgingly sat through most of the demonstration. The two people holding it were both local vegans and they gave us all copies of their recipes. The first dish they made was Seitan Pot Pie. It was delicious. Instead of using meat they used seitan but you could sub Morningstar Farms Chik'n or Steak strips and it would be really good. They used potato soup instead of veggie broth. I would probably use a half and half mixture of both. Everything they used was really easy to prep and the dish took no time at all to make. They subbed Earth Balance margarine in for regular margarine or butter. If I was going to make it I'd probably use butter.

They also made the celebration roast. It was really tasty. Not like fake meat at all. It's a grain meat and was stuffed with pureed vegetables. The roast was already fully cooked so to prepare, she just simmered it in vegetable broth to give it more density. Unfortunately the fat and calorie content in these are VERY high, but so is the protein, and a little goes a long way. She also made a homemade stuffing which was really delicious. For the bread crumbs she used Scholar's Inn sourdough and it was perfect.

In addition to these eats, we also sampled a vegan pumpkin pie and several beverages. The vegan pumpkin pie was made by Whole Foods and was served with soy and rice whipped cream and vegan marshmallows. I thought the pumpkin pie was pretty good, but I could tell a difference between the pumpkin pie I'm used to eating. I was not a fan of either of the whipped creams. The marshmallows were pretty good. I didn't realize marshmallows had animal bones in them from the gelatin. I'm sad to say goodbye to my beloved rice krispie treats!

The beverages we sampled were soy and rice-based milks. All were non-dairy and were pretty good. This was the first time I had ever tried non-dairy milk. The soy milk was thicker and they compared it to 2% cow's milk. The rice milk was compared to skim milk. We tried Silk Nog, Silk Pumpkin Pie Spice Milk, Soy Peppermint Stick Milk and rice milk nog. I am NOT an eggnog fan by any means but I thought the Silk Nog blew the others out of the water. It was so incredibly delicious! I don't know if I'd buy it because I would be the only one drinking it in my house, but I would definitely drink it again if I had the opportunity.

All in all, it was a great demonstration and I am very glad I went. We left with a 1 lb. celebration roast and some mock gravy. No Tofurky for me this year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween and settling into fall

Halloween came and went and wasn't very eventful for us. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and the Pacers home opener on Friday (they lost) and then stopped by Nikki's house for her birthday/Halloween party. Saturday the boys were with Eric so we ended up passing out a minimal amount of candy (we had less than 50 trick or treaters!) and then had pizza and lounged around. Note: Please note my name on the ticket in the picture below - although they do that for everyone, for some reason I am quite proud...

It's crazy that we're in the midst of fall and it feels like spring! Thanksgiving (a tie for my favorite holiday) is right around the corner. Lucas, Ross and I are running the Drumstick Dash in the morning, then we're having lunch with my mom's side of the family. Friday we're going out with the girls and their SOs. Should be lots of fun!

I've been doing a lot of baking lately. Some recipes have worked out really well, others haven't. Can't wait to try some pumpkin scones this week and am sending a care package to my great friend Alison in HI who just had a baby!

We're down one person at work so it has been extra busy the past month or so. Can't wait to get a small break! Before I look too far ahead, I have to worry about a couple of papers and the end of the fall semester...