Sunday, November 25, 2012

American Thanksgiving For Two...

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful American Thanksgiving on Thursday. Mine was quiet, but lovely. Traditionally we go to my husband’s aunt’s house for American Thanksgiving but thanks to a grueling work schedule that had my husband working on Thanksgiving morning and then again on Thanksgiving night he opted to stay home instead. Not an easy decisions for him because my husband loves nothing more then family gatherings, but this year for the sake of sanity and sleep he decided it would be better to stay home.  Of course I was a bit saddened by this decisions at first too, because I love holiday celebrations, but as it turned out it was actually quite nice to just have the two of us together relaxing. I made a lovely dinner, and didn’t have to worry about how long it would take or what time everything had to go into the oven. There was no fuss, no worry, no prep, no concerns about if there would be enough food or if everyone would like everything I was making. I didn’t have to worry about it being ready by the time people arrived, for once I could just relax and take it easy. Truth be told it was also nice not having to be around a big huge Turkey Corpse and listen to people chitter on about how delicious it was. I find that the longer I’m vegan the more this bothers me. In the beginning seeing people eat meat and relish in it didn’t bother me in the slightest, but the longer I’m vegan the more offensive I find it. Perhaps this is a little of my 'twin brother' E’s influence as he is what I call an ‘aggressive vegan’ meaning he’s very ‘in your face’ about his beliefs and has a rather low tolerance for omnivores especially those who are unhealthy. Whereas I have always taken the more compassionate non-confrontational route in my day to day real life interactions with people. Anyway, all that aside , it was definitely nice to have and be part of a purely compassionate and pure Thanksgiving celebration. It made me feel good, and despite the cloud of work hanging over my husband’s head, we were happy.

Home Made Thanksgiving Tofu Roast

Since it was just the two of us I decided to make a simple dinner. I didn’t want to make anything difficult or fussy, or lavish, but something that would be special enough to make it feel like a holiday. So I chose to make Alicia Silverstone’s Thanksgiving Tofu from her book “The Kind Diet.” the Thanksgiving Tofu is a tofu roast, which is essentially like a home-made Tofurkey. I had originally considered buying a Tofurkey or Field Roast instead but since I’m trying to avoid all processed foods at the moment - more to come about this in another post - I opted to try my hand at making my own. The idea of making one from scratch was really appealing to me, and I liked how simple the recipe was.

Roasted Roots

I did do a few things differently, for instance instead of just having plain tofu I added some poultry seasoning and oregano and basil to the mashed tofu before placing it in the cheesecloth lined colander to drain. Then instead of just basting it with soy sauce and sesame oil I also added in a bit of liquid smoke and maple syrup. Just a Tbsp of Syrup and a tsp or 2 of smoke. It turned out very good, and the only thing I would do differently is to bake it uncovered for longer then the recipe specifies. I want quite a firm roast next time with a really crispy crust. This was only moderately firm. I think next time I would also drain my tofu in my tofu press first and then place it into the colander.

Pan Gravy 

Per Alicia’s suggestion I also stuffed the tofu roast with her cornbread stuffing. Which was excellent. I didn’t have Sorghum and because I didn’t want to use a full cup of Maple Syrup I used half Maple, and half Molasses and it worked out fantastic. I will definitely make this stuffing again, and the only other thing I did differently was replace the nuts with cranberries because my husband doesn’t like nuts.

Green Salad with Awesome Dressing

To go along with all of this I very simply roasted some root vegetables - carrots, parsnips, scarlet turnips, celery root and onion - in some oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon. Then I made Robin Robinson’s Pan Gravy and Cranberry Apple Relish from her cook book “Party Vegan” both of which turned out fantastic. The cranberry apple relish was particularly good. I made only 2 changes to it, I used a ½ cup of brown sugar instead of a full cup, and I used pomegranate juice instead of water. Amazing! It was the perfect combination of tart and sweet so I’ll definitely be making this again. Also the gravy both smelled and tasted so similar to my Grandma’s pan gravy, so much so in fact that it’s hard to believe this gravy didn’t actually have pan drippings in it!

Cranberry Apple Relish

I also made a simple green salad of Bibb lettuce, red cabbage, and green onion, topped with my all-time favorite home-made salad dressing - I’ll provide the recipe in a follow up post tomorrow.

Cappuccino Mousse Pie

Then of course you can’t have a celebration without dessert. I chose to make Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Cappuccino Mousse Pie from their book “Vegan Pie in the Sky” and it was incredible. The pie is mostly almond milk with some sugar, 4 tbsp espresso powder and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips but it tastes so rich and decadent you’d think there was cream cheese and tons of chocolate and all sorts of bad nasty stuff in it. This is a pie so rich you can hardly eat more then one slice, and it is fantastic. It’s also one of the easiest pies in the book to make, and comes together super fast. So if you have this book you should definitely make it!

The rest of the day was spent simply. We slept in, we enjoyed each other’s company. We took our dog for a couple of walks. The weather was a bit strange, it started off sunny and became increasingly gloomy as the day progressed. Eventually it became very rainy and windy while we were out walking and so dark that it almost seemed like it was midnight when it was only four o’clock. Though it was rather warm most of the day and evening. I quite enjoy that kind of weather, coming from Vancouver I am no stranger to rain, or high winds, nor am I a stranger to gloomy weather or dark afternoons. So these things often remind me of home, especially considering Canadian Thanksgivings have a tendency to be rainy. Though I also thought the weather was appropriate considering the violence of the occasion. As if the gods were crying for all the slaughtered turkey’s.

A shot of the roast sliced open, you can kind of see the stuffing
peeking out, sorry I forgot to take a picture of it on it's own.

While I was cooking I enjoyed the inactive time by reading “Cloud Atlas” and then after my husband left for work I spent the night watching movies, which is not something I normally do but since it was a holiday I thought ‘to hell with school.’ So I watched almost the entire audio-commentary for David Fincher’s remake of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and then I watched “The Hunger Games.”

A close up of my delicious plate! 

All in all a good holiday, I hope you enjoyed yours too!

PS: We also indulged in this delicious bottle of Organic, Vegan, Red Wine from South Africa, YUM!


  1. Your dinner looked awesome! S.T.

  2. Fantastic meal! That homemade tofurkey was really delicious & filling. I LOVED the dessert! I wish I had another one right now. ;) That wine was also quite good! Great Thanksgiving despite the drawbacks. Thanks!! - M