Friday, November 09, 2012

Thanksgiving -- The Vegan and Gluten-Free way.

Food Table.  Though there was no fruit on the actual table so the sign's a bit misleading.

I wanted to fill you in about our Thanksgiving meal, but things have been crazy around here the past month.  But it's almost American Thanksgiving, so this post shouldn't seem completely out of place in the blogosphere.

Oh what a Thanksgiving I planned!

This holiday is my oldest daughter's favourite holiday of the year.  She loves the smells, the colours, the flavours and the coziness of it all.  She is quite the traditionalist at heart, and really treasures the rituals of the day.

Next year, she will be on a school trip to Europe over the Thanksgiving weekend.  From what I understand the timing of this made things slightly cheaper, but she won't be here to celebrate with us on that weekend.

This year was to be the year that counted for two. 

It's also the first year where I've had so many food restrictions, and I really wanted to make it good.  I researched and researched to find gluten-free and dairy-free versions of our favourite foods.  I spent the entire day before the actual meal pre-cooking.  This meant things like baking the gluten-free bread and making the vegetable stock.  I made a couple dishes the night before, as we were having a lunch so I wouldn't have as much time the day of to prepare everything.

I was quite excited to find some great recipes online.  What a world we live in, a world where we can type in some very specific words into a search bar, click a button and literally have hundreds or thousands of answers appear on the screen before us.  I wanted to share some of these with you (and also leave them in a place I could easily locate them next year!).

I totally stole the recipes for "Celery Root and Squash Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Streusel" and "Tempeh Marbella" from here.  Both were SO delicious!

This was the gratin prior to cooking.  Basically it involved layering slices of celery root (or celeriac) and squash in a baking dish, and coating it with a very rich and delicious "cream" sauce.
 Next it is topped with the walnut and bread crumb topping and baked.
This is maybe not the best shot, but it sure was delicious!  Leftovers were great too, but I don't think it would freeze well (I didn't try, it's just a guess).   

The tempeh was so easy to make.  Since nobody seems to know what tempeh is, here's what it looks like at the store:
Tempeh is a fermented soy product, and comes in this block.  I get it from Goodness Me! and it's about $5 for the package.  I sliced it into little rectangles, then sliced each rectangle in half horizontally.  They were marinaded overnight, and then baked in the oven until nicely browned.  Yummy.
I made mashed potatoes, stuffing (both gluten-free and non gluten-free), roasted broccoli, and curried squash soup.  Our guests brought a delicious spinach & pomegranate salad.  We had turkey (yes I cooked it!) and gravy.  It was quite the spread.
Of course there was dessert.  I had to make a pumpkin pie, although I was very worried about making a gluten-free pie crust.  To be honest, I never really mastered the art of making a regular old pie crust, so the gluten-free thing was really daunting.  The solution?  A nut-meal crust.  Honestly, this was the most AMAZING pie I have ever made (if I was feeling braggy, I might even say that I have tasted).  I found the recipe here and holy cow, this lady does her research!  It turned out great, just look at it!
 Mmm.  Now I want pumpkin pie.

Back behind the pie you can see my bowl of Tofu Chocolate Mousse.  I also made a rhubarb crumble with the last of the garden rhubarb for the year.

We had a nice enjoyable time, with a mix of family and friends.  Despite having 6 of our guests not be able to attend at the last minute due to illness (all of whom were dearly missed!), I think I managed to create a Thanksgiving that my daughter will remember fondly. 

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