Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Noshing!


Leading up to Christmas, we were trying to keep it healthy and light (when it came to meal time) - so there were a lot of soup & salad dinners. This was a uniquely interesting salad, inspired by something I found online, with fresh spinach, grapes, toasted hazelnuts, millet, and romesco broccoli. I always forget about putting grains and cooked veggies in salads, but I really like how it makes the whole thing feel so much substantial. If you have any favorite salad recipes with grains &/or cooked veggies in them - please let me know! I need some help with salad innovation.

Also, as you can see - I was going to stage this salad all nicely, but I decided it would be more authentic to leave it on the coffee table complete with stamps and gift tags and my Superman address book (for sending late Christmas cards)... this really captures the pre-holiday spirit!


As always, I was in charge of a veggie entree. This year I decided to make Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Shells. They came out perfectly (and I made a TON, as you can see). I made a double batch of tofu ricotta, browned 2 lbs of sliced mushrooms with white wine, steamed and chopped 2 lbs of spinach, and super caramelized a couple of onions. Then I mixed all that together to make the filling, and topped it all off with some homemade pasta sauce and some cashew/pine nut cream. They were super delicious, and luckily there were tons left over (which was all part of my evil plan). Now I have a freezer full of stuffed shells for whenever I want a quick and pre-made dinner. Yay!


I was also in charge of dessert - and for the first thing, I made a repeat of the same galette that I made at Thanksgiving: apples, bosc pears, and spiced quince - with a dash of rum. Soooooo good.

Also, check out my awesome new Christmas table cloth that I got on Vintage Etsy. I love it so much. It's from Sweden. Those Swedish people really know how to do Christmas right.



The other dessert I made was Hannah Kaminsky's Pecan Pie Truffles (with Bourbon!). Hot damn, these are some tasty little numbers!!! I made them last year for xmas, and now I pretty much just wish I could live off of them. They are so super, super delicious. The only thing I did slightly differently was that instead of graham cracker crumbs I used Windmill Cookie crumbs instead. Super yums!


You might have seen this little number going around on Facebook. All my veggie friends were sharing it on FB, but I wonder how many dorks actually went out and made one?? Well, this dork did! My aunt's boyfriend is also a vegan - but unlike me, he follows a vegan diet with no salt, no oils, no sugar... and mostly eats raw foods. Plus, he doesn't like presents. SO! When I saw this broccotree going around on the net, I knew just what to make him for Christmas! I brought it to him for our Christmas Eve family dinner, so that he could start eating it right away. It was really easy and fun and he was pretty stoked on it.

Here's my one piece of advice if you are ever going to make yourself a Broccotree: This used up about 3.5 lbs of broccoli! You need a lot of broccoli!

Here's my final plate of holiday goodness: Stuffed shells (with a side of pesto and extra cashew/pine-nut cream), dressing, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and a mountain of amazing salad. It was super delicious and festive. We had a really nice holiday this year... lots of love around the table!

On Christmas morning, we all gather again at my parents' house for a very casual waffle breakfast before we open a few gifties. It's one of my favorite parts of all of Christmas time. I always make the Raised Waffles from Vegan Brunch, because as far as I am concerned, that is the best waffle recipe of all time and everyone else can just stop looking. They were a hit with everyone! We always have real maple syrup AND artificial maple syrup, because certain people (!cough! Mr Vegan Eats & Treats !cough!) prefer the artificial stuff. Ha! Not me. This year my mom also cooked up some Tofurky sausages, which were super tasty... plus the obligate breakfast standbys of OJ and coffee. As you can see, I told everyone to smile, so Mr. VE&T made a super nasty face. :)


I love this picture of my mom lighting the candles before breakfast. Also, if you look closely, you can see some of the toys from our Christmas crackers left over from dinner the night before.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I'm a little late with my Christmas Wrap-up, so I'll take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year too! (see, I've got both hats on, get it??!) 

16 comments:

  1. Michaela figured out the white dove and we made lots of them for the Christmas tree we visited in Bend this year! Big hit. She and Jim also figured out how to make the "basket". I always love your posts and your scribbles are the absolute best!!! Yay Amey!

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    1. Yeah! I'm so glad that my crafty gifts spread to more crafty fun! The doves are really quite easy - and so super pretty. The baskets are a little more mind-bendy, but once you get the hang of it, they're easy too. The heart baskets are a traditional Danish christmas decoration - we learned it from some very good Danish friends of ours. :) xo!

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  2. that salad looks wonderful and i am really intrigued by the cashew/pine nut cream mmmm!! love the doodle, but you are a year ahead on your shirt :-P

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    1. Little Monster! That Cashew/Pine Nut cream is from Veganomicon - do you have that book? I think it's form the recipe for the Moussaka. Actually - I put the recipe on my lasagna post last year (http://veganeatsandtreats.blogspot.com/2011/06/birthday-lasagna_10.html). You must try it. It is SO GOOD. Sometimes I use all cashews. This time I used half-cashews and half-pine nuts. Really, you can't go wrong.

      Also - thanks for pointing out my doodle error. What a nut! I always do that!! I'll fix it now. :)

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    2. ooooh i look into that! it looks really cool and tasty! haha that's ok, we all make mistakes like that. :)

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  3. Mmm, it all looks delish! Especially the truffles! Pretty funny grumpy face in your family picture!! Happy New Year :)

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  4. Everything looks so perfect!! Those shells!!

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  5. I love all the dishes, great job. I especially love the broccotree...very creative.

    http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

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  6. Great christmas! I haven't had stuffed shells in so long - thanks for reminding me how yummy they are. Happy new year!

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  7. You eat better than most anyone--such a luscious variety of yumminess. Love your brocco-tree. Happy, healthy 2013! xoxo

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  8. I always forget about putting grains in salads! Usually I add beans and/or avocado and/or olives for heft. Roasted veggies like beets, carrots and potatoes are also lurvely! And holy hell, those stuffed shells look great! As for those truffles, Hannah has great recipes, and I'm a big fan of anything with bourbon, ha ha. :) And who doesn't prefer real maple syrup to the fake stuff? Crazy Mr. VE&T! Happy Christmas/new year!

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  9. All the food looks delicious! I am planning to try making the Pecan Pie Truffles and was wondering what I could replace the bourbon with? Can you help? We don't do alcohol in our house, not even for cooking so that's why. Thanks for any suggestions and a Happy New Year!

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  10. Happy New Year, Amey! I made tofu ricotta stuffed shells for Christmas one time many years ago, and now I always associate them with the holidays. Your cashew/pine nut cream sounds like a fantastic addition!

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  11. paperweight4:38 PM

    That all looks so lovely!

    As for salads, I'm sure this is so food 101 to you, I don't know if you remember the sandwich from Crema in Harvard square that you asked me to report on roughly three million years ago? Well, that became my favorite food ever. And then I moved.

    I only made it at home a few times. Being one person, I can never manage to keep bread in the house without it going moldy or stale and all attempts at freezing it have been unsuccessful. (I've got a few slices in the freezer right now that are nearly old enough to start collecting social security.)

    I turned the sandwich into a salad instead (all the same components dumped on top of lettuce or spinach or quinoa or a combination depending on how worried I am that my stomach is going to digest me from the inside out). Also I use dressing from a bottle (Annie's Pappaya Poppyseed), because they wouldn't sell it if I didn't need it.

    Once I was really motivated and even made Kittee's crispy tofu and added some of that.

    I'm sure that violates like ten different salad statutes, but maybe it will give you an idea. And then I'll just use your recipe.

    Take care and have a lovely new year!

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  12. paperweight!!!!!!!!! You are the coooolest! What a great idea! I am going to do this! I certainly *do* remember the famous sandwich and your super generous and thorough reporting on the issue! :) I am going to make this salad, and I am going to blog about it! mark my words!! <3!

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!